Car expertDutch tourists often end up in a big, heavy campsite during their vacation in America. But can you drive it with your Dutch driving license for passenger cars, wonders reader Adri van der Helm. Our car expert Nick Schenck answers.
Ask: ‘I drove a motorhome weighing over 3500kg in the US with my BE driving licence. I rented it from a reputable landlord from the Netherlands. It was legal and I promised I wouldn’t get in trouble. But I could not find any written confirmation of this. I know many Dutch people do this, but I don’t believe in it. What do you know about this?’
Auto editor Niek Schenk responds: ‘Officially, a Dutch B(E) driving license is not valid for driving a vehicle weighing more than 3500 kg. It is actually designed for passenger cars only. And that restriction applies worldwide. In fact, you need to have a major driver’s license (C or C1) in the US for this. But usually landlords have arranged this so well with their insurance companies that they don’t really fuss about it.
In the US you can drive heavy cars with a basic driver’s license such as a Dutch B(E). US police generally don’t seem to have a problem with this. If you accidentally cause an accident, this can have legal consequences. But I don’t know that the Dutch got into trouble or were held accountable in America because of it.
Insurer Ohra Always have own insurance for rental car abroad let me know. It is wise to inquire about this and see the conditions. Also useful to know: If you collide with your motorhome or other rental car in the US, this has no effect on your car insurance in the Netherlands. This insurance covers your own car only. That’s why there are separate insurance policies for each rental car.’
Our car editor Niek Schenk answers reader questions every week. Send your question to [email protected]
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