Car registration in another EU country – Netherlands
As an EU national moving to the Netherlands, you must register your car if you are the holder of the registration certificate / owner of the vehicle / user of a vehicle you do not own (e.g. family members) and have your residence in the Netherlands.
Time allowed for re-registering a vehicle
If you change your country of residence to the Netherlands, you have 6-8 weeks to re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country – counted from the date you are registered as a person in the Netherlands and have requested a nl for your car. If you do not have this "vrijstelling" you will have to register your car the day you are registered as a person in the Netherlands.
To re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country, go to the nl.
Temporary registration plates
If you buy a car abroad, transit registration plates issued in another EU country will not be recognised in the Netherlands for the purposes of driving your car back to your place of residence. You will need a Dutch nl from the nl.
Exemptions from the obligation to register a vehicle
As an EU national moving to the Netherlands, you cannot use your vehicle here while it is still registered in your previous home country.
If you are a student in the Netherlands from another EU country you:
- do not have to register your own car with the authorities here for your period of study. This also applies if the car is owned by your parents, who are not resident in the Netherlands
- do not have to pay registration and/or road taxes on it in the Netherlands
- do not have to buy additional car insurance for your period of study here as long as your foreign insurance is valid in the Netherlands
To qualify for an exemption from the requirement to register vehicles, you must get an enrolment certificate at the university (or other school/college), which is valid for the whole duration of your study visit and keep them in the vehicle in case of checks by the authorities.
You can get an enrolment certificate from your university.
If, as a student, you are also working in the Netherlands, you must register the vehicle and pay related taxes. However, various exemptions exist and it is best to contact the Belastingdienst to see if you must register the vehicle and pay related taxes or not.
Pensioners, second home owners, cross-border commuters, self-employed cross-border commuters (company cars)
As EU nationals with a second home in the Netherlands (that you use for no more than 6 months a year), you do not need to register your vehicles here. As long as you are not registered you will not need to register your car.
You are exempt from compulsory car registration if you are not registered as a person in the Netherlands.
As an EU national, if you want to register and use your car in the Netherlands, you must pay the following taxes:
- registration taxes: BPM
- road tax: "motorrijtuigbelasting" (motor vehicle tax)
The following categories of vehicle are exempt from registration taxes:
- cars adapted for people with disabilities
- personal cars
- camping vehicles and motorcycles older than 17.5 years
- vans older than 5 years
The following categories of vehicles are exempt from road tax:
- petrol cars older than 40 years
- cars that are older than 31-12-1987 but younger than 40 years old pay lower road tax as part of the "oldtimerovergangsregeling"
- camping cars have a different tariff as well as cars that are less polluting
If you do not register your vehicle in the Netherlands, it is not subject to any of these taxes.