Home Living in the Netherlands Transport How to sell a car in the Netherlands
Last update on June 09, 2021

If you are looking to sell a car in the Netherlands, you will be pleased to know that there are several options available to you.

Your car will not last your lifetime. It either wears out – a good reason to sell before it loses value – or it no longer suits your lifestyle. Luckily, there are some fairly simple ways to sell a car in The Netherlands. You can use an intermediary, such as a dealer or buying site, or make a private sale to an individual.

Sell your car to a dealer

Selling a car is quick and easy at 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; they 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 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 near value.

These sites vary in services; some require an inspection, and others don’t. Some may guarantee a sale; but some may not. With Wijkopenautos.nl, for example, sellers may make an appointment for free RDW-approved valuation; afterwards, they instantly receive a bid on the car. If the seller accepts this offer, the sale closes.

Used cars in the Netherlands

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; this proves that the car is no longer under your name.

Sell your car in an auction

Auction sites have begun to grow in popularity; however, like marketplace websites such as Marktplaats, you are not guaranteed a good sale. You are also 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 possible.

Sell your car to an individual

Selling your car privately is one of the most popular ways to sell a vehicle in the Netherlands. There are plenty of ways to do so, too. 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; this is because 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 agrees to purchase the car, print a document that serves as a contract. This should state 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). This is often located at PostNL post office or an RDW office; you, as the seller, may also go, but it is not necessary. The buyer must be in possession of specific documents in order to transfer the car. These documents are:

  • Vehicle registration card (kentekencard)
  • Tenaamstellingscode, or ownership code

Those that have papers issued before 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, for example 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; this, of course, requires more paperwork.