Here are the details. I work both in Britain (own a British Limited Company) and outside of Britain. I am not a permanent resident in Britain but live permanently in another EU country. My question is this: Can i register a car in Great Britain (either on my company or on me) and drive it around Europe, since i will be promoting my business?. How many months can i be outside of Britain before i have to get back for MOT inspection and the like? (is 6 months the correct answer?) What sort of papers shall i have on me to prove i am not a permanent resident in UK but work there as well as in other countries of EU?
Usually common EU rules are valid for non-locally registered cars. This means that normally you cannot drive a non-local, but EU registered car for more than 6 months, or until the point you become a resident unless:
- If the car is not yours, the registered owner is not a resident in that country, and he is sitting with you in the car (like a car owned by foreign family member, while he is also with you)
- If the car belongs to (or to be more precise is registered in the name of) an EU based company, and you are working for that company (that company can be yours though).
- If the car is on a lease in an other country (for example it's a car hired from another country)
- You are a student and are only studying in the given country. You are also legally enrolled in an educational establishment.
For you potentially the second case applies, but the car needs to be in your company's name. You can prove this in the EU by having your car's registration papers with you.
Your car also needs to be properly insured and taxed (in the UK), and I think the biggest problem you will face is finding a UK based insurance company that will insure your car for using it abroad for more than 3/6 months in a year (and which won't cost you more than simply buying a foreign car and insuring it locally). Potentially you won't find one for personal car insurance, as they require you to be a resident. As a company you might have better luck - one more reason to register your car to your company's name.
You should have some proof that you are insured with you all the time (the printed out insurance papers should be fine, but you might want to ask your insurer for a green card. It's not necessary inside the EU, but it will make proving that your car is insured much easier if you face any kind of inspection)
If you find a proper insurer, then you only have to come back to the UK for an MOT inspection (which is yearly, unless your car is younger than 5 years old) and getting your tax disc.
Note that EU countries, which are not the ones where you are considered as a resident won't care about your car (this potentially includes the UK as well) unless it's not insured or not taxed in the UK, or you are using it for more than 6 months (in which case you are probably a resident already and not a traveller anymore).