Dutch Language Blog

Buying a Car in the Netherlands Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Dutch Vocabulary

Even though the bike is the #1 mode of transportation in the Netherlands, some people will inevitably have to (or want to) buy a car. After sharing with my husband the experience of buying a car, I came up with the following list of useful information.

Photo take by paramita found on Flickr.com

Nieuwe Auto, Tweedehands Auto

Considering the significant difference in price of cars between the Netherlands and my experience in the U.S., buying a new car is not always an option. Depending on your budget, you will have to choose if you can buy een nieuwe auto or een tweedehands auto. If you would like a new car, de dealer is your best bet. If you would like a used car, you have to check the occasion listing. By just googling auto kopen, you can check a variety of websites where dealerships and people list their cars for sale. Even marktplaats.nl has listings for used cars!

Welke type auto wil je?

Each person has their own set of requirements for a car so it’s important to understand the vocabulary related to a car’s description. The most basic is to know what merk or brand you would like and, if you are buying a used car, what are your parameters for bouwjaar and kilometerstand or milage.

If you grew up in the U.S. where a good majority drives automatic cars, you might be surprised to find out people in the Netherlands (and I dare say Europe for that matter) mostly drive handgeschakeld or stick. The driving exam in the Netherlands is even done driving stick unless you don’t mind having a restricted license.

Depending on how much you drive and how much you can pay on taxes, you might have to look into the choice of brandstof for your car. A regular benzine car cost less in taxes than those with diesel but the price per liter of diesel is cheaper than that of gasoline.

Other important things to think about are aantal deuren, aantal zitplaatsen, and extra features such as navigatie, airco, elektrische ramen, kleur en materiaal van bekleding. 

The following video gives you tips for what sort of things to look out for when buying a car.

Geld Lenen Kost Geld!

Finally, you have to consider the financing. If you have the money in hand to buy the car, then this part isn’t as important, but if you are considering financiering, you have some options. You can, of course, go to the traditional lender, i.e. a bank, to borrow money. You can also look into financiële instellingen that offer consumentenkrediet. 

If owning the car is not your thing, a lease might be the option for you. Depending on your job, you can also get a lease car partially funded by your employer but let op! There are tax-related laws to your company paid car so make sure you do your homework!

Just remember that borrowing money costs money, and this catchy phrase in Dutch is all over the pages and commercials of lending companies.

How does buying a car in the Netherlands differ from your country?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!