Sahara Rally 2021 (October)

14th – 31st October 2021

Join the Adventure Rally drive of a lifetime – in Any Car you like!


Tired of lockdown and itching to get away for some real adventure? Then get yourself an old banger and join us for the Sahara Banger Rally, set to be one of 2021’s most exciting automotive adventures!
Fully supported by expedition specialists Max Adventure, you’ll get to drive the original Dakar Rally route through the desert of Morocco, where you’ll tackling hundreds of miles of sand dunes, wadis and rocky tracks.

Just a 25% deposit secures your place on this ultimate driving adventure, so sign up now by downloading the booking form below




Each team of up to 3 drivers must find and prepare their own car, from a £500 to a £50,000 Range Rover. If you’re not sure what to do, Driven to Extremes can advise on how to source and prepare a suitable vehicle, contact Mac for more details.


The Sahara Banger Rally is an adventurous expedition that requires endurance, stamina and resilience when the going gets tough. Whilst battling through arduous terrain in such a challenging and extreme environment, common issues include punctured tyres, holed engine sumps, damaged exhausts and endless vehicle recoveries from soft sand. But with all teams pulling together when needed, no one is left stranded.


Of course, with any used car costing under £500 there are always going to be issues, so your team is backed up by a professional support crew in expedition equipped 4×4’s who are on hand to cover any eventualities.

Delivered by expedition specialists Max Adventure, we have been operating in extreme environments for over 25 years, in temperatures from -60C to +50C  and 8,850 meters above sea level.

We have worked alongside explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Hollywood actor Tom Hardy in places as far-flung as Siberia, the North Pole and Mt Everest.


Originally conceived as a support programme to help ex-military personnel with their recovery from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by taking them on confidence-building vehicle adventures, next year’s Sahara Banger Rally has been opened up to the public, allowing adventurers from all walks of life to take part.


Entry fee for the ‘Sahara Banger Rally’ costs from as little as £900 per person. This cost includes return car ferry from Spain to Morocco, all campsite accommodation in Morocco (with the option to upgrade to hotels), branded team clothing and vehicle graphics. Each team is also asked to endeavour to raise a minimum of £250 for their chosen charity.


The total adventure from the UK is 17 days, but teams are able to join us in southern Spain should they wish to take a more leisurely drive through Europe.


So, if you want the chance to test your mettle in a car totally not designed for the desert, contact us here or email for further information. 

Mac Mackenney – Max Adventure Ltd

07764 600 601 / 01404 830 096


This 17-day rally starts and finishes at Portsmouth in the UK, although for teams wishing to join us from other countries, you can meet us in Gibraltar…

Thu 14 Oct – Meet at Portsmouth ferry port for the 22:15 ferry to Santander, Spain.

Fri 15 Oct – (Day 1) At sea

Sat 16 Oct – (Day 2) Santander to Gibraltar

Sun 17 Oct – (Day 3) Gibraltar – preparation day

Mon 18 Oct – (Day 4) Gibraltar to Fes, Morocco

Tue 19 Oct – (Day 5) Fes to Midelt

Wed 20 Oct – (Day 6) Midelt to Merzouga

Thu 21 Oct – (Day 7) Merzouga to Lac Maider

Fri 22 Oct – (Day 8) Lac Maider to Zagora

Sat 23 Oct – (Day 9) Zagora – rest day / vehicle maintenance

Sun 24 Oct – (Day 10) Zagora to Lac Iriki

Mon 25 Oct – (Day 11) Lac Iriki to Tata

Tue 26 Oct – (Day 12) Tata to Agadir

Wed 27 Oct – (Day 13) Agadir to Moulay Bousselham

Thu 28 Oct – (Day 14) Moulay Bousselham to Gibraltar

Fri 29 Oct – (Day 15) Gibraltar to Burgos

Sat 30 Oct – (Day 16) Burgos to Le Mans

Sun 31 Oct – (Day 17) Le Mans to for 16:30 ferry to Portsmouth, UK. Arrive at 21:15 hrs


The entry fee for this incredible adventure is from as little as £900 per person, which includes…

Full expedition support with mechanical, medical, recovery & communications equipment

Expedition Leader, French speaking Guide, Medic & Mechanic

4×4 Expedition support vehicles

Return ferry from Spain to Morocco

All campsite accommodation in Morocco (with the option to upgrade to hotels)

Branded desert clothing

Vehicle graphics


3 per car – £900 per person

2 per car – £1,125 per person


3 per car – £1,000 per person

2 per car – £1,250 per person


Additional costs per car are…

Ferry – £780 (UK to Spain return)

Fuel – £166 (1,270 miles in Spain, assuming 40mpg)

Fuel – £280 (2,175 miles in Morocco, assuming 30mpg)

Tolls – £35 (Spain & Morocco)

Car Insurance – £90 (Morocco)

Camping – £15 (Spain – £5 per car per night)

Additional costs per person are…

Camping – £15 (Spain – £5 per person per night)

Food – £170 to £340 (£10 to £20 per person per day)



As for vehicle choice, there are plenty of options…


Being a former French colony, Morocco still has close ties with the country and predominantly uses French cars, Citroen, Peugeot and Renault. Tending to be more reliable, Peugeots are the preferred choice of the three. For teams of 3 people, Citroen Berlingo / Peugeot Partners work very well, being comfortable, good off road and very reliable with their 1.9 non-turbo diesel engines.
Peugeot 206, 306, 406 (or better still a 205, 309, 405), Partner
Citroen Saxo, Berlingo, Xsara, Xsara Picasso
Renault Kangoo, Clio


The most reliable cars in the world are Japanese, with Honda consistently taking the No.1 spot. The little Nissan Micra K11 being a firm favourite on banger rallies. Suzuki also do some really good cars such as the Swift, but we particularly like the look of the Ignis as it already comes with 180mm ground clearance, so the suspension probably won’t need any modifications there.
Any small Honda, Nissan Micra K11, any Suzuki, any Toyota.


German cars tend to be well screwed together, especially VW’s that share the Mk4 Golf platform. Any car from the VW group will do though, including Audi, Skoda or Seat. Although now quite rare and expensive, if you can get hold of a Mercedes W124 then you’l be in good company with most of the taxi drivers in North Africa!
VW Golf Mk 3, 4 & Beetle, Audi A3, Skoda Fabia, Seat Leon, especially those with the 1.9 diesel engine


We have loads of Fords here in the UK, with the Focus, Fiesta and Ka being very common. We like the look of the Ka, but they might be considered a little small for some.

Hatchback, Saloon or Estate?

Hatchbacks will work better in the desert with less overhang than equivalent estates and shorter cars can ride over sand dunes easier than long ones.


If you can find a cheap 4×4 or SUV, then this would, be the best vehicle to take. They tend to have a higher ground clearance which is good for negotiating rocky sections and soft sand, four-wheel drive helps you in slippery conditions and their bodies and components tend to be made of stronger stuff than their saloon or hatchback equivalents.

Good examples are…

Honda CRV Mk1; Suzuki Jimny & VItara; Nissan X Trail & Terrano; Toyota RAV4 Mk1 & 2; Kia Sportage

Manual or Automatic?

Manual or automatic doesn’t really matter either. Autos give you more control in slow speed sections where there isn’t a clutch to burn out, but manuals give you greater fuel range, are simpler and have a better chance of being fixed in the field  and can be bump started if your battery dies. 

Petrol or Diesel?

As for petrol or diesel, it doesn’t really matter, but diesel is always preferred on serious expedition vehicles due to the following reasons…

Fuel range tends to be better with a diesel engine

Low down torque helps you negotiate slow-speed sections without the need for slipping the clutch

Diesel fuel is safer to carry in Jerry cans


Depending on the car you choose, the following modifications may need to be done…

Suspension  – raised suspension will help when negotiating soft sand and rocky sections

Roof Rack – somewhere to carry a second spare wheel & fuel Jerry can

Sump Guard  – protection for the engine, probably the most important modification that needs to be done

Can I use someone else’s car on the rally?

Yes you can. As long as you have a copy of the original Vehicle Registration document, we can make up a ‘Letter of Authority to Drive’ which you can show to Customs officials and Police Officers when overseas.

Why can we only take a maximum of 3 drivers in each car?

Keeping the weight of your vehicle down is key to successfully negotiating the Sahara Desert. Adding an additional driver not only adds their personal weight, but that off their clothing & equipment, plus extra water, food and tents. Not only this, but the room inside all hut the largest 4×4 vehicles is quite limited and it just wouldn’t be a comfortable experience for them.

Where will we be sleeping?

Accommodation will primarily be camping, but in many overnight stops there will be the option to upgrade to a hostel or hotel room. This will be on a first come first serve basis, but to avoid having uncomfortable nights sleep, it is best to bring a good quality sleeping bag and mat.

Are there any rest days on the rally?

During the 17 day event, there will be 3 whole days in which you can rest.

Day 1 – On the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander

Day 3 – Gibraltar, when you have time to get ready for the desert as well as tour the ‘Rock’

Day 9 – Zagora, where you’ll get your vehicles checked over and stock up with supplies

Where is the best place to find a used car?

In order of preference, we would suggest the following online resources to find a suitable car in terms of the numbers available to choose from and the most reasonable prices…
1.         Facebook Marketplace
2.         eBay                              
3.         Gumtree                       
4.         Preloved                       
5.         Autotrader                   
6.         Freeads                         
7.         Parkers                          
8.         Exchange & Mart        
Don’t forget your local papers and used car dealerships as well.

How many teams will be on the rally?

Foe this inaugural event, we are capping the number of entries at 18 teams. This equates to 40 people as some teams have 3 per car.

How many support crew will be on the rally?

For this 2021 event there will be 9 support crew which is made up of…

Expedition Leader – 25 years experience operting vehicles in extreme conditions

Moroccan Guide – over 20 years experience guiding 4×4 vehicles throughout Morocco

Expedition Doctor – experienced GP and A&E doctor specialising in remote wilderness medicine

Chief Mechanic – serving British Army vehicle mechanic, skilled in ‘Battle Damage Repairs’

2nd Mechanic – ex British Army vehicle mechanic who served with our Chief Mechanic on overseas operations

3rd Mechanic / Film Crew’s Driver – serving Royal Navy engineer with a background in classic cars

Producer / Director – Freelance filmmaker

2nd Camera – Freelance cameraman

Photographer – Aston Martin engineer and semi-professional photographer

What is the ratio of support crew to teams taking part?

For every 6 teams taking part in the rally, there will be at least 1 support vehicle and 1 mechanic.

Do we drive in a convoy or travel independently?

We are currently working on providing everyone with a copy of the route that they can use to navigate by from their smartphone. This will be just the same as using a normal sat nav back home with turn by turn instructions. As modern smartphones are GPS enabled, this means you won’t be using up any of your mobile data.

On the tarmac sections, this will allow teams to travel independently, with the support crew following up the rear to recover anyone who has broken down. If teams wish to stay close to the support vehicles though, that will be fine.

For the desert sections though, we’ll need to stay pretty tight as getting regular hatchbacks and saloon cars along the original Dakar Rally route will not be easy and it will be a team effort to get through.