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Europe > Netherlands > Groningen

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

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Groningen ?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.

That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Groningen ?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Groningen car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Groningen with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.

Should I rent a car in Groningen ? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Groningen , but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. 

We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.

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.


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






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



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


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

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