The best Dutch drivers license advice for expats you will ever get

ARRIVE & DRIVE in the Netherlands

When arriving in the Netherlands you probably will be overwhelmed by Dutch traffic. The Dutch know how to manage traffic well throughout their country. We love structure.

One of the world’s most densed road networks can be found in The Netherlands. Compared to other countries in the European Union, we can say we have the highest motorway density.
Every day around 8,9 million motor vehicles are using almost 140.000 km of public roads, including around 3.500 kilometres of motorways and expressways. Most roads also support cyclists, except for motorways and expressways.

So when you go on adventure with your new bike, don’t forget we have 38.000 kilometres of cycle paths that you can use. Oh yes, and don’t forget to mention 6.300 kilometres of waterways, but that’s another thing to talk about.

Bikers Amsterdam

Although Dutch coastal length is approximately 523 kilometres you will have to face most shark teeth inland. You will also be continuously surrounded by cyclists, popping out from every unexpected direction, while finding your way to your new home. Ofcourse you will embrace it all. And while walking through your new neighbourhood to go taste our so called ‘bitterballen’ on the corner at the Snackbar, you will also realise that our ’zebracrossings’ will actually wórk!

As an expat or immigrant you are allowed to face Dutch traffic legally for 185 days with your foreign license. Remember by heart, when you’re in the car facing those zebracrossings ánd cyclists, you don’t f*ck with the pedestrians ór the cyclists ‘cause it will be yóur ass. Our two-wheelers are specially protected on our roads.

The Dutch Reach

Driving structuredly, rule-abided and a relaxed state of mind to give way to cyclists and pedestrians are our main goals while using the Dutch roads. We, as one of the world’s most cyclist-friendly nation, also have a special method to open a car door safely by using the hand furthest from the door, called ‘The Dutch Reach’. It is a simple change in the way you get out of the car that can help stop accidents known as ‘doorings’.

About giving way… do you know how many different priority rules we have, which you have to know by heart? When you think you know, give it a shot and leave us a number down here below and we will reward you generously!

Getting your Dutch license

Enough introduction and chatter for now. Remember as a real Dutchie I like to chat first by being straight to the point.
After arriving in the Netherlands and driving your magical kilometres during your 185 days of legally driving while saving lives of cyclists and pedestrians in meantime through Dutch traffic, you have to face the Dutch practical exam at CBR. The Dutch examination institute for driving skills.

LesDirect expat

First of all, don’t think you can just ‘take a driving lesson’ and buy one exam date and pass. Before the CBR practical exam you have to pass your theory exam first. Yes I know you have survived 185 days in Dutch traffic, but believe me and in my years of experience training expats from all over the world in Dutch traffic, you won’t just pass the exam that easily. I’m really trying not to be too direct. Only honest. 😊

Second thing is your self awareness. In Dutch traffic we have a lot of so called Blind spots. A part of them you can see using The Dutch Reach. But are there also blind spots in your self awareness? And don’t get me wrong. I’m just trying to let you think about your participation and behaviour in Dutch traffic.

“A blind spot is something we don't see about ourselves that others do see,” described once by two authors Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen as they look at this phenomenon. “There is always a gap between the self we think we present and the way others see us.

Is it possible there were situations in Dutch traffic were other road users solved your mistake? Did you see running pedestrians while approaching zebracrossings maybe a little too fast? Or cyclists that suddendly had to stop for you and gave you their most angry look while you were making a turn right or left on a junction? Yes, your light was colored green. But still you had the feeling you’ve missed something… That's your blind spot we have to tackle.

A Dutch Direct advice

So to be clear and direct, as born and raised the Dutch way, I would love to share, unasked 😉, a really good piece of advice with all you new- non-EU country-EXPATS and immigrants in The Netherlands.

You know now, when you have a foreign drivers license, you can, as I mentioned above, usually continue to use this drivers license for 6 months. After this period ends, you will need to have a Dutch drivers license to continu driving. This can only be obtained by getting your theory, taking driving lessons in Dutch traffic and pass the practical exam at CBR.

I often see that expat students only want to obtain their Dutch drivers license after this period of 6 months and start Theory training and taking lessons after this period. So in addition to costing you unnecessary extra time and therefore money, there is also a period that you are not allowed to drive until you have obtained your Dutch drivers license.


So dear non-EU Expats and Immigrants! Here is the best advice you'll ever get;

✅ Start completing your online theory during the 6-month period. Don’t underestimate the subject matter and prepare well. All information about the theory exam at CBR and to plan your online theory crash course, you can find here:

✅ When you want to get your Dutch drivers license fast, probably within a week, sign up for my driving crash course, Arrive & Drive, during these 6 months, ór directly after…. so you are staying mobile as much as possible and not get too close with your new Dutch transportation: The bike. 

This way you can prepare yourself well and fast for the Dutch practical exam at CBR. This way you’ll save yourself a lot of money because in addition to these driving courses you can also, legally, practice by yourself in your own car in Dutch traffic and take your advantage.

What do other expats say?

In generally. "Don’t miss the Dutch blind spots, when reaching out your goals."

Ion from Moldavia:

“I was extremely lucky to find this driving school. In less than 2 weeks I managed to pass my theory exam, learn how to drive on the Dutch roads and eventualy pass my driving exam. All in my first try. I also had quite some fun in the process and managed to meet some interesting people. The course is very well organized and you get a lot of attention from the instructors. They really go the extra mile to make sure you are well prepared to pass your exam from the first try. Highly recommended!”

Robert from Colombia:

“Best partner for expat to obtain our NL driver license. Thanks LesDirect!”

Victor from Brazil:

“Very short term practical exam booking with approval in the first attempt!
As expat with driving license from another country (issued in Brazil and experience in Moscow/Russia), I had to take the exam for the Dutch driving license. I had some urgency so I needed it fast, and they managed to book me a test in very short notice with the required classes. As I took the classes, they pointed out very efficiently the manners I had that could compromise the results - so I corrected them and was approved in the first attempt.

Really recommended! They are very dedicated to help expats and very committed with the process and to give you the right advice so you succeed.”

Arrive Drive Victor

Madhumita from India:

“Anke helped me attain what I once thought was unattainable. She taught me how to drive in the Netherlands, knowing that I needed to overcome my Indian driving habits. It was a difficult journey, which wouldn’t have been possible without Anke’s coaching and persistence. But we made it and I have my Dutch driver’s license.

Thank you Anke for helping me achieve this important feat!”

Ma Ning from China:

“A good instructor needs to have good knowledge and be able to make it clear to students. Anke is this kind of good instructor. She knows what is required to be good enough for getting a license and can explain the requirements (in English) simple enough to understand.
And most importantly, she corrected me only the things that I needed to change to improve my driving skill, nothing more, nothing less. In just about 2 weeks, I feel for the first time that I CAN drive in the Netherlands, and I am confident to drive.”

Cindy Lynn from South Africa:

“If you want to pass first time call LesDirect Autorijschool. The arrive and drive course was exactly what I needed to unlearn some of my bad habits and drive on the "wrong" side of the road (I have been driving for 15 years on the left hand side in South Africa) They taught me everything I needed to know in an intensive yet fun environment. Happy to say I passed first time and highly recommended them.”

Tügrul from Turkey:

“Choose Les Direct, you will not regret!”

Arrive drive lesdirect

Last but not least! That's how you succeed quickly.
So act directly, and sign up here;

Look forward hearing from you,


PS Oh, and don’t forget to mention the number of priority rules we have to take into account. If you’re right, you will get your €90,- Arrive and Drive Intake Lesson of for free.

Citation: Iamexpat & Book THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK