Cost of Living in the Netherlands

Expenses of living in the Netherlands
Image source: Shutterstock

Are you planning to move to the Netherlands? If the answer is yes, then this post is perfect for you. Read on if you would like to learn more about the country and cost of living there.

Let’s starts with some basic details about the Netherlands:

Capital City: Amsterdam
Population: 17.23 million
Official language: Dutch
Commonly spoken languages: Frisian, English, Papiamento
Currency: Euro (€)Exchange rate to pound: €1.00 is equal to £0.89

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a very well-developed Western European country. The benefits of moving there are endless. According to Statista, the country has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe – 3.5% as of April, 2021, high GDP and GDP per capita (among the highest in Europe) and overall great living conditions. The minimum wage in the Netherlands is changing twice a year – in January and July (every six months). You can check out the current wage rates here. The demand for highly-skilled workers in the country is really big and foreign workers are always welcome. The most in-demand jobs are in the engineering, IT, healthcare, retail, customer service and marketing sectors. Note that there is even a 30% tax reduction rule applying for those employed in some of these industries.

The Netherlands is known to be diverse and multicultural, with over 24% of its citizens being of foreign or minority background. Unsurprisingly, Holland has been ranked 5th in the 2021 World Happiness Report.

Bank accounts

To make your life easier and avoid the hassle of having to manage your finances from an overseas bank account, it is best to open a bank account in the Netherlands. There are a variety of national, international and local banks to choose from in the country. We recommend that you carefully research the banks available in the city you’ve chosen as your destination and your area of residence, the conditions they offer, etc., in order to make the best decision for your needs and requirements. To open a bank account in the Netherlands you should have the following:

  • Proof of address
  • Valid identification and a residence permit if applicable
  • BSN (citizen service number), which you are going to receive when you register with the tax office

Like in many other countries, you have the option to use online and mobile banking services, as well.

Accommodation cost in the Netherlands

According to Statista, the average house rent price in the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2021 was €16.34/sq.m. Understandably, the prices in Amsterdam are quite higher – roughly €21.8/sq.m., while the prices in the Hague and Rotterdam are below the national average.

According to Numbeo, the price per square metre to buy an apartment in the city centre is €4,200.66/sq.m., while outside of the city centre, it is around €3,195.08/sq.m. The prices may vary depending on the city and area you are looking to settle in, with a higher cost in bigger cities/areas than the cost in smaller cities/areas.

While overall high, prices to rent and buy a property in the Netherlands are still lower than the average prices in the United Kingdom.

Cost of utility bills

Utility bills in the Netherlands may be either included in the rental price or come on top. According to Numbeo, the basic bills, such as electricity, gas, and water are around €162.93. In terms of communication-related costs, one minute of prepaid mobile tariff local with no Discounts or Plans is €0.14. The average cost for internet access is €39.57 per month.

There are a few energy providers in the Netherlands:

  • Essent
  • Engie
  • Pure Energie
  • Greenchoice
  • Vattenfall
  • Oxxio

There are 10 water supply companies in the country and one of them will supply your water, depending on the area you live in:

  • Waternet
  • Dunea
  • Evides
  • Vitens
  • Oasen
  • WBG
  • WMD
  • WML
  • PWN
  • Brabant Water

Transportation expenses

Now, let’s have a look at the average transportation costs in Holland. According to Numbeo:

  • One way bus ticket: €3.00
  • Monthly pass: €89.90
  • Taxi (per km): €2.19
  • Gasoline: €1.65

Holland offers one of the best and most reliable public transportation systems in Europe. You can easily and comfortably get around in the country by train, bus, tram, metro and ferry. The Dutch train network is very well developed and you can use it for longer distances between cities and towns. In larger cities, there are the tram and metro systems to help you navigate around, while in smaller cities you can rely on busses. The northern islands have smooth ferry access.

Interestingly, the Netherlands is thought to have the best cycling infrastructure in the world. Naturally, a lot of people choose this type of transport like in the UK. And in case you decide to take a taxi, this is also fairly easy to do in the Netherlands. You can choose between local companies and the popular Uber. You should note, however, that Uber is mostly available in the largest Dutch cities.

Interestingly, the Netherlands is thought to have the best cycling infrastructure in the world. Naturally, a lot of people choose this type of transport like in the UK. And in case you decide to take a taxi, this is also fairly easy to do in the Netherlands. You can choose between local companies and the popular Uber. You should note, however, that Uber is mostly available in the largest Dutch cities.

Lastly, if you have decided on buying a car, this, in Holland, does not come cheap. Also, note that gasoline is a bit more expensive than the UK, according to data from Numbeo. According to the same source, buying a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline or a similar quality commuter vehicle in Amsterdam will cost up to £22,049.38, whereas buying the same vehicle in London will cost up to £23,017.50. On a more positive note, there are no toll roads or vignettes you need to buy. The roads are extremely well maintained and will make your travels absolutely painless. If you already own a car and would like to drive it in the Netherlands, as well, check out the UK government’s advice for further details.

Cost of necessities

In the next few paragraphs, we are going to review the cost of some basic necessities – food, clothes and personal care products.

Product Unit Price in € Price in £
Eggs 12 €1.85 £1.60
Bread 500g €1.95 £1.68
Milk 1 litre €0.99 £0.86
Domestic Beer 0.5 litre €1.19 £1.03
Chicken Fillets 1kg €7.79 £6.73
Tomatoes 1kg €2.10 £1.81
Potatoes 1kg €1.12 £0.97
Apples 1kg €2.45 £2.12
Bananas 1kg €1.20 £1.04

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant will cost you around €15.00. A more expensive restaurant will charge you about €60.00 for a three-course meal. A regular cappuccino costs around €2.88 and for the days you decide to go for the fast food option – you will pay an average price of €8.00.

Attire and personal care

Obviously, the prices in these categories may vary, based on your specific requirements. Clothing prices vary based on the brand, material, occasion, etc. The same applies to personal care products – the price range is quite big.

Item Price in € Price in £
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) €83.04 £71.75
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, or similar) €35.54 £30.71
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) €86.66 £74.88
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes €113.44 £98.02

Product/Service Price in € Price in £
Deodorant, roll-on €3.98 £3.44
Hair Shampoo €4.24 £3.66
Tube of toothpaste €1.98 £1.71
Standard men’s haircut €26 £22.47
Standard women’s haircut €16.50 £14.26

Conclusion

The Netherlands has a lot to offer. Beautiful nature, a very well-developed economy, high quality standard of living and so much more. The country is one of the preferred choices for foreign immigrants and unsurprisingly so. There are a lot of opportunities for employment and let’s not forget Holland is in top positions in many positive rankings, such as the World Happiness Report 2021. The cost of living there is generally high, however, this is combined with good job remunerations and high local purchasing power.

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