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Private lease for expats, what are the possibilities?

Are you an expat? If you are staying in the Netherlands for a longer period of time for your work, you will undoubtedly need a car. Maybe you are considering to drive a car under private lease. But is this really possible? Bynco did some research for you and gives you all the ins and outs about private leasing for expats.

Let's get straight to the point. Yes, it is certainly possible for expats to drive a private lease car. There are some ifs and buts but it comes down to the following aspects:

  • You have a Dutch residence address.
  • You have a valid passport or other means of identification.
  • You are in possession of a valid driving licence recognised by the Netherlands.
  • You have a permanent or temporary employment contract.

If you meet these conditions, it is possible to lease a car from several private lease. Not every car dealer or lease provider is accepting expats as customer. Later in this article we will mention a few that make private leasing possible for expats.

private lease for expats

Dutch driving licence

For a private lease contract you need a Dutch passport and a Dutch driver's license. This is a rule for most major private lease. But if you're an expat, you obviously don't have one. There are operators who accept a foreign driving licence, but this must be recognised in the Netherlands. How this works exactly is as follows.

The RDW or Rijksdienst wegverkeer (Dutch equivalent of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) has the following rules for this:
A driving licence issued in one of the countries of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association is still valid until the validity of the document expires with a maximum of fifteen years. If you have a driving licence from a country outside the EU or EFTA, the driving licence is valid for six months after you have been registered in the Netherlands. After this period you must have a Dutch driving licence. You can apply for a Dutch driving licence in the period of six months, if you do this after this period, you will have to take the Dutch driving test.

Exchanging a driving licence

If you have been in the Netherlands for a longer period of time, you can choose to exchange your driving licence for a Dutch driving licence. If you have obtained a driving licence in one of the countries of the EU or EFTA, this is quite easy. If you have a driving licence from a country outside the EU, the RDW has an overview where you can see if it is possible to exchange your driving licence.

If you would like more information about the validity of foreign driving licences in the Netherlands, please visit the website of the RDW.

Elke auto krijgt voor aflevering een onafhankelijke aankoopinspectie

Permanent or temporary employment contract

Many private lease providers want to know whether you have a permanent or temporary employment contract. The same applies to expats who want to drive under private lease. The providers we have spoken have no problem in offering private leasing to people with a temporary employment contract. In the event that the employment contract ends earlier than the private lease contract, it is necessary to ask a second person to act as a guarantor, as it were. This may also be a colleague or manager of the company where you work as an expat.

Operators that provide private lease for expats

As indicated at the beginning of this article, there are some operators that allow expats to enter into a private lease contract with a foreign driving licence. But not many and most operators will ask for a Dutch driving license.We have a partnership with ANWB, so if you are intersted in private lease, check ANWB.NL.

Is private lease possible with a foreign driving license?

To be honest, the answer is no. Due to regulations operators are obliged to register a Dutch driving license attached to a private lease contract. But there is a possibility. You can apply for an International Driving license. Our private lease partner, Athlon, can register you for private lease if you have an international driving license.

How do you get an international driving license in The Netherlands?

Well, you'll find more information on the website of the RDW or on this official website. The ANWB is the offical organisation in The Netherlands where you can register for an international driving license. 

You can buy an international driving license easily and quickly in one of the ANWB stores for 18.95 or 24.95 (depending on the treaty model of the IRB). The driving license can only be applied for in person and is made immediately during a visit to one of the shops. Bring two recent passport photos and your Dutch / EU driving license.

How long does the application for an International Driving License take?

You can easily buy an International Driving License in one of the ANWB stores. You will receive it directly, so no waiting time.

Are you an expat? Or is one of your colleagues an expat looking for a car? After reading this article, you know that it is perfectly possible to start a private lease on a car.

Or interested in buying a car? Check all cars available here. It is also possible to finance a car on our website. We are partnering with DTC, they are specialized in financing options for expats. You can make a quick calculation the monthly fee on our website.

If you consider private lease, it is good to check if the lease operator is certified. In The Netherlands, the Keurmerk Private Lease has defined a set of General Conditions to protect customers. You can download the General Conditions Private Lease here.

keurmerk private lease