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Road tax in the Netherlands

author: Maciej Wawrzyniak19 February 2023
Road tax in the Netherlands

Going to another country, whether for work or personal reasons, is always a unique experience. Leaving the home country, which we know quite well, and coming to a new place, often a complete stranger, involves many problems, doubts and surprising facts. This is how the car tax in the Netherlands is determined by people who were given the opportunity to come to this place.

What is car tax in the Netherlands?

Car tax - doesn't that sound familiar? In the Netherlands, the car tax is called "motorrijtuigenbelasting" - MRB for short. The amount of this car tax can be different for each region of the Netherlands. The frequency of paying the MRB tax is quarterly or once a year.

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How much is the road tax in the Netherlands? Higher by at least 6.3% in 2023!

If you intend to go to the Netherlands by car, you should be interested in how much it will cost you to belasting for a car in the Netherlands.

For which cars is the road tax the highest?

Which cars pay the highest road tax in the Netherlands?

  • For diesel cars, especially those without a particulate filter.
  • For cars with large capacity LPG engines.

For example, if you own a vehicle of more than two tons, you have to expect to pay more than €2,000 per year. In 2023, this amount will be even higher (a consequence of the Dutch government's inflationary adjustment). By how much? The tax increase will be 6.3% over the previous year.

But that's not all - starting in 2023, 6 of the 12 provinces have raised the amount of road tax, so some drivers face "only" one increase, where others face two.

What cars pay the least amount of road tax in the Netherlands?

For small cars with gasoline engines, weighing up to 750 kg. Back in 2022, the tax in such a case was about €44, so after the increases it will be a few € more.

High road tax on autos? Swap 4 wheels for a bicycle

Surely most are familiar with pictures from the Netherlands, where many people travel by bicycle. Why this popularity of two wheels in this country? It is not accidental, but rather a result of the promotion of a healthy and pro-environmental lifestyle. Cyclists in the Netherlands can really count on a lot of privileges and bonuses from the state, which is supposed to be an additional incentive for others to actively take up cycling. Not only in their leisure time, but also during their commute to work.

How to pay road tax in the Netherlands

Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to switch from car to bicycle. Still, the car remains the most convenient and safest means of transportation. In the Netherlands, road tax must be paid by all car owners, whether they live in the country permanently or not. The mere fact of owning a car obliges them to pay this tax.

What does road tax in the Netherlands depend on?

  1. On the kerb weight of the car - the larger the car, the more its kerb weight increases. In the wake of more kilograms of the vehicle, the road tax we will pay for it also increases. Why? Because in order to move a large and heavy car, more fuel consumption and more emissions into the atmosphere are required.
  2. From the fuel it is powered by - the biggest road tax in the Netherlands will be paid for diesel cars. Next will be large and medium-sized cars powered by LPG. The smallest road tax will be paid on small gasoline cars.
  3. On the purpose of the car - vehicles used for company and business purposes, cabs, construction and agricultural equipment. The purpose of the vehicle also determines the amount of road tax you will have to pay.

The above 3 criteria make the annual amount of road tax in the Netherlands can be as high as 1000 euros!

How to calculate road tax in the Netherlands - calculator

Surely you are curious to know how much tax you will have to pay in the Netherlands for your car. However, before you proceed with the calculation, it's worth making sure that you definitely have to pay this tax.

Who has to pay car tax in the Netherlands?

Car tax must be paid in the Netherlands by anyone who owns a car and stays in the Netherlands for more than 3 months. This is very important information, because after 3 months you are subject to the registration obligation. It is worth mentioning that failure to register after 3 months does not incur any penalty. We will cite this fact again below.

Consequences of not paying MRB in the Netherlands

Road tax can be a heavy burden on the household budget. Especially if you own an older diesel car. Many people consciously take the risk and do not pay motorrijtuigenbelasting. This comes with serious consequences. In the case of roadside inspections, which are really frequent in the Netherlands, a driver who has not paid motorrijtuigenbelasting can be fined 100 to 300 euros. In addition, we will have to pay the outstanding road tax together with interest.

Who does not have to pay road tax in the Netherlands?

First of all, people who have lived in the Netherlands for less than 3 months are exempt from this obligation. If you are from abroad and came to the Netherlands with your car looking for a job, you decide for yourself whether you will register after 3 months of residence. If you do, you should pay road tax immediately. However, if you do not check in, you automatically do not have to pay tax. However, you take this risk at your own risk.

Where to pay road tax in the Netherlands?

The procedure for paying MRB road tax in the Netherlands is quite simple. From the website of the Dutch tax authority Belastingdienst.nl, you need to download a dedicated car declaration form, fill it out and send it to the address on it. The form should be accompanied by a photocopy of the car's registration certificate. The Belastingdienst offices have up to 8 weeks to respond to your application and send a decision along with the amount of road tax to your registered address.

How to stop paying road tax in the Netherlands?

If you are planning to return to the country soon, you should follow the same procedure as when you report your car to the motorrijtuigenbelasting. The difference is that you select the form to "deregister" the vehicle from road tax, fill it out and send it back to the office again. If there is an overpayment left in your account from previous payments, it is returned to your account.