If it ain't broke, break it
A Mongol Rally car should be 1000cc, ideally less. Because it's not always easy to find a car with an engine that small these days we may overlook any car up to 1.2litres. but seriously no bigger.
There are very few rules on the Mongol Rally, but we are somewhat pernickety when it comes to the matter of vehicles.
You must bring the shittest rolling turd of a car you can find. Use a car you swapped for a bag of crisps. Seek out a steed that most people wouldn’t even use for the weekly shop. Better still, come along on a scooter.
After all, an adventure is only an adventure when things go wrong. Where in the name of Uranus would the fun be in cruising 10,000 miles in a 4x4? If you look at your vehicle and think; "This is the right car for crossing a desert," then you've got it badly wrong.
Wussy wagons are Out. Shitmobiles are In.
Below are the three categories of Rally machines we allow.
4 wheels of semi-wonder
In 2014 we drew a line in the Gobi sand and put two fingers up at ‘10 year rules,’ escalating prices and poncy diagnostic systems. We missed those dusty days in 2004 when six pioneering teams wobbled East in £50 shitboxes. We missed being able to fix cars with gaffer tape and a hammer. It was time to devolve.
Since 2015 the devolution continues. Any four (or three) wheeled machines must be crap and have an engine no bigger than 1 litre of yak's milk. That’s 1000cc in layman’s terms.
And no, that doesn’t mean a small 4x4, or your Dad’s old Mercedes. 1000cc or less. Crap. Fixable with a hammer. Got it?
2 wheels of destiny
Feeling like you're blessed with a giant pair of gonads swinging about in your metaphorical ball bag? Then two wheels is the only choice for you.
We’re not talking BMW GS1200s or Africa Twins though; your mount must be under 125cc. A 50cc scooter would be ideal.
Rally legend Wayne Barrett made it on a Honda Cub and a Monkey bike. Do you have the gumption to follow in his gilded wake?
If you have found a vehicle of significant comedy value with which to tackle the steppe we might consider bending the rules.
Fire engines, stretch limousines, ambulances, hearses and Ford Transits with the words ‘Ice Cream’ painted on the side no longer tickle our comedy G-spots. Don’t even bother asking. It’s a No.
A car made to look like Thunderbird 4? That’ll probably be a yes.
Whatever vehicle you bring, it’s vital to pimp it. We’re not talking snorkels, roof-racks, rally tyres or anything genuinely useful. We’re talking fake fur, plastic unicorns strapped to the roof and glitter paintwork. If your car looks silly it will automatically endear yourself to everyone - from sponsors, to journalists to friendly local mechanics who don’t mind being paid in jelly babies.
For vehicular inspiration have a gander at Mr Joolz ‘ere blog on Ultimate Rally Cars.
On a duller note, no vehicles are allowed to be left or scrapped in Ulan Ude. So once the Rally is over you can choose whether to drive your car home, or get it transported back to Europe.
Can I bring a vehicle over 1.2 litres?
There really is no need to bring a car over 1200cc. Even if there are four of you and you are all over 6 foot, you can still take something like a Suzuki Wagon R. Unless you want to bring something ancient or hilarious in which case drop us a line.
Can I bring an ambulance?
No. Really, no you can't. We used to import ambulances to Mongolia to be donated to the emergency services but they have no need for them anymore, neither do the Russians. Besides, ambulances are boring.
What about motorcycles?
Because doing the Mongol Rally on a motorcycle is proper tough we can be a bit flexible here, while we really want bikes of under 125cc give us a call if you're thinking of something a bit bigger.
What happens to my car after the Rally?
All the vehicles need to be driven or shipped home after the Rally. We're coordinating some super cheap shipping from the finish line to Estonia and you can either pick your car up there or we can recycle it.
How do I get a vehicle if I'm not based in Europe?
The cheapest and easiest place to buy and register a car in Europe is actually the UK. Not only are cars here cheaper than most of Europe, but you can register a car without being a resident.
Your other option is to ship a car from wherever you are to the start line. Remember you will need to ship the car back there at the end of the Rally though.