Question: Next year I and family are planning to drive from Karachi to London. We are thinking of going via Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and France. Will we have any problems with visas to drive ourselves and our own vehicle on this route? Any info is appreciated. We are from Pakistan and want to know the Visa, Road Permits, Safety etc. related problems during this trip in detail.
Answer: Travelers to Iran can apply for visa in three ways:
1. Fill in the visa form on Iran visa application . it takes about 3-7 working days to get your reference number and two working days to collect your visa at the embassy by direct referral or one working week by posting the docs to the embassy. You can pay the visa fee in cash in Iran.
2. Fly to Iran and get a 30-day on arrival visa at the airport. This kind of visa is issued for 98 nationalities excluding USA, England, Canada, Colombia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Somalia. If your nationality is among the countries authorized to get it, you can easily collect you visa against offering your passport, a passport-size photo and about10-150€(depends on the nationality) to the staff at the airport. There is no need to fill in any form beforehand.
3. Refer to the Iranian embassy in your country and ask for a visa to be issued for you. Usually this way takes longer time about 30 days.
The Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is a customs document that identifies a driver's motor vehicle. Many people drive to Iran via the borders. This requires a Carnet De Passage unless you wish to pay import tax. A Carnet can be acquired from your local drivers association. An international driver's license with translation into Farsi is highly recommended. Don’t count on chance and unreliable sources.
Petrol stations can be found on the outskirts of all cities and towns and in car-filled Iran, a mechanic is never far away. The often ignored road rules state that you must drive on the right.