What sort of vehicle do I need?
Many people wonder whether they can do the Rally in a normal car. The answer is yes. Paris-North Cape is open to any type of car, as long as it has reasonable ground clearance. There is no such thing as an ideal vehicle and people have completed the Rally in all sorts of cars.
To give you an idea, here is a selection of the cars that have taken part over the years: Renault R4, 11, 4L, Trafic, Twingo, Laguna, Fiat Uno, Citroën 2CV, Berlingo, Xsara Picasso, Peugeot, 203, 206, Partner, 306, Volkswagen Polo, Lada Niva, Toyota Hilux, Land Rover Defender 110, Santana, etc.
We advise you to make sure your car has plenty of well-organised storage space. Tips on how to do this are given in the Participant Pack.
Protecting your vehicle
We have already mentioned the importance of ground clearance. Many of the roads in rural Sweden and Finland are unpaved, but they tend to be in good condition and local people drive on them in normal cars without hesitation. Very occasionally, we will come across rougher tracks that may be rutted, bumpy and dotted with potholes and rocks.
For cars with low ground clearance it is essential to fit an aluminium or steel guard plate to protect the engine from rocks or bumps in the road. Ask your dealer or mechanic about how to do this.
Preparing your vehicle
We would recommend fitting the roof of the passenger compartment with a net pocket in which to store light objects such as road maps. In practice, you can never have too many storage pockets and trays. If there are just two of you in the car, you can take out the back seat – you won’t be needing it. Try to avoid putting anything on the roof – doing so makes the car less stable and increases fuel consumption.
Finally, every vehicle must have a CB radio, both to allow teams to chat amongst themselves and, most importantly, for safety reasons. Even with a radio, we encourage you to take a mobile phone. Having a phone can be very useful, if for example, you have an accident. Mobile phone coverage in Scandinavia is among the best in the world.