How Expensive Is It To Own a Car in The Netherlands?

How Expensive Is It To Own a Car in The Netherlands titlecard

Whether you are a foreigner looking for a car in the Netherlands or a Dutch resident looking for information about owning a car, it can be difficult to know exactly how much it will cost you. While public transport in the Netherlands is excellent, sometimes a car is more convenient. But how much does it cost to own a car in the Netherlands?

The average annual cost of new car ownership in the Netherlands is about 5,460 or 455 a month. If you’re driving a petrol car in the Netherlands, the average costs can range between €336 to €647 per month for used and new cars, and €700 for a new diesel vehicle.

This article will give you a general overview of what owning a car in the Netherlands entails cost-wise. It will also offer information on what you’ll be dealing with so that the costs of owning a car don’t take you by surprise while staying within your budget.

The cheaper the car, the lower the operation costs. Have a look at the most affordable cars in the Netherlands.

What are the costs of owning a car in the Netherlands?

The average cost of running a car in the Netherlands ranges from €336 to €647, depending on the type of car and its age. The most important factors are the type of car, age, size, mileage, and the driver’s age (for car insurance).

While buying a car can be less expensive in the Netherlands compared to most countries, you need to consider the actual cost of owning a vehicle in context. The ongoing and routine expenses such as fuel, taxes, insurance, and registration can take a toll on your wallet, but by how much?

The overall costs of owning a car in the Netherlands depend on several factors. The type of car, your age, and how frequently you drive. The average monthly cost can be around €455, considering that fuel prices in the Netherlands are pretty high compared to other countries.

For example, owning a five-year-old Renault Clio comes to a total monthly cost of €385, assuming you drive about 25,000 km a year.

If you want to drive a diesel car, think twice. The Netherlands is the most expensive country in Europe for diesel vehicles. Running such a car will cost you €700 per month on average.

Besides, with a used car, you might have higher maintenance costs. Car insurance is more expensive for young drivers. Diesel has a higher road tax but lower fuel costs.

The average cost of owning a new VW Golf VIII:
  • Purchase price: €31,090
  • Depreciation: €267
  • Fuel: €90
  • Repair/maintenance: €38
  • Insurance: €70
  • Monthly expenses total: €465

Here is an overview of the monthly cost of car ownership across different car classes and ages:

Petrol carsMonthly cost
New, compact car€384
5 years-old compact car€336
New small middle-class car€469
New middle-class car€532
5 years-old middle-class car€375
New SUV€647
5 years-old SUV€485

Let’s make you clued up on everything you need to know when buying a car in the Netherlands.

If you are buying a car in the Netherlands, check out our guide on the best Dutch used car websites.

A valid MOT (APK)

When you buy a car in the Netherlands, you can’t be allowed on public roads without a valid MOT (Ministry of Transport test) or a general periodic inspection for safety checks.

If your car is due for an MOT inspection, the Rijksdienst Voor het Wegverkeer (RDW) will remind you six weeks before the APK expires.

Usually, the MOT inspection for new vehicles is after several years. Once this time lapses, the safety checks are done annually to keep older cars in pristine condition.

You’ll pay anywhere in the neighborhoods from €20 to €75 for the MOT inspection. You can take your vehicle for inspection at a garage of your choice. If your car is older, you’ll be required to do the review annually.

Suppose it gets rejected by the inspector; be ready to do repairs before your car can be approved again and allowed to participate in the Netherlands traffic safely.

A valid driver’s license

If you recently moved to the Netherlands and didn’t have a Dutch driving license, you can drive with your foreign license for six months, provided it’s registered under any EU country.

For a non-EU driving license, you can switch it to a Dutch one by first registering with a residential address in the Netherlands. All these will be dependent on the country you come from and the type of driving license you have there.

You can visit the municipality where you live according to your home address for the driver’s license exchange. You will spend about €30 to €50 depending on your city.

Also read this article about how to buy a car in the Netherlands as a foreigner.

Road tax

Road tax in the Netherlands is part of the monthly car costs you have to pay if you own a car. The Belastingdienst (tax authority) is in charge of this tax, which happens once quarterly.

The cost of road tax depends on a few factors, including:

  • The type of car you drive, for example, passenger or private
  • Fuel, for instance, if your vehicle is electric, LPG, hybrid, petrol, or diesel-powered (diesel will cost you much more)
  • The CO2 emissions of your vehicle
  • The province where you live
  • The weight of your car
  • How old is your vehicle

The tax authority automatically debits the road tax, meaning you don’t need to register. The RDW will forward your details to the Tax and Customs Administration once you buy a car in the Netherlands.

If you want to pay little to no tax in the Netherlands, you can buy an electric or hybrid car with low CO2 emissions, significantly cutting your car costs.

Car insurance

Driving a car in the Netherlands will require you to take car insurance. Depending on the coverage you choose and the amount of claim-free years you have, the cost may average between €25 to €100 per month.

For affordable and decent coverage, check out the largest providers like Dutch ABN AMRO and HEMA. You can also choose suitable car insurance on

The number of claim-free years will also determine your discounts on your premium, which may go up to 80% on the nominal premium.

There are three options you can choose from, including:
  • WA car insurance – The WA car insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands and only applies to injury and property damage to others and their vehicle. This is also the cheapest cover with the caveat that you get to pay your car damages yourself.
  • WA limited casco – It’s more comprehensive coverage that applies even to your car when you aren’t at fault. You’ll only be covered for theft, joyriding, animal collisions, storms, and other weather damage, including other things.
  • WA full casco – Is the most comprehensive coverage among the three that includes damage to your car even when caused by self. This cover is a more popular choice for new vehicles but be ready to spend more on premiums compared to the other packages.


Depending on the town, parking costs in any Dutch city will set you back between €3 to €7.50 per hour. These amounts will be applicable for parking on the street (in the center) and parking garages.

If you want to avoid these parking fees, you can use the P&R locations to park on the city outskirts and get to the center by public transport. You’ll only pay for the time you park there, after which you’ll receive an invoice with the costs.


The average value of gasoline prices per liter is around €1.99 to €2.35. You can also choose an uncrewed filling station payable via a debit or credit card. This will be cheaper than a human-crewed station.

Traffic fines

To avoid the traffic fines, you must look out for the speed limits in the Netherlands. The speed limits are indicated on signs whereby between 06.00 hrs and 19.00 hrs, the limit is 100 kilometers per hour on the highway.

Between 19.00 hrs and 06.00 hrs, you’ll be required to drive within a speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour. However, there are several exceptions, but you’ll need to keep checking the current overview on the central government website.

Roadside assistance

Some insurance companies may include roadside assistance fees in your package in case of a breakdown or accident. These packages may cost you around €10 per month.

You might also consider leasing a car in the Netherlands. In some cases, it’s cheaper than owning a vehicle. Read an in-depth comparison of buying vs leasing a car in the Netherlands.

How much does it cost to own a car in Amsterdam?

Two cars parked ooutside an apartment in Netherlands

The cost of owning a car in Amsterdam averages around €10,000 per year. This includes the cost of insurance, registration, and maintenance. However, the actual expenses will vary depending on the make and model of the car as well as your driving habits.

For instance, the costs will be higher if you drive a lot or live in an area with high insurance rates. Nevertheless, owning a car in Amsterdam is still cheaper than in many other European cities.

Insurance costs an average of €75, while getting a Dutch driver’s license will cost you about €41.60. For parking fees, expect to pay between €1.40 to €7.50. 

The monthly maintenance cost is about €99 in Amsterdam, while fuel prices range between €1.99 to €2.35. Traffic fines will cost you between €30 to €390. 

Roadside assistance will cost you an average of €10 per month, and a valid MOT will set you back €20 to €75 after every inspection.

Car insurance€75
Parking €1.40 to €7.50 per hour or €100 per month
Total: €405

Let’s take a close look at what determines these costs.

1. Registration

You can register your car either through a dealer or your local city office in Amsterdam. Registration in a person’s name via the RDW will cost you about €10.75, and the registration certificate may be around €40.80.

2. Road tax

Amsterdam’s road tax is paid annually and should cost you about €550 per year. The RDW monitors all registered cars, and if you’re late with payments, you’ll be issued a penalty notice, which is a reminder for payments.

3. Insurance

Car insurance costs in Amsterdam vary monthly, but on average, it will cost you €75. Depending on your needs and the package you choose, you may pay between €30 to €90 per month.

4. Driver’s license

For a six-month stay or less, you can keep using your license from your country. If you intend to stay longer, you’ll need a Dutch license. This may involve taking a Dutch driving test, depending on where your license was issued.

Switching your driver’s license for a Dutch one will cost you around €41.60.

5. Parking

The parking situation in Amsterdam can be a challenge, and in most cases, you’ll need a permit, which may put you on a long waitlist. However, you’ll be required to pay for parking as you wait for your permission.

The parking fees range from €1.40 to €7.50 depending on the distance from the city center.

6. Maintenance and repairs

The average monthly maintenance cost is about €40 in Amsterdam. Depending on your car, the annual cost of repairs may range between €200 to €400.

7. Fuel

For instance, if you have a car in the compact class, the average monthly gasoline cost will be €95. You can use an uncrewed filling station near a provincial way for a cheaper deal.

8. Traffic fines

For traffic offenses in the Dutch region, the number of speeding fines in a residential area will cost you €30 to €347 depending on the exceeded limit.

If you exceed the speed limit in places where road works are carried out, expect to pay between €46 to €347. Fines for other traffic offenses range from €95 to €390, depending on the crime committed.

9. Roadside assistance

Roadside assistance is a fee that your insurer may include in your insurance premium package in case of a breakdown or an accident – the package averages around €10 per month.

10. Valid MOT (APK)

You can’t be allowed on public roads in the Netherlands without a valid MOT, a general periodic inspection that ensures your car can safely participate in traffic. The MOT inspection costs between €20 to €75 annually.

Cheapest cars in the Netherlands in 2022

The Netherlands is one of the cheapest countries to buy a car in Europe. In addition, the Dutch car market is constantly evolving, with new models of cars being released every year.

In 2022, there will be some exciting new options that will make owning a car more affordable than ever before. Here is a look at some of the cheapest cars you can expect to find on the market in 2022.

New cars

The first car on our list is the Hyundai i10, a compact and economical city car perfect for navigating urban areas. With an estimated price tag of just €9,000, this car is one of the most affordable options today.

Another great option for those looking for a more budget-friendly car in 2022 is the Volkswagen Up!, another small and efficient city car. With an estimated price of just €10,000, this car is affordable and packed with great features like cruise control and a built-in navigation system.

Finally, if you are looking for something even more affordable, there is the Dacia Logan MCV, a spacious family car that offers unbeatable value at an estimated price of just €8,000. This car is perfect for families who need a little extra space but don’t want to spend much money on their vehicle.

The following is a list of other options for new cars and their prices:
Toyota Aygo€9,500
Skoda Citigo€9,600
Seat Mii€9,700
Kia Picanto€10,000
Peugeot 108 €10,500
Citroen C1€11,000

Used cars

The used car market is also a great place to find affordable options in 2022. One popular choice is the Honda Civic, a reliable and well-made car that can easily be found for under €10,000 on the used market. Read more on used car prices in the Netherlands.

Another great option for those looking for a used car in 2022 is the Ford Focus, an iconic and durable vehicle that is ideal for everyday use. With an estimated price of just €8,000 on the used market, this car offers excellent value for money and is a perfect choice for anyone looking to save money on their next vehicle.

The following is a list of other options for used cars and their prices:
  • BMW 3 Series: €10,000
  • Audi A4: €12,000
  • Toyota Camry: €15,000

So whether you’re in the market for a new car or a used one in 2022, there are plenty of great options to choose from that won’t break the bank. With so many affordable and high-quality options, owning a car in the Netherlands is easier than ever.

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