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December 23

Driving an electric vehicle in the Netherlands

driving an electric vehicle in the netherlands, with sign post displaying dutch cities

The Netherlands is known for many things (tulips, great cycling routes, canals, windmills - we could go on), but did you know that in 2022, there were 1.8 million visits to the Netherlands from Britain? Making it the tenth most visited country (from the UK).

With so many trips being taken to the Netherlands, and with such easy routes to get there, why not choose a more eco-friendly travel option and take your EV?

It’s already become a well-trodden path for EV drivers in the past few years, which is why we’ve created this guide to help you start planning your trip.

Let’s get plugged in…

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Can I take my EV to the Netherlands?

Ja! Or, yes!

And with over 600,000 charge points on the Electroverse network, it’s very easy. You can either take a ferry direct to the Netherlands or you can take a ferry or train (such as LeShuttle) across the channel to France, and start your road trip there.

Taking your EV on a train to the Netherlands

As mentioned, there are no direct train connections to the Netherlands from the UK. If you have your heart set on starting your journey via rail, you’ll need to first go into France using LeShuttle (formerly known as Eurotunnel).

LeShuttle operates a direct train service from Folkestone (Kent) to Calais (France), with different ticket types priced per vehicle. Fortunately, LeShuttle also has designated charge points at both sides of its terminals, meaning you can either top up or just after your train ride - if needed!

From Calais you’ll need to plot your journey into the Netherlands - but don’t worry, you can easily do this with the Electroverse route planner. Watch our video on how to use the route planner below.

How to use the Octopus Electroverse route planner

Which UK ferry ports allow car-crossings to the Netherlands?

With the UK being so close to the Netherlands, there are multiple ports from which you can board with your EV. These include:

  • Harwich to Hook of Holland

  • Hull to Rotterdam

  • Newcastle to Amsterdam

Depending on the route you choose and the time you travel, rates and journey length can differ. To compare rates, your best bet is to use a price comparison site or go to the ferry providers directly.

These include DFDS Ferries, P&O Ferries, and Stena Line.

Where can I charge my car in the Netherlands?

With over 70,000 public chargers in the Netherlands, you’ll not be short of places to charge. To find which charge points work with Electroverse (fair warning - there’s a lot!), go into the Electroverse app and filter the map to show ‘Electroverse only’.

You can also filter for chargers that will work with the app (but we always recommend taking your Electrocard as back-up in case of poor signal, dead battery etc., etc.)

map of Octopus Electroverse showing EV chargers in the netherlands

What do I need in my car to drive in the Netherlands?

Although the below are mandated to have in your car, the Dutch government recommends that you have:

  • A warning triangle

  • Headlamp deflectors - this one is dependent on your car (as it might already be fitted), but worth checking before you go

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The following don’t necessarily need to be left in your car, but you should also remember to take: your valid UK driving licence, passport, motor insurance documents and V5 registration document

Octopus Electroverse mascot, Zapman, carrying a European driving kit while standing next to an electric vehicle that is charging

Do I need a GB or UK sticker to drive in the Netherlands?

Vehicles registered in the UK driving in the Netherlands must display a UK national identifier. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean a sticker - it can be within the number plate - but the letters UK need to be visible on your vehicle. If your number plate doesn’t contain ‘UK’, then you will need to get a sticker and place it next to (not on!) the registration plate. 

You can buy UK car stickers online or by popping to your local Post Office.

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Some drivers prefer the UK magnets rather than stickers, and this is for two reasons: No sticky residue on your vehicle when you come to remove it & you can remove the magnet when parked overnight to avoid being targeted.

Other road regulations in the Netherlands

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road! You can overtake on the left - and at intersections, give way to oncoming traffic on your right.

  • Know your speed limits! Motorways allow up to 130 km/h and dual carriageways 80 - 100 km/h.

  • Make sure you have valid car insurance

What about low-emission zones in the Netherlands?

Fifteen Dutch municipalities have low-emission zones; however, none of them require foreign vehicles to register in advance.

How much do EV chargers cost in the Netherlands?

Much like the UK, the cost of chargers in the Netherlands varies from provider to provider. The best way to find the rate you’ll be charged is to check the Electroverse app. All you need to do is open the charge point information, and the rates will be displayed. Be sure to check if there are any warning messages for parking restrictions, time-based fees, etc.

All Dutch charge points will be billed in Euros - this means the rate will be converted to Pound Sterling through Electroverse. You can check the conversion rate on your receipt, which will be visible in your app within 24 hours of the charging session ending.

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If you have a debit or credit card attached to your Electroverse account, you’ll need to check if non-sterling transaction fees apply. Your bank will charge this fee if you charge abroad - similar to when you use certain bank cards to pay for food, drinks, boat trips to see octopuses (etc.) on holiday outside the UK

Image of Octopus Electroverse mascot, Zapman, holding different EV chargers looking confused

Road trip tips and tricks

If you’d like a few more tips and tricks for taking your EV on a road trip, feel free to check out the below blogs:

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Feeling enlightened or do you think something was missing? Let us know by sharing your feedback.


Interested in learning more? Head over to our Electroverse Community area for more electrifying content.