Your car will not last your lifetime. It will either wear out—a good reason to sell before it completely loses value—or it no longer suits the lifestyle you lead as an expat in the Netherlands.
If you have a car in the Netherlands, selling it to make way for a new one is fairly simple. There are a few ways to do it: using an intermediary, such as a dealer or buying site, or a private sale to an individual.
Sell your car to a dealer
Selling a car can be done quickly and easily by bringing it to a local car dealer. Most dealerships that sell used cars in the Netherlands will immediately buy your car, minimum questions asked. Though you’re assured of a quick, guaranteed sale by selling a car to a dealership, you often must settle for a lower price.
Many car dealerships also offer the possibility to exchange your old car for a new one, and will sell the new car to you for a favourable trade-in price.
Sell your car to a buying site
One of the fastest and most financially sound ways to sell a car in the Netherlands is through an RDW-licensed car buying site. There are many services available, including Wijkopenautos.nl or ikwilvanmijnautoaf.nl, that allow you to enter your car information, determine the current value, and sell it quickly at or near value.
These sites vary in services—some may require that the car has already been inspected, and others will not. Some may guarantee a sale; some may not. With Wijkopenautos.nl, for example, sellers may make an appointment for free RDW-approved valuation and afterwards, they instantly receive a bid on the car. If the seller accepts this offer, the car is sold.
One of the primary benefits of a car buying site—besides the speed at which a car can sell—is the lack of required paperwork. The car selling site will arrange all paperwork regarding the vehicle registration transfer, as well as issue you a vrijwaringsbewijs, which proves that the car is no longer under your name.
Sell your car in an auction
Auction sites have begun to grow in popularity, but like marketplace websites such as Marktplaats, you’re not guaranteed a good sale and you are responsible for a proper presentation of the car. Again, you must provide high-quality photographs of your car, write a description and place them on an auction site.
You must then wait for a decent offer to come along, but don’t expect any miracles. Although auctions are a popular way of selling a car in the Netherlands, a good price is not always guaranteed.
Sell your car to an individual
Selling your car privately is one of the most popular ways to sell a vehicle in the Netherlands, and there are plenty of ways to do so: you can sell to friends or family, hang a “for sale” sign in the car or use a website such as Marktplaats or Speurders.
With these websites, you are the only one responsible to advertise your car and prepare it for sale. Ensuring that the car has been thoroughly cleaned, includes its manuals and has been inspected heighten the chances that it will be seen among the thousands of cars for sale online. High-quality photos of the exterior, interior and even under the hood also improve the likelihood of a sale.
Though it’s not required, having the car inspected—according to the required yearly APK (Algemene Periodieke Keuring, or periodic technical inspection)—will build confidence in the buyers. In fact, some buyers will disregard cars that must still go through an APK as it can be a sign of expensive necessary repairs. Doing so, however, may mean that you need to invest in repair work.
Selling privately could be more profitable, but the process takes time and patience—you may get no bids or too many bids that fall through. You must also make yourself available to potential buyers who wish to come look at the car and test drive it.
Once someone has agreed to purchase the car for a negotiated price, it is strongly advised to print a document that serves as a contract, which states that the car (name brand and model) has been sold for the agreed price.
The RDW outlines the vehicle registration process—in which ownership of the car is transferred to the buyer—and states that it must be done by the buyer at a kentekenloket (registration desk), often located at PostNL post office or an RDW office; you, as the seller, may also go, but it is not required. The buyer must be in possession of specific documents in order to transfer the car. The names of these documents were updated in 2014:
- Vehicle registration card (kentekencard)
- Tenaamstellingscode, or “ownership code,” a nine-digit number is used to transfer ownership of the car
Those that have papers issued before 1 January 2014 may provide other documents:
- Tenaamstellingsbewijs, or “proof of ownership,” which shows the car is registered in the owner’s name, including the owner’s name, birthdate and residence, as well as when the date of registration
- Overschrijvingsbewijs, or “proof of transfer,” which is a registration certificate that demonstrates ownership of the car
Note that if you sell your car to someone outside of the Netherlands (e.g. Belgium), you cannot go to a kentekenloket to transfer ownership of the car. Instead, you and the buyer must go to an RDW office to begin proceedings to export the car—which, of course, requires more paperwork.
Guido van der Zee / Expatica