We would like to drive from Malaysia to England. Is this possible? We are three Australian 18 years olds who will be on our provisional (P Plates) licence. We would prefer to travel through Laos, China, Mongolia etc. as Pakistan and Iran are too dangerous. Any tips?

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    You might get better answers if you explained why you want to do this and provided some background/context. Eg who is ‘we’? What are your nationalities? How many people in your party hold relevant driving licences? When do you want to travel?
    – Traveller
    Sep 6, 2018 at 6:58
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    You cannot drive from Calais to England. Are you OK with using ferries or trains? Sep 6, 2018 at 8:05
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    Is the goal to drive (so you can pick the car), or to get a car from one location to the other (so you must do with that specific car)? Is the goal to do it as quickly as possibly (which won't be quick at all), or to enjoy a very long road trip?
    – jcaron
    Sep 6, 2018 at 9:09
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    If that isn't for George Mallory's reason, does that even make sense? This is roughly a 15,000 km drive, and not little of it through hostile terrain. Hostile in every sense (road, climate, people with automatic guns). I'd say taking an airplane is a much, much cheaper and better alternative if you only consider what those 15,000 km will cost in fuel, tires, and repairs. Let alone your life.
    – Damon
    Sep 6, 2018 at 11:28
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    @WGroleau Simply driving from Asia to Europe, the question in the title, is relatively easy. For example, drive from the east side of Istanbul to the west side over a bridge. The body of the question asks about driving from Malaysia to England, which would require driving across the English Channel. Sep 6, 2018 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


Hanky Panky summarises it beautifully. In more detail, you're probably going to want to go Thailand-Myanmar-Bangladesh-India-Pakistan-Iran-Turkey-Europe, and you're going to want a reasonably hardy (read: 4WD, etc.) vehicle to do it.

My Mum and Dad did India-UK overland some years ago, and it remains do-able as far as I know. The trickiest bit will be Myanmar, which whilst more liberal than previously, is still pretty tightly controlled.

There are various fora specifically for international overland travellers, but my favourite is the HUBB (disclaimer: I'm a registered user but have no other connection with them) which whilst motorcycle-oriented still has a healthy four-wheel population. Reports there suggest that a government guide is required for travel in Myanmar, and that's going to take some arranging. Visas will be needed, which will be date-linked to your travel plans, thus giving you the chance to enjoy the well-known phenomenon of being nailed to your itinerary because you have to cross your current country and the next border inside 72 hours. A couple of local shakedown tours to check your gear and skills are a must-do. The open/not-open-to-you/closed status of border crossing points changes frequently, sometimes day-to-day, so a great deal of flexibility and patience can be required.

As others have pointed out, you'll need a carnet to indemnify you against swingeing customs duties, and you can't dispose of the car at your destination unless you make suitable arrangements. In short, this is probably do-able, but will need months of research, preparation, and planning. If you're doing it as a life experience, I'd say go for it if you're minded to; if you're doing it as a way to move a car from SE Asia to the UK, just ship it.

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    Man in seat 61 suggests "Overland travel between Burma & India or Burma & China is difficult or impossible, due to civil unrest in border regions and/or areas where travel by foreigners is restricted or prohibited", but obviously there are always ways and means available to deep enough pockets...
    – AakashM
    Sep 6, 2018 at 9:15
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    India-Paksitan will also likely involve a lot of tedious paperwork and can be guaranteed to be a bureaucratic nightmare. We have a question about crossing Indo-Pak border by car but it doesn't have a lot of information.
    – RedBaron
    Sep 6, 2018 at 9:52
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    @RedBaron the impression I get is that every border crossing (outside Europe) is a bureaucratic nightmare involving a lot of tedious paperwork; this is just to be taken as read, really. But I'm grateful for your data to the effect that India-Pakistan is no exception.
    – MadHatter
    Sep 6, 2018 at 9:56
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    Why suggest the south Asian route? In my opinion going through Vietnam, China, Kazakhstan/Mongolia, Russia to Europe is much easier (though probably longer)
    – Sebastian
    Sep 6, 2018 at 11:19
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    @Sebastian I believe it's mighty difficult to cross into China with your own car. I'm pretty sure there was a similar discussion on the same topic not so long ago.
    – jcaron
    Sep 6, 2018 at 15:12

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