What is a bakfiets and why does your family need one?

What is a bakfiets and why does your family need one?

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In this article, Jaime Silva, the founder of BOAH Bikes, talks about the role of the cargo bikes in the lives of many families in the Netherlands. 

A bakfiets is a type of cargo bike that is popular in the Netherlands. Fun fact: the word bakfiets means "box bike". These bikes are so ingrained in Dutch culture that there is no better word to describe a cargo bike than bakfiets

In fact, a bakfiets can substitute up to 95% of the needs of daily family transportation in the Netherlands, with 0% Co2 impact. 

Good for the planet

Many studies and presentations regarding bicycles and bakfiets in particular all have one finding in common: they are popular solutions to cities with congestion, long traffic jams and environmental pollution among other things.

Additionally, many European governments and local authorities have set their sights on making their inner cities car-free to give more space to bicycles and bakfietsen in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Bicycles and bakfietsen have an important role as they can substitute 95% of the needs of a family car in your regular daily routine - especially if it's a good electric bakfiets.

Why a bakfiets is so useful

There's no better way to move within the city than with a bakfiets. This is something I learnt seven years ago when I moved from London to Delft: I would take the kids to school in the morning, do the groceries and go to the beach in Scheveningen at the peak of the summer, where car parking is a nightmare (and costs six euros per hour).

With a bakfiets, parking is free and you can leave your bike right in front of the beach - all this for a fraction of what a car costs. If you sum up maintenance and parking costs as well as insurance and road tax, you get the return on your investment within a few months. It's a no-brainer!"

Advantages of a bakfiets

To break it down, here are the many benefits of a bakfiets (both electric and non-electric):

  • Easy and fun transportation for children: Need to drop your kids off at school? With a bakfiets, you can easily take them to school without having to worry about petrol or traffic. Your children are also protected, as the box acts as a natural rain cover.
  • More room for groceries: The bakfiets is the perfect tool for doing groceries because the box allows you to transport a large amount of items.
  • Environmentally-friendly: A bakfiets is a sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation that emits very low amounts of carbon. Plus, it's better for your own health.
  • Saves money: A bakfiets is budget-friendly because you are not spending anything on gas, maintenance or insurance, like you would with a car. Even with the more expensive electric bakfiets, you will save more money in the long-term.

As you can see, a bakfiets is a highly useful addition to any household, especially for families!

Tax benefits

If you run a company or are an entrepreneur, it’s also worth checking out the possible advantages the Dutch government can give you for using a bakfiets instead of a car / public transportation for your activities. This incentive is called the MIA en VAMIL and gives people beneficial tax benefits for investing in environmentally-friendly resources.

To give you an idea of how significant this benefit can be, here's a practical example: imagine that you purchase a new bakfiets for the price of 5.499 euros (including VAT). The potential tax deductions can reach a total of 3.289,77 euros (59,82% of the purchase price, depending on your income bracket).

BOAH Bikes atelier works by appointment only for a tailored solution to fit your family transportation needs that goes from second life cargo bikes with warranty like new, new cargo bikes and long tails. Get in touch with their team through WhatsApp at +31 617 416 666 or at

Jaime Silva


Jaime Silva

Jaime Silva born in Angola, raised in sunny Lisbon, worked in finance, had his own network of restaurants in Portugal, and spent the last 15 years as an expat. Firstly,...

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