DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR IN MONGOLIA.
Using caps makes us sound like right shouty idiots but in this case it's definitely justified. The British Government has published this article specifically about the Mongol Rally if you want to read what the FCO has to say about leaving your car in Mongolia.
In 2018, The Mongol Rally is partnering with Mongolian Customs to ensure that no car is left behind. We have dedicated partners at each border that will update us when people enter and exit the country. When you enter Mongolia, you will be given a temporary vehicle entry document. When you exit, you will need to give this to the customs official on the border, and they will stamp your vehicle out of the country. This is an Official Customs Declaration that you have not left your vehicle in Mongolia
You will need to hold on to this document and bring it with you to the Finish Line in order to prove that the vehicle has left Mongolia.
DO NOT LOSE THIS DOCUMENT.
If you have no proof we will assume your vehicle has been abandoned. If we've not heard a peep from you two weeks after you enter Mongolia, expect a phone call, tell your mum to expect a phone call because we will be calling.
You cannot sell, give away or abandon your car in Mongolia unless you pay the import taxes (usually somewhere north of $5000 once you add all three of their taxes together) and do all the paperwork in Ulaanbaatar. The customs authorities are allowing the rally to pass through on the understanding that you don't break the law - kinda' fair enough.
If you try and leave without your car they'll not only charge you the import tax but also ask you to go and collect your car from wherever it is and take it to the capital Ulaanbaatar. Which would be rubbish.
Your vehicle details and name of the registered keeper have to be sent to the central government so you can all drive across what is considered the best country on the rally. They record on your passport that you entered the country in a car and check that on the way out. If anyone tries to do a bad it could also mean royally screwing over every team that hasn't yet entered Mongolia. Also rather rubbish.
On the bright side, it is down to this partnership that, under the umbrella of the Mongol Rally, you don't need a Carnet to enter, but most importantly you won't have to pay the $5000+ temporary import deposit.
What if it's a gift?
You will be handing someone a $5000+ turd sandwich. Despite what anyone says to you, the import taxes still apply. Whether this is paid for by you or an innocent herder in the countryside, it will still need paying.
But what if I break down?
You'll still have to get your car out of Mongolia, it doesn't matter how your car broke down, it can't stay in Mongolia, be scrapped or given away without paying the import taxes. There will be some recommended towing companies based in Ulaanbaatar coming soon but this will be your cost.
What happens if I crash?
If you have a crash/ emergency you'll need to contact the authorities and secondly, us. We won't be holding any hands but we can give advice.
Last year, a team had a bad crash in Mongolia and were towed all the way to the Finishline. We expect the same from you in those situations.
What's the worst that can happen?
Customs will stop you at the border trying to leave without your car. You'll then have to go back and get your car, take it to Ulaanbaatar customs and pay the taxes. They reserve the right to stop you leaving the country until it's been dealt with.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR IN MONGOLIA.