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