Dutch Language Blog

Getting Gas in the Netherlands – Vocabulary Posted by on Mar 11, 2022 in Dutch Vocabulary

Benzineprijzen (gasoline prices) have gone off the rails in the Netherlands. They shot well above 2 euros per liter (in American terms, that’s more than 8 dollars per gallon!), with record stijgingen (increases). A main reason given is de oorlog in de Ukraine (war in Ukraine). Some tankstations (gas stations) took this crisis as an opportunity for a reclamestunt (ad stunt), and attracted long rijen (queues) for more affordable prices aan de pomp (at the pump). So with benzine in the news so much, let’s talk about tanken (to get gas)!

Tanken in the Netherlands

tanken tankstation gas station

Photo by Jesse Blom on Unsplash

Before we look at any vocabulary, let’s talk about the process of tanken in the Netherlands.

It’s most common to enter the shop (shop) of the tankstation to pay for the benzine after you filled up the benzinetank (gas tank). However, you will also find electronic payment methods, especially at tankstations without a shop or servicepersoneel (service personnel).

Regardless, it’s pretty rare to find a tankstation with a fill-up service. In almost all cases, you’re gonna have to do the filling up yourself.

The rest of the process is pretty much the same as anywhere else.

One interesting thing is that the Dutch word tank comes quite obviously from the English “tank”. We made our own verb tanken from it, and that’s where tankstation comes from, as well. A tank is identical to the English tank – it’s a perfect anglicism!


tankstation gas station getting gas tanken

Photo by Wassim Chouak on Unsplash

So what is the kind of vocabulary and sentences useful for tanken? Here’s a list:

de benzine – gasoline (also used as a general term referring to car fuel)

het benzinestation – gas station

de benzinepomp – gas pump, fuel station

de benzineprijs – gasoline price

de dieselprijs – diesel price

de tankdop – fuel cap

opladen – to charge

de wasstraat – car wash

een volle tank – a full tank

de parkeerplaats – parking spot, parking area

Ik zoek de luchtpomp om mijn banden op te pompen. – I am looking for the compressor (air pump) to inflate my tires.

Kun je hier ook een elektrische auto opladen? – Can one also charge an electric car here?

Waar is het volgende LPG-station? – Where is the next LPG station?

Ik wil graag pomp 5 betalen. – I would like to pay for pump 5.

Waar is de WC? – Where is the bathroom?

Een kopje koffie, graag. – a cup of coffee, please.

Ik zou graag willen pinnen – I would like to pay by card.

Kan ik ook contant betalen? – Can I also pay in cash?

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.