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liverpool to shanghai by car

Travel Forums General Talk liverpool to shanghai by car

1. Posted by johnT2 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 15 Jan '08 13:55

we are currently planning a huge trip from liverpool england to shanghai china. We plan on driving most of the way, through:

France, Itay, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Rep., Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia (inner and outer), and finally China!!!

Have you done anything similar and if so woudl you be kind enough to part with any pearls of wisdom or general info that we may need to know. For example; costs and availablilty of fuel diesel,(mainly in more eastern countries russia mongolia etc) driving regulations across different countries, a realistic average speed and achievable hours per day on the road, and anything else you might think of , oh yeah things to do and see, places to go in any of these countries...... would love to hear your stories...... thanks j h

2. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member, 82 posts) 15 Jan '08 17:14

u fancy dropping me off in india, if your going that way???
pick me up near edge lane
well i dont know a lot about driving all that way, ive never drove any great distances but i have drove in lithuania, spain and india
and if youve never drove on left hand roads before it can be a bit daunting, but i would assume your going to be staying on major roads which will ease the burden a lot
its the small roads and junctions where left handies are strange
the one thing i do know about is fuel economy, diesel and cars in general, ive been a mechanic since i was 15
as u know, diesels are generally cheaper to run, more miles per gallon, i would suggest you carry a big jerry can of diesel spare for each car, even 2 or 3, in fact, you could be safe keeping them empty until you get past europe where the opportunities to buy fuel may be harder to find
diesel is common worldwide, especially eastern countries where they have more oil, but fuel stations may be sparse
anyone who does a long trip like that would use diesel rather than petrol so your going the right way there
the tv series long way round shows ewan mcgregor riding a bike over them ways, he had major problems around the russian mongolian border, looking for the right roads was a pain in the butt, and finding good roads round there was even harder, if i was going to do that trip i would definately stay towards major cities during that part, if youve not seen the series i suggest having a look at it, you will know basically what your looking at once uve sen that
fuel economy
cars drive for longer when you drive them steady, engines last for longer when you drive them steady, 50mph is a good guide for your average speed, although on some motorways you can easily exceed the 100mph mark (law permitting) but on some of the less travelled roads you will probably be lucky to average 20mph
make sure you take a real mechanic with you, not a car repairer, i mean an engineer perferably with some experience in agricultural or military machinery, that way if your car suffers bad, you have a better chance of keeping going
a 4wd car can drive comfortably with only 3 wheels as long as the weight is placed in the right position
some of them roads around mongolia are trecherous and only a good 4wd with a good driver will get thru
obviously you can avoid them routes and add mileage to your journey if you think your car may not be upto the test
most diesel 4wd cars will get around 25-45mpg on a straight run but if your carrying a lot of weight this figure can drop a bit to maybe 20 or 15 on a very rough trail so your fuel cost is gonna be something to consider, its worth you searching the net and getting the national fuel prices for each country before you leave, that way you can plan to fill up in the chepest places
remember to plan for extra fuel stops incase your car doesn get the mpg u think it should get
the mmore people and cars that go, the more chance u have of finishing it without any major problems
you can quite easily disappear in the desert or the plains of mongolia if you run out of fuel and your on your own, but if you have extra cars, they can go ahead for fuel or spares
which brings me to probably the last thing on my mind
spares
dont just assume your car will make it because its reliable
its easy to drive over a rock in a 4wd and crack the sump and lose all your oil, you need 2 oil changes on board and a spare sump, and also a few oil filters
diesels are the most reliable of cars, they can run where others die, they can go underwater as long as the air intake is above the water level so its worth fitting an inexpensive snorkel to your induction system, remember if your going thru water, keep the engine at fast idle or the water can travel up your exhaust and into the cylinders which will kill the engine and possibly do some real damage
spare bulbs, tyres, and the obvious consumables
use low tyre pressures on soft surfaces
wiper blades can wear out at an alarming rate in certain conditions, carry spares
more spares, and more spares
carry a large water container incase ur stranded
most euro countries drive on the left, you will get used to it if your not already accustomed to it
all countries have reasonable driving laws, excessive speed will get you stopped and fined in most countries which adds to the cost of course
the main thing is that u make it to the end, the time it takes is irrelevant
unless of course your carrying a pregnant woman on board
lots of them eastern countries require visas to enter
search for the visa requirements on the net and prepare beforehand, most countries can do a visa on entry but not all
make sure at least one car has a winch
i cant think of anything else at the moment but ive got loads of this stuff in my grey matter, some of it may need searching for a bit more lol
the best advice i can give is drive safely and slowly, when in doubt, drop the speed
stay safe mate
id love to do something like this, if i had the time id definately consider it
its definately an improvement from the usual liverpool life
cya soon
carl

3. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member, 82 posts) 15 Jan '08 17:16

after reading your post again, the hours per day on the road is only limited by the ammount of drivers in each car
shift pattern works for a 24 hour rally but faitgue is the worst killer on the roads
carl

4. Posted by Philymop (Full Member, 110 posts) 17 Jan '08 14:42

hey, sorry i actually have nothing constructive to say...however hope you have an amazing trip, this sounds like possibley THE most awesome thing I have ever heard! also, like carl said, if you fancy taking an extra passenger you can pick me up on the way too! have fun, sure it will be marvellous! ;)

5. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member, 82 posts) 17 Jan '08 14:58

Quoting Philymop

hey, sorry i actually have nothing constructive to say...however hope you have an amazing trip, this sounds like possibley THE most awesome thing I have ever heard! also, like carl said, if you fancy taking an extra passenger you can pick me up on the way too! have fun, sure it will be marvellous! ;)

agreed
cracking trip

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru, 2457 posts) 3 Feb '08 06:31

The first think that springs to mind is that outside of central Beijing, Shanghai and HK/Macau, it is still illegal for foreigners to drive in China. Actually, that's not quite true. You can, but you need to take a Chinese driving test and get a local licence, all of which has to be done in Mandarin, and they still turn down most applicants. Officially, this is for your own safety... Having said that, there are signs that this will change fairly soon, and most road signs etc are now going up in English as well, so it may soon open up properly. But you will need to check. If that is the case, you options include paying a local guide to drive your car (there are officially approved people who help foreigners in such cases, though you are responsible for paying them and all their costs as well)

You will need a Carnet, the regulations of which vary wildly from country to country. Fuel is available, and costs vary wildly, but will all be cheaper than you are used to in the UK. Regulations vary wildly, as will journey speeds but more relevance is road surfaces (or, in places, existence of roads at all) and local driving standards, which can be, um, variable....

Be aware that weather will play a huge role, so if you hit parts of Russia/Kazakhstan or China at the wrong time, roads may be washed out or snowed over, or shut for the season - you need to plan to be passing places at the right time. Border crossings and check points are also highly unpredictable and can range from absolutely hassle free and very fast, to huge amounts of hassle and unlimited delays.

Take a look at http://www.wrongolia.co.uk/, one of whom (Phil) is a mate of mine and an occasional poster here on TP. They drove from London to Mongolia (he continued to China, but by train) for charity a couple of years back. You will get some idea as to the issues faced and solutions/hints etc.

Lots of other people have also done similar trips, with varying degrees of success, and a few minutes on google should find a ream of web sites of people who have done similar trips who you can send queries to and read their experiences.

Good luck!