Amazing Car Rallies Anyone Can Do
Want an adrenaline rush to test yourself to the limits, all while seeing the world? Then, a car rally could be right up your street.
Rallies have been described as the most exciting kind of travel adventure, and luckily for you we’ve found the car rallies that anyone can join.
The goal isn’t necessarily to be first across the line – it’s simply to make it TO the finish line. And you don’t need to be an experienced rally driver – all you need is some mechanical skills, some money, a bit of courage and a lot of patience.
Read on to discover some of the world’s most amazing (and most challenging) car rallies.
What is a Car Rally?
A car rally is a long-distance motorsport where drivers race towards pre-defined checkpoints on a road-based route rather than along a standard racing circuit.
Rallying started off as a competitive motorsport back in 1894 with the launch of the Paris-Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition in France. Car rallies have remained popular with motorsports enthusiasts ever since, but nowadays you can find plenty of rallies that are open to anyone and everyone.
The Weirdest Rally
The Two Ball Banger Rally
- Route: London to Lisbon
- Plan Prep: Buy a Ford Ka, get travel and car insurance as well as breakdown cover, book accommodation or sort camping gear. Obtain visas if you’re not an EU national.
- Cost: Car up to £567 + £250 Entry Fee
- Time: 5 Days
- Miles: 1,850 (2,977 km)
- Difficulty: 2 /5
- Charity: Your chosen charity.
- Car: Ford Ka
After the organisers took part in a number of highly renowned European rallies they decided to create an event that anyone can join – and the Two Ball Banger Rally was born!
In the London to Lisbon Two Ball Banger Rally every driver will be driving a vehicle that the organisers have described as “designed for your grandma” – a Ford Ka.
With the 1,850-mile route through Western Europe taking the Ka drivers from London to Le Mans, through Rochefort and Bordeaux and across the mighty Pyrenees before completing a few circuits of the Braga racetrack in Portugal, what could possibly go wrong?
The Oldest Rally
The Greatest Motoring Adventure
- Route: Peking to Paris
- Planning List: Choose your classic car, insure yourself and your car, sort visas for China, Russia, and Mongolia (if you’re a British citizen), book an appointment for travel vaccines.
- Cost: £40,000 entry fee (incl. hotels and support crew)
- Time: 36 Days
- Miles: 8,500 (13,679 km)
- Difficulty: 3 / 5
- Charity: The Lotus Children’s Centre
- Car: Vintage/Classic produced before 1976. We would recommend a car with high horsepower, good fuel economy and with comfort.
If you want to take part in a true motoring classic then Peking to Paris is the one for you. First held back in 1907, one hundred years later the Endurance Rally Association decided to re-enact this magnificent motoring adventure – and it has become an annual car rally since 2007.
The Peking to Paris challenge truly is unique – not only will you have to compete in a vintage or classic car, but you’ll be travelling for over 13,000 km, against the clock.
As if that wasn’t challenging enough, you will also travel through the steep Chike-Taman pass in the Ongudaysky District of the Altai Republic, Russia, navigating sharp turns and driving on the edge of a cliff at a height of 1,460 metres.
The Longest Rally
- Route: Start – Prague. End – Ulan Ude, Russia. The rest of the route is up to you.
- Planning List: Buy a car, get travel and vehicle insurance, Book an appointment for travel vaccines, Plan your route and accommodation, Sort visas and paperwork, Set up a fundraising page for charity.
- Cost: Raise £1,000 for charity + £695 entry fee.
- Time: 24 – 57 Days
- Miles: 10,000 (16,093 km)
- Difficulty: 4 / 5
- Charity: Cool Earth and a charity of your choice.
- Car: 1.2 Litre or less. We would recommend a car with good fuel economy, decent comfort and reliable.
The Mongol Rally started off in 2004 and has been a massive hit ever since. It’s renowned for being the greatest travel adventure around, because unlike many other rallies the route is completely up to you.
With the starting point and the finish line pre-determined but no planned route in between, you’re sure to get lost at some point during your 10,000 mile journey.
Participants usually take either a northern route via Kiev, a southern route via Istanbul, an Arctic Circle route via Stockholm, or a central route via Baku, but it really is up to each driver exactly how they get to the finish line – that’s what makes this car rally such an amazing adventure.
The Highest Rally
Roof of the World
- Route: Up to your own devices here, you can either go through Bishkek or through China and Tibet, both ending up in Tajikistan.
- Planning List: Buy a car, insure your car and yourself, get travel vaccinations, plan the route and accommodation, raise money for charity, obtain visas.
- Cost: Raise £2,000 for charity + £599 entry fee + £1,000 vehicle deposit (if donating your vehicle).
- Time: 49 Days
- Miles: 9,941 (15,998 km)
- Difficulty: 5 / 5
- Charity: China/Tibet/Nepal communities.
- Car: 4X4 – No older than 12 years. We would recommend a car that’s great off-road with high ground clearance.
Take on a 16,000km sky-high journey to some of the highest roads in the world – aptly named the Roof of the World rally.
This adventure will be sure to test your limits, as you drive 9,941 miles across Europe and Asia, through some of the most untouched regions of the world.
The route is split into 2 parts: participants can either end up in Bishkek unsupported and pick their own route, or they can take a northern route through Russia and Kazakhstan, or a Southern route through Turkey.
The European Rally
- Route: Lille to Barcelona
- Planning List: Buy a car, purchase travel and car insurance as well as breakdown cover, book accommodation or sort camping gear.
- Cost: Car up to £304 + £300 entry fee
- Time: 4 Days
- Miles: 1,500 (2,414 km)
- Difficulty: 2 / 5
- Charity: Your chosen charity.
- Car: We would recommend a car with good fuel economy, decent comfort and reliable.
A great option for the time-conscious rally enthusiast that wants to see as much of the world as possible, the Wacky Rally takes in 7 countries in 4 days, all in a cheap £304 car.
You’ll see some incredible sights along the way, including the Swiss Alps, the beautiful Italian countryside and the French Riviera, before finishing up in bustling Barcelona.
But don’t think you’ll be enjoying an easy ride when you take to the road. The route takes you on the third-highest road pass in Switzerland – the Gran St Bernard Pass. In fact, you’ll travel through a total of six mountain passes during this rally – not exactly for the fainthearted.
The Film Fans’ Rally
- Route: Imola, Italy to Turin, Italy.
- Planning List: Buy a car, sort travel and vehicle insurance.
- Cost: £1,200pp
- Time: 6 Days
- Miles: 292 (470 km)
- Difficulty: 1 / 5
- Charity: Buttle UK
- Car: Mini Cooper (classic or new) or any of the classic cars featured in the 1969 Italian Job film.
To celebrate the movie and to raise money for the children’s charity, Buttle, you’ll be driving a Mini Cooper – or any of the other cars that made an appearance in the iconic 1969 film.
This famous event has now been running for 30 years, and will see drivers start their engines in Imola before setting off along a 300-mile route to Turin, the hometown of The Italian Job.