If you’re thinking about renting a campervan in New Zealand, you’re most likely looking forward to the freedom that comes with it.

Imagine the endless roads that form the perfect backbone for a road trip, the ultimate budget travel itinerary, or the inviting starry nights under which you can park your campervan.

But, before you get delighted with fantasies of the spellbinding nature of New Zealand, there are a few essentials you have to give serious thought to.

If you aren’t up to getting nasty surprises during your trip to NZ, the 17 tips we provide below will help you make the most of renting a campervan in New Zealand.

1. The Season Will Affect Prices 

There are more tourists during the summer than in other seasons. As much as camping out in the summer goodness is something to look forward to, it doesn’t make sense to pay double the price for a campervan rental.

The peak months are December to February, so you might want to avoid the crowd and steep prices at this time.

2. Be Aware of Age Restrictions

It’s a bummer, but, unless you’re over 25, renting a campervan will come with some restrictions. For instance, if you’re under 21, you will be unlikely to be the campervan driver.

If you’re under 25 years old, you’re likely to incur surcharges from rental companies. However, some companies specialize in rentals for younger drivers.

rental company

3. Don’t Forget the Ferry Charges

NZ has two main islands, and if you’d like to take your adventure from one to the next, you will have to use a ferry to cross them. If your campervan is more significant in size, using the ferry will cost you more.

4. You Save A Lot More With Car Relocations

If you start the first leg of your trip on the South Island and finish off on the North Island, you can get fantastic camper relocation services and deals. But, these deals are available for limited periods, and you should ask your campervan rental for more info.

5. Consider the One-Way Fee

If you’re traveling from one Island and end up on another, you should know that you will incur extra costs for dropping off your camper van in a different place to where you picked it.

6. Consider The Fuel Costs

When you are preparing for your trip to NZ, one of the aspects you must research is fuel costs, depending on where you’re coming from; the prices may be higher or lower. Campervans in New Zealand come in diesel and regular gas.

7. Beware of Deals That Are Too Good to Be True

Suppose you happen upon an advert for a campervan rental for NZ$15 a day, run from it as far as you can. Even though the deal may be valid, you’re likely to come into contract with an old model car, that has stringent rental periods, or it may not be big enough for your needs.

8. You Are Spoilt For Choice

New Zealand roads are ideal for road trips, and there’s an influx of people waiting to rent a campervan. Whether you want a luxury van, a functional minivan, or comfort during your road trip, all these options are available to you.

road view

9. Be Aware of Parking Rules

Camping in New Zealand comes with strict rules. The only way you can experience the campervan life minus the cost of paying for campsites and holiday parks is to ensure that your van is self-contained.

Here we created a post where we explain a bit more about it: Self-Contained Campervans in New Zealand and a list of FREE places where you can sleep with your campervan.

10. Learn How to Drive the New Zealand Way

If you aren’t used to driving on the road’s left side, driving your campervan around New Zealand will be intimidating. Learn how to navigate around NZ properly before you rent a campervan.

11. You Can Get Multiple Inclusions

The campervan you rent can come with all you need to make it your home for a while. It will come with towels, cups, bedding, pots, tea towels, and cutlery. You don’t have to worry about carrying heavy luggage around.

12. Do Not Ignore Insurance Coverage

The amount you pay for your campervan should be inclusive of insurance coverage. This cover takes up the cost of windshield damage or basic body damage. If you can, upgrade your insurance to cover other prevalent damages, such as roll-over damage that’s likely to happen to the undercarriage.

13. Rates for Road Usage

New Zealanders typically contributed to the maintenance of their roads. If your van uses gasoline, you will pay a levy fee as you buy the fuel. If the campervan uses diesel, you will pay RUC (Road Usage Charge).

The cost is usually paid once you return the vehicle.

14. Arrange Early for Pick-up

Getting your campervan may take up to an hour if there aren’t queues ahead of you. The process involves taking a test on NZ driving laws, submitting your driver’s license for approval, and a short tour of how your campervan operates.

campervan hire

15. Conduct Routine Maintenance

Ensure your campervan is always clean and fresh by maintaining it every few days. Take advantage of designated dumpsites to empty your gray water and toilette cassette. You should maintain standard cleanliness in your campervan as you’ll call it home for some time. Remember to do your dishes, so things don’t fly around when you’re traveling.

16. Do Not Park Your Campervan in Queenstown

Plenty of tourists get fined because they were not aware of this rule. If you need to take a tour of Queenstown, book a space at a campground and park your campervan there. Don’t risk fines while you can avoid them.

17. Don’t Over Plan

It’s easy to get excited by all the activities New Zealand has to offer. You may easily fit too many activities into your itinerary that you forget to take a pause and take in all the sights and sounds. Keep some of your days free to ensure you rest and take in the places you enjoy most.


Renting a campervan isn’t as intimidating as it may seem. If you do your research carefully, nothing will stop you from enjoying what the Kiwis’ land offers.