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If you have bought a car or motorcycle outside the Netherlands, there are a number of conditions attached to your being able to use it on the Dutch roads:
Once you have completed the above stages you will receive a registration certificate. You must then:
If you intend to drive a vehicle purchased abroad on the Dutch public highways, you must fulfill a number of conditions. One of these conditions is to make a declaration for import duty and/or VAT.
If you bought your car or motorcycle in another EU country
You need not declare your purchase for import duty provided the vehicle is to be registered (with a normal registration, not a dealer’s registration.) However, a distinction is drawn between new and used vehicles for VAT purposes. VAT is payable on new imported cars and motorcycles but not on used vehicles. “Used” in this instance means a vehicle which has driven in another EU country and which was first registered in your name more than six months ago.
If you bought your car or motorcycle outside the EU
You must declare your purchase to Customs at the time of actual import. Customs will then charge you import duties and VAT. The necessary documentation is available from Customs.
If you intend to drive a car or motorcycle purchased abroad on the Dutch public highways, you must fulfill a number of conditions. One of these conditions is that you make a declaration for BPM (“special tax on private vehicles”). Most people have to pay BPM. However, you can request a permit for an exemption from BPM if you fulfill several conditions. The conditions are listed below:
If you are moving from another EU country:
If the above conditions apply to you, then you can request the exemption, Permit for exemption from BPM (Aanvraag vergunning vrijstelling BPM bij verhuizing binnen de EU) – The form is available at this link.
Please note: If the Tax Authority grants you this exemption, you may not sell, lease, or lend the car or motorcycle within 1 year after registration. Residing family members with a valid driving license may use the car or motorcycle.
If you are moving from a country outside the EU:
If the above conditions apply to you, then you can request the exemption. Permit applied for via a digital declaration system (AGS), either through a moving service or customs representative. In the latter case, you can search for one online.
The Belastingdienst/Douane does ask for quite a lot of documents to substantiate your claim (see following list)
You may also need to show (for proof of address outside of the EU):
You can apply for this exemption within 12 months of your move to the NL. The form and supporting documentation should be sent to the address on the form.
Please note: in most cases, students coming to the Netherlands are not eligible for a BPM exemption!
Once you have received your BPM exemption, you must have your vehicle inspected and approved by the RDW.
Inspection at test center Lelystad
Most of the vehicles brought from outside the EU/EFTA are not built according to a Dutch or European type approval. The special equipment required for the inspection is only available at the RDW test center in Lelystad.
Approve at other RDW locations
In the following situations, you can have your vehicle inspected at RDW test stations across the country:
If any of the above mentioned situations apply to you, your vehicle can (and must) be inspected at one of the RDW’s inspection stations.
If you have brought your car as part of your household goods, you will also need to make an appointment to go to the Municipality before the RDW appointment, to request an extract from the population register or “Uittreksel BRP”, which lists your name, address, and the fact that you moved here from abroad. This will cost you approximately €17.
You can make an appointment at one of the stations via the central telephone number 0900 – 0739 (€ 0,10 p.m.) or the RDW website.
To make the appointment at the RDW, you need to know the following information about your car:
Your vehicle may be transported to the inspection station (e.g. by trailer or pick-up) but you may also drive it there yourself. In this case you must be in possession of an one-day pass for the purposes of weighing and investigation by the RDW. This can be obtained when you make your appointment for the inspection
For vehicles imported from outside of the EU/EFTA
For vehicles imported from an EU/EFTA country (Click the red ‘Keuringafspraak maken‘ button and fill out the requested information, which is also listed on the next page)
After making the appointment, the RDW will send confirmation and the paperwork to your house. Included in the paperwork is a one-day pass, if requested. This pass also gives your temporary license plate number. This numbers needs to be written onto a piece of cardboard and attached with a rubber band to your license plate holder or taped to the back and front windows on the inside.
You will also need to arrange car insurance, once you have a temporary license plate number. The insurance will be cheaper for you if you can get a statement from your insurance company about your driving behavior (i.e.: a ‘no claims’ declaration that lists how many years you have driven accident free).
With the temporary license plate in place, you can drive the vehicle to the RDW inspection station on the inspections date. The addresses of the RDW inspections stations are listed below.
Van de Broekeweg 14, 7602 PH Almelo
8.30 – 16.00
Jupiter 12, 8448 CD Heerenveen
8.00 – 16.30
L.J. Costerstraat 55, 5916 PR Venlo
8.30 – 16.30
Tijnmuiden 1, 1046 AK Amsterdam
8.15 – 15.15
Hollandhaven 11, 3433 PD Nieuwegein
8.15 – 17.00
Coenecoop 290, 2741 PL Waddinxveen
8.30 – 17.00
Malburgseveerweg 2, 6833 HK Arnhe
Haansbergseweg 18, 5121 LI Rijen
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 8.30 – 17.00
Zoutverkopersstraat4, 3334 KJ Zwijndrecht
Opening hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 7.45 – 16.30
Businesspark Stein 160, 6181 MA Elsloo
Borchwerf 18, 4704 RG Roosendaal
Ossenkamp 2, 8024 AE Zwolle
Duinkerkenstraat 25, 9723 BP Groningen
Monday to Thursday, 8.30 – 16.00
Calandstraat 97, 3125 BA Schiedam
8.00 – 17.00
Hedikhuizerweg 19, 5222 BC ‘s-Hertogenbosch
De Run 4412, 5503 LR Veldhoven
8.00 – 16.00
Please note that this inspection costs a fee; updated information can be found here.
Once the inspection has been carried out, the RDW will digitally send the technical information of your vehicle to the Tax Authority (Belastingdienst).
Even if you have received the exemption for paying BPM, you still must file a BPM statement about the car.
There is one form that you need to complete:
Aangifte/ melding/ opgaaf bpm
Send your declaration with the requested attachments in a stamped (gefrankeerd) envelope to:
PO Box 2710
6401 DE Heerlen
From 1 October 2018, the Belastingdienst processes the BPM declarations automatically. The order in which you submit your declaration determines the decision time. You can shorten the lead time by providing your data in one package in this order:
The “Algemene Periodieke Keuring” (APK) is a compulsory inspection for all vehicles under 3,500 kg. If your vehicle is three years or older, it must be inspected annually. The inspection looks at various aspects of safety and environmental protection. Vehicles over 3,500 kg and all taxis must be inspected annually once they are one year old.
There is no set price for an APK inspection. However, there are fixed fees for approval and for notifying the fact that your vehicle has been inspected by the RDW.
Three years old or more The date of the so-called ‘first approval’ decides when your vehicle becomes liable for inspection. This date can be found on Part I of the registration certificate and is usually the date on which the certificate was issued. Your vehicle must have its first inspection three years after this date. You may have the vehicle inspected up to two months prior to this date; this does not affect the date by which the vehicle must in future be inspected. For example: your vehicle must be inspected on or before 14 April. You may therefore have the inspection carried out any time between 15 February and 14 April. 14 April remains the final date for inspection. Do not therefore put off the inspection too long. Appeal If you have a complaint about the inspection (for example, you later find a rusted strut which was rusted at the time of the inspection), or if you disagree with the result, you may lodge an appeal.
If the car passes the import inspection and the Tax Service has received the BPM declaration, then the RDW will send you your registration papers, including the permanent license plate number, by mail within 5 working days. You will receive the following:
If you have arranged for an APK inspection, you will also receive the APK report separately. Together, the kenkenbewijs and the tenaamstellingscode comprise your registration certificate. More information on this certificate is mentioned below. You have to have your Dutch license plate made by an approved manufacturer. RDW-approved manufacturers can be found here.
Every owner or keeper of a registered vehicle should be in possession of a registration certificate. This certificate consists of three parts. If your registration certificate has been lost or damaged you must obtain a replacement from the RDW.
If you have not yet done so, you need to arrange auto insurance. There are many different companies that offer Insurance so shop around for the best deal.Usually if you have 3 or more insurances with the same company, you receive discounted prices.