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Driving from th UK to Bejiing

Travel Forums General Talk Driving from th UK to Bejiing

1. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 10y

Does anyone know how feasible it would be to simply drive to Bejing from the UK?

Can you just take your car across borders like that or do you need some kind of permit? Obviosuly need insurance in all the countries id be passing through.

Has anyone done anything similiar or know how feasible this might be?

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

Hi there. You need at the start a "carnet de passage". This is a document that you need for most countries to pass the border if you travel with you own vehicle. It's a sort of import payment in case you leave or sell your vehicle in the country you are in. The costs for the "carnet de passage" is refundable after your returned back home obviously together with your vehicle. The "costs" for the carnet are the same as the vehicle. So if you have for instance a car that is from 1996 and the value is 2500 euro then the carnet is 2500 euro. Hope this helps

3. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 10y

cheers Wouteer,

ouch. thats gonna be dear - so id need to pay the value of the car for France, Begium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Mongolia and China?

4. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

Quoting HafJafMark

cheers Wouteer,

ouch. thats gonna be dear - so id need to pay the value of the car for France, Begium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Mongolia and China?

No it is not like that. The carnet is a travel document just like a passport. You can drive everywhere with that document. You should find out if the countries you mentioned require a carnet de passage. In Europe for instance is a carnet de passage not required for private cars. I don't know about Russia, Mongolia and China.

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 10y

In addition:
If you want to drive through Russia, you need a special more expensive visa if you want to travel freely without having booked all the accomodations. I guess it will be several hundreds of dollars for that kind of visa.

By the way, I think this is the best route, because you skip the more difficult countries, like Turkmenistan and less safe countries to drive yourself like Pakistan. And routes which are really not possible like Nepal/Tibet, or crossing the border to China from northwest India.
A route which involves crossing the Kaukasus is not possible either.

But I would advise you to take a route not through Belarus (really a lot of hassle, if not impossible by car), but take a route from crossing into Ukraine and then on to Russia.
Ukraine hasn't got any visa regulations anymore (at least not for dutch people).

6. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 10y

thanks for the info.. ill have a think about the Ukraine...

I had a bad experience there not so long ago with the military.. seems a really corrupt place.

Any idea what sort of state the roads are in in Russia/Mongolia/China? Am I likely to need a 4Wheel Drive?

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

It's actually nearly impossible to do it yourself. The reason being that at the moment, China does not recognise International driving permits, thus it is illegal for non Chinese licence holders to drive in China, excepting within Beijing and Shangahi city limits (even excluding Beijing Airport), and in HK and Macau.

You CAN drive in China on your own with a valid Chinese driving licence, but for this rules vary, and almost all involve you retaking your test, and normally a written test (in Mandarin). I have heard of occassionally people being allowed a translator, or the offering of sufficient "gifts" and finding the right people. But don't bet on it. Also, Foreign residents after (it varies) normally 2years with an IDP can excahnge their licence for a Chinese one directly, but again, only after taking a writen exam.

Essentially, you would need to fly to China, learn Chinese, take tour test in China and get a licence, then fly back to Europe, collect your car and start the drive back to China then...

As such, whilst you CAN import your car to China, you have to pay a chinese person to drive it for you. Officially the rule is there for the safety of foreigners. Also, the indication is that it will change before long (probably before the Olympics), and all main roads/highways etc are getting bilingual signange which is another indication that it will probably change soon and China will sign up and accept IDPs

A couple of years ago friend of mine, Phil, took part in a kind of race, driving from the Uk to Ulan Baator for charity in a cheap nackered old car. He a still has a website at http://www.wrongolia.co.uk/ which describes his route and also allot of the stuf involved/paperwork, and how they did it, which may well be of some help.

Carnet costs for the individual countries vary, but can be prohibitive (Egypt's, for example, are extorsionate). Note that even if legal, driving foreign number plated cars in Russia, especially in the Centre and East of the country brings lots of attention from curious cops etc, and can lead to hassle and significant bribes, even if you haven't - unlike most Russians - actually done anything wrong. Also you need to plan ahead in Russia, because particularly when you get past the Urals, there are still plenty of polics checks and no go areas for foreigners. Most main routes are ok, but some still have check points which can cause you problems, especially if you don't speak Russian. The flipside is it can work in your favour, as some police/checks etc are so intrigued by foreign registered cars that they will let you off lighter than they might locals.

The road across Siberia (yes, road signular) was only supposed to have been completed as a paved road in 2005 (I don't know if it actually was or not) and before that was almost impassable at the best of times, and you will need a serious 4x4, although the points of trouble (i.e. lack of road) are virtually all of East of Ulan Ude and Chita, so you would be unlikely to be going that far into Russia unless you needed to avoid Mongolia.

8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 10y

Quoting HafJafMark

thanks for the info.. ill have a think about the Ukraine...

I had a bad experience there not so long ago with the military.. seems a really corrupt place.

Any idea what sort of state the roads are in in Russia/Mongolia/China? Am I likely to need a 4Wheel Drive?

Maybe it's possible to drive through the baltic states and cross into Russia from Estonia?
Or go to Istanbul and take a boat to Sochi.

9. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 10y

wow China really make things awkward dont they. Probably easier to drive to Pyongyang!

Perhaps I could alter the route to go to vladicistok instead.

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