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Rules and Regulations

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Here are the most important rules for driving in the Netherlands:

  • Drive on the right, overtake on the left
  • 18 years is the legal minimum age to drive a car (or motorbike over 125cc)
  • 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 insurancedocuments in the car (Dutch, EU and International Driving Licences are accepted)
  • Mobile cellular 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
  • Children younger than 18 and shorter than 1.35m must sit in an approved car seat or raised, booster seat
  • Headlights should be dipped in built-up areas but it is prohibited to use side-lights only
  • 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
  • Trams have priority except where signposted at major junctions

The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment publishes a comprehensive guide (in English) on the Road Traffic Signs and Regulations in the Netherlands. It answers all questions on rules for drivers and cyclists, signs, hand signals by traffic police, parking rules and much more.

 


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Children in cars

It is obligatory that children under 18 who are less than 1.35 metres tall must travel in an EU approved child car seat or raised booster seat. This applies to travelling in the front to back seats. A child under three may not be transported in a without being strapped in to a seat.

 

What to carry in the car

It is compulsory to carry the following in the car at all times:

  • Driving licence (and a passport if the driving licence does not include a photograph)
  • Car registration papers
  • Motor insurance certificate

It is also advisable, but not obligatory, to carry:

  • A red warning triangle
  • A reflective vest