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During a periodic motor vehicle test (APK) your vehicle is inspected by a garage or by a testing station. The inspector carrying out the APK will check whether the vehicle is roadworthy, environmentally safe and registered correctly.
Where to get an APK
In the Netherlands, the garage or testing station where you have your vehicle tested, must be approved by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW).
When to get an APK
When you need to have your car, commercial vehicle or trailer tested for the first time depends on the following factors:
- the type of vehicle (car, light commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle);
- the date when the vehicle was first allowed to go on public roads;
- the type of fuel (petrol, diesel, LPG, electric).
How often to get an APK
After the initial test, your vehicle needs to be tested annually or every 2 years. Some vehicles do not have get tested periodically. For instance vehicles over 50 years old, such as vintage or classic cars (in Dutch), unless they are used for public transport or for transporting dangerous goods. 6 weeks before the APK of your vehicle expires, RDW will send you a reminder. The RDW website includes a schedule which shows when you need to have your vehicle tested.
After inspection you will always receive an inspection report. You will need the report for instance if you do not agree with the result of the inspection and wish to appeal. You may also need it when driving abroad.
Foreign APK inspection
If your car, trailer or van has a Dutch registration number, outside of the Netherlands you can have them tested at one of the car inspection centres in Belgium and Spain (scroll down).