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Driving in Holland

Driving in Holland

Holland is a famously laid-back country, but there are certain rules and customs that you should be aware of before driving in Holland.

For example, trams always have the right of way – and so do cyclists and moped riders. There are variations as to which traffic has precedence on roundabouts. On some roundabouts it’s the traffic entering, and others it’s the traffic already going round. There are also laws about sounding your horn in built-up areas too, so flashing of headlights is the usual alternative.

These are mainly urban considerations, and outside of the cities the motorway system is excellent, and what’s more, totally toll-free!

Dutch driving laws

  • Children under 1.35m in height can only travel in the front seats of a vehicle if they are using an approved child seat that is appropriate for their age and size
  • Children under 3 years old are permitted to travel in the front seats if using a rear-facing child seat with the airbag deactivated.
  • Busses, trams and bicycles usually have priority over cars
  • Wearing seatbelts is a legal requirement.
  • In cases of illegal parking, a car may be towed or a fine issued
  • Vehicles can be confiscated in cases of excessive speeding
  • It is prohibited to drive with only sidelights at night
  • It is illegal to carry any radar-detecting equipment

Speed limits

  • Built up areas: 31mph or 50km/h
  • Outside built up areas: 49mph or 80km/h
  • Motorways: 80mph or 130km/h
  • There is a minimum speed limit of 37mph or 60km/h on motorways

Essential items

  • GB' sticker, unless the registration plates have the GB logo on them
  • Registration and insurance documents
  • Crash helmets (motorcycles only)
  • Headlight converters

Additional information

  • All drivers in Holland must have 3rd party insurance or above
  • For a guide to Dutch road signs, download our PDF
  • Never cross a solid white line
  • At junctions, you have right of way where there's a yellow and white diamond-shaped sign - and you have to give way where there's a row of white triangular signs on the road
  • Whilst not compulsory, it is recommended that you take a warning triangle
  • The Emergency number, Europe-wide, from mobiles and landlines is 112