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A guide to car use in the Netherlands

how to buy a road tax

Bringing your own

If you wish to bring a car into the Netherlands from abroad, the Road Traffic and Transport Authority (RDW) will demand some or all of the following points are met:

  • declare import duties and/or BTW taxes,
  • have your car inspected by the RDW,
  • apply for the BPM car tax with customs,
  • pay the BPM and then receive the vehicle registration certificate,
  • obtain number plates,
  • pay road tax,
  • take out third-party insurance,
  • pay the disposal contribution for passenger vehicles.

If you intend to register as a resident in the Netherlands, the Dutch municipal authorities will demand that you obtain Dutch registration for your vehicle if you bring it with you from a foreign country.

If you buy a passenger vehicle in an EU country you will have to pay BTW service tax if the vehicle is new. If you buy a car outside of the EU, you must lodge a form for customs duties and the BTW tax at the tax office and customs (Douane, Tel: 0800 0143). You will need a form called an "enige document".

Anyone wanting to bring a vehicle into the Netherlands will need to contact the RDW to make an appointment for the car to be inspected.

The technical inspection itself is conducted reasonably quickly — taking sometimes just one hour — but there is on average a six-week waiting period. The present cost is EUR 78.

You will need to bring the vehicle, personal ID and the vehicle's registration certificate to the inspection, plus possible other documents proving your car conform to European regulations.

After you have made an inspection appointment with the RDW, the organisation Auto Recycle Nederland will send you a bill for EUR 45.

This disposal contribution fee is used to fund wreckers to (at some point) demolish your car in

an environmentally-friendly manner. You must pay this before the RDW inspection.

Once your car has passed the RDW inspection, you can then go to the customs office and ask for a document to be mailed to your address allowing you to obtain Dutch number plates. This is generally received within two to four days and costs about EUR 74.

Take the document to a number plate supplier and request to have number plates made up. Check with individual outlets on the time frame involved, but it will take a minimum of one week.

You pay the BPM to the Central Bureau for Motor Vehicle Taxation (Centraal Bureau Motorrijtuigenbelasting). Once your vehicle has passed the RDW inspection you can then pay BPM tax at a tax or customs office. The amount you pay depends on your vehicle.

You can gain an exemption from paying the BPM if you have lived in another country for at least one year and have had the car in your possession for at least six months.

But you will need to pay road tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting). Once you have registered the car, the tax office will send you a road tax bill, noting your payment choice of either every three months or annually.

Once you receive the bill, you can choose to have the amount automatically deducted from your bank account or opt to pay via a giro credit slip.

Third party insurance (wettelijke aansprakelijkheid of WA) for your vehicle is obligatory. Once you have received evidence of your car's registration, you will need to choose your own insurer, which will then inform the RDW that your vehicle is legally insured.

For a list of insurers, click through to the Dutch Association of Insurers at

The website of the RDW ( ) also has more information in English about bringing your car into the Netherlands. Ph: 0900 0739.

Category: Taxes

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