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Road Taxes in the Netherlands

Updated on Friday 25th September 2020

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Road Taxes in the NetherlandsDutch citizens and foreign ones living in the Netherlands and owning various assets are required to pay taxes on them. This is also the case of vehicle ownership, be it cars or motorcycles. Apart from the mandatory insurance and the motor vehicle tax, there are also the road taxes (motorrijtuigenbelasting) that must be paid for circulating on Dutch roads.
Below, you can read about the most important road taxes in the Netherlands. You can obtain the necessary support in registering for taxation purposes as a company from our company formation agents in the Netherlands.

The main vehicle taxes than must be paid in the Netherlands

Car ownership implies paying various taxes in the Netherlands, among which the following are the most important:
  1. the motor vehicle tax which is levied on automobile and bike ownership;
  2. the annual road tax which is imposed for using the Dutch road system;
  3. the car insurance which is a mandatory requirement in order to circulate;
  4. the value added tax which is imposed when buying a car in the Netherlands;
  5. the special vehicle purchase tax which is another levy imposed when buying a motor vehicle.
The Dutch authorities also offer various tax exemptions on auto vehicle ownership under specific circumstances. Also, there are no differences between Dutch companies and residents when paying the road tax.
If you want to open a company in the Netherlands and need assistance, our local agents can help you.

How is the road tax paid in the Netherlands?

The payment of the Dutch road tax is based on the database kept by the National Road Traffic Authority (RDW - Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer) and which monitors all vehicles registered in the Netherlands. In order to collect the annual road tax, a vehicle must have a valid roadworthiness certificate and insurance. The forms for paying the road tax are available with post offices all around the country, which the fees depend on the type of vehicle, type of fuel used and the region it is registered in.
It should be noted that failing to pay the Dutch road tax will attract late payment penalties, however, exceptions apply when concrete circumstances can be proved to the Dutch Road Traffic Authority.
If you have questions related to registering a car fleet for your company with the RDW, you can rely on the advice of our Dutch company formation advisors.

The special vehicle tax in the Netherlands

A one-time tax that needs to be paid by car and bike owners in the Netherlands is the special vehicle tax (BPM) which is levied once when the motor vehicle is imported into the country. This special tax applies to both new and second-hand autos and must be paid when the automobile is entered into the vehicle registration system.
It should be noted that the calculation of the BPM is quite complex, and it is based on a percentage of the auto’s price list and other elements. The BPM is calculated differently for individuals and Dutch businesses.

Foreign citizens living in the Netherlands and owning motor vehicles

Foreign citizens moving to the Netherlands for employment or business purposes can bring their auto vehicles to the country and need to register them with the National Traffic Authority in order to pay the road tax. The levy must be paid prior to driving the car on Dutch roads. There is a special form that needs to be filled out for owners of cars with foreign number plates.
Our agents in the Netherlands can offer more information on the requirements that need to be fulfilled by foreign citizens moving here.

Dutch road tax exemptions

The Netherlands has aligned with other European countries and now offers road tax exemptions to electric vehicle owners, which is why the number of such motor vehicles is starting to grow. The Netherlands is already known for the eco-friendly approach it has taken in relation to reducing CO2 emissions which is why it offers various tax exemptions in this sense.
Classic vehicles (motor vehicles used before January 1975) and agricultural ones are also exempt from the road tax in the Netherlands.

Motor vehicle ownership in the Netherlands

As mentioned above, the number of electric vehicles started to grow in the Netherlands, however, conventional ones are still popular, as various statistics point out that:
  • - between June 2019 and June 2020, the total number of vehicles sold was 415,066;
  • - in January,2020, the number of electric vehicles reached 33,000;
  • - in June 2020, the number of vehicles registered in the Netherlands was 29,744;
  • - the same month, the number of commercial vehicles registered was 4,818, while that of personal ones was 24,926.
For more information on the taxes that need to be paid in the Netherlands, including the road-related ones, please contact us.


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