How to Buy a Scooter in the Netherlands (And Then Sell It)

How to Buy a Scooter in the Netherlands (And Then Sell It)

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.

Dutch KentekenbewijsAll 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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  • Barnabas Busa

    28th November 2018 at 5:22 pm Reply

    Hi Steve,

    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

    • Steve Calvert

      28th November 2018 at 6:31 pm Reply

      Hi Barnabas.

      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: 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. 🙂

  • Jana Plogstedt

    28th September 2018 at 1:02 pm Reply

    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?
    Many thanks

    • Steve Calvert

      28th September 2018 at 2:47 pm Reply

      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.


  • Ollie

    10th September 2018 at 8:53 pm Reply

    Thanks for the post Steve!

    • Steve Calvert

      10th September 2018 at 9:32 pm Reply

      You’re welcome. Hope it was useful.

  • José María Figuerero Gregorini

    27th July 2018 at 5:17 am Reply

    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!

    • Steve Calvert

      27th July 2018 at 7:10 pm Reply

      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

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