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The Essential Guide to Renting a Campervan in New Zealand

The Essential Guide to Renting a Campervan in New Zealand


Renting a campervan is the best way to embrace
the outdoors of New Zealand. But what are the costs, campervan options and restrictions?
We’ll go through all that and more coming up in this essential guide to renting a campervan
in New Zealand. Hey guys, we’re Robin and Laura the team
behind BackpackerGuide.NZ helping you plan an epic trip in New Zealand!
In this video, we’ll go through budgeting for renting a campervan, what restrictions
you might find, where you can actually camp, how to choose the right camping vehicle, how
to choose a rental company and finally, what to expect when booking and paying for your
rental. With that, you’ll be ready to explore the landscapes, epic activities, wildlife
and culture that New Zealand has to offer! Plus, stick around until the end of this video
where we’ll be giving you 10 Things You Really Need to Know About Campervan Rental
in New Zealand. But before we get things rolling, make sure
you hit the like button to show us that you want us to make more New Zealand travel tips
videos. Look, we’ll even pause the video, so you have time to do that.
And with that, let’s get on with the video. First up, Can you afford to rent a campervan
in New Zealand? Well, that would be helpful wouldn’t it?
Like any trip, you need to budget, but perhaps even more so when campervan rental often has
more costs than what meets the eye. The first biggest expense is your flight to
New Zealand. Check out our video on how to book a cheap flight to New Zealand linked
up in the description below. Next, think about the base price of renting
a campervan. The way most campervan rental companies do it is by setting a flat rate
per day. Rental costs can be anywhere between $19-$350 per day depending on the type of
vehicle and season. While standard insurance is included in all
campervan rentals, it’s between $10-$30 per day to reduce the excess.
Consider extras fees that might apply to you like a young driver’s fee, additional driver’s
fee or a one way fee which is fee paid when your pick-up and drop-off location are not
in the same place. If travelling between the North Island and
South Island, you will need to pay for the ferry crossing which is can be around $180
for one passenger and a small campervan or $250 for one passenger and a motorhome or
RV. That’s depending of course on sailing times, season and how far in advance you book.
Take into account any optional extras from your rental company like hiring a GPS, snow
chains, picnic tables and chairs, for example. Campgrounds and holiday parks are another
expense. Campgrounds are between zero to $15 per person per night, while holiday parks
are usually around $40 for two people in a powered site where you can hook up your camper
electricity. Finally, you need to take into account the
fuel consumption, cost of food and activities. While we’ve listed a few prices here, you’ll
get more of an idea of prices in our video “What is the Cost of Backpacking in New
Zealand” linked up in the description below. The next things to think about when planning
your campervan trip are the rental restrictions. While there are not that many restrictions
for renting a campervan in New Zealand, here are a couple that may affect you.
You can rent a vehicle in New Zealand as long as you have a full valid drivers license that
is written in English. If you don’t, make sure you get an International Driving Permit
or IDP to accompany your driving license. You will need both. Find out more about the
IDP in an aritlce we’ll link up in the description. Your age also determines what type of campervan
you can rent. You can usually rent a campercar and small campervan if you are 18 and over
without a problem, although some rental companies may include a surcharge if you are under 25
years old. For motorhome rental, most companies prefer the driver to be 21 years old and over.
Find out more about possible age restrictions in our age restriction article linked up in
the description below. Next, Where can
you camp in a campervan? Contrary to popular belief, you cannot just
park up anywhere and camp the night in New Zealand. There are laws in place in order
to keep New Zealand beautiful so you need to be a responsible camper when hiring a campervan
in New Zealand. To recharge the power in your camper, dump
your waste and get some quick comforts, you’re likely to use a holiday park at least once
on your campervan road trip in New Zealand. Holiday parks have powered sites and non-powered
sites to park up your vehicle and make use of their facilities, including dump stations,
kitchens, laundry, showers and sometimes more. To see what a holiday park is like in New
Zealand, take a look at our Accommodation Guide to Holiday Parks in New Zealand which
is, you guessed it, in the description below. Another option is campsites. Campsite are
a little more basic than holiday parks, offering much less facilities. For this reason, they
are cheaper – sometimes even free – and have the bare essentials to keep the environment
tidy. Most of the campsites are run by the Department of Conservation or local councils.
Park over properties is another option. Some land owners allow self-contained vehicles
to stay on their property overnight for a small fee.
Finally, freedom camping. If you have a certified self-contained campervan, then you can camp
for free for up to three days in certain areas around the country. Each district and region
has their own rules about this, so you should do your research before arriving in an area
to park up and camp the night. Make sure you check out our freedom camping video and our
video about self-contained campervans, if you are planning on doing some free camping
around New Zealand. Now you need to choose a camping vehicle to
rent. From small campercars to 6-berth motorhomes,
you are spoiled for choice with the types of rental campervans on offer in New Zealand.
Choosing a campervan to rent depends on budget, how many people you are travelling with, comfort
and how easy the vehicle is to drive. The smallest type of camper is a campercar.
They are the size of an SUV or people-mover with the seats taken out and replaced with
a bed. There is also likely to be a fold-out kitchen area out of the back of the car. They
are the cheapest options, easiest to drive, and likely to be the most uncomfortable.
Being the size of a van or minibus, campervans are the most popular option among backpackers
because they have enough space for all your essential amenities, such as a kitchen and
possibly a toilet. These vans can usually sleep two to four people at a push, yet still
feel compact as they tend to be filled with more features. They may even come certified
self-contained meaning you can freedom camp. Finally, motorhomes or RVs are larger vehicles
which usually come fully self-contained with everything you need from kitchen, toilet,
shower with hot and cold water, bedding for multiple people, dining area and more. They
are by far the more comfortable and spacious type of camping vehicle but that comes at
a higher rental price and are not as easy to drive.
For a more in-depth look at the type of camping vehicles you can rent in New Zealand, take
a look at Which Campervan Rental Vehicle is Right for You? Linked up in the description
below. Next up, you need to choose a campervan rental
company. There’s no right or wrong answer. If anything,
you will experience extreme decision fatigue when comparing the campervan rental companies
in New Zealand – there’s that many. It’s not just about comparing the prices
when choosing a campervan rental company. You will also need to consider: availability
of campervan types, any age restrictions, what the service is like, what’s included
and additional costs like insurance. Choosing a rental company should not be a
quick decision so really take the time to find the right one for your needs. A great
place to start is with all our rental company comparison articles on BackpackerGuide.NZ.
Booking and picking up a campervan rental After watching our 21 ways to save money on
car rental video, so you have no regrets, start booking your campervan rental. You will
either have to pay in full or put down a deposit when booking your campervan. Most deposits
are non-refundable. If you are required to put down a deposit
then you will pay for the rest of the price when you pick up the vehicle – not after.
Don’t worry if you have forgotten to add any optional extras, as the campervan rental
company will be delighted to sell these items to you on the day of pick-up.
Finally, on pick-up be sure to inspect every dent or scratch of the vehicle with the rental
company employee so you are not charged for any damage you did not cause to the vehicle.
And now you are ready to hit the road! So that’s it for our essential guide to
renting a campervan. But, as promised, here are 10 things you need to know about campervan
rental in New Zealand. Number 1. Season seriously effects price with
the highest prices being in the New Zealand summer and lowest in winter.
2. Your international driving permit is not enough on its own. You need to show the rental
company your real drivers license and your IDP together in order to rent a campervan.
3. Be aware of the one-way fee. It can be as much as NZ$300 extra to drop off your campervan
in a different depot to the pick-up location. 4. Look for campervan relocation opportunities
where rental companies let you rent for free to relocate the campervan from one of their
depots to another. More information is on BackpackerGuide.NZ.
Number 5. There’s actually a lot of inclusions like towels, all the utensils and bedding
so there’s no need to pack too much. 6. Be aware of the Road User Charge when hiring
a diesel vehicle. Although diesel is cheaper in New Zealand, you’ll need to pay a tax
on diesel at the end of your rental. 7. If you see a $19 a day rental deal then
it’s probably too good to be true. 8. As mentioned, you can’t park up and sleep
anywhere. Illegal freedom camping can incur an instant $200 fine.
9. Wise up on how to drive in New Zealand. Unless you are from Australia, there’s definitely
going to be a few road rules that are different to where you are from.
And finally, number 10. Many rental companies require some credit card details on pick-up,
which acts as insurance for them if you destroy the vehicle. If you don’t have a credit
card, pick a rental company that allows you to rent without one. So that’s it, we hope you found this video
useful and again, if you did, show your support by smashing that like button and hit subscribe
for more New Zealand videos just like this one.
Plus, get some awesome New Zealand bucket list inspiration from our web series, New
Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year, where we’re doing 365 activities in 365 days!
Until next time, travel awesome!

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4 thoughts on “The Essential Guide to Renting a Campervan in New Zealand

  1. Hi we'll be in NZ in November and we've rented a self contained camper van. Our provider highly recommends we buy the DOC conservation pass, which amounts to 200$ for 2 people for a month. Is it worth it getting this pass? There seems to be a ton of camping options, free and paying that don't require a 200$ pass. So we're really hesitant on buying this pass. What's you're opinion on this?

    Thanks for your help and the awesome channel and web page!

  2. THE GUYS ACCENT IS HORRID WHAT IS HE SAYING!!!!!??? 7:56 ?? IS THE SUV COMFORTABLE OR UNCOMFORTABLE ?? I DONT KNOW WHAT HE IS SAIYING?

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