Shared mobility in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide

From car-sharing to scooters and e-steps — shared mobility in the Netherlands provides you with tons of options to go, drive, or cycle green. 🌱

Moving towards a more sustainable future means rethinking how we use our transport systems.

Maybe you’ve already noticed shared mobility initiatives popping up in and around your favourite Dutch city without really understanding what you’re looking at. Like: 

  • Green mopeds dropped off randomly on the side of the street. 🛵
  • Groups of tourists endangering everyone around them on the same type of uni-coloured bike. 🚲
  • Bright red cars parked near your house. 🚗
  • Or Dutchies that are zooming past you on motorised versions of scooters we all used to play with as kids. 🛴 

Whatever the case, shared mobility is arguably the future of transport.

So, hop on board and find out what version can get you cruising sustainably all throughout the Netherlands. 

What is shared mobility?

In essence, shared mobility describes systems that make certain modes of transport — say, cars, bikes or scooters — available to multiple people. 

Shared mobility comes in many different forms. The Shared-Use Mobility Center includes the following types in its definition:

  • Public transport (busses, trains)
  • Micro-mobility (scooter sharing, bike sharing)
  • Automobile-based modes (car sharing, rides on-demand)
  • Commute-based modes (carpooling)

So, to put it very simply as an example: instead of one person owning and using their own bike, shared mobility makes a publicly- or privately-owned bike accessible to several users. 

Of course, not always at the same time. Meaning there will be no cosying up with four other people on your shared moped. (Unless that’s what you’re looking for 😉.)

Illustration-of-person-joining-Dutch-car-sharing-app
Looking for a shared car in the Netherlands? It’s just an app away! Image: Depositphotos

Types of shared transport in the Netherlands

To give you a good overview of the different modes of shared mobility in and around the Netherlands, we’ve created this comprehensive list. 

From bike-sharing to car-sharing to electric steps (yup, you’ve read correctly) —  here are the options to look out for if you want to travel smart.  

Car-sharing services in the Netherlands

Did you know that most privately-owned cars stand still about 90% of the time? What a waste! 

What’s more, keeping your own car is really quite expensive. Most people pay between €250 to €450 a month for fuel and maintenance — and then only use it a fraction of the time. 😅

These are just two reasons why car-sharing (autodelen) is becoming more and more popular in the Netherlands. Whilst in 2018 only 515,000 people used car-sharing, the numbers grew to 730,000 in 2021. 

But what exactly is car-sharing? 

Well, there are three main ways to share a car:

  • Private: you borrow a car from a friend or neighbour.
  • Cooperative: You share/lease cars with other people.
  • Commerical: You hire a car from a car-sharing company.
Private car-sharing

Even if you’re new to the wonderful world of car-sharing, you might have borrowed your parents’ car before. Or maybe one of your friends has a van that helped you transport a bunch of furniture during your last move. 🚚

That is a private scheme of shared mobility, though an informal one. 

Cooperative car-sharing

More official forms of car-sharing include cooperative schemes, where you get together with your neighbours to create a car-sharing agreement.

That way, a number of households can come together and agree, for instance, on leasing three cars and three parking spaces together.

Commercial car-sharing

Last but not least, there are a number of commercial companies, which allow you to rent a car for an hourly or daily rate.

Some of them require paid subscriptions, whilst others are paid-per-use. 

Below you can find a comprehensive overview of the most popular car-sharing providers in the Netherlands. 

Dutch-man-and-woman-sharing-a-car-on-their-way-to-work
Like your colleagues? Why not set up a car-sharing scheme and drive to work together? Image: Depositphotos
Cooperative
  • SnappCar is a platform that helps you to rent out your car to other users. (Ultimate plus: money 💸💸.) And, of course, you can also rent other people’s cars. SnappCar has operated for ten years now, and over 13,000 Dutch users have registered their cars for sharing. Leuk!
  • BlaBlaCar is a carpooling app that helps to connect you with people who are making a trip from A to B and still have seats in their car. 
  • DEEL is a non-profit based in The Hague that helps you and your neighbours to set up your very own car-sharing agreement. DEEL is supported by The Hague municipality, and you can apply for a six month subsidy if you want to try it out!
Corporate
  • Greenwheels is one of the most popular car-sharing companies in the Netherlands with over 2,600 vehicles and is available across the country. There are different subscriptions available, for frequent or non-frequent users. 
  • MyWheels (formerly Car2Go) is another car-sharing provider with widespread availability throughout the Netherlands. No subscription is necessary, so you only pay a fixed hourly rate. 
  • ShareNow is a subscription-free app that offers car-sharing in eight European countries. With a focus on reducing cars within cities, ShareNow operates from Amsterdam. Free parking and pick-up points are available in the capital city. 
  • SIXTshare offers cars in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague. But there are also drop-off points in Maastricht, Groningen, Almere and Eindhoven. SIXTshare also has various vehicles available, serving every possible need. 
  • Witkar.nl rents out two-person electric vehicles and works with a free-floating system. This means you can drop off and park your Witkar car for free anywhere in the areas where the company operates — which is all over the Netherlands!
  • Amber offers car-sharing for a very specific target group: companies and freelancers. Want to step up your professional game and make your business more sustainable? Amber can help with that!
electric-car-from-Dutch-shared-mobility-company-charging-on-the-side-of-a-canal
A shared-mobility e-car is charging next to a Dutch canal. Image: Depositphotos

Pssst: Did we forget one of your favourite car-sharing companies? 🤫 Tell us in the comments! We’ll make sure to share it with the world.

📲 Step by step: how to sign up for (most) car-sharing apps

  1. Search for and install a car-sharing app of your choice on your phone’s app store. 
  2. Select the ‘sign-up’ option on the app. This will usually require you to register the following information:
    1. The country you are operating from.
    2. Personal information such as your full name, address, date of birth and phone number. 
    3. A password or a pin code. 
  3. Verify your driver’s licence. This can be a little tricky because you will have to take a picture of both the front and back of your document. 📸 Make sure that the shot isn’t blurry, and that no light reflects back on the camera! 
  4. Prove that it’s actually you signing up to the app, and not some weirdo who’s stolen your driver’s license. Sometimes you will have to take a photo or video of yourself. Other times, you will have to send a voice recording. Your app of choice will provide you with detailed guidance on how to proceed!
  5. Confirm how to access cars on the app. On some, you can either register your OV chip card or request a card from the car-sharing service. You will later be able to use it in order to access the car/vehicle you’re renting. With other services, you’ll have an owner or representative who will give you the keys in person. 
  6. Pay any subscription fees, if your chosen service requires it. 
  7. Enable the app to access your location and find a car near you.

And off on that day trip you go! 🚗💨

Shared scooters and mopeds in the Netherlands

You might know this as a scooter, moped, or even just Vespa, but this Dutch word is definitely one of our favourites: bromfiets. 🏍

It literally means ‘vroom-bike’ — and what better way to describe the motorised two-wheelers the Dutch love so much?

photo-of-man-riding-shared-scooter-around-amsterdam
Scooters are only allowed on some Dutch bicycle baths and some Dutch roads, depending on the city. Image: Unsplash

The shared mobility trend has also given rise to several companies that are dedicated to making scooter-sharing possible. 

According to shared-micromobility.com, the scooter-sharing market in the Netherlands is dominated by these three national champions 🏆: 

  • Felyx is the OG amongst scooter-sharing companies in the Netherlands. Since they started in 2017, Felyx has set up shop in 24 Dutch cities and expanded to other European countries. Sign up on the app, get the first fifteen minutes for free and you’re good to zoom past all those bikes on your shared, forest-green e-scooter! 🛵💨 
  • GO Sharing really is an all-rounder when it comes to shared mobility. They offer e-cars, e-bikes, as well as e-scooters. Just register on their app, see if any of their scooters are close by, reserve your ride and you’re good to vroom off. 
  • Check started their Rotterdam-based business in March 2020 (a week before the pandemic hit 👀). Well, they still managed to take their business off the ground and are now operating 3,000+ e-vehicles nationwide. Just like the other two, you have to download the app and get started. Easy-peasy. 

Psst: Already have a car (rijbewijs B) or motorcycle license (rijbewijs A)? You can hop right on a scooter! If not, you’ll need a special divers license (rijbewijs AM). In the Netherlands, this licence can be acquired from the age of 16 onwards.

Several-scooters-by-shared-mobility-service-Felxy-parked-on-side-of-a-street-in-the-netherlands
Felyx e-scooters waiting for you to hop on! Image: Depositphotos 

📲 Step by step: how to sign up for scooter-sharing programs

  1. Search for and install a scooter-sharing app of your choice on your phone’s app store. 
  2. Select the ‘sign-up’ option on the app. This will usually require you to register the following information:
    1. The country you are operating from.
    2. Personal information such as your full name, address, date of birth and phone number. 
    3. A password or a pin code. 
  3. Verify your driver’s licence. Yep, you need one of these! Take a picture of your licence and upload it into the app. 📸
  4. Prove that it’s actually you signing up to the app by following the instructions.
  5. Add a payment option (and don’t forget to take advantage of any free sign-up minutes you can get!)
  6. Enable the app to access your location and find a scooter near you.

Fun fact: are you already ‘vrooming’ or still ‘snorring’? 🤔The Dutch make a distinction between a bromfiets and a snorfiets.

A snorfiets (snoring bicycle, another fun word) can reach a speed of up to 25km/h. A bromfiets, on the other hand, can go up to 45km/h.

Both vehicles are generally understood to be ‘scooters’ or ‘mopeds’. A motorfiets is a motorcycle and a category of its own. (Up there with the big guys.) 

Shared bikes in the Netherlands

This might come as a surprise to you but bike-sharing hasn’t taken off in the Netherlands as much as in other European countries. 

This is logical, of course. Dutchies love their bikes and use them much more than other nations, so many Nederlanders or internationals living in the Netherlands will own a fiets or two of their own. 🚲

However, whether you’re looking for a shared bike on one of your trips to the Netherlands or you’re having visitors in need of a trusty two-wheeler, there are definitely options out there.  

Oh, and what a lovely surprise! 🥰 Some of the best ones are listed right here:

  • OV-fiets is part of the Dutch national transportation system NS and the largest organised bike-sharing system in the Netherlands. Bikes can be conveniently checked out with an OV chip card and there are over 300 bike deposit locations at most central stations and prominent metro stops. 
  • HTM is a Zoetermeer-based service that cooperates with the local transportation network. Do you already have an HTM tram or bus ticket? Then you can rent a bike for just €1! 
  • Urbee is a bike-sharing company that operates all over the Netherlands. Just download the app, find a bike near you and unlock it with your phone. Makkelijk
  • Donkey Republic is another widely available bike-sharing platform in the Netherlands, which operates all over Europe. Their bright orange bikes are hard to miss!
  • Cargoroo might be the most Dutch suggestion on the list. The company offers shared bakfietsen (cargo bikes). Dutchies love their cargo bikes to transport their kids, groceries, furniture, or anything else for that matter. With Cargoroo, you can rent electric bakfietsen in any major Dutch city. How handy!

📲 Step by step: how to sign up for bike-sharing programs in the Netherlands

  1. Search for and install a bike-sharing app on your smartphone if required (for OV-fiets you only need an OV chip card)
  2. Select the ‘sign-up’ option on the app. You may need to enter:
    1. The country you are operating from.
    2. Personal information such as your full name, address, date of birth and phone number. 
    3. A password or a pin code. 
  3. Add a payment option (and don’t forget to take advantage of any sign-up bonuses you can!)
  4. Enable the app to access your location and find a bike near you.

City steps (a Tilburg special!)

Okay, now we’ve made sure how to access shared mobility like cars, scooters and bikes in the Netherlands. But have you heard of shared, electric steps? 🤔

This form of shared mobility is unique to the Dutch city of Tilburg: e-Steps. Since 2019, these nifty, electronic kickers will have you cruising through the city at lightning speed! Or, well, at 25km/h at least. 

You can reserve your e-steps online and either pay the hourly, half-day or whole-day rate. Once charged, these babies can drive for six hours at a time. No more tired feet after a long day of urban exploration. 💪🏻

Benefits of using shared mobility in the Netherlands

Now that you’ve got all the options in the world (or, well, at least the Netherlands) on how to use shared mobility in cheese country, let’s briefly talk about why it’s actually a pretty good idea. 

The most obvious benefit of shared mobility is reducing the number of cars and increasing the number of e-vehicles on the streets. This has the following perks:

  • better air quality,
  • reduced CO2 emmissions,
  • fewer traffic jams (and thus, less stress),
  • and more available parking spaces (a.k.a also less stress). 

Another upside of shared mobility is that it can save you a lot of money. We’ve already said it, but considering most people only use their cars 10% of the time, think about all the maintenance costs that could be saved by using one car between multiple households. 

If you’re in the Netherlands for only a short amount of time, shared mobility schemes make it possible for you to avoid investing permanently into a car, bike or scooter. 

READ MORE | Renting a car in the Netherlands: driving in Amsterdam and beyond

It’s also perfect if you only need a car a few times a year — for big shopping trips, weekends away, road trips to nature — but can bike or use public transport for the rest. 

And, last but not least, most of these sharing initiatives use green energy! What’s not to love? 🥰

When are you gonna hop on your e-scooter and reap the benefits of shared mobility? Tell us in the comments below!

Shared mobility in the Netherlands: frequently asked questions

What are the best e-bike rental apps in the Netherlands?

Visiting the Netherlands and wanting to cruise through the streets like a local? These three apps will have you hop on a sustainable e-bike in no time: GO Sharing, Donkey Republic and Urbee

What are the best car-sharing apps in the Netherlands?

There is a huge Dutch car-sharing market and you have the luxury of picking between a dozen different providers. Some of the most popular companies and apps providing cars in the Netherlands are GreenWheels, SnappCar, ShareNow, and MyWheels

How can I rent an e-scooter in the Netherlands?

Three main companies are dominating the Dutch e-scooter market, which leaves you with more than enough to choose from! The three top options are Felyx, GO Sharing, and Check. Download their respective apps in the app store and you’re good to go!

How can I rent an e-car in Amsterdam?

While there are many companies that provide e-cars nationwide in the Netherlands, there are some specifically catering to the Amsterdam area. Check out Fetch, ConnectCar, and SIXT share for reliable, Amsterdam-based services.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2022, and was fully updated in August 2023 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara moved to the Netherlands at fifteen and she is here to stay! After all, there is so much to love about it, except maybe the bread (as every German will tell you). Next to finishing up her bachelor's degree in European politics (dry), Cara loves to do yoga, swim, and cook delicious veggie food.

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What do you think?

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi, thanks for the overview of all mobility services in the Netherlands.
    Just a tip, I would elaborate with some practicals information that could help novel users choose the right providers for their needs, such as the different systems of car sharing adopted by the various providers (free-floating vs. fixed spot / neighbourhood): to my knowledge, only Sixt offer a pure free-floating fleet of cars within a pre-defined business zone like the city of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc.
    Also, some car sharing providers enforce a minimum rental period of 1 hour (MyWheels) while other 15′ minutes (Greenwheels) and others have no restrictions on minimum rental period (Sixt).
    Cheers

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