Luckily, the road rules are consistent with those of most European countries. Here are the most important rules for driving in the Netherlands:

Traffic Signs the Netherlands
  • Drive on the right-hand side, overtake other vehicles on the left.
  • 18 is the legal minimum age to drive a car (or motorbike over 125cc).
  • 16 is the legal minimum age to drive a moped or scooter.
  • Motorcycle and trike drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.
  • It is compulsory to carry a driving licence, car registration papers and insurance documents in the car (Dutch, EU and international driving licences are accepted).
  • Mobile phones may only be used with a hands-free system while driving. Even holding a mobile in a moving vehicle is considered an offence.
  • Seatbelts are compulsory in the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Drivers should pay particular attention to cyclists, who may ride two abreast.
  • Unless otherwise signposted, vehicles coming from the right have priority.
  • Busses have priority when pulling out.
  • Trams have priority except where signposted at major junctions.
  • Children must be travelling in an age-appropriate seat until the age of 5.
  • Children shorter than 1.35 m need to sit in a child seat.
  • You must stop for pedestrians on pedestrian crossings.
  • The Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management will provide you with all the rules and signs used in the Netherlands.
  • New expats can continue to use their foreign driving licence for a certain period after they arrive in the Netherlands. The length of licence validity can vary greatly - from six months up to 15 years - depending on the country of issue.