If you live in the Netherlands and are looking for an affordable way to drive, you could consider a car sharing scheme. This ‘pay-as-you-go’ plan works out cheaper than owning your own vehicle if you are a light user and drive only 2 or 3 days a month.
Note, if you are looking for a standard car rental you can book with Discover Cars here
Let’s take a look at the main car sharing companies present in Amsterdam.
Greenwheels is the major Dutch car sharing company which has been in business since 1995 and is partnered with NS Dutch Railways and Volkswagen.
Greenwheels has around 2,500 cars located at permanent parking spots in 160 towns and cities – this includes locations at 135 Dutch stations. If you walk around Amsterdam you may notice red Greenwheels cars parked at various places all over the city.
Greenwheels has a range of cars for use: small city cars (red Volkswagen Up!), a mid-range estate/station wagon (red Volkswagen Golf 7 variant) and a small van (white Volkswagen Caddy). There are also electric options (such as the white Seat Mii cars).
There are 3 Greenwheels subscription levels:
|€0 per month||€10 per month||€25 per month|
|occasional trips||best for 1-2 trips per month||best for 3 or more trips per month|
|€3.90 per hour||€3.20 per hour||€2.30 per hour|
|€0.39 per km||€0.36 per km||€0.29 per km|
On top of the subscription you pay an hourly rental charge and also a distance charge. You can change subscription plan at any time.
Greenwheels also offers 1 day, 2 day and week tariffs (excluding km rate) for longer rentals. Day rates start from €29.
As long as you are aged 18 or over you can join Greenwheels. You need to upload a copy of a valid (international) driving license and add payment details (credit card or iDEAL via a Dutch bank account). Greenwheels requires an initial (refundable) bond payment of €50.
Greenwheels rentals can be managed online or by using the Greenwheels app – you can reserve any car in the country as long as the vehicle is available for the time you want it.
To open the door of a Greenwheels car that you have reserved, simply swipe up in the app. If you don’t want to use a smartphone you can opt for using a Greenwheels pass or an OV-chip card to hold against the card reader behind the windscreen.
Once in the car, you enter your special pin code in the on-board computer box in the glove compartment. Take the car key out of the box and start the car as normal. Before driving off you should briefly inspect the car for any damage – report anything new in the app.
After you’re done driving return the car to the same parking spot by the specified time, put the key back into the computer and lock the car using your card or app.
The scheme is quite flexible – for Regular and Frequent users, reservations can be cancelled at any time up to the start of the booking. It’s possible to extend the rental period whilst you have the car – subject to availability. If you wish to rent during the popular weekend period then do book in advance.
If you need to fill the tank (which should at least a quarter full at the end of your rental) then fuel is paid for by Greenwheels using a special fuel pass found inside the car. The pin code for the fuel pass will be shown by the computer or app.
Electric vehicles need to have charging cable re-connected to the charging station.
Greenwheels is a reasonable scheme for those who need occasional use of a car when public transport can’t do the job. And you won’t have to worry about running costs, insurance and residential parking fees.
T: +31(0)88 210 0100
MyWheels is a similar car sharing outfit to GreenWheels. It has 2,500 cars in the Netherlands (just over half are electric) and this includes nearly 1,000 vehicles in and around Amsterdam.
MyWheels is part of The Sharing Group and in 2022 it acquired ConnectCar which had a good presence in Amsterdam.
Cars in the fleet are categorised as Small (Skoda CITIGOe/Citroen C1/Fiat 500), Medium (Renault ZOE/Citroen C3/Opel Corsa) or Special (Hyundai Kona/Ford Focus Wagon).
It also has 3 subscription levels and usage prices depend on car type.
|€0 per month||€10 per month||€25 per month|
|€3.25-€4.25 per hour||€2.76-€3.61 per hour||€2.44-€3.19 per hour|
|€0.32-€0.38 per km||€0.27-€0.32 per km||€0.24-€0.28 per km|
Like Greenwheels, car rentals with MyWheels are handled either via an app or by website and OV-chip card. There’s really not a lot of difference between the two, just check what vehicles are available in your local area.
SHARE NOW is a car share scheme which formed from the merger of Car2Go (Daimler AG) and DriveNow (BMW Group). It has a presence in a number of European cities.
SHARE NOW has a fleet of 400 electric cars in Amsterdam – from the 2 person Smart EQ, the small Fiat 500e and Peugeot e-208 (4 people) to the medium sized BMW i3 (5 seats). It has 120,000 regular customers in the city.
SHARE NOW users need an app to locate and rent a vehicle. A personal PIN code is used to unlock the car.
Rental costs start at €0.19 per minute for rentals up to 2 hours. For longer rentals (2 hours to 30 days) you pay a fixed rate plus €0.19 per km driven.
For example, 6 hours costs €33.99 (XS), €37.99 (S), €55.48 (M) plus the €0.19 per km.
1 day costs €49.99 (XS), €59.99 (S), €79.99 (M) plus the €0.19 per km.
SHARE NOW offers €4 driving credit if you connect the car to a charging point if the battery level is under 30%.
Note there is a surcharge to pick-up/drop off a car at Schiphol Airport (€8.99). There is also a smaller surcharge (€2.99) for designated “zone A” drop offs – this includes Amstelveen, Amsterdam Noord, Overhoeks and Zuidoost.
SHARE NOW cars can be parked for free around public parking spots in Amsterdam. You can end your trip anywhere inside the Amsterdam ‘Home Area’ which covers most of the city.
SHARE NOW is open to individuals aged over 18 who have held a valid driver’s license for at least 1 year. Note, small and medium cars require a minimum age of 21.
Also see Driving in Amsterdam/Netherlands
This article was originally published in 2008 and has regularly been updated. Last update 16 January 2023.