Driving a van from London to NZ, yea, i know.

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Driving a van from London to NZ, yea, i know.

1. Posted by montybevo (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'm Monty, a 23 year old Kiwi living in London on a two year visa expiring May 2011. A mate Rupert and I are planning a European 'off the beaten track' van tour this summer, surfing, sightseeing, getting right amongst the culture, gigging (I'm a Musician by trade) etc..and thought, if that all goes well (can't really see how it can't with the above factors involved) why not drive the van home.

I figured we can't be the first crazy buggers to think of that, and surely not the first who would have the nads to actually go through with it. Is there anyone out there who would have any idea as to the feasibility of such an epic journey. Figured it would go something like...London..across to eastern Europe, russia, india, nepal, china, s.e.a, aus, nz. Feasibility in terms of: danger, ability to work / gig as we go (acoustic singer/songwriter, cover musician for several years), ferrys (s.e.a - aus) cost, insurance, registering van in different countries etc.. etc.

Seems like something that would fill a few scrapbooks and memory banks, not to mention life changing, and with a high def. camera, guitars and songwriter on board there might be potential for a documentary and album out of it!

Please let me know, or just confirm the fact that I am a little crazaay,


2. Posted by Fluffpotts (Budding Member 23 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'm afraid that I can offer you any advice on this, but its sounds like an amazing trip...im slightly jealous!!!!!

good luck!!


3. Posted by ms.meliss (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I second the comment about being super jealous. Monty and Rupert, your plan sounds ace....although I can't offer any experience or advice, I do want to wish you well on your journey ahead and certainly I would try to document it if you can.

Coming to the end of your own 2 year UK YMS visa, do you have any opinions on job prospects/best place to live to save etc.? I was planning on heading out on the same visa this September but people have been talking me out of it, saying there's not a lot of work to support living abroad, especially coming up to winter? Do you have any experience with this? My alternative is starting my venture in NZ/AUS with a joint work visa and going at my travels in reverse.


4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5774 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Go for it. Better crazy than boring at home;)

Haven't got any advice on those kinda trips, but have been to some countries you are going to. So any specific advice more?

First thing that popped into my mind though was the logistical stuff. The 'easy' parts are visa and insurance, and permission to drive in a country like China.
The difficult one is actually not really difficult, but more like extremely expensive: transporting the vehicle overseas, which you will need to do when going to Oz and NZ.

Have fun!

5. Posted by xAx (Budding Member 38 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Wow, this sounds amazing, am incredibly jealous!!

I don't know much about that route but would imagine Europe to be a piece of cake, Russia and Asia could get a bit crazy though. Have you thought about what would happen if your van broke down in Russia in the middle of no where, are you going to be able to sort it out yourselves / what if you couldn't get in to Russia/China at all, are you prepared to dump your van and fly home? Don't mean to be the pessimist but I know that these things can take years of planning.

Anyway check out this site, they do all sorts of crazy overlands and recently did London to Sydney via Russia etc.. so may be of some help to you. Good luck and hope it works out http://uktooz.com/diaries_and_videos.asp

6. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I've heard China could be expensive if there's a need for someone to accompany you.

Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India could be a route. Not sure past that though.

These people will help you.

7. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Well as far as a trip is concerned, this could be the mother of all of them.
Realistically when you see this sort of thing on the TV - they've got crew, credit cards galore, make-up artists, endless back up etc. You'll be out there alone.
Yeah - go for it.
I've done a few 'Off the beaten track' trips and most people said I was balmy. Maybe I was, or still am. But I lived to tell the tale and show the pics around.
It would be the areas that have the dodgiest reputation right now that I'd either avoid, or be very careful in when travelling through. There's no need to mention them by name, so as to not upset any natives. We all know where the good and bad routes would be.
I don't think there'd be much need to register the van in different countries en-route, as long as you've the right documents to enter and leave. Your biggest expense is going to be Green Card cover.
For instance, to cross from the UK in a UK registered private vehicle into Serbia, costs around €120 for Green Card cover. It's very difficult to get it included on a UK insurance policy. Then even if it is, the border guards still give you hours of bother at the border. When crossing into (say) India or China, you'd need even more than Green Card cover, because your foreign insurance will not extend into Asian countries. I can envisage it costing many 100's of pounds to get through the countries. One way round it may be to buy insurance in another country that has cover on it for the next one you're entering. Info on this would be well getting hold of.
I know of some people that have driven motorhomes from Europe into Asia, but it was quite awhile ago. My tip is that you do a little homework on it.
Sounds like a brilliant trip all round.

8. Posted by montybevo (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your interest everyone, general consensus seems that this trip wouldnt be one I regret. Got some fantastic info from Will at uktooz, we'll head up to their office in Oxford at some point with some maps and better planning/research and have a proper yarn. Sounds very do-able to drive all the way, if expensive. Just a bit worried about the 'certain areas' in terms of driver quality, where I've heard there's 35,000 road toll each year through hurrendous driving.

The feeling of driving off the ferry in NZ gets me up in the mornings though. Fundraising would have to be a goer, whether or not people will give money to a couple of crazy Kiwi lads driving from Lon to NZ we'll have to wait and see, I'm sure there'd be some media interest in that, if not sponsors from a NZ company like Speights beer who did a big 'brewery tour' mission taking a Speights bar across here to London in a big ferry.

Well, keep the info coming if anyone has some good stuff.

Thanks all!


9. Posted by dree13 (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


Brilliant idea!!
We are doing the same crazy amazing drive as you, leaving London at the end of July in a 30 year old Dodge HiLine truck. We are going to run it on used vegetable oil to try to keep the costs down and are currently trying to get sponsorship from various companies. We are also doing it for charity....

Our route is across Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, ship to Malaysia, SE Asia, then ship from Singapore to Perth, drive across Aus and then onto NZ. It's way too expensive to do the China route which is why we'll have to ship from India but that's actually not that expensive on a container ship.

We have a website with all the details of what we are doing, but as I don't know if it will get deleted from this, I will message you privately.

Go for it and good luck!

10. Posted by Kaz P (Budding Member 83 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hey Guys,

Sounds like a great idea! we are heading off on our round the world trip in August. Can't wait really excited.

My partner and I are mad keen bikers, a bit of me wishes ours was gonna be a road trip like Ewan and Charlie on the long way round. I have just watched it again for about the 4th time. Gawd those guys are inspiring and I cry each time the arrive at New York. Soft I know haha

Good Luck with your trip