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Tips for Expats Driving in Utrecht

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Utrecht.
|-Tips for Expats Driving in Utrecht

1. Driving in Utrecht

Driving in Utrecht, like most of the Netherlands, is generally safe and well-regulated. The roads are well-maintained and the traffic rules are strictly enforced. However, Utrecht is a very bike-friendly city, with many cyclists and bike lanes. This can be a bit challenging for drivers who are not used to sharing the road with so many cyclists. Always be aware of cyclists and give them the right of way when necessary.

2. Recommended Car

As Utrecht is a compact city with good public transportation, a small, fuel-efficient car is recommended. This will make it easier to navigate the narrow streets and find parking. Electric cars are also a good option as the Netherlands has a good infrastructure for electric vehicles.

3. Parking in Utrecht

Finding parking in Utrecht can be difficult, especially in the city center. Most parking in the city center is paid, and it can be quite expensive. There are also many areas where only residents with a permit can park. It’s recommended to use public transportation or park outside the city center and use a bike or walk.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in the Netherlands with an international driving license for up to 185 days. After this period, you will need to obtain a Dutch driving license. If you have a driving license from a country within the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can use it in the Netherlands for up to 15 years from the date it was issued.

5. Getting a Dutch Driving License

If you are a resident in the Netherlands and you have a driving license from a non-EU country, you will need to exchange it for a Dutch driving license. To do this, you will need to pass a theory test and a practical driving test. You can take these tests in English. You will also need to provide a medical certificate stating that you are fit to drive.

6. Tips for Driving in Utrecht

Always be aware of cyclists and pedestrians, as they have the right of way in many situations. Be patient and don’t rush, as the traffic can be heavy, especially during rush hour. Use your indicators when changing lanes or turning. Always follow the speed limits, as they are strictly enforced. And finally, don’t drink and drive. The legal limit for alcohol in the Netherlands is very low, and penalties for drunk driving are severe.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

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