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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.
We entered Iran from Turkey mid September this year(bikes) and had no problems with fuel, every time we stopped we said we had no fuel card and was charged 4000rs, this is what the locals pay when they have used all their fuel card allowance I believe.
Interesting. We crossed from Turkmenistan about September 29th, and they said that this system had been inplace for approx 3 weeks ....this corresponded with the dates of the official looking laminated papers put up on the walls at the border.
I was thinking maybe as the border I used is so much closer to Tehran the system was implemented quicker? Unlikely though, as many more people would enter via Turkish border.
Other thought is that because there was such a shortage of diesel at the time we were in the country, they whacked a huge levy on foreigners seeking to get cheap fuel.
SO for us, with the card (which cost us 1 american dollar per litre put on the card), we could then buy fuel at the pump at the then equivalent of 0.2 us cents a litre....so in effect diesel cost us 1.02 dollars per litre!
Like I said we were happy to just goto countless stations and ask locals to buy it for us on their cards, or if not just pay the 4000RS per litre you talk about Mcgiggle......but the problem for us was that they would not let us leave the border without the card. And buying this card as a foreigner meant paying this hefty tax.
Just checked the entry stamp in my passport, 20 Sept. and we exited 14 days after.The fuel card for motorcycles is limited to 1l per day so we didn't bother. Sort of related, they wouldn't let us out of the border compound without insurance, we ended up paying $30 each from Iran Insurance inside the compound, it was the same price outside in the town as well.
Location: in our 10th year on the road-only half way- now in Australia
we entered Iran from Turkmenistan on 23-Nov-09 on bikes and had no problems at all with fuel. We did not have to purchase a card at the border - it was not even mentioned and we only had one time when not having a fuel card was an issue. When this happened we just went to another petrol station and got fuel there!
We also didn't have to buy any insurance at the border and were not even asked at any time during our travels in Iran (even by the armed guards who escorted us) whether we had insurance or not.
We were told that the limit of I litre per day for motorcycles was only for locals and that we could have as much as we liked as long as we paid the full 'non - local' price. which was between 68 cents to the most expensive being 98 cents per litre.
We crossed Iran 2 months ago and we didn't have to buy a fuel card.
You can just go to a petrol station and tell the people there that you don't have a card and they will use the one from the petrol station.
You currently pay 7000 Rials per Liter, which is about 35 Eurocent - the Iranians get 60 l per months for 4000 Rials, and after that they have to pay also 7000 ...
This topic was confusing me very much, because if Iran really requires this fuel card with paying in advance and an additional 1$-fee for each liter for foreigners, I think my travell plans will likely change...
Thanks for your information!
Are there some other people out there, who can approve Heike's experience...??
Look at the date that this discussion has started and the time that Heike posted his comment, you see a difference of almost three years. If you start doubting recent experience of travelers why, are you using this forum?!
It is recent information and all we want is help each other with the most up to date information so the next traveler will find answer on the questions he/she have.
I passed through about 3 weeks ago, and no fuel cards required. At the gas station, the pump attendent will stick a card in for you, and you will be charged that the higher rate (7000Rial as opposed to the discounted 4000rials).
Crossed in June. With my Mitsubishi Delica (Diesel). A little more challenging with a diesel... But I refused fuel card at Dogubeyazit border and managed to get fuel with locals cards at usually 7000rs (non rationed price)...
But at this border just take care and do not take the help of the "facilitator" there.... They will run you through loops, give you some piece of paper from the customs office (to this day do not know what it is)... Pretend like theyve saved you huge amounts of cash, in an under the table deal, go with you past the border into iran, then demand big bucks from you for their service... It got really ugly for me, when about 4 of them tried to hold me up.... I stayed strong and ended up just driving off mid arguement... Problem solved...
but deny all assistance, however ive heard this is one of the more challenging borders into Iran (as its a common foreigner border)....
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