Overland Iran Travel

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Visiting Iran[edit]

Visiting Iran is a wonderful experience. People are extremely friendly, welcoming to strangers and hospitable. Iran is safe, but just take normal measures, as you would do in for instance a European country. Do not be careless with your valuable, but on the other hand, if you forget something like a bag, it will most likely still be there after an hour or more....something that would not be possible in many other countries. There are so many beautiful sites to visit in Iran, it is impossible to state them all. Any book on Iran will give you the regular highlights, but visiting the deserts beyond Yazd, the Zagros mountains on the way from Kermanshah to Ahvaz and on to the cooler Yasuj in the mountains is spectacular. The Northern regions bordering the Caspian sea are lush and green while the South with Qeshm Island is warm and humid and far more Arabic than other regions. Try visiting the Zurkhaneh in Yazd, although very busy nowadays, popping in to a primary school in a small village can also be a wonderful experience, and when Iranians invite you to visit their home, take up the invitation and enjoy their food and hospitality. As for dresscode: men are not allowed to wear bermuda's or sleeveless t-shirts and for women a headscarf that covers hair and neck is obligatory, as is a blouse/dress ("rupush/manteau) which covers the hips down to below the buttocks. Also bare arms are not allowed, nor is a revealing cleavage. In the modern cities like Tehran and Shiraz, the dress style is more loose with hair showing than in the more conservative rural areas (although Esfahan is pretty religious as a city as well).

Entering Iran with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: July 2013

Required Paperwork[edit]

(To check if you need a travel Visa for Iran, application instructions and fees see: Iran Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)

Process at border[edit]

Since Feb 2014 Iran has banned entry by private vehicle.

  • Exception #1. Obtaining permission to the local branch of the security service.
  • Exception #2 2. If you are lucky. Further movement with accompanying. Cost 3 days / €900.00 EUR.

More details are at this Expedition Portal discussion thread: Iran has banned entry by car

The Iranian borders are a little different from other borders. You will need to get your passport stamped and after that your car papers stamped. From there you will probably need to get a document allowing you to get fuel, which is a big problem in Iran. Lately I have heard stories that you have to pay for this fuel card, but it might not be official so be careful. After this you are probably required to state your route and they will print a route permission paper from which you are not supposed to deviate. Police on the way will check this document.

Cost of entry[edit]

Except for the possible fuel permit there should be no cost involved.

Permitted length of stay[edit]

State the permitted length of entry for the vehicle

Extension of stay[edit]

Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.

Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.

Driving in Iran[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Iran[edit]

Lonely Planet Iran (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Iran (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Andrew Burke, Virginia Maxwell, Iai...
From $13.99 on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.42 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $13.37 on Amazon

Travel insurance for Iran[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

Yes or No if insurance is mandatory, and what kind is acceptable.

Cost of vehicle insurance[edit]

State the price of insurance and a time period.

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

Describe where insurance can be purchased.

Driving license[edit]

State the kind of driving licenses required. i.e. International Driving Permit.

Driving side of road[edit]

Unknown if RHD vehicles can be driven in Iran

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

State any mandatory items that must be carried in the vehicle. (i.e. safety triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.)


General Road quality[edit]

From the times that I have traveled around Iran I can say that road conditions are really good. One thing to look out for is the speed bumps, which can be difficult to see sometimes. Also you have to get used to backtracking for some distance on the highway in order to turn left, at times this can be quite unclear.

Road signs[edit]

Road signs giving directions are in both Farsi and English.

Toll roads[edit]

List the frequency and approximate price of toll roads.

Bribery in Iran[edit]

I have had a few encounters with Iranian police. Even got a ticket for crossing a solid line. Found them to be correct and suborn. Had to pay my fine at a local bank before he wanted to return my passport. And it was a bank holiday! I have not encountered any bribery attempt but have encountered fake police who tried to rob me of my money.


When you are driving near the Afghan border, e.g. on the highway from Kerman to Bam, police might ask for your papers and can search your car. They use dogs to search your car. Never take pictures of people in uniform and official buildings as for instance the checkpoints. In other areas bus drivers and taxi's must stop at regular checkpoints to show their papers and tachometer. Sometimes they can also ask for your destination and/or you have to show your papers.

Traveling with pets[edit]

List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.

Gas and Diesel price in Iran[edit]

Last updated: March 2011

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Regular $1.44 USD per Gallon (US)[1]
Super (88)  ??
Premium (90)  ??
Ultra (95)  ??
Diesel  ??

Link to external websites with price & quality information, if available.

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

Its extremely hard to find fuel in Iran. Especially in border areas almost impossible. Once you find a petrol station with fuel, there are long lines.
Only the major towns have fuel stations. Usually in town only petrol and just out of town for diesel.

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Discuss if gasoline / diesel considered "clean" or "dirty", and generally high or low quality.
State the sulfur content of diesel, if known.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Discuss driving at night and if it should it be avoided. Mention why.

Vehicle parking[edit]

Discuss if vehicles can be parked on the street, if they are considered "safe" at night. If vehicles can not be parked on the street, list the other options that exist.

Special driving considerations[edit]

A List of special things to be careful of (i.e. Unsigned speed bumps, abnormal road rules, people or animals on the road, etc.).
List any roads that are not recommended to drive for safety or other security reasons.

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Iran[edit]

I know of no campsite in Iran. Many hotels will yet you camp in their parking lot.
Wild camping is not a good idea in Iran although I have done so. Around borders things tend to get dangerous at night due to heavy smuggling. If police see you wild camp, and they are well informed, they tend to send you away. There are a few spots where camping is allowed, usually parks in big towns. The Khomeiny burial site in south Teheran is such an example.

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Regular tapwater is safe to drink, especially in the large cities. Bottled water ("ab e madani") is cheap and can be bought all over the place (1 liter approx ﷼10,000.00 IRR depending on location, i.e. touristic or not). Along the highway at parking places and shops you can buy boiling water (ab e joosh) for very little money.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Iran

by Reise Know-How Verlag
From $7.66 on Amazon
Iran Classic [laminated] (national Geographic Referenc...
Iran Classic [laminated] (national Geographic Referenc...
by National Geographic Maps - Reference
From $15.99 on Amazon
Iran And Teheran 2015: Itm.1330
Iran And Teheran 2015: Itm.1330
by ITMB Publishing LTD
From $7.48 on Amazon
Lonely Planet Lonely Planet Travel Guide Series: Iran(...
Lonely Planet Lonely Planet Travel Guide Series: Iran(...
by AO DA LI YA Lonely.Planet GONG SI
From $18.99 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Iran[edit]

Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Iran[edit]

  • iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.

Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

Add known good mechanics here.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Iran[edit]

Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.

Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'


Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.

  1. Gas Prices Around the World

Helpful External links[edit]

Add any helpful external links here.