I want to drive to Europe from Australia by shipping it to Asia and to drive from there onwards.

Can someone tell me the cheapest way for shipping, which ports I should use for shipping and how much can it roughly would cost?

Cars are really expensive in Singapore and Thailand, so I don't want to buy one there to drive back to Europe.

  • 5
    @Flimzy I would say it's relevant as its about travelling from Australia to Europe by car. If the OP was asking about buying a car in Australia to use it in Singapore/Thailand, that would be off-topic. To the OP: it would be better if you would limit yourself to one or two countries (e.g. Singapore and/or Thailand) as Asia is huge. Making the question more specific makes it better answerable and fit for the stackexchange format. Mar 26, 2013 at 8:10
  • 2
    I don't know if this would be practical BUT it would minimise shipping costs. Australia to Bali is "not far". Once in Bali you can island hop by ferry to the mainland and drive up Java to Jakarta and beyond. Now how do we get to Malaysia "just across the way"? :-). I imagine there are ferries. A very slow and highly interesting route. | "One day" [tm] I wan't to buy a small motorcycle in say Jakarta and ride it to Bali. Actual driving time by car is 30 hours, but "quite a few days",I'm told. Slow and very very very careful is in order. NOT during national holidays! Mar 26, 2013 at 14:22
  • 3
    @oiane Great question. There used to be a bus service from London to Australia (not sure if they did the reverse journey, i'm guessing they must have done) called Oz bus, not sure if it is still going. But I did come across this website called UK to OZ Overland, should give you some ideas, as they do expeditions both ways via a number of different routes. I'm sure if you email them they might be able to help uktooz.com
    – Simon
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:57

4 Answers 4


You most likely cannot do so in any reasonable manner through South-East Asia since you would have to eventually cross either through China, Pakistan or Afghanistan. China is impossible (the do not allow foreign license plates), and Pakistan and Afghanistan are not safe enough to do so.

Just from the countries that you can drive through, you might have to go through Russia by shipping the car to Vladivostok and drive from there. This would also not require you to deal with 5-10 different borders, import duties, license plate issues etc.

Generally I would consider the issues, the damage on the car driving tens of thousands of kilometers through unpaved Russian highways and the fuel consumption. If you sold your car in Australia, take a cheap flight to Europe and buy a used car down there and have a job for the month it would take you to drive over, you might come out not much more expensive.

Generally speaking shipping a car from Australia to Asia might be only a marginal price difference to shipping to from Australia to Europe directly. I would call a freight forwarder and inquire prices.

  • That's true. Possibly ship it to West India, the Port of Madras. But I also dunno the price difference compared to directly to Europe.
    – greg121
    Mar 26, 2013 at 8:33
  • 1
    Very interesting videos. vimeo.com/tigerbus/videos
    – greg121
    Mar 26, 2013 at 8:49
  • 1
    to see the most in reasonable safety, you might want to start in Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan (ship or buy a car there), and drive to Europe from there, then sell the car, fly to the US or Canada, buy a car to drive it to Panama, and ship it from there to Australia. I'm not sure about how to arrange things in Tashkent or Astana, both countries have some weird travel restrictions and visa requirements at times. But could be worth investigating.
    – jwenting
    Mar 27, 2013 at 7:29
  • 2
    Is Southern Pakistan really so dangerous? I thought the troubles were mostly in the north.
    – gerrit
    Mar 27, 2013 at 12:40
  • 4
    I think even considering driving from SE Asia to Europe implies either a high level of ignorance or a high sense of adventure.
    – gerrit
    Mar 27, 2013 at 17:35

The northern route through Russia is certainly doable and reasonably safe. If you want to minimise the amount of kilometres your car is transported by boat, then look at having it shipped from Darwin to somewhere in Indonesia. From there, you can travel via Indonesia, Singapore (there are ferries connecting the islands), then up through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, China and into Russia.

Once in Russia, you can of course drive all the way into Europe, but you might also like to consider visiting Mongolia and Kazakhstan along the way.

You'll need to invest a lot of time into arranging the necessary permits to bring your vehicle as well as visas for you and your travelling partners. Be prepared for lots of bureaucracy. There are commercial agencies which specialise in arranging visas and vehicle permits.

You other option is the southern route. It's very difficult getting vehicle permits for Myanmar, so your best bet here is to have the car shipped directly to India. From there you can tour around India then drive through Pakistan, Iran and into Turkey, Bulgaria and onwards as you please. Again, be prepared for lots of bureaucracy getting all your visas and permits, and be aware that the security situation in Pakistan is unstable (you may want to rush it, and stay as far as possible from the Afghani border).


It seems the main road-block here is China, where foreign cars are not allowed.

Last year in Central Asia I met three couples with their cars that would all continue to drive into China. They had all booked a tour in advanced, they would drive together with some other foreign cars on a pre-defined route accompanied by a local guide/car.

I don't know any details, but they may have to use Chinese license plates while in China, but all the necessary paper work is done by the travel agency.

A quick Google search returns companies like china-driving.com that mention different routes including one from the Laos-Chinese border to the Chinese-Kyrgyzstan border.

Of course, this option will not be cheap and there may be a fixed date for the tour and the itinerary is pretty fixed too.

So if you can make it to Laos, you can take this tour through China to Kyrgyzstan, from there it is slightly easier to reach Europe, but still quite adventurous and you have several options. I recommend Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and then into Turkey.


Yes,it is possible to drive from Asia to Europe.We have done it already.From Thailand - Laos - China - Mongolia - Russia and Europe in 60 Days.Thailand Toyota Fortuner is the vehicle we use.

  • 12
    The previous answer claims that going through China would not be possible since foreign license plates are not allowed there. Is your experience different, or did you get Chinese license plates? Mar 12, 2014 at 11:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .