Hello fellow travellers,
My boyfriend and I have officially booked our RTW for next year (yay) and am in need of some advice.
We are planning to be in New Zealand from 15th December - 15th January next year and are hoping to hire a campervan for this time and there are a few things I would like to know....
1. Is it better to book in advance? We're looking at quote now and they already seem very pricey so will do anything to knock the price down. Are particular seasons cheaper?
2. Can anyone recommend a company to book with? The cheaper the better, i'm not fussed about anything too glamorous.
3. Is it cheaper to drive back to the place you booked it?
If anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated, & hopefully i'll see some of you out there!
Thanks in advance,
High season last from Christmas till the end of February, so that's when prices are highest. Definitely worth going in the shoulder season if cost is the main concern.
You might see if you can get a cheaper rate if you head south to north (Christchurch to Auckland), as north to south is for some reason the far more common route for one-way rentals.
Also check leaving the campervan at Wellington/Picton, and picking up a new one at the other end of the ferry ride. Just the cost savings of not having the pay for a campervan on the ferry is hefty, and many companies have single-island one way rental fees which are lower than when you pick up at one island and drop off at the other island (though I think this is less common with campervans than with cars). Companies sometimes also provide this as a service (so you still get the low rate from renting for a long period), but then tend to have minimum time limits per island.
We priced up camper vans vs hiring a car and using motels, and motels in fact came out a bit cheaper. I bet you could save more by using backpacker hostels.
Try Jucy Rentals - but even then it could be around NZD95 per day. NZ is no longer a budget destination.
If you must go during peak season, definitely book in advance, though I would be inclined to do it anyway because there's nothing worse than arriving to find nothing available but the expensive one you purposefully tried to avoid.
Try Jucy or Wicked. They're quite cheap and good with only two. If you want one with bells and whistles (ie. a toilet), you'll need to find a couple of friends to share the costs.
It probably is cheaper to return to the same depot, this is how most rental companies operate, although I only recall going one way myself. Just check the options available and any * special * discounts, I know Wicked has some weird ones.
The most cost effective way to see NZ is to do it North to South or South to North rather than in a loop. We are a long narrow country.... Unless you are going for a low end campervan (just a converted van with a bed and cooking facilities) then it will work out cheaper to stay in motels, BnBs, camp ground cabins etc... You will only have to book in advance for 24 December to 5 January, the rest of the time you can find good value accommodation cheaper than the cost of hiring a full size campervan. If you want the freedom camping option then you have to have a self containment certificate for the camper, there can be hefty fines now if caught open camping without one.