How to Rally on the cheap

Maz & Dan from team 'Doinit' are a couple of savvy chaps. After sharing their tips on how to stop your day job getting in the way of the Rally, they're back to advise how to do the Rally without busting the banks. Here are their tips.

Even doing the Rally on the cheap you can afford the odd luxury - like a beer bath

Even doing the Rally on the cheap you can afford the odd luxury - like a beer bath

You’re probably thinking driving a car from London to Mongolia isn’t cheap and your right it’s not cheap – but it can be done RELATIVELY cheaply. Confused?   Well, it’s a matter of perception. 

When I first came across the Mongol Rally I figured I’d need about £5k budget to even consider this trip – and many teams can spend as much as that but for someone who’s not loaded and happy roughing it. I estimate to have spent a little under £2,000.

The Entry Fee

Grab the early bird deal it – if you're set on going there's no point putting it off.

The Car

We picked up a roadworthy(ish) Vauxhall Corsa for £100 inc MOT  All the graphics for the car where sponsored by a printing company so we didn’t incur any extra costs there. We didn’t spend any money pimping it out either. We als took noo roof rack – it creates drag and makes the car heavier – it uses more petrol

Less spare pairs of pants, more room for hitchhikers

Less spare pairs of pants, more room for hitchhikers

Travel Light

We didn’t really bring much with us, didn’t buy any expensive gadgets before hand, in fact we managed  to give a group of 3 people a lift with all their stuff. 

Food

£40 of cheap Asda smart price noodles, tins and rice will do you a month on the road – you’ll lose weight too and quite possible not have a solid bowl movement for a month but its cheap.

Sleeping

In the car and in tents mostly, which is free. 

£100 car on the Mongol rally finish line. No problem(ish)

£100 car on the Mongol rally finish line. No problem(ish)

Visas

The main reasons we didn’t use the visa services is the additional admin/processing costs. We live in London so are lucky to be within a bus ride of most embassies. Essentially we cut out the middle man and saved £100s. We also have dual nationality which means we get to mix and match which passport we use to get the cheapest visas. There seems to be a tendency of countries no one has heard of charging UK (and US) passport holders the most, just for a piece of paper which will get you in.  

Petrol 

10,000 miles meant we had 25 fuel stops. Cost of filling up in Turkey was about £50 a tank but in Turkmenistan is was only a FIVER!!!   But the reality was, that in most countries petrol worked our easily under £1. If you’re really skint you can pick up Octain 78 – we did this, not to save an extra 5p, but to see if the car could actually run on it – it can.  

Bribes

We didn’t pay any bribes (knowingly). We got stopped by police a number of times who wanted money – we played dumb to the point they just wanted to get rid of us. In Almaty a nasty copper wanted 150 Euros to give my licence back – I told him I have to call the Embassy first and he backed off.

Rough cost for per person:

Car - £50

Dover Crossing - £16

Entry fee - £141 (there was originally 3 of us)

Visas - £350

Car tax - £15

Caspian Sea crossing - £165 (cabin and car included)

Flight to Beijing - £140

Fuel..... £400

Accommodation - £140

Beer Spa - £20 (Best money spent)

Food and Beer - £200

Border payments - £200 (car insurance, tax, etc)

 

For more ideas how to save money on the Mongol Rally check out our Sponsorship guide. With some perseverance and a bit of luck you might be able to do the money for even less than Maz & Dan.

There are still places on the 2015 Mongol Rally. You can save £50 if you sign up by January 6th.