Advice for Driving in Holland
3 December 2023
Tips, Checklist & Legal Requirements
Holland might be well known for its cycling population, but visitors to the country often hire cars or drive their own, as this can be a convenient option for individuals travelling through Europe. If you’re intending to drive in Holland, read our helpful guide for rules, regulations and driving advice, using the checklist at the bottom of the page to ensure you have everything covered!
What is needed to drive in Holland?
If you are looking to drive in Holland, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid UK driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents. It’s important to remember that you have both your photo driving licence and paper counterpart with you while driving. Additionally, if your vehicle’s number plate does not feature the Euro symbol, then you are required to place a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle.
- · Valid UK driving licence (photo and paper)
- · Insurance documents
- · Vehicle documents
- · GB sticker or Euro symbol number plates
With a rate of 4.0 road deaths per 100,000 of the population, driving in Holland can be seen as relatively safe, comparing to the UK average of 3.1 per 100,000. Cycling is very popular in Holland, and trams, cyclists and mopeds have the right of way. It is particularly important that you check cycle lanes before turning right, and you must give due consideration to the many cyclists present in Dutch cities.
Seat belts are required for all passengers, whether in the front or back seat of the vehicle. No children under the age of twelve or under 1.5 m tall are allowed to travel in the front seat without the appropriate restraint, and children under 3 years old must travel in the back using an appropriate child seat.
The following legal enforcements should be taken into consideration:
- · Mobile phone use is forbidden while driving. This incurs a heavy fine, so 'hands free' equipment must be used if you need to make a call.
- · You should not use your horn in towns and urban areas unless in an emergency. As an alternative, flash your headlights when driving in low light.
- · On motorcycles, both driver and passenger must wear a helmet.
Kit You Should Have In Your Car
When driving in Holland, it is compulsory to have the following equipment with you in your car:
- · Warning triangle
- · Headlight converters
- · Fire extinguisher
If you break down, it is important to place your reflective warning triangle 30 metres away from your vehicle to ensure that other drivers are aware of your presence. Your headlight converters should be used to deflect your beam away from oncoming drivers, as you drive on opposite side of the road to UK.
While you should of course adhere to speed limits as a matter of safety, there is added reason to maintain a high level of care due to speed traps, cameras and unmarked vehicles being in operation throughout the country. Maximum speed limits can vary on motorways, so it is recommended that you check signposts.
Standard speed limits (km/h) unless otherwise stated by traffic signs:
Urban roads (31 mph).
Non-urban roads (50 mph).
Motorways / expressways (80 - 74 - 62 mph).
Urban roads (31 mph).
Non-urban roads (50 mph).
Motorways / expressways (56 mph).
In-car radar detectors are illegal whether they are in use or not and on-the-spot fines are issued for the infringement of all traffic regulations.
Holland has stricter drink driving laws than many other countries. The legal limit is 0.05% and 0.02% for drivers with less than 5 years experience and moped drivers up to 24 years old.
Getting to Holland
Eurobreakdown clients have several choices available to them when deciding how to get to Holland.
There are 3 ferry routes between Holland and the UK: Newcastle - Amsterdam, Harwich - Hook of Holland and Hull - Rotterdam and they are served by DFDS Seaways, Stena Line and P&O Ferries.
The price of a return ticket is dependent on a number of factors including the time and date of travel, the vehicle size and the number of occupants and whether you require the use of a cabin or club lounges. Crossings durations vary between 7 and 16 hours being Harwich - Hook of Holland the shortest route.
General Driving Advice
It is advisable to read up on signage before driving in another country. At junctions in Holland, the right of way is based on the signs that are present. You should be aware of the following conditions that are in place:
- · Yellow and white diamond-shaped sign: You have the right of way
- · A row of white triangular signs on the road: You must give way to other drivers
To summarise our guide to driving in Holland, here is the checklist for you to consider:
- Be sure to have the following documents with you when driving: valid UK driving licence (both photo and paper), insurance documents and vehicle documents.
- Display a GB sticker on the rear of your car if you do not have ‘Euro symbol’ number plates.
- Trams, cyclists and mopeds have the right of way.
- Do not use your mobile phone while driving. ‘Hands-free’ devices are allowed.
- In towns and urban areas, only use your vehicle’s horn when in emergency.
- On motorcycles, both driver and passenger must wear a helmet.
- Speed limits are heavily regulated; be aware of varying limits on motorways. In-car radar detectors are illegal.
- The following equipment is essential to have with you: warning triangle, headlight converters, and fire extinguisher.
- Do not drink alcohol before driving.
- Be aware of sign posts that signal right of way, as well as other signage that is different to the UK.
The team at Eurobreakdown.com hope that you find this information useful and wish you "Veilige Reis" on your next visit to Holland!
Driving to Holland through another destination? You might find the following guides helpful:
Need breakdown cover for Holland? Eurobreakdown.com can provide you with comprehensive single trip breakdown cover or annual multi trip breakdown policies with a best price guarantee.
Reference: The statistics mentioned on this page were sourced from the International Transport Forum’s Road Safety Annual Report 2013 and, to the best of Eurobreakdown.com’s knowledge, are correct at the time of publication (May 2014).
For general European driving tips click here