I have dual citizenship, UK and Australian. I want to return to the UK buy a car and travel Europe for at least 12 months. I have kept my old paper licence. Would it be possible to buy a left hand drive car in the UK for this purpose or am I better to buy a car somewhere in the EU?
If you want to buy and use a car in the EU (including UK) you have to tax it locally and also have proper insurance for it. You will only be able to tax and insure it if you are resident in that particular country.
While it is possible to move to the UK as a resident, getting an address, buy a car, insure it, then drive around in the EU, and sell it at the end, this does have some caveats:
- you need to have a place to live in the UK for the whole period. This is only feasible if you have someone (like relatives) who still live in the UK and you can stay there officially, or if you intend to live in the UK for most of your time, and only occasionally do trips abroad
- most of the insurance companies in the UK will only insure you for short EU trips, so if you intend to stay in mainland Europe for most of your time you might not get proper insurance, or it would be prohibitevly expensive
You could potentially do the same in any other EU country, so if you have one specific in mind where you want to stay the most, you could settle and buy the car there. Note that they (local insurance companies) might not like your paper licence, so you might need to exchange it to a local one once you have settled down.
Depending on your itinary in the EU, especially if you just want to travel around and not really settle anywhere for a longer time it might be easier and maybe also more cost effective to rent a car. As that's more travel related you should try Travel.SE
Not an endorsement (just found this via Google, never used them myself), but could be what your looking for:
Looks like the "Peugeot Open Europe Leasing" may be the thing, looks like you can lease the car for the period, including insurance, roadside assistance, unlimited miles, and ability to take it all over Europe.
One of the key advantages which separates the Peugeot leasing program from traditional long-term car rental alternatives is related to the flexibility the Peugeot Open Europe program affords travelers. Not only will you enjoy the peace of mind which comes with 24-hour roadside assistance and non-deductible, fully comprehensive insurance, but when you rent a car for 15 days or more with Auto Europe you have the freedom to tour as much of Europe as you'd like.
I haven't seen explicitly a year long deal, the search allowed me to specify 355 days.