When arriving in a new country, it is good to know the basic road rules of the country and what other means of transportation are available.
The Netherlands is a very hectic and full country with lots of traffic. Bikes, cars, busses, taxis, and lorries will all use the same streets and lanes, although bikes usually have a completely separated lane or partially separate lane (with a different colour).
Dutch road rules are consistent with those in most European countries. Here are the most important rules for when driving a car, motorbike or bike in the Netherlands:
• Drive on the right, overtake on the left
• 18 is the legal minimum age to drive a car although you can start with driving lessons at the age of 16,5, take the exam at age 17 and from thereafter drive with an experienced driver until the age of 18 from which you are allowed to drive independently.
• 16 is the legal minimum age to drive a moped
• Motorcycle and trike drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets
• It is compulsory to carry a driving licence, car registration papers and insurance documents in the car (Dutch, EU and international driving licences are accepted)
• Mobile telephones may only be used with a hands-free system while driving. Even holding a mobile in a moving vehicle is considered an offence
• Seatbelts are compulsory in the front and rear of the vehicle
• Drivers should pay particular attention to cyclists, who may ride two abreast
• Unless otherwise signposted, vehicles coming from the right have priority
• Busses have priority when pulling out within the built-up area
• Trams have priority except where signposted at major junctions
• Children must be travelling in an age-appropriate seat until the age of 5
• Children shorter than 1.35 need to sit in a child seat
• You must stop for pedestrians on pedestrian crossings
• Cyclists must always use the designated cycle lanes when available
The Ministry of Infrastructure and environment will provide you with all the rules and signs used in the Netherlands.