17 Best Tips for Renting a Campervan in New Zealand

Best tips for renting a campervan in New Zealand

🚐 Renting a Campervan in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide

If you’re considering 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 you can park your campervan.

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

If you aren’t up to getting nasty surprises during your trip to NZ, the 17 tips 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 should avoid the crowd and steep prices now.

seasons for renting

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 are unlikely to be the campervan driver.

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

renting age restrictions

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.

ferry costs

4. You Save a Lot More With Campervan 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.

👉 For more information about this topic, we have created an article about Campervan Relocations in New Zealand

campervan relocations

5. Consider The One-Way Fee

If you’re travelling 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 from where you picked it up.

Extra costs

6. Consider The Fuel Costs

When preparing for your trip to NZ, one of the aspects you must research is fuel costs. The prices may be higher or lower depending on where you’re coming from

Campervans in New Zealand come in diesel and regular gas.

fuel costs

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.

If you are looking for an excellent company to hire with, we recommend Spaceship Rentals. They have good rates and good service all around New Zealand.

👉 Check out their website here: Spaceship Rentals

spaceship rentals

8. You are Spoiled for Choice

New Zealand roads are ideal for road trips, and many people are 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.

campervan on the road

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 your van is self-contained.

👉 Here, we created a post explaining a bit more about it: Self-Contained Campervans in New Zealand and a list of FREE Places Where You Can Sleep With Your Campervan.

parking rule

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.

👉 Some tips about driving in New Zealand: How Driving in New Zealand Can Be a Challenge

Driving in New Zealand

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.

campervan equipment

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 rollover damage that’s likely to happen to the undercarriage.

insurance in rentals

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.

road user charges

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.

Early pick-up

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 grey 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 travelling.

maintaining a campervan

16. Do Not Park Your Campervan in Queenstown

Plenty of tourists get fined because they are not aware of this rule.

If you need to tour Queenstown, book a space at a campground and park your campervan there. Don’t risk fines while you can avoid them.

parking in queenstown

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 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.

Over planning

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Travel Cars NZ is a platform where private sellers and car dealers can list their campervans, backpacker cars, vans, wagons and other types of cars for sale all around New Zealand. General and useful information about converted vans and small campervans for sale is available at the TCNZ blog.