After the finish
Once your victory cigar has been puffed and you've wrung the champagne from your tweed suit you’ll want to start thinking about getting home. Here are some possibilities...
The adventure connoisseurs choice: Drag a rusting pile of twisted metal all the way to Mongolia, then turn around and drive it all the way home again throught Russia. It usually works out as the cheapest option as well. The roads are excellent and collective opinion from Rally veterans is it takes around 9 days from Ulan Ude to get back to the UK (the record time to UK is 5 days) and costs around £1000 per team. If you have gargantuan balls though you'll go back through Central Asia. If they are bigger still you could continue driving East and circumnavigate the globe.
You could get one of your mates to fly out to the finish and drive your car home. You miss out on worrying about your car and your friends get a reverse Mongol Rally; albeit in a slightly more beat up car. If you are keen though the most important thing to remember if you’re planning on getting your vehicle back this way is that you need a power of attorney giving your friend permission to drive your vehicle and to take it across international borders. It is a very good idea to get this translated into Russian and get the translation notarised.
Legendary motorcyclists of the rally have a special power - the power of low import taxes. Once you've arrived in Ulan Ude we can help you arrange importing at a really low rate.
Once upon a time the world had no national borders, no import taxes and no customs officers - it was adventure simplicity. Then some phallic headed officials decided that wouldn't do and started creating all sorts of arbitrary restrictions to make sure everyone else was as unhappy as they were.
Importing your car, whether to scrap it, sell it or to donate it, is sadly not possible without paying import tax. In Russia and Mongolia this usually ends up between $4,000 and $6,000. We've spent an awful lot of time looking into this on your behalf and the only way around it as far as we can tell requires the owner of the car to go to Moscow and complete around three weeks of paperwork.
Some locals may offer to buy your car and take responsibility for the import taxes. This sounds lovely but it's actually not cool. The person buying your car almost certainly has no idea of the costs they will be burdened with, you'll basically be passing debt to someone who has much less money than you.
Worry not though. In 2014 The Adventurists fought back against ‘perceived vehicle value tax’ and ‘engine displacement brackets’ with a bold plan to devolve the Mongol Rally. Slash the entry fee and provide a cheap shipping solution to get vehicles back to Europe thus allowing all small shit cars to once again drive to Mongolia. In 2015 we made the shipping even cheaper by finishing in Ulan Ude. We've taken the rally back to it’s routes.
The company providing the service is called Autolink Central Asia LLP, part of the Autolink group. The cost of shipping is unconfirmed at the moment but should be around £865. Guaranteed shipping for teams ends on the 12th of September. Maximum car dimensions are Length - 470cm, Width - 215cm, Height - 190cm and Weight - 1500kg.
Before you ship your car the owner will need to sign a contract with Autolink that functions as a Power of Attorney document in order to allow Autolink to act on behalf of the owner. They'll also need to sign a condition report.
- the original Temporary Import document filled in on entering Russia (this is provided by the border authorities)
- original registration papers of car- original plates on the car (all paperwork and plates can be forwarded to teams who need them for de-registration after transit)
- a copy of their passport
- a copy of visa
- the key to the car
All cars need a minimum of 10 litres in the tank for loading and unloading purposes (there is a petrol station opposite railhead) and to be empty of personal belongings (only car elements may be stored inside car - tyres, roofracks, bumpers etc)
So your car has arrived in Estonia - what now?
Well you have three choices - we can recycle your car, you can pick it up or you can arrange to have it onward shipped to somewhere closer to home.
Autolink can recycle the cars in their entirety – this includes loading, delivery, paperwork and all the other lovely bureaucracy needed to turn a car into scrap. For certain countries like Spain, Germany or Switzerland they'll also manage forward delivery of registration papers to owners who need registration documents, number plates and recycling/scrapping confirmation (in English). UK registered vehicles won't need these documents as you can de-register your vehicle without them by sending a letter to the DVLA notifying them that the car has permanently left the UK.
Pick your vehicle up
Once your car arrives in Paldiski, Estonia, the registered owner can rock up with some ID, pick up the keys and then carry on the adventure. If the car is there for more a while there may be a small storage fee (more information to come).
Autolink can also arrange onward shipping (for an additional fee) to a number of places - the most cost effective of these are Harwich, UK and Bremerhaven, Germany.
Bremerhaven - Estimated Per Car €265 - Per Bike €170
Harwich - Estimated Per Car €440 - Per Bike €170
Estimated costs for trucks to locations in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Poland and Czek are €400-500 per car. Spain and Italy will work out as more expensive.
It doesn't quite end there - you still have a few weeks to raise as much cash for charity as you can. We take a running total around the end of September.
De-registering your vehicle
If you don’t tell your vehicle licensing authority that you have taken the vehicle permanently out of the country then you will be chased for tax when it expires.This makes it your responsibility to tell the appropriate authorities that it has been exported. In the UK the vehicle registration document has a small tear away section that needs to be dated, signed and sent back to the DVLA. If you’re vehicle is not registered in the UK then please check with your local authority.
We start sending deposits back at the beginning of October to teams who did not use the shipping service. We'll ask for some easy to obtain evidence that your car has not been dumped on Putin's front lawn and then hey presto - you get your deposit back.
The Adventure lives on
As an esteemed veteran of the Rally you'll find yourself harking back to random folks of day's gone by on the road. But you'll soon notice that unless they've done the rally they won't understand, which is where the 2016 alumni kicks in. We'll try to gather you together at some point but don't let that stop you organising meet ups with other teams and letting us know about it - we can circulate your whereabouts to fellow veterans.