Driving to Holland

  • Driving guides
  • The Netherlands
  • 6 min read
Driving to Holland

Driving to the Netherlands with LeShuttle takes less than four hours, faster than any direct ferry service.

Whether you’re a frequent traveller to the Netherlands, or you’re looking to experience the tulips, windmills and clogs on your first trip, travelling with LeShuttle to Holland is the fastest and most convenient way to visit.

Did you know?

  • Our service departs up to four times every hour, 365 days a year
  • Your journey with LeShuttle lasts just 35 minutes
  • There are no baggage restrictions, so you can pack as much as you like

Faster than a ferry to Holland from the UK

Driving and using LeShuttle to get to the Netherlands is not only convenient, but it also allows you to make the most of the country whilst you’re there. The benefit of using our service is especially clear when compared to the direct ferries to Holland and the rest of the country.

How long does the ferry take from England to the Netherlands?

There are three choices of direct ferries from the UK to the Netherlands, each with considerably longer journey times than the trip via LeShuttle:

  • Harwich to Hook of Holland - 6h 45m
  • Hull to Rotterdam - 11h
  • Newcastle to Amsterdam - 15h 45m

As previously mentioned, Le Shuttle’s journey time from Folkestone to Calais is just 35 minutes, and from there it only takes just over 2 hours to reach the Dutch border. That's quicker than driving from Folkestone to Portsmouth! This means it takes less than four hours to get from England to the Netherlands, which is considerably faster than the ferry. This quicker journey time is the main reason why so many people from the UK use LeShuttle to drive to Holland and the rest of the Netherlands.

Also, unlike when flying to the Netherlands, you can pack more than just the essentials because we impose no baggage restrictions.

How long does it take to drive to Holland?

With direct road links to the motorway in both England and France, LeShuttle is a much easier way to drive to the Netherlands when compared to boarding the ferry. So, if you’re planning to drive from London to Holland, or from anywhere else in the UK, LeShuttle is your fastest option.

Driving to Holland from major UK cities

Take a look at our handy table to see the distances to Amsterdam from these British cities:

Cities in the UK DistanceDriving Time
London345 miles/555km7h 23m
Portsmouth396 miles/637km7h 51m
Bristol460 miles/740km8h 50m
Birmingham462 miles/743km9h 4m
Exeter502 miles/808km9h 51m
Leeds539 miles/867km10h 16m
Manchester544 miles/876km10h 31m
Newcastle613 miles/986km11h 37m
Glasgow747 miles/1202km13h 33m
Edinburgh733 miles/1180km13h 52m
Please note: These distance and driving times to Amsterdam are approximate and given as guidance only. Includes crossing times.

What to do in Holland and the rest of the Netherlands

When driving in the Netherlands you’ll undoubtedly come across many vibrant fields full of colourful flowers. In fact, the Netherlands is home to a breathtaking flower route that offers drivers the chance to visit the towns and cities that are most famous for being horticultural hotspots. The flower most often associated with the Dutch is the tulip, and nowhere is the country’s affiliation celebrated more than during Keukenhof’s annual tulip festival. The festival takes place every spring and offers visitors the chance to board a helicopter and observe the colourful fields from the sky.

Of course, one destination certainly worth a visit is the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, found in Noord (North) Holland. The enchanting city is a dream for culture vultures with its rich, tangible history and multiple museums and galleries. Art lovers simply must see the works of art on display in Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art.

Anne Frank House is another historic place of interest. It offers visitors the chance to reflect on the harrowing story of Anne Frank and her family who spent two years hiding in the ‘Secret Annex’. Waiting times can be lengthy, so it’s best to visit early in the morning, or book online in advance.

Another unmissable city in the Netherlands is Rotterdam; known for its bold and modern architecture and for being the country’s second largest city after Amsterdam. Visitors to Rotterdam can enjoy the typically Dutch café culture, as well as the city’s unique waterways that nod to its proud relationship with the seas, and it being home to the largest port in Europe.

For those travelling with kids, the ideal place for some fun and adventure is Efteling, the largest theme park in the Netherlands, which offers rollercoasters, thrilling water rides, exciting shows and overnight accommodation. 

Sampling the local delicacies is an integral element to your Dutch adventure. From deliciously fresh herring to Oliebollen, Erwtensoep and waffles and cheeses to suit any palate, the Dutch have a dish for everyone to enjoy. 

Driving through Holland to reach other countries

If you are on a road trip to Scandinavia, northern Germany or further afield, chances are you will find yourself driving in the Netherlands. From the North Sea dunes to the colourful tulip fields, Holland is an interesting country to drive through. It’s also fairly small, famously flat and the roads are well maintained, so it should not be too difficult to adjust to, especially if you have just spent some time driving in France and through Belgium. You just need to be aware of the rules and regulations for driving in the Netherlands, and to be sure you have all the right documents and equipment. 

Tax-free shopping in the Netherlands

Did you know that UK residents are now eligible to shop tax free in the EU? You can save money on VAT on a wide range of purchases, including cosmetics, technology and food and drink. Calais is the closest and most convenient destination for tax-free shopping, and there are no shortage of places to shop. They include Carrefour Cité Europe and the L’Usine Channel Outlet Store, both close to our Calais terminal.

Travelling to the Netherlands with LeShuttle

Not only is LeShuttle your quickest option to the Netherlands, but it’s also a very simple and efficient service to use. For those who have never travelled with us before, first you book by selecting your time and date of travel, then follow these steps as you approach our Folkestone terminal.

  1. Arriving at our Folkestone terminal
    /Exit the motorway at Junction 11A and drive straight to our check-in booths. Allow yourself between one and two hours before your chosen departure time.
  2. Collecting your Departure Hanger info
    You’ll need your booking reference number and the credit/debit card used at the time of booking. Your hanger will print from the self-service machine or will be handed to you by check-in staff, depending on which booth you choose to use. A letter will be displayed on your hanger, which is the letter given to your timed shuttle.
  3. Our Passenger Terminal
    Once you're through check-in, take some time to relax and visit our Passenger Terminal Building for a spot of shopping, or enjoy some refreshments at one of the cafés. You can board approximately 25 minutes before your departure time. Customer information screens and service announcements will let you know when Le Shuttle is ready, so keep an eye on your shuttle’s hanger letter.
  4. Have your passport ready
    When it's time, drive straight through to the British and French border controls where your passport, vehicle and official documentation will be checked. Please have all passports to hand, removed from wallets and open at the photo page until you have cleared all controls.
  5. Drive on
    Follow the signs to France to find your way to the boarding lanes, where you might have to wait a short while before boarding begins. When your shuttle is ready to board the barrier will open in your lane, please proceed on the marked route towards the platform. Once boarded, you'll be able to stretch your legs and explore the light and air-conditioned LeShuttle carriages or sit back and relax in the comfort of your vehicle.
  6. Drive off
    Once you’ve reached Calais, simply drive off at the end of the crossing and voilà (or ‘alstublieft’, as they say in the Netherlands), your Dutch adventure awaits.

Frequently asked questions

What documents do I need to carry when driving to Holland from the UK?

If you’re driving to Holland from the UK, you must carry the following documents with you in the car:

  • A full, valid UK driving licence
  • Proof of ID (passport)
  • V5 registration document

You must also carry:

  • Motor insurance certificate
  • A warning triangle 
Do I need a GB or UK sticker on my car to drive to Holland?

All vehicles registered in the UK must be marked with the national identifier ‘UK’ when driving anywhere in the Netherlands.

This can be incorporated into your number plate (along with the Union flag) or as a separate sticker.

What should I do if I break down when driving in Holland?

If you break down on the motorway in Holland, you can call 112 from any of the emergency yellow phones which are located approximately every 2km along the motorway.

Dialling 112 in any country in Europe will put you through to an operator who will connect you to the relevant emergency service  in the country you’re visiting.

Should I drive in Amsterdam?
While Amsterdam is an incredible city and definitely well worth visiting, you will not need your car when you’re in the city itself. Its narrow streets combined with the volume of cyclists and public transport means that driving within Amsterdam city centre can be very stressful. Instead, we recommend walking or relying on public transport once you reach Amsterdam.
How much does it cost to drive to Holland from UK?
There are no tolls on Dutch roads, so if you are driving from our Calais terminal you will not need to pay any tolls for your trip into the Netherlands.
Do I need an emissions sticker for Holland?
You do not need an emissions sticker to drive in cities in the Netherlands. Some cities operation low emissions zones, which applies to some types of diesel vehicles.  
Can I drive my diesel car in Holland?
If you have a diesel car, you can drive it in the Netherlands, but you may find you are not able to drive into low emissions zones in some Dutch cities. Check to see if the city you are driving to allows your type of diesel car. 
Is it easy to drive in Holland?
Driving in the Netherlands is not too different to Belgium or France, the countries you are likely to have driven through already. You drive on the right. The speed limit is slightly different in the Netherlands. It is 100 km/h on motorways between 6am and 7pm, and 130 km/h outside these times. In residential areas of towns and cities it is 30 km/h, 50 km/h on urban roads, and 80 km/h on urban roads outside built-up areas. These limits will be clearly signposted on each type of road. 

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