Looking to buy a used car for travel around Europe

Having bought a used car in the USA and drove through Central America to Panama I am thinking of doing the same thing by buying a car in Sofia and driving through the Balkans to Italy and maybe beyond.     I would like to know if a visitor with British European passport can buy a car and leave Bulgaria.    I hope to arrive in Sofia on or around first week of May 2020.     Anyone with info on what may be involved or possible would great.

In EU you cannot register a car to your name if not resident.  A work around would be to open a not trading company and register the car to your company.  Then there is the insurance problem. It's all fine till you need to use your insurance.

easiest solution...find  eu companion/s for your travel. They migh bring the car and you pay the fuel.

Thanks.   Interesting that you cannot register a car in Europe if not resident.... Is that all EU countries?   Re the non trading company is that referring to an EU company or any country. 

Re Insurance can you buy short term insurance for length of stay in each country in EU as I was able to do at the border each time through Central America or does the insurance work for all Europe?   I have not been able to get the level of detail anywhere.
Your response is appreciated.

that's for all EU. A not trading company of the EU country offering this kind of registration for a car as in Bulgaria.

Insurance is related to the plates/country of registration. While few countries allow temporary plates with insurance for testing  or moving a vehicle abroad these are not cheap options at all and neither widespread available.

You'll be able to buy an insurance in BG by fractioning the year in 4/3/2 installment and simply the insurance expires at the end of the period you paid for. Along with that you gonna get a green card for international insurance. Thr green card includes EU countries or at request other countries as you like and additional ones are cheap to be included.

while legally you are covered, allowed to drive on the road, with minimal insurance cheap ones cover just basic costs of accidents. All the rest will be paid by you. This includes damages to your vehicle and you and other passengers.

An additional insurance for medical on the seats ( as driver plus passenger...1+1 / 1+3/ 1+4) will give reimbursement to the ammount of the premium you paid for.
In your case you should be sure it covers you abroad as well.

Insurances in Bulgaria can be very cheap in comparison with western europe at first look as far as the legislation do not force high premiums. But when you drive for instance in Italy with that insurance because of the huge gap of the premiums you will have to pay the rest out of your pocket. Actually at the same level of coverage Bulgarian insurances are more expensive because of the roads conditions, old cars, high incidents statistics.

Bulgaria has a large market of used cars, mostly cars not road worthy or too polluting under western europe regulations. So you'll need to be really carefull what you picking up.

You may think to alternatives like renting car long time.

On top of that you need to pay a one time eco tax at registration if your car has been imported, an annual local tax, and vignette for travelling on any road outside of municipality for each country you cross (pretty much all the Balkans) or road fees per km as in Greece or Italy.
to pay these you'll need to cross the border with national currency or a debit card.
Some places offer only debit card and there is not money changers at the custom.

Don't even think about it!    Many titles are forged and you need certain documents to travel from country to country.  I sent a car from the USA to my residence.   I know the car, know the history and the true miles.   If you buy a used car in Bg. be prepared for a headache.  Many are confiscated at the border. 

And for insurance.   Most insurance companies refuse to pay.   My driver was hit head-on by a drunk lady who was apprehended 3 hours later.  It has been over a year and while the vehicle was totaled I have yet to receive payment. 

My mistake was having my real estate agent buy the insurance instead of my attorney.   If you own any property find an insurance company from Germany or England and do not buy insurance in Bg.  My attorney has purchased insurance for my items from the Netherlands and I sent the policies to the US to be reviewed by my attorney.   He reviewed the companies and checked them out --they are reputable.   Not so with the company that my real estate agent bought insurance from.   Beware of people offering to do you favors.  As my attorney told me "Everything in Bulgaria is fake!"   Take your time and investigate. 

As for attorneys, I think I was lucky.   I would think the same due diligence must occur on any attorney you hire.  In the US we have Martindale-Hubbard to verify an attorney.

That was a good response.

which one? your or mine? 😂

btw Bulgarian insurances are terrible. You cannot even find an informative prospect of what you are buying. They act on a complete legislative void. There is just s law forcing you to buy one. But that's it. All insurances are a scam to begin with and yes if you are wishing to be covered expect to pay big money. There are foreign companies operating in Bulgaria and simply the same insurance they offer in their original country here is way more expensive.

Can really people afford to get a 4000 euros insurance year in a country where half of the people dont even earn 4000 euros a year. Probably the number of people cought without insurance should ring a bell.

in the end is just a whole scam. Anything enforced should be offered by government run companies making no profit out of it.

Thanks for the feedback.    I have decided to lease a car in Rome and take the ferry to Tirana and then circle around and back via northern Italy to Rome.

good choice. I know well the north west Greece, Epirous etc you will have nice things to do.

Yes And, beware the scam about auto insurance from the rental company.  Many require a E500 deposit and deductible and then will examine the vehicle for any microscopic normal wear and tear and refuse to refund your deposit.   This is prevalent in Bulgaria and Italy.   Germany and Austria seem to be better. 

Some US credit cards offer insurance protection for car rentals, but I found out the hard way by not reading the fine print.   My CC company refused to cover the "damage" as I also purchased insurance from the auto rental company.   That voided the CC coverage.  Go figure!    Call your CC company prior to renting. 

You may be just as inexpensive by hiring a driver with a car.   At least you won't get lost and probably not scammed.  More importantly, you will avoid several hundred Euros of fines that will track you down.  Most countries have invisible surveillance, poor signage, and high fines for illegal parking, speeding, wrong way, uturns etc.

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