Welcome to the Netherlands. On this page, you will find information about the topics that are most frequently asked about on RefugeeHelp. This page will be updated monthly with the most relevant topics.
Because of the complex legal positions of Ukrainian refugees, information regarding car insurance is still rather unclear. It is possible that rules regarding liability insurance will be adjusted. We recommend awaiting further developments and to contact the insurer in case there are any problems.
Driving in the Netherlands
On this website you can find information on the validity of your foreign drivers license, road tax, insurances, traffic rules and parking in the Netherlands.
The driver's license
Currently, you can drive a car in the Netherlands with a Ukrainian driver's license. Normally, after 185 days you have to obtain a Dutch driver's license from the CBR (Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen). On July 7th 2022, a proposal was adopted by the European Commission calling for people with Ukrainian driver's licenses, who fall under the Temporary Protection, to keep their driver's licenses. In addition, Ukrainian driver's licenses will be renewable. People who have lost their Ukrainian driver's license can obtain a new European driver's license after verification with the Ukrainian authorities. Although the Dutch government has yet to transpose this decision into national rules, people with Ukrainian driver's licenses can rest assured that they will not need to obtain a new license after the 185-day period expires. This page will be updated when the Dutch government issues a definitive guideline.
Buying a car in the Netherlands
Refugees from Ukraine can buy a car in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, cars are usually bought second-hand from a car dealer or via the Internet. Always be critical when buying a car. The ANWB has a page with handy tips for buying a car. The moment you own a car with a Dutch registration plate in the Netherlands, you have to take out third-party insurance and pay motor vehicle tax. In addition, the car you are buying may require an MOT. The seller of the car can tell you whether the car still has a valid MOT. Finally, you have to register the license plate when you buy a car. This can be done by appointment at an RDW desk. For this you need:
A valid foreign identity document; and
An extract from the BRP showing your BSN.
As far as civil liability insurance is concerned, some cars from Ukraine are only insured in Ukraine. Refugees who have come to the Netherlands with their own car must in that case take out additional insurance. Insurer de Vereende has developed a insurance solution (only in Dutch) in the form of Short Term Insurance, where you get third party coverage for up to 3 months.
In addition, Allianz offers a free short-term insurance for refugees from Ukraine in various transit countries in Europe. It is sometimes also possible for refugees to contact their own (or another) insurance company in Ukraine. A number of Ukrainian insurers are still active. They can issue insurance policies with coverage for the whole of Europe and at a more favourable rate. It may also be possible to extend expiring policies. See the website below for more information.
Tax on motor vehicles
Did you bring your car from Ukraine to the Netherlands? On the website of the Tax and Customs Administration, you can find all information about the rules for taxes and your motor vehicle with a foreign license plate.
It is important to know how to act in traffic situations to avoid accidents. Below you can read some of the rules that are important in Dutch traffic:
Driving on the right and giving priority
•In the Netherlands, all traffic must keep to the right.
•At intersections and side roads, traffic from the right always has priority unless traffic signs or signals indicate otherwise.
•If you want to merge or enter a roundabout, you must give way.
•Ambulances, police and fire trucks with blue flashing lights and sirens always have priority.
Other traffic rules:
•For a red traffic light, you must stop.
•In a car, you are required to wear the seat belt, even as a passenger.
•A vehicle changing direction must indicate direction. A motor vehicle does this with an orange flashing light. A cyclist extends his arm.
•Pedestrians must walk on the sidewalk and cross at a pedestrian crossing. If there is no sidewalk, it is best to walk along the left side of the road.
•It is highly dangerous and forbidden to walk and cycle on (motor) highways and railroad and streetcar tracks.
• As soon as it gets dusk, every vehicle must turn on front and rear lights. This also applies to bicycles.
•For violating the rules, the police can give you a fine.
You'll find a helpful overview of traffic rules and signs in this PDF document. This document is available in English.
Parking in the Netherlands
Parking is expensive in big cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague. The average rate in the Netherlands is €2.80 per hour, but count on €3.00 - €4.00 in places like Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam and up to €7.50 in Amsterdam. The further you are from the center, the cheaper it gets.
Blue sidewalk zones, called "Blue Zones" are areas where you do not have to pay to park. If you have a blue card, you may park for free in these zones for a few hours. On this card you indicate what time you arrived at the parking spot. You can buy the card at police stations, gas stations or tobacco stores.
When it comes to paid parking, mobile parking is an option. For this you use an app that allows you to find cheap parking spots. For example with ANWB Onderweg and Parkmobile. With the app you pay your parking fee per minute.
You can read more about parking in the Netherlands at the website ofExpat Republic.