About Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
Address: Aankomstpassage 10 Arrival Hall, West 3, 'plaza', Arrival Hall, West 3, 'plaza', Amsterdam, 1118 Ax
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is roughly 6 miles (9 km) southwest of central Amsterdam, in Haarlemmermeer, North Holland. There’s a modest collection of major airport car rental companies — including Avis, Sixt, Enterprise, and Europcar —situated in Schiphol Plaza off of the airport’s main arrival hall.
It’s true that driving in the medieval city center of Amsterdam and the Canal District is exceptionally discouraged at nearly all times and for almost any reason. Indeed, with an indisputably comprehensive public transit system, there’s no reason to enter the ring road sector with a car except to drop off a passenger. The walkable city center is far more accessible by parking on the outer edge of the canal system at Centraal Station and entering on foot, or hopping on the Park and Ride.
Regardless, there are plenty of other good motives to rent a car in Amsterdam. For one thing, you may be traveling to outlying areas or somewhere else in the western Netherlands — The Hague (45 km/ 27 mi) for instance, is less than an hour drive in ideal traffic conditions from (AMS). Likewise, Rotterdam (58 km /36 mi) can be done in 60 minutes or less. Perhaps you’re planning to explore the less developed northeastern region. Either way, your car hire = freedom of choice.
Getting around the Dutch network of roads is no more or less of a challenge than any other developed nation. The standard rules apply: buckle up, don’t drink and drive, and watch your speed. Unless otherwise indicated, the maximum motorway speed is 130 km/h. Speed cameras are ubiquitous throughout Amsterdam and major cities in the Netherlands, and although you may not get pulled over and given a citation for speeding, they’ll find you — one way or another, you can count on that.
Choosing your car
It’s said that (AMS) airport car rental companies operate at reduced capacity, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at available options. Like driving Dutch roads, choosing your car for a trip to Amsterdam is no more difficult than any other city. You’ve got minicars from Kia, Fiat, and Peugeot; compact cars from Ford, Seat, and Toyota; and economy sedans from Opel, BMW and Citroen. Meanwhile, for more space without sacrificing efficiency, choose from Audi intermediate 4-door vehicles, and Nissan standard sedans. The Renault 7-9 seater minivan is perfect for groups and larger families. And if your heart is set on an all-purpose vehicle, a Volvo SUV will take you anywhere you want to go.
Tips and advice
Right of way at roundabouts isn’t consistent in Amsterdam, so you’ll have to rely on signs at each individual junction.
There are a limited (and shrinking) number of free parking spots outside the ring road. Word on the street is Noord may be the last bastion of parking on the cheap.
Mopeds and bicycles have right of way on the roads. And of course, pedestrians.
Dimmed headlights are required after dark.
Any kind of radar detecting device is totally illegal in the Netherlands.
Your car horn is only for use in hazardous situations. Flash your headlights if it’s necessary to communicate with other drivers.