In the UK
If you don't live in Europe, and you don't have friends or friends of family who do you might have to 'buy blind'. You’ve got a few options for this, either you can scour the internet and hope for the best, fly out to Europe before the Rally to buy a car, or ask a Rally veteran if they can help you.
If you’re like most of the rest of us then chances are flying to the UK to buy a car in a separate trip many months in advance of the Rally launch probably isn’t a possibility, and if Gumtree and Ebay are coming up empty then you might start getting a little anxious. Since 2011 a couple of teams each year have had some very nice things to say about the chaps at two separate companies offering a plethora of services if you're trying to buy a car remotely, including vehicle inspections, collections, modifications and storage.
Charters. Call - +44 (0)7800 855887
DK Mobile Servicing. Call - +44 (0)7527 866859
This does not constitute a recommendation for either company from The Adventurists, but former Mongol Rally teams may well recommend their services.
Bear in mind that in 2018 the Rally launches from the Czech Republic, so you may want to hunt for cars nearer to there.
Shipping a non EU vehicle to the launch
For those of you in Canada or the US some of you might be keen to choose your car in person and spend a bit of time getting to know it. If you do plan to do this you'll need to wet your feet in the murky waters of international shipping.
International freight of large items is a complicated and often expensive process, there are often hidden charges like storage at the shipping yard and harbour taxes. It is also exceedingly difficult to find a car in the US that is below 1500cc (let alone) 1000cc, we can only imagine this is because of all those films of cool Americans in big cars. Sadly you ain’t Steve McQueen so you’re going to have to think hard before we let you bring your big old American car on the Rally; though we do like the wood panelled ones, they remind us of our bar here in the UK. Once you've finished the Rally you would not be able to send it to Europe with the other Rally cars without the risk of having to pay import tax.
You have the ability to choose your vehicle and spend time before the Rally growing accustomed to it, once you finish the Rally you are closer to home than you are Europe so you can get your vehicle back to the New World without too much heartache. If you decide you want to ship a vehicle from that big old country of yours let us know, we can probably find some Rally veterans who know a whole bunch they wouldn’t mind sharing with you.