Campervans in Aus - hire or buy?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Campervans in Aus - hire or buy?

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1. Posted by EmmaS9 (Budding Member 5 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

My fiance and I plan to travel around Queensland next September starting in Cairns and backpacking down to Sydney. We have been looking into the pros and cons of buying v hiring a campervan and were wondering if there are any experienced travellers out there who could offer some sound advice?

Many thanks in anticipation!

Emma & Craig :)

2. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Emma and Craig,
there's plenty of posts on this subject on the site already, but as a quick synopsis, depends on your length of travel.

Work out the prices.. a campervan in Sept in Cairns won't be cheap to buy (a lot of other backpackers arrive at this time and are looking for a van too) say $4000 - $6000 for a good one (that's about £1500 to £2500) You'll spend possibly about a fortnight looking for a good van and remember you've to sell it in Sydney when you finish (assuming you finish there and together with every other backpacker that's ready to fly to NewZealand etc. in January after spending New Year in Sydney ;)
Again... depends on your timescales.

Remember, however, hiring also isn't cheap and you don't get any money back! Contrary to the Wicked campervan and others claims... you do have to pay for camp sites ($20 a night roughly) unless you don't fancy a shower for the next month or so, and you can always join the RACQ in Queensland for next to nothing to cover you for breakdown.

Make a list and work out tangible and nontangible pro's and con's of each option for the amount of time you're going to be travelling and then finally you'll both have to make the decision which to take based on what's specifically important to you.

hope this helps


3. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Emma,
I agree, it depends on timescales. I seem to remember that anything less than three months simply wasn't worth the time/hassle/cost of buying.
Yes, hiring looks expensive, but you're getting transport and accommodation all-in-one, so it's not as bad as it looks. If anything goes wrong, it's their problem and you just hand it back when you're finished.
Over three months then buying becomes cost-effective, but you still have the paperwork etc.

4. Posted by EmmaS9 (Budding Member 5 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Taffski & Stevieh

Thanks for your replies, some good points there that we hadn't considered before - so thank you again for your advice! I think nearer the time we'll have more of an idea of actual timescales and amount we can spend

Emma & Craig ;)