How can I own a car if I'm not a resident somewhere?

Hi peeps,

Here is me with a serious question again!

I travel the world alot but always go back to my home country for a couple of months each year. In this period I want to own a car. But because I do not live anywhere it is very difficult to own a car. I cant put the car I want on my parents name because of their salary and the Netherlands being very strict on that.

What options do I have to owning a car?
I know things should be possible just like afrojack who had a car with german license plates!!

Any advice on this?

You’ll probably save more money getting rid of that car and getting an Uber everywhere instead.


So there you have it… for the average American who drives 13,476 miles per year, owning a motor vehicle will cost them $12,744 per year to maintain, and the cost of taking UberX everywhere will cost them $18,115 per year.
However, Americans who drive less than 9,481 miles in a year should seriously consider ditching their car, because UberX will be cheaper.
Whether it’s UberX, UberPool, Lyft, LyftLine or Sidecar, the factors that will determine whether these services are actually cheaper really come down to how many miles you drive in a year. If your metrics differ substantially from mine, I encourage you to enter your own variables into the model and come up with your own conclusions.

In case you wonder, 9,481 miles is 15,258 km. So, if you drive less than that, you’re better of getting Uber’s or taxis everywhere (in NL). It’s probably even less than that in NL because these numbers are about US and owning a car in NL is a lot more expensive than there.

If you’re a couple of months in NL, let’s say 3 months, you’ll need to travel 15,258 / 3 months = 169 km per day every day you’re in NL to make it more cost effective than getting a taxi.

Think about that :stuck_out_tongue:

agreed. i don’t know why any nomad would want to own such an anchor unless they’re living out of it.

Just to be clear: with a German number plate, you must have a registered address of residency in Germany. There are no exceptions. Having said that, nobody will probably check if you really live there. You might however get official mail and parking fines delivered there …

Why not just hire a car each year when you are back? This will be cheaper than taxis and maintaining a car.

One of the only reasons that I can think in favour of owning a car as a nomad, is if it has special meaning to you. I maintain a vintage Jaguar which I renovated with my grandfather before he died, which clearly has sentimental value beyond financial practicality.

In that case, you can unlist it and re-list it again, right?

That’s some great info. There are also lots of car sharing options like car2go, relayrides, etc., and I’m sure that trend is only going to continue growing.

Cars aren’t as easy to buy and sell as a couch. In fact they’re a huge pain in the ass. Unfortunately, some conveniences need to be compromised for the luxury of being nomadic.

Thanks for the info sp far! I have myself also found a couple of solutions. Owning a car can be a hobby and it is nice to be able to keep that hobby. Even though it costs money. To be honest I own a audi rs7 at this moment with German export license plates. Renting a car like that would be insane… this is not a ideal situation. I have found out that it is possible to setup a company and put the car in the companies name. That way it is possible to drive. The period I am not in the country I just freeze the insurance and I only pay the cost of my garage rental. I think this is the best solution for me.

Unless there is a cheaper way like for example: registering myself as resident in Germany, then putting the car in my name and then deregister as resident there. Dont know if this would even work…

I’d like to underline the importance of the original question for some of us: I’ve been moto-nomadic, as a lifestyle, since April. My BWM boxer motorcycle hauls all my stuff, but I need to change it to another one, and that’s hard.

I registered it in Denmark last year, before I became nomadic. So as long as I pay the bills, it’s fine. Now I’m selling it, as Danish vehicles are three times the price of most contries. Come spring I want a never model. So I have the same issue: How to register a vehicle without residency (ans really, Uber is not an options, and bikes can’t be rented. It’s not about the cost per mile/km :slight_smile: Denmark won’t allow it, and it’s also stupid because of the 3x tax.

Any country in Europe would do. I’m looking into Sweden and Czech republic, as the rules might be workable. Germany also has no taxes for vehicles but residency is a hassle and can imply income taxation there.

@JonKjaerNielsenyou understand me exactly! It is even like this:
When you are more then a given period ( in Netherlands 8 months ) outside of the country, they will automatically unsubscribe you and you will lose the residency.
Is there a country where you can own a vehicle withouth becoming tax residence?

I have heard that Bulgaria doesnt really count the days but it is all gray and I am not so sure if you want your vehicle registered there…

Also look at Luxemburg setting up a company there will allow you to put a car in the name and not pay tax because the company is not doing business. However this will probably cost alot of domicilation etc not sure if you want all the hussle for a motorcycle. But if you have a company you can offcourse put more vehicles in the name of the company!

But still if there is a option in Germany it would be the best. Just wonder how Afrojack did it hahaha

Setting up af company just for this purpose is a lot of work, and also cost (for professional help etc.).

I run business through the UK, so perhaps I could get a “company bike” on UK plates. Gotta look into that :smile:

Instead of owning a car, you can rent a Snappcar in those two months.

Maybe it makes sense if someone has a really awesome car in a place they enjoy enough to return occasionally.

@dvc that is exactly it. It is not about having a car when I am there because I can borrow a car. It is that I love my car and want to drive it every year when I visit the family for a couple of months!

i personally dont see the point in owning any car, but to each their own. carless 14 years and never plan to change that.

Preferably you wouldn’t need a car. In my case, when I moved to Asia, I cancelled insurance and left my car at a friend’s house, but used a relative’s address for insurance reasons. Upon return, I found my license was suspended because in Florida, you must have insurance if a car is registered, or turn in your license plate each time and pay a small $36 fee each time to get it back.

I’m moving to Portland, Oregon in a few weeks for a homebase where you don’t need a car. However, I own a low mileage paid off Honda, I keep for return trips where I do festivals in the forests. Using Uber or taxi’s isn’t an affordable option to travel to the middle of nowhere. So going forward, I’m turning in my tag, keeping the car at a friends, and paying for insurance each time I need it, then canceling the policy.

In your case, maybe there is some way you can use you’re parents address? I don’t understand why their salary has an impact upon your using their address as a place your car is parked.