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Dutch traffic rules

Dutch traffic rules

Plan to do a lot of driving in the Netherlands? Here are a few driving rules in the Netherlands that may differ from the ones in your home country.

Basic traffic rules in the Netherlands

  • You have to drive on the right and overtake on the left.
  • You can start taking driving lessons at age 16,5. At age 17, you can take a practical exam and drive accompanied after obtaining your driving licence. From the age of 18, you are allowed to drive independently.
  • You are not required to have certain safety items in your car, but it is handy.

Speed limits

  • In December 2019, the Dutch government decided to reduce the maximum speed on motorways from 120 or 130 km/h to 100 km/h during the day between 6am and 7pm. Between 7pm and 6am, you are allowed to drive at 120 or 130 km/h on motorways (depending on the road).
  • In the Netherlands, there is no minimum speed you need to adhere to. However, if you drive so slowly that you obstruct or endanger other traffic, you may get a fine.
  • On motorways, there is a minimum construction speed (how fast a vehicle must be able to drive in order to be allowed to drive on a particular road).
Maximum speeds (km/h)
  Motorways Expressways Outside Built-Up Area Inside Built-Up Area
Passenger cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles 130 100 80 50
Trucks and buses 80 80 80 50
T100 buses 100 100 80 50
Company vehicle category campers, heavier than 3500kg 80 80 80 50
Passenger cars, commercial vehicles, T100 buses and motorcycles with trailer, under 3500kg 90 90 80 50
Passenger cars, commercial vehicles, T100 buses and motorcycles with trailer, over 3500kg 80 80 80 50
Trucks and buses (excluding T100) with a trailer 80 80 80 50
Microcars  -  -  45 45
Motor-assisted bicycles, agricultural vehicles and motor vehicles with restricted speed  -   - 25  25

Under the influence

  • It is prohibited to drive a vehicle if you are under the influence of a substance that you know (or should know) can impair your driving skills (drugs, certain medication, too much alcohol). This pertains to all drivers, including cyclists.
  • The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0,5 per mille. This also applies to cyclists. However, stricter rules apply to novice drivers; for them, the maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0,2 per mille.

Electronic devices

  • It is prohibited to hold a mobile electronic device while driving a vehicle or to clamp it between your ear and shoulder. This also applies to cyclists. You are allowed to hold your mobile phone when the vehicle is not moving.
  • The use of a dashcam is not prohibited in the Netherlands. However, if you plan on publishing the images, you must take the privacy of the people in the images into consideration.

Mopeds

  • Drivers and passengers on motorcycles and mopeds (bromfiets) must wear safety helmets. You don’t need to wear a safety helmet on a light moped (snorfiets).
  • It is forbidden to ride on the cycle path with a moped (bromfiets). Moped drivers must use the bicycle/moped path. If there is none, they are allowed on the road.
  • Please note that the maximum speed for mopeds is 45km/h on roads (within and outside built-up area) and on the bicycle/moped path it's 30km/hour in a built-up area and 40km/h outside a built-up area.

Overview of Dutch traffic rules

For an overview of all the traffic rules in the Netherlands, you can download the PDF Road Traffic Signs and Regulations in the Netherlands or view the most up-to-date version on the government’s website (in Dutch). Make sure you know the traffic rules in the Netherlands - you don’t want to get a traffic fine.

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