You are young, mad about cars and have a sense of style. So you decide to buy an old Mercedes, BMW or some other polluting icon of the car industry. These old-timers are increasingly becoming a regular feature on Dutch roads. Owners of these polluting gas-guzzlers don’t pay road tax, which is raising debate.
In 2006, Dutch car drivers were importing around 8,000 cars manufactured in 1986 or earlier. By 2010 this number had more than doubled.
Cars like this are perfectly suited for everyday use, as long as they are looked after well. But they release higher levels of harmful emissions than modern cars. Most of the classic cars are imported from Germany, a country that tries to keep the old-timers out of its large cities because of air pollution.
Market for polluting cars
In the Netherlands you don’t pay road tax for cars that are 25 years or older. Because of this “the Netherlands is creating a market for the polluting cars Germany wants to get rid of,” complain local politicians who spend their time implementing environmental measures.
Still, the Lower House doesn’t want to alter the tax dispensation for old-timers. However, in the long term cars will have to be at least 30 years old to be eligible for dispensation.