28 December 2021, by Victoria Séveno

Flat or house? Rural or urban? City centre pad or suburban home? What are the local schools like, and what will my commute to my job look like? Are the public transport connections any good? Where’s my nearest supermarket? These are all exceedingly important questions you ask yourself when looking for a home to buy or to rent. But there may be another factor that you potentially haven’t even considered: how will where I live impact my car costs?

Owning a car in the Netherlands is already pretty expensive, but car magazine AutoWeek has investigated how your place of residence influences your fixed car costs. 

Dutch car costs: Road tax and car insurance

There are a couple of regular costs associated with owning a car. If you’re relocating to the Netherlands, obviously you have to consider the costs of importing and registering your car, as well as petrol prices. On top of this, however, anyone who owns a car in the Netherlands is also confronted with road tax and car insurance costs, both of which are partly determined by the owner’s residential address. 

The road tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting) is calculated by the Belastingdienst based on a number of factors, including the province you live in. This is because each province in the Netherlands sets its own provincial surcharge. Meanwhile, insurance premiums can also differ depending on where you live due to statistics on road safety, traffic accidents, and crime.

The cheapest place to own a car in the Netherlands

Using figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), AutoWeek reports that those living in Groningen will face the highest tax rates, as the province has a surcharge of 93,3 percent in 2021. On the other side of the spectrum, residents of Limburg, Utrecht, and North Holland will enjoy considerably lower tax rates – the rate in North Holland is “only” 67,9 percent. 

Residents of Amsterdam shouldn’t get too excited though – while the road tax might be lower in this province, anyone living in the Dutch capital will likely face higher insurance premiums. Meanwhile, the city of Groningen enjoys the lowest annual premiums – around 120 euros cheaper than in The Hague, the city with the highest premiums.

So if you’re looking to cut costs, where should you live? Well, of the provinces with the lowest premiums – Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, and Zeeland – Overijssel has the lowest provincial tax rates. Alternatively, turn your eyes to the gorgeous Wadden Islands, and try looking for a house in Texel, where crime rates are low and, as the island falls under the province of North Holland, the tax rates are reasonable.

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