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Affordable rental bike in the Netherlands

As an expat you never know how long you will stay in the same place. Two of my expat friends, an American couple, moved to Amsterdam a few years ago. They thought they would just stay in the Netherlands for one year. So, they travelled. Everywhere. Each weekend they visited another European capital. The year flew by. Then her contract was extended for another year. They asked me for tips on daytrips from Amsterdam. I suggested visiting the Waterland area, Zaandam, Haarlem, Veluwe and since they loved cycling I told them about the OV fiets, an affordable rental bike in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam alone there over 10 rental locations for the OV fiets.

Amsterdam OV fiets rental locations
Amsterdam OV fiets rental locations

Personal Public Transport Card

In the Netherlands, as a resident, or if you are registered on an address in Belgium, Germany or Luxembourg and tend to make use of Dutch public transport quite often, you could opt for the personal OV-chip card. OV stand for Openbaar Vervoer, public transport.  You can add different subscriptions which give you discounts on your travels with public transport.

OV Fiets: Affordable Rental Bike in the Netherlands

An affordable rental bike you can use all through the Netherlands
An affordable rental bike you can use all through the Netherlands

One of the subscriptions  I would definitely recommend adding is an OV fiets subscription. The subscription costs €0,01 per year. This is to verify your personal and bank account details. You can rent a OV fiets at more than 278 locations. All the rental locations can be found on the website of OV fiets.  As this bike scheme is an initiative of the NS, the Dutch rail company in the past these bikes were just rented out at the station.  The idea was and is that you take the train, from there change to a bike to get to your appointment or work. Now you can find the OV fiets at central points in the city centre, at tourist sites, hotels. An OV fiets is just over 3 Euros per 24 hours, making it an affordable rental bike in the Netherlands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OV fiets pros

  • You can use 1 OV card for 2 OV fietsen, so bring a friend along when you go for a bike ride!
  • Per 24 hours you pay €3,85 per bike ( rate on 01/09/2017). After 72 hours you are charged a €5,00 extra per day.
  • The OV fietsen are easy to use, they are ‘ladies’ bikes with back pedal brakes and don’t have gears. 
  • No cash is needed, payment goes automatically through direct debit. Note that you do need a Dutch bank account. 

 

OV fiets cons

  • There are manned and unmanned rental locations. At stations of bigger cities, such as Amsterdam you usually rent the OV fiets at a manned bike parking facility. Nevertheless, at small stations there are lockers. These work the same as bike sharing schemes in other countries. You swipe your card and the one of the lockers opens. At times there is a technical problem or there are no Of fietsen left at the unmanned station. NS does not yet provide the possibility to check if there is a bike left at the unmanned station or if there is a technical problem at that station. 
  • The OV fiets is an affordable rental bike in the Netherlands, but it needs to be brought back at the same place where you rent it from. Bring it back at another location and you’ll be charged €10,- extra. 
  • Enroute no service is provided when you get a flat tire, or have any other problems with your bike.
  • You can’t reserve an OV fiets, first comes, first served.

For the actual rates of the OV fiets and all the terms & conditions, check OV-fiets.nl. Coming on a bike ride with me? Rent an OV-bike or contact me for other  bike rental options.

 

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