So you’re working in the Netherlands and decided to drive a car. Here are some tips from our team to keep your car safe and in tip-top shape!
Maintaining tire pressure
We’ve spoken about this in our blog about reducing your fuel costs in the Netherlands, but can we really say it enough? Keeping your tires at high enough pressure can reduce the amount of fuel you use! It’s also better for your car in general. Most gas stations in the Netherlands have a dedicated area where you can bring your tires up to pressure. These machines are often quite “smart”: enter on the machine which tire pressure you want, hook up your tire, start the pressure, and voilà! Make sure that all tires are the same pressure, and make sure you know the ideal pressure for your car and tires. You can often find that information with a quick Google search.
Cleaning your car
For cleaning the inside of your car, using a vacuum cleaner is probably your best solution. It can easily clean a sandy floor and seats. You may find special extension pieces to help you detail your car as well: you’ll be able to get dust and dirt out of even the smallest nooks and crannies, even in your dashboard modules. To keep your car free from trash, consider buying a car trash can! You can hang one at the back of your seat or get one for your cupholder(s) for easy access.
When it comes to washing the outside of your car, it’s prohibited to wash it on the street in some municipalities (gemeenten). Those measures reduce the number of chemicals that end up in the environment unintentionally. If it’s forbidden to wash your car on the street in your municipality, your best option is probably to go to an automatic car wash or ‘wash box’ nearby. Those places maintain strict environmental regulations and reuse a lot of their water. If your municipality does allow you to wash your car on the street, make sure that you use at least biodegradable cleaning products. If you’re not sure about the rules in your municipality, it’s probably safer not to wash your car on the street. It’s also better for the environment!
Finding a car wash
A car wash is called “wasstraat” or “autowasstraat” in Dutch. It literally translates to ‘car washing street’. You’ll often drive your car onto a conveyor belt, after which you are automatically transported past several cleaning systems. Car washes catch and reuse most of their water. They also filter out chemicals that could damage the environment if they weren’t controlled. To find a car wash near you, a Google Maps search will probably do the trick. If you’re working with EU-People and driving a company car, you can always contact our friendly administration team about finding a car wash near your house or work.
The prices of car washes can differ quite a lot. Your cheapest option is probably to go to a wash box and clean your car yourself. Automatic car washes are often also quite affordable – you can pick the package that best suits your needs and budget. Hand car washes tend to be more detailed, but also more expensive. Scout around in your area and find your favorite option! If you’re working with EU-People and driving a company car, you can always contact our friendly administration team about finding an affordable car wash near your house or work.
If your car is more than a few years old, it probably needs to go through a periodical technical inspection: PTI or APK-keuring. An APK-keuring ensures that your car is safe to be used on the road. Under most circumstances, it is illegal to drive a car without APK-keuring. You can easily check when your car needs its next APK-keuring, by filling out your number plate in the RDW kentekencheck. In general, diesel cars need to get an APK-keuring more often than gasoline cars. If you’re driving an EU-People car, we will notify you in case your car needs to go through APK-keuring.
Do you have car maintenance tips for other drivers in the Netherlands? Share them in the comments below!