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Road tax in the Netherlands. Motorrijtuigenbelasting in the Netherlands


27 September, 2022

Whether you are looking for a job in the Netherlands or have just found one, you should familiarise yourself with the different rules of social life in the country before leaving for your destination. You might be surprised how different they can be from the ones you know from your experience so far. If you are travelling to the Netherlands in your car, it’s all the more reason to know the costs of car upkeep there.
How much is road tax in the Netherlands and who is obliged to pay it?

What is motorrijtuigenbelasting?

Motorrijtuigenbelasting (MRB) is the Dutch road tax levied on motor vehicle owners who are by law residents of Holland. It doesn’t matter in which country the vehicle was registered. The MRB tax therefore also applies to foreigners who own a car in the Netherlands and are registered as residents or legally obliged to do so.

The Dutch Ministry of Transport allocates the money collected from the MRB tax to various road infrastructure initiatives, primarily road construction and rehabilitation or other road infrastructure facilities.

What is the difference between the MRB and the BPM taxes

The MRB tax applies to all users of Dutch roads who are by law residents of the Netherlands, no matter in which country their vehicle was registered.

The BPM tax, or belasting van personenauto’s en motorrijwielen, is a type of one-off registration tax to which almost all motor vehicles registered in the Netherlands are subject. If a taxpayer buys a new car or motorcycle in the Netherlands, the tax is automatically added to its price. The BPM tax doesn’t only apply to vehicles with zero or low carbon emissions.

And what about the re-registration of a car/motorcycle with a number plate issued outside Holland? The first step is to complete all formalities for the registration of the vehicle in the Netherlands. First of all, you should go to RDW-keuringsstation, which is the institution responsible for matters including issuing new number plates. Once the vehicle is registered, a relevant declaration along with attachments must be filled in and sent to the authority.

If you live in the Netherlands and use a vehicle registered in a different country, you are also obliged to pay BPM, for which you will use the form mentioned above. Importantly, the MRB tax differs from the BPM tax in terms of payment frequency. MRB is paid quarterly or annually, while BPM is paid on a one-off basis.

How much is road tax in the Netherlands?

The amount of the MRB road tax isn’t the same for all motor vehicle owners. How much you pay depends on several factors, i.e.:

  • the region in which you live,
  • the weight of your car,
  • the type of fuel it uses,
  • the purpose of the vehicle.

The owners of heavy cars will pay more MRB tax, as their fuel consumption is higher (which results in more emissions) and the way their use affects public roads is more adverse.
Also, owners of diesel cars, especially those without a particulate filter, will pay more. LPG cars of large or medium size come next. The smallest tax, on the other hand, will be paid for a small petrol car that weighs up to 750 kg.
Companies and entrepreneurs using cars for business purposes may also pay more.

Those wishing to find out exactly how much the tax will be can do so using the calculator on the website of the Dutch authority Wegenbelasting.

How much is the BPM tax in the Netherlands?

The amount of the belasting van personenauto’s en motorrijwielen tax for new vehicles depends on their CO2 emissions. For older cars and motorbikes, it’s calculated based on their list prices. The more expensive and better equipped the vehicle, the higher the tax you will pay. The BPM tax amount decreases in proportion to the age of the vehicle – the older it is, the lower the BPM tax to be paid. The amount can be as much as one-quarter of the value of the vehicle.

How to calculate road tax in the Netherlands?

To calculate the MRB road tax in the Netherlands, use the calculator available on the website of the Dutch tax authority Belastingdienst. You need to complete all the boxes by ticking the correct answers to the following questions:

  1. Woont u in Nederland? – Do you live in the Netherlands?
  2. Voor welk soort motorrijtuig wilt u een berekening maken? – Which type of motor vehicle will the calculation concern?
    • Personenauto – passenger car;
    • Bestelauto particulier – private utility car;
    • Bestelauto ondernemer – company utility car;
    • Motor – motorcycle;
    • Kampeerauto – camper;
    • Autobus – bus;
    • Vrachtauto – lorry.
    1. In welke provincie woont u? – Which province do you live in?
    2. Op welke brandstof rijdt uw *? – What kind of fuel does your vehicle use?
    3. Wat is de gewichtsklasse van uw *? – What is the weight category of your vehicle?

    Depending on the choice, you will only need the data listed above. After you click “bereken”, you will receive a message that reads:
    Motorrijtuigenbelasting per tijdvak van 3 maanden: €* – Motor vehicle tax for 3 months is: €*

Who is liable to pay the road tax?

Every car owner, no matter where their vehicle was registered, staying in the Netherlands for more than three months is liable to pay the MRB road tax.
Anyone travelling by car for business purposes for less than three months is therefore exempt from the fee. It’s the same as residence registration, as anyone staying in the Netherlands after this time should register as a resident.

Failure to register as a resident in the Netherlands and the road tax liability

Although the law doesn’t provide for penalties for failing to register as a resident, it doesn’t mean that you can avoid paying the MRB tax. The penalties for failing to pay it are very severe because, in the event of a roadside check, which can happen here much more frequently than in certain other European countries, the fine (up to 300 EUR) won’t mean the end of consequences.

In addition to this, a person stopped by the police will be obliged to pay the outstanding tax plus interest. They can also be subject to an additional administrative penalty for failing to file a declaration with the tax office, up to several thousand EUR. As you can see, it’s not worth relying on your luck, as the consequences can be serious. Those who don’t travel by car needn’t worry about this tax and can get around cities by public transport or bicycle, among other means.

How and where to pay road tax in the Netherlands?

The procedure for paying road tax in the Netherlands is quite straightforward. You need to visit the website of the tax office and fill in the vehicle declaration form. Then you send the document back with a copy of the registration certificate to the address provided on the form. The sooner you do it, the better, as it will take around eight weeks for the Belastingdienst office to reply. The decision will include the amount due and the date of payment.

How to stop paying road tax in the Netherlands?

Those returning from the Netherlands to their home country should remember to deregister their vehicle with the Dutch tax office. If you fail to do so, you will continue to receive MRB tax summonses.

How to go about the procedure? It’s the same as with registration. You need to download the relevant form available on the Belastingdienst website, send it back, and wait up to eight weeks for the authority’s decision. If there is an overpayment on your part, it will be refunded to your account.