I hope Im not repeating anything that has not already ben discussed, but i didnt see a post relating to this specific issue.
I crossed from Turkemenistan into Iran in Spetember.
As you know, you have to obtain these fuel cards as fuel is now rationed in Iran and has been for a while.
The problem we encountered was that we were adamantly refused to allow to leave the border WITHOUT buying a fuel card there.
About 3 weeks before we had got there the Iranian goverment issued a new policy saying that foreigners must pay a tax to be able to buy fuel. What did that tax equate to? 1 American dollar per litre!
They wanted the exact route we were going, and worked out the kms that route would be, asked what the average km per litre our truck did, and put the litres we would therefore use onto the card. Worked out at 800 litres.
As a result we had to pay an 800usd tax to get the card. Once paid, we were then entitled to buy diesel at the local price (V cheap). But of course when you take into account the initial tax it aint so cheap!
There were official papers signed and stamped all over the walls that stated this was the case. Basicaly you pay a tax for every litre of fuel will buy.
Now you think why not just do the same old trick of just turning up at the fuel station and getting somebody to fill up your tank with their card? (ie dont buy the card at all?)
Well, again, they REFUSED, absolutely refused to let us leave the border without this card. They were more than happy to let us sit there indefinitely no matter the hours of arguing and debating that went on.
Second problem as of course we blagged to them the shortest route we could get away with, so therefore to pay the littlest tax as possible.
When that 800litres ran out (which it did around Esfahan, still some distance to the Turkish border!)......we had to go to the oil company and plead our case, and beg for more fuel on he card. They were not that happy but gave in, but only gave us another 400 litres which could only be bought at one station on the outskirts of Esfehan.
Yes, we did try to get locals to buy it for us off their cards before going to the oil company in Esfehan, but trucks drink alot of the stuff, and when everybody is rationed to a certan amount, its real difficult to get somebody to buy 350 litres of fuel for you (what our tanks hold).
As a bike rider you guys should still be fine as you dont use anywhere near that amount, but any vehicle which drinks alot of diesel may find a problem in the future.
I dont know if this has all changed since then? Be interesting to know.
It all looked very official these certificates all laminated and put up on the walls.....clearly stating that foreigners must pay this tax. Our hotel in Yazd and Shiraz talked of other foreigners havng said the same.
Anybody have similar experiences recently?