Renting a campervan is a fantastic way to explore the great outdoors and experience the freedom of the open road. While it offers unparalleled adventure, it’s essential to consider the costs associated with campervan rentals. However, with careful planning and a few smart strategies, you can save money without compromising on your travel experience. In this article, we will share 15 practical tips to help you save money when renting a campervan. From choosing the right vehicle and booking in advance to managing fuel costs and cooking your meals, these tips will help you make the most of your campervan adventure while staying within your budget.

1. Plan your trip during the shoulder season

The peak travel season in New Zealand usually falls between December and February. By planning your trip during the shoulder seasons of spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May), you can take advantage of lower rental rates and fewer crowds.

2. Book in advance

To secure the best deals and discounts, it’s advisable to book your campervan rental well in advance. Early bookings often come with discounted rates, allowing you to save a significant amount of money.

booking in advance

3. Compare prices and options

Before finalizing your rental, spend some time researching different rental companies and comparing their prices and offerings. Online platforms and travel websites can be valuable resources for finding the best deals and promotions.

4. Consider the size of the campervan

Opting for a smaller campervan can save you money both on rental costs and fuel expenses. While larger campervans offer more space, smaller ones are more budget-friendly.

5. Take advantage of relocation deals

Many rental companies offer relocation deals, where they need to move their vehicles from one location to another. You can take advantage of these deals by agreeing to relocate the campervan for them at a significantly reduced rental cost, or sometimes even for free.

→ Additionally, you can check the following article we created about campervan relocations in New Zealand: Campervan Relocations In New Zealand

6. Be flexible with your travel dates

If you have the flexibility to adjust your travel dates, check for rental companies that offer discounted rates for specific periods or last-minute deals. Being flexible can lead to substantial savings.

travel calendar

7. Avoid one-way rentals

One-way rentals often incur additional fees, since the rental company needs to cover the cost of returning the campervan to its original location. To save money, plan your trip as a round-trip or loop route, starting and ending at the same rental location.

8. Bring your own essentials

To avoid extra charges, pack your own bedding, towels, cookware, and camping equipment. Rental companies frequently charge additional fees for these items, and bringing your own can help you save money.

9. Cook your own meals

Eating out can quickly add up to your expenses. Take advantage of the campervan’s kitchen facilities to prepare your own meals. Visit local supermarkets or farmers’ markets to stock up on groceries, and enjoy delicious, cost-effective meals on the road.

10. Stay in low-cost or free campsites

New Zealand offers a wide range of campsites, including low-cost and free options. Do some research to find campsites that offer basic facilities at affordable rates or, even better, free camping spots where you can park overnight without any charges.

free camp sites in new zealand

11. Use fuel discount cards

Fuel can be a significant expense during a campervan trip. Look for fuel discount cards or loyalty programs that can help you save money on refueling. These programs are often available at major gas stations or through rental companies.

12. Drive responsibly and maintain the campervan

Observe the speed limits and drive responsibly to avoid fines and penalties. Also, make sure to take good care of the campervan during your trip. Damages or extra cleaning fees can quickly eat into your budget.

13. Take advantage of free activities and attractions

New Zealand offers numerous free or low-cost activities and attractions, such as hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and public parks. Embrace nature and explore these options to enjoy memorable experiences without spending a fortune.

14. Utilize public facilities

Instead of relying solely on the campervan’s facilities, take advantage of public facilities such as public toilets, showers, and picnic areas. This can help you save money on water and waste disposal fees.

public facilities for campervans

15. Travel with friends or family

Sharing the cost of campervan rental, fuel, and other expenses with friends or family members can significantly reduce the financial burden. Splitting the costs among multiple people can make your campervan adventure much more affordable.


Renting a campervan in New Zealand doesn’t have to break the bank. By implementing these 15 money-saving tips, you can enjoy an incredible journey while keeping your budget in check.

From planning your trip during the shoulder season to comparing prices, being flexible, and taking advantage of free activities, there are plenty of opportunities to save money and make the most of your campervan adventure in the beautiful country of New Zealand. So, start planning, hit the open road, and create unforgettable memories without stretching your wallet too thin.

→ Before you go, you might be interested in the following article if planning to rent a campervan in New Zealand: 17 Best Tips for Renting a Campervan in New Zealand