Having a bike in the Netherlands is essential: without a bike, it is hard to get to university or discover new places with your friends. When you first move to the Netherlands, it might be scary and overwhelming: between opening a bank account and settling in your new place, finding a cheap bike can be the last of your concerns.
So if you don’t have time to search around, we know exactly what you need to do to get a nice and cheap bike.
Rent a bike: Easyfiets, Swapfiets
There are a lot of companies that let you rent a bike. The bigger companies are EasyFiets and Swapfiets. Leasing a bike might be the best option for exchange students or students who are here for only one year. You have to pay a deposit and monthly payments, but you get free repairs and get to choose exactly what kind of bike you like: hand brakes, pedal breaks, tall, short, etc.
Use Facebook Groups
There are hundreds of Facebook groups for buying second-hand objects, bikes included. With groups such as "Bikes for sale in Groningen", "Bikes for sale The Hague" etc. Every city has at least one, and you can connect with fellow students who are leaving the country and want to sell their bikes. There is a wide range of prices in these groups, but most are cheap and if you search long enough, you can find your perfect fit.
The Ebay of Holland, Marktplaats, has a range of bikes for sale of every size and colour. The only problem is the language: the website is only in Dutch. Of course, you can use Google Chrome to translate the advert, or ask a Dutch classmate to help you translate everything. After you bid a price you believe is fair, you have the option of messaging the seller. You can write the message in English and go see the bike before you actually buy it. This can be a nice solution if you haven’t been lucky on Facebook!
Go to a shop
Another option is to go to bike shops and see what kind of second hand bikes they sell. You can look at their selection, and try the bike on the spot. This way, you won't have to wait to hear back. Also, you don't have to worry about the bike having problems when you buy it. Sometimes, the shops will give you discounts for repairs if you buy it from them. Nonetheless, this is always an easy fix if you want a bike straight away and don't trust the Internet much.
If nothing else works, you can always ask friends if they know of anyone who is selling a bike. There are always students leaving for a semester abroad, or going back home. Friends of friends can let you know about a cheap bike for sale before it gets put online. If you are lucky enough, you can get a friend’s discount or even for free!
Now that you know all the best ways to find yourself a bike, you are ready to get one and start cycling and discovering all the things Holland has to offer.