Four weeks ago I bought a scooter. I sold it today, for reasons I will explain in my next blog post. As with most things in life, it proved to be a learning experience and I was quite surprised about how the process worked. The fact that I have a UK driving licence is the only thing that threw a tiny spanner in the works. Apart from that, buying a scooter in the Netherlands was a very easy thing to do and the ownership documents were sorted out at lightning speed. Much faster than when I used to buy motorcycles and cars in the UK.
I’ve decided to write this article for expats and other travelers who want to buy a scooter in the Netherlands. The process will be pretty much the same for a motorcycle or a car, but my experience was with a scooter, so that’s what I’m going to concentrate on.
Scooter Types in the Netherlands
Before you can buy a scooter in the Netherlands, you will need to give some thought to the size of scooter you require. There are three kinds of scooter on the road in the Netherlands. First of all, there are big ones that have a similar power to motorbikes and travel on the roads with the cars. Then there are two smaller scooter-types that fall into one of two categories. Bromfiets have a similar power to the 50cc scooters and motorcycles that are classed as mopeds in the UK. They have a yellow number plate. Officially, bromfiets are not meant to be capable of exceeding a maximum speed of 45km/h. In reality, they are likely to be capable of reaching a top speed of 55km/h. If they’ve been souped-up (illegal) they will be capable of going faster still. Sometimes riders of this type of scooter are expected to travel on the normal roads with the motorcycles and cars, at others times they have to move into the cycle lane. This can be quite a pain because it’s easy to miss the signs that show a lane change is required. Bromfiets are not allowed on the motorways.
Snorfiets scooters often look almost identical to bromfiets scooters, but they have a blue number plate instead of a yellow one and have a maximum speed of 35km/h. They have to travel in the cycle lanes at all times.
How to Buy a Scooter in the Netherlands
I bought my scooter from a scooter dealer, but the process is similar for people who are buying a scooter privately.
When buying a scooter from a dealer, after the sale has been made the dealer can usually go online and transfer ownership of the scooter immediately. The dealer who sold me my scooter was going to charge me €12 for doing this, but he was unable to proceed because my driving license was not issued in the Netherlands. That meant I had to go to the local RDW. The cost of transferring ownership at the RDW was a little over €10.
The RDW is the Netherlands Vehicle Authority in the mobility chain. It’s a little like the DVLA in the UK. However, the UK DVLA conducts all its business from Swansea, Wales. The Dutch RDW has premises in many of the larger cities, so it’s easy to visit an RDW in person and sort matters out quickly. In order to buy a scooter in the Netherlands (or any other vehicle) you need to be an official resident of the Netherlands. Not a citizen. Just someone who has an address in the Netherlands and has registered with the local council. I registered with the local council nearly two years ago, but the RDW required proof of my residency. That meant I had to go to the local council and pay for an uittreksel. It’s basically just an extract from the council records that shows your name, age, and address, etc. It’s good for three months, so if you need it for another purpose within that time you won’t need to pay again.
All of the problems I had arose from the fact that I had not got around to exchanging my UK driving licence for a Dutch one. People who have already done this will find things simple as pie. Less than 24-hours after I’d provided the RDW with the necessary documents (they needed to see my passport too), the ownership documents arrived with the post. I was amazed at how fast it was. When I bought vehicles in the UK it sometimes took weeks for me to get the logbook. The thing that I found most incredible was I also received a small plastic card, the same size as a credit card, that had all the important registration details on it, along with a built-in electronic chip. This kind of card is called a kentekenbewijs and when you are driving a vehicle in the Netherlands you need to have it with you. That’s the law. Had I had a Dutch driving license, the chances are I would have received the kentekenbewijs the day after I bought the scooter.
How to Sell a Scooter in the Netherlands
The hardest thing about selling a scooter in the Netherlands is likely to be finding a buyer. You can transfer vehicle ownership at stores and supermarkets that have the relevant terminal and a lot of them do. The RDW provides vehicle owners with a code. When the person operating the terminal receives the code and is presented with the kentekenbewijs they know you are the rightful owner, enter the new owner’s information, and the process is complete.
Scooter Running Costs and Expenses
In the UK, moped owners need to pay for insurance, road tax, and a yearly MOT (Ministry of Transport Test) that makes sure the vehicle is still in roadworthy condition. In the Netherlands, people who buy a bromfiets or snorfiets scooter will only have to pay for insurance and, of course, some fuel for the tank. The insurance cost for a small scooter in the Netherlands is dirt cheap. I was only paying around €6 per month. That was for the most basic cover. A level of cover similar to Third Party, Fire and Theft in the UK would have cost me around €10 per month.
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22 thoughts on “How to Buy a Scooter in the Netherlands (And Then Sell It)”
On the rdw website states that you don’t need a licence to get the scooter written on your name,but you have to have a valid id.i was wondering whats with that?
I have no idea why it would say that. I sold the scooter to a friend. I think he was planning to sell it on. He had a licence that covered him for a snorfiets. My scooter was a bromfiets, which is slightly larger. His wife had the right licence so they registered it in her name. Unless things have changed, I think you will need a valid licence to register a scooter.
Steve, I’m a Brit living in the Netherlands due to my husbands job. I bought a snorfiets 2 years ago, but now prefer my electric bike and want o sell the scooter. Reading your article, you mention a code from the RDW, would that be the code they gave me when I bought it? Handwritten o a piece of paper? Sorry, I’m being a little nervous at the thought of what I have to do to sell it.
I bought and sold my scooter 2 1/2 years ago. It seems longer ago to me because I’ve been so many places and done so many things since then. There are a lot of cobwebs in my mind. However, if I remember correctly, the code changes each time a scooter changes hands. In my case, the guy I bought the scooter from gave me the relevant code so I could register the scooter in my name. Then (again, if I remember correctly) the RDW sent me a new code. That was the code I needed to sell the scooter. I sold it to a friend. He would have got an new code from the RDW to enable him to sell the scooter at a later date.
You probably got a letter from the RDW after you registered your snorfiets. The code would not have been sent in the same envelope as the kentekenbewijs. It would have been in a separate letter, similar to when you order a new credit card and get the PIN on a different day. It’s a security thing.
Hope this helps. If you have any doubts about anything, the best thing to do is ring the RDW. They will be able to send you a fresh code if you need it.
Hi Steve, I need to go to an RDW office to sort out the registration because I don’t have my Dutch drivers licends yet. When I try and google locations its very confusing to know which one I can go to, can you provide any help? Can I go to the locations where they do inspections? When I called the number the person just said “I don’t know, maybe Arnhem” and that’s like 2.5 hours from Alkmaar by train- it doesn’t seem right. Thank you, Stacey
I just checked the RDW website. I couldn’t find any useful information. There is a testing station in Alkmaar, but I have no idea if you could go there for the registration. It may be a good idea to go there an ask. If they say they don’t do registrations the people there may know the best place to go. You probably won’t be the first person to go and ask so they may have encountered the problem before.
The other thing you could do is visit a local scooter dealer and ask someone who works there. That’s what I would probably do. When I bought my scooter, the guy at the scooter shop told me the local RDW was at Den Bosch. That’s how I knew where to go.
Sorry I can’t be more help.
I am planning to buy second hand scooter with yellow plate and it can go upto the speed of 60km/hr.
I heard speed limit is 45km/hr for yellow plate.Is there any problem with that speed or it is fine.
Thanks in advance,
It sounds like it’s been modified. That’s illegal, but the truth of the matter is it happens in all countries. For example, in the UK mopeds are not supposed to be capable of going faster than 30 mph. Some people have mopeds that go a lot faster than that. I used to have one that could do 60 mph.
There are a lot of Dutch people riding around on scooters that can go faster than they should. You won’t have a problem unless a police officer tracks your speed and sees your are going faster than you should be able to. Either stick to the limit, or be careful about where you decide to go faster.
Another thing to remember is, if you have an accident and someone examines the scooter and sees it’s been modified your insurance will be invalid. It’s always best to keep things legal, but if you decide to buy a scooter that goes faster than it should, you won’t be the only one who has done so.
Hey Steve, I cannot tell you how helpful this post has been!
It made all the difference as I’ve had to buy a moped fairly quickly as I’ll be doing a temporary job in the Netherlands for 6 months. It was great to have all the steps mapped out for me. It also convinced me that it was preferable to buy a vehicle in the Netherlands, as my experience of Belgian bureaucracy has not been good….and I have to say it has been very efficient (minus the 20 km round trip bike ride to the local RDW).
Good luck on your travels and keep up the great work.
Hi David, I’m really pleased the information helped. It’s nice to know I’ve produced something useful.
Im 16 years old and ive been living in the Netherlands since i was born and now i feel nows the time to purchase a higher level of transportation rather than a bike.
I do not have any scooter or driving licence from either the UK or the Netherlands. Is it mandatory that i take part in a license or not? Or could i just purchase a scooter without a license?
I don’t think you would be able to buy a scooter without a licence. You would also need to prove you have insurance and you can’t get that without a licence.
There would be no point in buying a scooter unless you have a license anyway. You would not be able to use it without breaking the law.
To obtain a driving licence (category AM) in The Netherlands you need to take a CBR Moped Theory Test. You also need to do a CBR Riding Test (you do this on the road).
Hope this helps. Good luck 🙂
Great info! Could you please let me know, where did you get the insurance for such low price? I’m getting quoted around €16-20/month (which really isn’t that much either, but €6 sounds even better.
Also I just bought a brand new scooter that does not have any official papers yet, and I have to drive it to RDW and they told me that I need to have insurance for that one day too. But I couldn’t find any insurance companies that would do this one day deal. Do you by any chance know anything about this? Much appreciate
Sorry, but I don’t know anything about one-day insurance. However, I got my scooter insurance policy from a brokers called Geen Cent te Veel. Here’s a link to the site: https://geencentteveel.nl Hope this helps. Good luck. You’ll need it because it’s very cold on a Scooter in the Netherlands at this time of year. 🙂
You are absolutely awesome man, Thanks for the succinct article and especially that link! Way cheaper than my other quotes..
Glad to help.
Happy motoring 🙂
Hi Steve, super interesting post and one of the only easily found info on buying a scooter without dutch license. I am in the same situation right now and was wondering if you could give me a tip. I already requested the residency slip, but I believe i also need the kenteken kaart and tenaamstellingscode from the owner to get the ownership at RDW. Do you know if the owner needs to be present when I go to RDW?
Hi Jana, I’m glad if the information is useful. When I went to the RDW I was alone. I did not have the kentekenkaart, but I had a document the scooter dealer had given me and it showed the tenaamstellingscode. The code is very important because the legal owner of the scooter should be the only person who can provide it. However, things may work differently when buying a scooter privately.
When I sold my scooter, I went to a shop that had the special terminal necessary for transferring ownership of the vehicle and the person I sold it to was with me. The man operating the terminal asked me for the kentekenkaart. He took some details from it, cut off the top corner of the card with some scissors, and then handed the card back to me. I still have it. I kept it as a souvenir.
When you go to the RDW, you will definitely need the tenaamstellingscode and a residency slip from the council. You will also need your passport. That’s very important, so don’t forget to take it with you. It seems likely that you will need to have the kentekenkaart as well and it may be best if the owner goes to the RDW with you. The best thing to do is telephone the RDW first and ask them if the owner needs to be with you.
I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. After you’ve bought the scooter, could you let me know if the owner had to be with you? I’m interested to know. The information may also help other people who want to buy a scooter in the Netherlands and read this blog post. Before I read your comment it never occurred to me the buying process may be a little different when buying directly from the owner instead of from a scooter dealer.
Good luck and I hope everything goes smoothly for you.
Thanks for the post Steve!
You’re welcome. Hope it was useful.
Hi, thanks for posting this. One question, you decided to sell it because you could not get a Dutch scooter license? Or why? I was planning to buy a scooter but I also have this problem. My Argentine license is not valid here. Thanks!
Hi José. I did not need a Dutch Scooter licence. My UK licence works fine in Europe. I’m licenced to drive just about anything in the UK. I could have bought a 1000cc motorcycle if I wanted. If I’d exchanged my UK licence for a Dutch one, I could have sorted everything out at the scooter shop and driven the scooter away on the day I bought it. Because my licence is not Dutch I had to go the RDW to put the scooter in my name. It slowed the process down.
I sold the scooter because I was finding it hard to find suitable accommodation in the Netherlands and decided to start travelling again. I explain more about my decision in this blog post: Why I Decided to Leave the Netherlands and Start Travelling Again