Car Rental Amsterdam
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Why rent a car in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a fascinating city, grand and cozy at the same time. Although it has a reputation for being friendly to pedestrians and cyclists, it can also comfortably explored by car, especially if you’d like to explore some of its unique areas further from the city center. And why not travel even further? The Netherlands has small distances and great roads, so you can easily explore the rest of the country with Amsterdam as your base.
Top ways to enter Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. A hub for KLM and served by more than 50 other airlines, Amsterdam Schiphol is one of the busiest and most modern airports in Europe. It offers countless flights to destinations in Europe, as well as all other parts of the world. The airport is located less than 10 km (6 mi) from downtown Amsterdam.
- Rotterdam-The Hague Airport. Although much smaller than Schiphol, the airport that serves both the second and the third city of Netherlands sees more than 2 million travelers every year. Located just a short 50-minute drive south of Amsterdam, it can serve as a good alternative to reach the country’s largest city.
- Eindhoven Airport. Located in the southwest of the Netherlands, this airport is served by a number of low-cost airlines. This means that flying to Eindhoven can quite often be the cheapest way to reach the Netherlands by air. Conveniently, the airport is just 105 km (68 mi) from Amsterdam.
- By rail. If you arrive in Amsterdam by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Amsterdam Central Station.
Useful city facts
Near the coast of the North Sea, Amsterdam has an oceanic climate with mild to warm summers and cool winters. The precipitation is relatively high, with winters slightly more humid than summers thanks to not only rain but also occasional snowfall.
Although only about 850.000 people live in Amsterdam proper, another 1.7 million inhabit its metropolitan area, making it one of the most densely populated urban zones in Europe.
Top destinations and activities
- Rijksmuseum. Of all the museums of Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (the National Museum) is arguably the most famous one. It has paintings by many world-famous artists, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Monet, as well as a number of rotating exhibitions. After Rijksmuseum, why not also visit the nearby Van Gogh museum that’s located in the same part of the city?
- Anne Frank House. This unique museum is dedicated to Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who kept a famous diary while hiding in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Although visiting this museum can be a difficult experience, it also has an important and inspiring message of maintaining humanity during the most severe hardship.
- Vondelpark. The most popular of Amsterdam’s many green areas, Vondelpark does not have any specific attractions, it is instead an attraction in itself. More than anywhere else, this is the place to go on a leisurely walk, make new friends, and feel the atmosphere of the city.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 130 km/h (80 mph) on motorways or autosnelwegen, 100 km/h (61 mph) on expressways or autowegen, 80 km/h (50 mph) on other roads outside built-up areas and 50 km/h (31 mph) on roads and streets inside built-up and urban areas.
- Parking in central Amsterdam can be very pricey and the number of available spaces are limited. A good idea is to park either at one of the large car-parking centers or at the Park and Ride (P+R) outside the city center where the parking is much cheaper, usually costing less than €10 for a full day. There are also many free parking spaces in the Amsterdam-Noord area.
- While it is certainly possible, and sometimes quite enjoyable, to drive around Amsterdam by car, do keep in mind that local etiquette demands that the drivers fully respect cyclists, even if they are not using hand signals for the turns they are about to make.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers and drivers under the age of 24. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, an EU-wide licence ban, or imprisonment.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s registration needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
The only roads in the Netherlands that require paying a fee are two toll tunnels, the Kiltunnel at Dordrecht (about an hour’s drive south of Amsterdam) and Westerschelde Tunnel near Terneuzen (about two hours drive south of Amsterdam).
For using the Kiltunnel, you can only pay by cash. The price is €2. For using the Westerschelde, the price is €5. Electronic payment tags are also available, but most rental cars are not equipped with them and they are mainly used by locals who use either of the tunnels frequently.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Amsterdamse Bos. Amsterdamse Bos is a landscape park and urban forest near the city that is three times the size of New York’s Central Park. Although walking away from its main path can feel like being in a true wilderness, you’re never too far from a nice local restaurant. If coming from the city center of Amsterdam, it takes about fifteen minutes to reach by car.
- The Hague. The seat of government of the Netherlands and the home of the International Court of Justice, The Hague is known for its political importance. Less known is that it’s also a charming, cozy city full of beautiful buildings like Binnehof Castle as well as art galleries and museums. The Hague is also home to Scheveningen, the most visited seaside resort in the Netherlands. It is located just a 50-minute drive south of Amsterdam.
- Hoge Veluwe National Park. Made up of forests, sand dunes, and heathlands, Hoge Veluwe is one of the most interesting natural areas in the region. Its austere landscapes are made cozier by inhabitants such as foxes, deer, and mouflons. The national park is just an hour’s drive from Amsterdam.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Amsterdam is the Ford Focus 5d, although many travelers also go for the Opel Corsa or the Opel Astra. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and mini. Smaller vehicles are generally more convenient for navigating the many narrow streets of Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands.
- Friesland. Although not as visited by tourists as other parts of the Netherlands, the region of Friesland is an authentic, hospitable, and relaxing travel destination. Start exploring in the capital of Leeuwarden that is just an 80-minute drive north of Amsterdam. Then proceed to Friesland’s many small towns and villages. If you’re looking to go somewhere even more remote, head to the West Frisian Islands, a small archipelago that can easily be reached by ferry (you can usually bring a rental car onto it). It’s natural areas, lighthouses, and local delicacies like sheep cheese and oysters are not to be missed.
- Brussels. Just like The Hague, Brussels is also known for its political standing, but the home of the EU and NATO can also be a charming travel destination. From interesting neighborhoods that mix history and modernity to world-class museums and restaurants serving local Belgian specialties, this city can entertain anyone for days. It is just a two hours drive south of Amsterdam, and you can add Antwerp and Ghent, two other interesting cities of Belgian Flanders, to the trip. Keep in mind that you’ll be crossing a national border, so first, ask your rental car provider if they permit it.
- Hamburg. With a proud northern seafaring spirit, Hamburg is quite different from Berlin or Munich, the two other metropolises of Germany. It is located on the North Sea, and, yes, it rains quite a lot there. What it lacks in weather, it more than makes up for in culture, architecture, and atmosphere. Hamburg is just a four-hour drive north of Amsterdam. If you’re coming from Amsterdam to Hamburg, you’ll be crossing a national border, so first, ask your rental car provider if they permit it.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are the things you can do to make sure you get a cheap rental car in Amsterdam:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Amsterdam is the cheapest in June when renting a car is about 27% cheaper than the yearly average.
Top 4 Cities near Amsterdam
Top 7 Locations near Amsterdam
Amsterdam Airport Car Rentals from $28.94 per day
Amsterdam Central Station Car Rentals from $40.15 per day
Amsterdam, Downtown Car Rentals from $39.80 per day
Rotterdam Airport Car Rentals from $18.64 per day45.3 km / 28.2 miles away
Eindhoven Airport Car Rentals from $39.80 per day104.3 km / 64.8 miles away
Groningen Airport Car Rentals from $48.15 per day151.6 km / 94.2 miles away
Maastricht Airport Car Rentals from $48.15 per day170.2 km / 105.8 miles away
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Amsterdam?
What’s the usual rental length in Amsterdam?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Amsterdam?
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