Leasing a car is a popular option for expats living in the Netherlands. Advantages of leasing vs buying include lower monthly expenses, no insurance costs, and zero maintenance and repair costs – all of which are included in the lease price. This makes leasing a “no fuss” option ideal for expats. Plus you can drive a comfortable new car with all the mod cons while living in the Netherlands.
For electric cars there are also additional subsidies in NL meaning you can reclaim up to €3350 back from the Government for buying or leasing an electric car.
Quick Picks: Car Leasing Companies 👍
Best for breakdown assistance & a highly-trusted provider. The ANWB is the Royal Dutch Automobile Association and lease plans include their Europe-wide roadside assistance plan. New vehciles only – no used car lease (known as “occassion lease”) stock. Visit ANWB lease.
Drive within 10 days & good customer service. Both new cars and “occasions” (used car leases) which have lower waiting times – many within 10 days. Cheap used car lease deals such as Peugot 108 offer above. Visit Ikrij.nl.
Cheap monthly (used car) lease deal : €187/mth for 60 month Toyota Aygo lease. A wide range of other used and new car lease offers. Car is delivered to you and you have 14 days to change your mind. Visit Auto.nl
These companies all offer a range of well-priced, quality lease deals. All are certified by the Private Lease Keurmerk or “Quality Mark” which is an independent mark of reliability to protect consumers. Websites are in Dutch but can be translated with your browser. Customer service and salespeople all speak English. It’s worth shopping around all three to find a lease that suits you.
Note: Waiting times for new vehicles can be long due to supply chain issues since 2020. Check this with the company first!
Benefits of leasing a car in The Netherlands
- Often cheaper than public transport for commuters: NS season tickets for peak-hours travel are a whopping €362.40 per month.
- Makes commuting to work and general travel much easier and less stressful, especially in times of Covid.
- Avoid costs and risks associated with buying a car such as car insurance, maintenance and repairs.
- Many expats enjoy the freedom to explore the Netherlands by car. For example driving to the beach at Zandvoort (40 minutes from Amsterdam) or visiting the picturesque villages of Edam, Volendam and Monnikendam (25 minutes drive from Amsterdam).
- You can lease directly from the ANWB, the Netherlands’ Automobile Association (like the AA in the UK).
The basics: What is car leasing?
Leasing a car is like a long-term rental or subscription. You pay a monthly fee to use the car for a set period and the fee covers everything (insurance, maintenance, repairs, road tax) apart from fuel.
Leases typically last 4 to 5 years (or 48-60 months as this is written by lease providers) which is stipulated in the contract. Usually there is also a clause allowing cancellation if the leaser has a change in circumstances.
You can also lease a second hand car. This is referred to as “occasion” leasing by the Dutch. The cheapest occasion leases often aren’t that much lower in price than leasing a new car but there are some occasion deals included below. Occasion leases can sometimes be shorter contracts than a new car lease.
The contract also will stipulate the distance that can be driven over the course of the lease, and is typically stated per year. For example, a 60 month lease (5 years) with 10,000 km a year means the leaser can drive 50,000 km over the course of the 5 year contract with no additional charge. A fee is then charged for excess mileage which can be costly.
How much does it cost to lease a car in the Netherlands?
Costs of leasing vary from around € 200 per month (incl. VAT) for a small used car lease to upwards of €400 for a new car. Costs also vary depending on the length of contract.
In total a 4-year lease on a €200 monthly contract will set you back €9,600. Meanwhile a €400 monthly payment will add up to €19,200 in the same period.
Cheapest car lease (by monthly payment)
The cheapest car lease deal I could find in terms of monthly payment (Dec 2021) is €179 over 60 months for a Toyota Aygo via Auto.nl. This is a small city car that’s easy to park and manoeuvre around Amsterdam and Nord Holland. Auto.nl will also deliver it to your door and offer a 14 day cooling off period.
Additional costs: Petrol
Petrol is the only recurring additional cost that you will have to pay as a leasee.
Petrol cost estimates for a small car
(Based on driving a 33mpg car (2021 Volkswagen Golf) and paying 1.80 per litre.)
- 1000km per month: €72
- 2000km per month: €144
- 5000km per month: €359
So the total costs for leasing a small, efficient car plus the cost of 1000km monthly petrol usage can be as low as around 266 per month.
What’s included in cost of leasing?
- Maintenance costs
- Repair costs
- Road tax
- Car insurance
- Breakdown assistance & related costs
Pros and cons of leasing
- Lower monthly cost compared to a long-term rental or car finance (for an equivalent car).
- No additional maintenance costs or unexpected costs such as repairs.
- No insurance costs.
- Drive a new car that might be above your usual buying budget.
- Unlike buying or financial lease you won’t own the vehicle (or part-own it) by the end of the contract.
- May not be cost effective for used cars.
- Driving over your km allowance can be expensive if not careful.
Cheaper alternatives to leasing
Buy a car. This can be cheaper in the long run if you can afford to buy a car outright or are eligible for finance. Expats can get car finance loans from a bank or via a car dealership. For example, Auto.nl offer finance for car purchases. You’ll have to fulfil certain requirements to be eligible for finance. Plus you can sell the vehicle down the line and get some or all of your money back.
Money-saving tip for car leasers
Earn €350 per month by sharing your lease car
In the Netherlands you can allow other people to drive your car. You remain responsible for the vehicle, but it means that you can share your lease car – and get paid for it!
Users of car sharing platform SnappCar can make up to €350 per month sharing their car via a keyless system. This could completely pay back your lease costs!
Check your lease car is eligible first via SnappCar
Private Lease vs Business Lease
The main types of vehicle lease in the Netherlands are private lease and business lease (zakelijk lease).
As a private individual (i.e. not self employed) you will most likely be looking for a private lease contract, also known as a personal lease or personal contract hire. This is the cheapest form of car lease.
If you own a business or are self-employed, then you may want to take out a business lease for tax benefits that come with it.
There is also the option of a financial lease – sometimes known as a hire purchase. This means that you also pay towards owning the vehicle, similar to a mortgage. It is seen as an investment rather than a loan. These are typically designed for businesses or self-employed persons for whom there is a tax benefit.
Car leasing requirements for expats
Expats wishing to lease a car as a private individual will need to provide the following:
- Be 21 years or older
- Living and registered in the Netherlands (with a BSN number)
- Dutch bank account
- You don’t have a negative Dutch credit score (BKR)
- Proof of financial ability to pay the lease
- An employment contract, OR
- Fixed monthly income with proof
- Details of your monthly outgoings
- A Dutch driving license or a license issued in the EU (for British and non-EU expats this means exchanging your license for a Dutch license at the municipality – more on this below)
- A Dutch phone number (possibly)
For more in-depth information about leasing such as financial checks involved and how it affects your mortgage eligibility, the XLEasy FAQ page is very comprehensive. You will have to translate from Dutch using your browser.
Best Private Lease Deals (Updated 2022)
Compare the latest private lease deals
Use our comparison tool to find the best deals available right now
Below are some selected deals available at time of writing. Last update 29th Sept 2021.
Cheapest monthly: Toyota Aygo from 179 per month (Auto.nl)
Trusted company ANWB* deal: Hyundai i10 Comfort €239 per month.
Fuel-efficient pick: Fiat 500 from Consumentenbond from €209 p/m.
Ford Fiesta short-term lease deal: €299 per month for 24 months at XLeasy
Short-term sporty Corsa deal: Get an Opel Corsa 1.2 Turbo (pictured) for €389 per month at XLeasy
Volkswagen deal: New VW Polo from €329 p/m
Peugot deal: Peugot 108 from €199 per month
Car lease companies in NL
Auto.nl – 22 private lease deals from €179 per month.
*ANWB – The Royal Dutch Touring Club is a not-for profit travel association in the Netherlands with four million members. As well as leasing, they provide insurance and roadside assistance and are the only organisations able to repair cars on the highway (others have to tow). ANWB is a highly trusted organisation in the Netherlands.
Consumenten bond is a consumer organisation. You can lease a new Fiat 500 through their auto lease collective from €209 p/m for 60 months (€246 for 26mth, €230 for 48mth).
Supershortlease.nl – Rolling 1 month leases.
Leasevergelijker.nl – Car lease comparison site. Good for used car leases.
Dutch car leasing terms translated
- Auto leasen – Car lease
- Occasion lease – Used car lease
- Gebruikte auto – Used car
- Benzine – Petrol
- BTW – VAT
Chip shortages and delays for lease car delivery times
Due to shortages in chips some providers have seen delays in delivery times for leases. Pay attention when you sign up for a lease to any information about delivery times. If you do encounter a delay, you can cancel the lease contract in many cases. For more information see the Keurmark Private Lease guidance (in Dutch).
Leasing vs buying
There are obvious benefits to buying a car vs leasing if you can afford it. You will own the vehicle for example so will not lose money if you choose to sell it later. Once it is paid for that’s it, you own it. No more leasing fees.
Parking in the Netherlands
Parking in cities like Amsterdam can also be tricky. Stay tuned for a guide to long-term and short-term parking options in major cities in the Netherlands. One option is Mobypark, a platform for renting parking spaces, while Marktplaats also sometimes has parking spaces listed.
Driving licenses for non-EU expats
That includes British expats from January 1st 2021. This means taking your British (or other) license to the municipality to exchange for a Dutch license. You may also need to submit a health declaration and/or assessment to show you are fit to drive.
Re-taking your test?
Some materials suggest you could have to re-take your test in the Netherlands to get a Dutch license:
“In some cases you can exchange the foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence. In all other cases you must do new theory and practical exams with the CBR (Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing)” – The Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW)
The gov.uk page on living in the Netherlands suggest this is not the case for Brits at least.