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• The hefty hindrance for bringing a car into the Netherlands is the private motor vehicle and motorcycle tax (BPM) -- levied as a percentage of the value of the car. • Exemption certificates are dealt by customs (www.douane.nl). • There are many implications affecting car tax calculations: consult the website www.belastingdienst.nl for full details (in English). • Also note that as a Dutch resident you may not drive in a vehicle with foreign registration plates – you will be considered as evading the import duty on the vehicle and road tax, and risk heavy fines. • All cars must be registered with the RDW (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer). If you bring your vehicle from abroad, it must first be reviewed at an RDW inspection station, after which registration plates are handled through the same office. • To register ownership of a Dutch-registered car, go to any post office or RDW–TV (Tenaamstellen Voertuigen) certified company with: identification documents, certificate of ownership, vehicle registration documents, statutory liability insurance (WA) and safety certificate (APK). • For second hand vehicles, there is a transfer certificate (overschrijvingsbewijs). A seller should ensure their previous ownership certificate has been officially invalidated. • After registering your car, you will receive a bill for road tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting) from the tax office. • The vehicle’s registration card (kentekencard, or bewijs) and the certificate of ownership (tenaamstellingsbewijs) must be in the car at all times when on the road.

• The Department of Road Transport: www.rdw.nl, 0900 0739, or +31 (0)59 839 3330 (abroad) • Information on driving licences: www.rijbewijs.nl • Theory and driving tests: www.cbr.nl, 0900 0210 • ‘Road Traffic Signs and Regulations’ brochure: do a search on www.government.nl to download • Common traffic offences: www.verkeershandhaving.nl PUBLIC TRANSPORT • The swipecard payment system OV-chipkaart is the official public transport payment system for the metro, bus and tram throughout the Netherlands. • There are two types of OV-chipkaarts: anonymous, which anyone can buy from the OV-chipkaart machines or station; or personal, which you can apply for online. • Your pass can be loaded from one of the OV-chipkaart machines strategically placed at train and metro stations, or you can arrange for your personal card to ‘load’ automatically from a bank account. You pay for the distance travelled by swiping it upon entering and leaving your transport station. • Personal products, such as season or discount tickets, can be loaded to your personal OV-chipkaart and you are automatically eligible for discounts. • The OV-chipkaart website (www.ov-chipkaart.nl) also has an English language section where you can find lines of action should you lose your card or forget to swipe out. Helpline: 0900 0980 (EUR 0.50/min) or @OVchipkaart on social media. • Infrequent travellers can buy a single-use chipkaart ticket per trip.

TIPS: TRAFFIC AND PARKING TRAIN • Unless otherwise marked, the speed limits are 50 km/hr in the city, 80 km/hr on other roads and 100, 120, or 130 km/hr on motorways. • Traffic is an issue (www.trafficnet.nl) and so is parking, for which you generally need a permit. • Options for paying for parking are cash, chip or via your mobile phone. See www.parkmobiel.nl, www.park-line.nl or www.yellowbrick.nl. • Many Dutch drivers are members of motoring organisation ANWB (www.anwb.nl), which can provide breakdown cover (wegenwacht) at home or abroad. • There are park and ride (P+R) schemes in most cities and the car-sharing scheme Green Wheels is a popular option (www.greenwheels.nl).


• The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (www.ns.nl), or NS, is the national train company and offers season tickets and discounts for off-peak travel (dal voordeel abonnement), which include up to 40 percent discount off the price of your tickets and up to three people travelling with you. • Either buy a single tickets at a kiosk, or use your OV-chipkaart to travel on the NS. Make sure you have a minimum EUR 20 uploaded on your OV-chipkaart (EUR 10 if you have a discount pass), and that you swipe out on arrival or your travel costs could triple.


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Expat Survival Guide 2020 - The Netherlands  

The Expat Survival Guide assists your first essential steps: finding a home and job, organising permits, setting up finances and healthcare,...

Expat Survival Guide 2020 - The Netherlands  

The Expat Survival Guide assists your first essential steps: finding a home and job, organising permits, setting up finances and healthcare,...