Categories
Netherlands

Amsterdam

Europe > Netherlands > Amsterdam

See: Why hire a car in Amsterdam ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Amsterdam city centre has a reputation as a cyclists’ paradise and a driver’s nightmare. Is that still the case for the area around the city, and for the rest of the Netherlands? Is Amsterdam car hire ever really an option?

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Amsterdam car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Amsterdam is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Amsterdam? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Amsterdam between the peak and the off peak season?

6/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:10/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Amsterdam is also world-famous as a party city, with its infamous red light district and coffee shops. We presume that you already know this, so we won’t waste much time simply regurgitating the obvious: For a short stay in the centre of Amsterdam, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in even considering hiring a car.

So, when we look at Amsterdam car hire, we’re looking at a longer trip. This might be using Amsterdam as a base or a start point for exploring not just the local area, but the significant hinterland beyond.

Do you need a car in Amsterdam? Reasons why you might!

In and around Amsterdam

  • Good roads: Whilst it is true that many more journeys in the Netherlands are made by bike than they are in the UK or the USA, the quality of the roads is still very high. Because public transport is also of a very high standard, there is less congestion. This means there is more space on the roads for those people who do want to drive.
  • The Netherlands also has three times as many miles of motorway per capita as the UK does, so it is easy to get around by any means.
  • Low congestion – it’s actually a great myth to say you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” drive in Amsterdam, especially if you are staying in a suburban location and travelling around the country. Because it has such a well developed cycling and public transport network, Amsterdam is actually one of the least congested major cities in Europe. You will find the same situation in other Dutch cities too. The emphasis is always on encouraging alternatives, and restricting “through” traffic in town centres.
  • Cost of trains: We (in the UK or the USA) might look to the Netherlands as having a high standard of public transport, but the trains are still relatively pricey on a per mile basis. There are no off-peak or advance purchase discounts for visitors. Bring over a family, and a hire car easily works out as better value than going by train.

Why? Visiting Amsterdam using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Amsterdam ?


Driving beyond the Amsterdam area

  • Get out: This isn’t just about the city centre of Amsterdam — Schiphol airport is a gateway for a vast hinterland beyond Amsterdam itself. There are so many flight routes operating here that aren’t available at many of the other nearby airports, or even at major neighbouring cities like Brussels or Dusseldorf.
  • Architecture: Architecture buffs will find that the Netherlands is full of all kinds of interesting historic and modern buildings. These are sometimes in small towns or in the suburbs — even bland industrial units in the Netherlands can often be meticulously put together. The best way to conduct a self-guided architectural tour is to have the flexibility of a car. Of particular note are the unique self built houses in the new city of Almere, the cube houses in Rotterdam. You could also follow the Dudok trail in Hilversum. It’s also worth diverting to look at the three bridges designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in Hoofddorp, near Schiphol Airport.
  • Engineering Polders: The Netherlands has an impressive system of holding back the sea, a feat regarded by many engineers as one of the most impressive pieces of civil engineering in the 20th century. You will find a car useful to drive across Ijsselmeer using the N302 or the A7 Afsluitdijk. Even though this is a motorway crossing, a slow (and cycling) lane is still available – if you can tolerate the wind!
  • Rivers & Islands: To explore the many mouths of the Rhine or the relatively deserted islands of the Waddenzee, a car is essential.
  • Dutch landscapes: A hire car is best to appreciate the typical Dutch springtime landscape of tulips, canals and windmills – but a bike will do as well.

Why not? Visiting Amsterdam without a car

Why don't you need a car in Amsterdam ?


 

Amsterdam area without a car

  • Obvious isn’t it? Cities in Netherlands are tightly packed — easy to get between, and even easier to get around.
  • Bike it: Cycle hire facilities are widely available at Amsterdam Centraal and most major NS railway stations, no pre-booking required.
  • Canals: Amsterdam is a city of canals, surely the best way of getting around is to take a boat trip?
  • Public transport is excellent, who needs to even consider a rental car?

Ratings: How does Amsterdam compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Amsterdam? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Amsterdam, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Amsterdam? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Amsterdam (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Amsterdam? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Amsterdam airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Amsterdam car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 3

2021 - 6

Average score - 5

Notes:

 

Categories
Netherlands

Eindhoven

Europe > Netherlands > Eindhoven

See: Why hire a car in Eindhoven ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments


Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Eindhoven car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Eindhoven is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Eindhoven? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Eindhoven between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 8/10

Non car score:8/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 


Why? Visiting Eindhoven using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Eindhoven ?



Why not? Visiting Eindhoven without a car

Why don't you need a car in Eindhoven ?



Ratings: How does Eindhoven compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Eindhoven? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Eindhoven, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Eindhoven? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Eindhoven (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Eindhoven? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Eindhoven airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Eindhoven car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 6

2021 - 6

Average score - 5

Notes:

 


Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Eindhoven ?

Categories
Netherlands

Groningen

Europe > Netherlands > Groningen

See: Why hire a car in Groningen ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Groningen car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Groningen is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Groningen ? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Groningen between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 7/10

Non car score:10/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Groningen using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Groningen ?


  • Because you can – it is a great myth that the sheer number of bikes in Dutch cities make it impossible or very difficult to drive a car. If you want to pick up a hire car at Groningen airport, it’s very easy to do so.
  • There are no motorway tolls in the Netherlands.
  • If you want to go to places which are easily accessible by car, you shouldn’t have any major problems.
  • Less congestion – generally, Dutch roads will be prone to some slow moving traffic during rush hour just like anywhere else. However, you shouldn’t experience the kind of gridlock that some other cities have at certain times of day.
  • Coast and villages – the rail and bus network will get you between the major towns, but it’s not so good for the smaller places.

Why not? Visiting Groningen without a car

Why don't you need a car in Groningen ?


  • Bicycle heaven – this city is the world’s greatest cycling utopia. It is easy to hire bicycles at numerous different locations, including the main railway station.
  • Bus and train – the Dutch cycling infrastructure network makes it very easy to do a journey of 10 to 15 miles within an hour and barely even having to think about it.
  • Even if you don’t feel like cycling further, there is a good network of bus routes which feeds into Groningen station, and a reasonable network of local rail services.
  • Direct rail connections – the range of flights to Groningen airport is restricted to a very small handful of European destinations. The chances are that you will arrive from either Amsterdam or Schiphol airport by rail. Allow about 2 1/2 hours for this.
  • Museum – the Groningen Museum is quite a notable cultural centre in its own right. It is situated directly across the railway station anyway.

Ratings: How does Groningen compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Groningen ? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Groningen , and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Groningen ? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Groningen (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Groningen ? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Groningen airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Groningen car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 2

2021 - 2

Average score - 2

Notes:

 

Groningen is the world’s cycling capital, and that might make it worthy of a visit for that reason alone, although the difference between Dutch attitudes to cycling and those in just about anywhere else is already clear to see the moment you set foot in the Netherlands.

Yet, just as with any other Dutch city, including Amsterdam or Rotterdam, just because cycling is so easy doesn’t mean that driving is difficult, it just really isn’t worth the expense.

Verdict – no

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Groningen ?

Categories
Netherlands

Maastricht

Europe > Netherlands > Maastricht

See: Why hire a car in Maastricht ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Maastricht car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Maastricht is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Maastricht? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Maastricht between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:10/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Maastricht using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Maastricht ?


Why not? Visiting Maastricht without a car

Why don't you need a car in Maastricht ?


Ratings: How does Maastricht compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Maastricht? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Maastricht, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Maastricht? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Maastricht (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Maastricht? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Maastricht airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Maastricht car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 3

2021 - 2

Average score - 2

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Maastricht ?

 

Categories
Netherlands

Rotterdam

Europe > Netherlands > Rotterdam

See: Why hire a car in Rotterdam ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Dutch cities are well known for being exceptionally friendly to cyclists, and Rotterdam additionally has a very well developed public transport network, but can this also be a good base for getting around by car?

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Rotterdam car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Rotterdam is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Rotterdam ? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Rotterdam between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 10/10

Non car score:10/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Rotterdam using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Rotterdam ?


  1. Because you can – it’s a British myth that cities with lots of bicycles cannot also be car friendly. Rotterdam is an exceptionally car friendly city, with a vast network of motorways and dual carriageways providing easy connection between the airport the city centre, the docks, the suburbs and neighbouring cities. Although a car hire in Rotterdam itself is not especially cheap in the Netherlands, fuel prices are reasonable if you hire a diesel, and parking is usually readily available in most places.=
  2. No direct airport link – if you are previously flown into Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, then Rotterdam The Hague airport is a much smaller affair, with no direct rail link. Although buses are available to both Rotterdam and The Hague, service patterns are nowhere near the vast range of public transport that is available from Schiphol, which is hardly surprisingly given the airport’s compact size. On the other hand, hire cars are readily available outside the airport terminal (as are taxis if you’d prefer that option).
  3. Rotterdam as a base – Rotterdam is a useful base from which to explore the rest of the Netherlands or neighbouring Belgium, and possibly then to continue to Luxembourg. Although a car isn’t really necessary for venturing into the centre Rotterdam (your hotel will probably have some rental bikes for this), it can be very useful for exploring elsewhere, especially if you’re visiting a lot of places which are outside of the main city centres. The Netherlands might have an excellent public transport network, but if you are based in the suburbs and travelling to locations outside city centres, then public transport can still involve a lot of changes.

Why not? Visiting Rotterdam without a car

Why don't you need a car in Rotterdam ?


  1. There is still no need – Rotterdam has been extensively redeveloped since World War II, giving it a feeling that might be slightly faded in places, but ultramodern in others. I’ve made 2 or 3 brief trips to Rotterdam in the last decade, and each time I come back I discover somewhere new and exciting to explore, and next time this will include the impressive new indoor market. The bottom line is that Rotterdam has plenty of attractions which are within easy walking distance from the main central station, and even if you do wonder further off, you can easily return back by tram, underground or mainline train, and even that is assuming you haven’t already hired a bike! So within the city and its immediate suburbs, there’s just no need for a hire car in Rotterdam.
  2. Hire a bike – hiring a bike makes obvious sense in Rotterdam, just as it does in any other Dutch city. Just because Rotterdam has superb public transport and is also very easy to drive around, that doesn’t make it any less pleasurable to hire a bike. The only minor barrier is that you will sooner or later need to cross the Rhine River or one of the other various waterways which criss-cross the city. Be prepared to dive down into a cross river tunnel or make a windswept river crossing – but this is all easy stuff compared to cycling on British roads! Many hotels will be able to provide you with a bicycle on site, but if this is not an option, then there are numerous other places around the city where you can hire a bicycle, including at the main Rotterdam Central Station. However, before hiring a bicycle, it is worth noting a couple of points: firstly, there is no equivalent of the “Boris bikes” system in the Netherlands. You will need to pick up a bike from one location and return it to that point. The only automated cycle hire facilities are the ones run by the Dutch Railways (OV-Fiets), and they require local registration and identification. Even these facilities will charge you €10 for a one-way hire. We also do not advise taking a bicycle on Dutch trains – you will have to pay €10 for a day ticket, and even then you cannot take your bike on peaktime trains. Instead, it is much easier to hire a bike at the local railway station each time you need one.
  3. Efficient public transport – Rotterdam really does have an amazing network of public transport, and this expands into neighbouring Delft and The Hague. More locally within the city of Rotterdam, there is also a broad network of trams and of course buses.
  4. Arriving from Amsterdam – whether you are flying into Schiphol airport or just arriving in Rotterdam by train from Amsterdam, it really is very easy to go almost anywhere you need in the city with no more than one connection via Rotterdam Central Station. A is only really useful if you plan on staying out of the suburbs and travelling to locations which aren’t readily accessible by public transport – as per advice above.

Rotterdam without a car – beyond the city:

  1. Visit Amsterdam – the Dutch capital might get the lion’s share of the tourist trade, and many people choose to base themselves in Rotterdam but make at least one trip to Amsterdam. The 2 cities are less than an hour apart by train, and this journey time can be compacted further by taking the fast NS High Speed link and paying a supplement of €3.50 each way. It’s a natural given that there is just no point in driving to Amsterdam – even though there are several fast road options available, these roads tend to get busy at various times of the day, and parking in Amsterdam, whilst cheap by London standards, is still an unnecessary expense. By contrast, the train takes you straight to Amsterdam Centraal station, which does almost as its name suggests, by taking you right to the edge of the city centre, if not quite the heart of it! Even if you want to visit places around Amsterdam, this is easy to do with local public transport connections, so check online first if there is a more direct route to where you’re planning on going without going through the centre of Amsterdam.
  2. Visit Delft – Delft might be famous for its pottery, and that same said pottery is so often based on the type of historical buildings that can easily be seen around the city. Delft isn’t just next door to Rotterdam, it’s part of the same regional transport system. The city is easy enough to walk around, but to enjoy a bit more of it, you might well prefer to pick up a bicycle when you get there.
  3. Visit Utrecht – a no other classically historic Dutch city, Utrecht has an amazingly attractive heart that can be reached just beyond the main station complex. Don’t be fooled by the ugliness that greets you when you first arrive in Utrecht – all the good stuff is just a 10 minute walk away. The centre of Utrecht itself is particularly compact, and you can easily walk round it without even needing to hire a bicycle. Visitors to Utrecht who are fans of Miffy might also want to include a stop in the Dick Bruna house.

Ratings: How does Rotterdam compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Rotterdam ? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Rotterdam , and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Rotterdam ? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Rotterdam (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Rotterdam ? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Rotterdam airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Rotterdam car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 3

2021 - 6

Average score - 4

Notes:

 

Rotterdam is about as close as it gets to a large city which offers residents and visitors a complete choice between the freedom of the private car, the efficiency of public transport and the personal enjoyment of cycling or walking. In this respect, Rotterdam is a complete all-rounder, and although the redevelopment of the city since World War II has of course been meticulously planned, it is as if Rotterdam still allows users a complete balance of options for determining how they get around.

Is it worth hiring a car in Rotterdam? Given that there is a wide range of flexibility about how to get around, it would be easy to say that the best option is simply to use public transport and then to cycle or walk for more local trips, and anybody visiting Rotterdam who wants to do this will have no problem at all getting around. However, it is equally worth pointing out that getting a hire car in Rotterdam is a perfectly sound choice for people who want to do this, and that if a strict comparison was made between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, given that drivers in Amsterdam face many more restrictions, because of the tight historic city core, it’s perfectly reasonable to lean towards saying that a hire car in Rotterdam is a fair choice.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Rotterdam ?