Registering your vehicle with the DVLA
Most countries in Europe have strict vehicle registration criteria that do not allow non-residents to buy and register a car to their name. The UK at least is a little easier in that regard as once you have brought a car all you need for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an address for them to send the appropriate paperwork to. This does not have to be your address. So if you have a relative or friend in the UK ask them if they don’t mind, or make a friend with another Rallier on one of the Facebook pages and ask if they can help in return for a few beers at the launch party.
If this section applies to you and you are looking to purchase a car remotely, please do bare in mind that this process can take some time (even after your purchase the paperwork can take six to eight weeks to process at the DVLA). Teams doing this would be advised to make their vehicle search a number one priority. To be allowed on the road in the UK will also be responsible for ensuring your vehicle has passed a recent MOT inspection (Ministry Of Transport inspections ensure the vehicles road-worthiness and are due every 12 months by law) and that you have paid the emissions tax (known colloquially as ‘road tax’ is also due every 12 months).
It might come as a surprise to you but in order to take a vehicle across an international border you will need to prove you own it. Crossing borders becomes not only implausible, but likely impossible if the vehicle’s papers are in the name of your mum or a sponsor regardless of whether or not you have been insured as a driver on that car. This must be an original document not a photocopy or a scribbled bit of paper from the previous owner. If you are getting a car in the UK you need the full V5 not just the ‘New Keepers Supplement’.
If you really can not get the vehicle registered in your name, either because your sponsors will not sign it over to you, or you have joined the Rally too late to get your car registered into your name, then you will need to get a power of attorney giving one of the team drivers full responsibility of your vehicle such as authority to take the vehicle across a border and responsibility should you get into any legal bother.
You only need your vehicle to be taxed and MOT'd for the duration of your time in the UK, because of the cost and hassle of these it is a very good idea to make sure what you buy has tax and MOT valid until the end of July.
In the UK
This should be fairly easy to acquire unless you are domiciled outside of Europe. One of the few companies who cover imported vehicles as well as non-UK drivers is HIC who offer 'banger rally' insurance. Because this is so specialised depending on vehicle and personal details it is recommended to call to check eligibility and prices (+44 1279 50 60 90). It also may be worth checking your existing insurance policy to see if it offers cover in the UK and Europe
All UK insurance policies covering UK registered vehicles also provide the minimum third party cover in other EU countries as long as you tell the insurer you are going to be driving in those countries. However, you need to be 100% clear and honest with an insurer regarding how you’re using your vehicle, and that means being clear with them that you are taking part in the Mongol Rally if they ask for such information.
Unfortunately here it can get a little tricky. Sure, the Mongol Rally is not a race, and the vehicles must be road legal, so you ought not to be exposed to any more risk than you would on any other road trip through Europe, but being part of an organised event would make many policies void. A void policy can have large financial and legal consequences if you find yourself in an accident.
Finding an insurer who is happy to cover you for the Mongol Rally has been incredibly difficult for some teams in the past. One company that has helped again is Herts Insurance ‘banger rally’ policy.
If your vehicle is not registered in the EU then you will either need to find an insurer from your domicile that will be happy to cover you driving your vehicle in other parts of the world or find a local insurer that can cover your vehicle
Your insurer may be able to give you a ‘green card’ that proves they will provide at least a minimum level of cover for you even once you leave the European Union. Ask your insurer if they can issue you with one.
If they can not then you will be responsible for obtaining local insurance at the border. You have a legal obligation to do so - after all, you wouldn’t expect a temporary visitor to your country to be driving around uninsured would you?
Depending on the border this will either be presented clearly at the point of immigration or you’ll have to hunt around the border for the relevant shack that has the regionally appointed insurance office. Fortunately in most countries outside the EU it is not terribly expensive - usually around $20 per country.
International Driving Permit
These documents are an official translation of your drivers licence which you need in order to drive in other parts of the world. They are intended as a supplement to your license not a replacement. They are very important, but fortunately not terribly expensive.
UK driver's licence holders can get their IDPs from:
If you have a different country's driving licence have a check on the internet to find out where you can get one for you.
This is a bit like a visa for your car. Fortunately you only need it if you are travelling through Iran or Pakistan. Unfortunately these tend to be quite expensive. They are generally sold through the automobile association of the country where your car is from. In the UK it used to be the RAC however as of January 2016 the RAC have closed it's Carnet department and now direct carnet seekers to the FIA. We're trying to get more information from the FIA at the moment on a UK replacement but their current advice is to seek out an issuing organisation from a neighbouring country - http://www.fia.com/international-cpd-network
In 2013, 14 and 15 a couple of teams chose to purchase a CPD on the border, which seemed to be cheaper than buying it in Europe.