The OV-Fiets is an annual bike rental membership scheme run by the Dutch national train company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). It offers basic bikes for rent at over 300 locations in the Netherlands for just over 4 euros per time.
The OV-Fiets scheme has around 22,000 bikes and around 500,000 regular users. They made 3.1 million rentals in 2020 (down from 5.3 million in 2019). It could be useful for expats/residents or frequent visitors to the Netherlands.
Fiets means bike in Dutch and OV is short for for Openbaar Vervoer (public transport).
Since 2017 the OV-fiets program has had free annual membership (it used to cost €10 per year). This can be incorporated onto a personal OV-chip card.
This scheme is open to both Dutch residents and non-residents with a Dutch bank account who have access to a Dutch address. Every year a €0.01 charge will be made to check the bank account.
Bike rental is just €4.15 per time (2022 rate) which gives you up to 24 hours use of a bike. You can rent up to 2 bikes with 1 pass if you want to cycle with a friend or partner. Payment is taken automatically by direct debit.
You can keep the bike for up to 72 hours (3 x 24hours), though you will be charged the €4.15 fee for each 24 hour period. If you hold the bike longer than 72 hours you will be charged a daily €5 fee. There is a €10 fee if you drop the bike off at a different OV-Fiets location.
You also have an excess own risk if the bike or key is lost/stolen – €20 for losing the key, €70 for loss of bike (with police report) but you still have the key, €350 for loss of both bike and key.
Some rental locations have a 24 hour automatic self-service facility where you use your card to access the bike. Others are manned but you should ask when closing time is or whether you can bring back the bike after hours. For after-hours drop-offs there is usually blue box for leaving your bike key.
No pre-booking is necessary – at the rental location your pass is scanned and you are given a bike key with a number – find the corresponding cycle, adjust the saddle if necessary and away you go.
OV Fiets are simple “ladies style” bikes in a distinctive blue and yellow colour. They have lights, back-pedal brakes and no gears. They are ideally suited for shorter journeys.
A new generation of OV Fiets bike locks are being introduced which are opened using your OV-chip card rather than a key.
This scheme is very convenient when you are visiting another town or city by train and need the use of a bike for a few hours. It is quite popular with people travelling around on business visiting clients – in the Netherlands you have to pay to take your own bike on a train – unless it is a folding bike.
OV-Fiets membership can be applied for online at the ns.nl website.
OV-Fiets Locations in Amsterdam
Here is a listing of all OV-Fiets locations around the city, mainly at the principal stations in Amsterdam:
|Amsterdam Amstel Station||Julianaplein 1C, 1097 DN Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA Station||Hoekenrode 12, 1102 BT Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Centraal IJzijde||De Ruijterkade 20, 1012 AA Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Centraal Oost||Stationsplein 5, 1012 AB Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Centraal West *||Stationsplein 47a, 1012 AB Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Noord||Termini 23, 1022 LB Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Lelyplein *||Cornelis Lelylaan 35, 1062 HD Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Muiderpoort||Oosterspoorplein 1B, 1093 JW Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam RAI||Europaboulevard 4, 1083 AD Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Sloterdijk||Orlyplein 109, 1043 DT Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Zuid Mahlerplein||Gustav Mahlerplein 1, 1082 MS Amsterdam|
|Amsterdam Zuid Zuidplein||Zuidplein 16E, 1077 XV Amsterdam|
*open 24 hours
This article was originally published in 2010 and has been regularly updated. Last update 2 December 2021.