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Credit: Camilla Stoddart

Which Campervan Rental Company Should I Choose

Clearly there is no right answer here - it's totally your decision as to what you value and need from the camper van. High demand has given life to camper van rental companies beyond count and many offer more or less the same thing. However, there are also many differences which means somewhere out there is the perfect rental no matter what you are looking for.

As previously mentioned in our 'Guide To Renting a Campervan' here is what you will generally find in all campervans as standard, regardless of which company you hire it from:

  • all bed linen
  • towels and tea towels
  • gas stove – portable or fixed
  • spare gas canisters and / or bottles
  • cooking utensils
  • cutlery and crockery

As just as importantly, what you will not get included in the rental of your camper van:

  • fuel 
  • food
  • camp site charges
  • extra insurance cover to reduce excess and cover for all eventualities of accident and repair

Here is a run-down of some of the most popular companies so you can decide what your ideal fit is.

Model: Jackpot 2 Berth
Model: Jackpot 2 Berth

Mighty

A little bit of everything is offered by Mighty, from campers suited to the tight budget-restricted to those in search of a bit more space and comfort with a larger model motor-home.

Minimum hire age – 18 years for some models, 21 years for all. Vehicle types – 2-6 berth, small campers to big motor-homes. Self-contained options – yes, all of Mighty's camper vans are self-contained. Insurance details – 2 options – basic included in daily hire with excess of NZ$3500 (for smaller vans) to NZ$5000 and a zero excess for NZ$36 per day.

Hire price includes:

  • unlimited kilometres
  • airport transfers upon vehicle collection and return
  • SatNav in tablet form
  • 24/7 assistance
  • free admission to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves for the main driver
Day & Night Layout
Day & Night Layout

Equipment included:

  • all on the 'what is the camper equipped with' list above plus.....
  • SatNav
  • all kinds of extras as standard in all campers – contact the company for details

Optional extras available:

  • 'The Bundle' - includes WiFi 1GB, linen exchange, picnic table and chairs, extra driver fees, single vehicle rollover cover, portable fan heater
  • snow chains
  • extra drivers possible
  • 'Local Stays' annual membership – overnight stays for free
  • pre-paid fuel cards
  • table and chairs 

Special deals – Mighty run a price match scheme as well as offering discounts for longer term hire. 

Rental depots and pick-up/drop-off details:

  • depots in Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown – open 7 days a week
  • one way hires or returns to different locations from where they originated attract surcharges of NZ$50-NZ$250 and in some cases as high as NZ$750
  • after hours collections and returns not possible
Which van design will you choose???
Which van design will you choose???

Escape Rentals

There are probably no more easily distinguished vans in all of New Zealand than those of Escape. Aimed very much at the backpacker market, each of its 200 odd camper van fleet has been individually painted. All are funky and distinctive; some are downright crazy or quirky. If a particular design catches your fancy you can ask for that exact van and stand a good chance of getting it if you get in early enough. Escape vehicles are very popular.

Rates are typically as low as you will find with a reputable company as they boast – and indeed do – keep a constant eye on all competitor prices to match them.

Minimum hire age -  18 years. Vehicle types -  Toyota Hiace and Nissan Caravan campervans – sleeping up to 3 persons. Self-contained options – yes, if you buy an optional extra kit. Insurance details – 3 grades with excess options NZ$0- NZ$4000, from NZ$22 per day. Covered for driving on unsealed roads with the ‘No Worries Mate’ full insurance option.

Hire price includes:

  • 24/7 hour roadside assistance 
  • a ‘no hidden costs’ price policy
  • unlimited kilometres
  • multiple drivers at no extra cost
  • basic insurance
  • AA Smartfuel Card for fuel discouts
  • free SIM card
  • a bundle of discount vouchers and ‘Great Escapes Guide’
Daytime & night time layouts
Daytime & night time layouts

Equipment included:

  • all on the 'what is the camper equipped with' list above plus.....
  • kitchenette – gas cooker, sink with running water, dining table
  •  beach /picnic chairs
  • CD/radio stereo with MP3 port
  • chilly bin (you might know it as an esky/cooler/ice box)
  • 240V mains power connection cabling – so you will have electricity at powered camp sites
  • mains powered heater and lamp
  • guidebooks and maps

Optional extras available:

  • solar shower
  • picnic table
  • sleeping bags
  • bbq 
  • snowchains
  • SatNav
  • bicycle rack
  • self-contained van kit

Special deals – Escape tends to have specials and promotions coming out of their ears. You might find such things as $18 a day camper hire charges for rentals of 20+ days, camp site discounts that could save you up to NZ$300, 10% discounts on Christchurch to Auckland one ways and even the chance to win NZ$250 by sending in a shot of your van while you're on the road.

What's more, talk to Escape about any relocations needed and you might be able to have the van for free. Be aware that these relocation deals typically have a fairly rigid time schedule attached.

Rental depots and pick-up/drop-off details: 

  • depots in Auckland and Christchurch open 7 days a week summer/6 days a week winter
  • out of hours collections and returns possible for $125 – $175 surcharge
  • pick-up or drop-off in Wellington - $800, Queenstown - $900 

Wendekreisen

Renting everything from small hi-top campers to luxury motorhomes, this award wining, family owned and operated camper rental company known as Wendekreisen have been on the scene since the early 90s. The fleet of 200 vehicles range from small 2 berth hitops to large 6 berth motorhomes. And if being environmentally friendly is one of your key deciding factors, all the CO2 emissions from Wendekreisen's campervans all offset with their Carbon Project.

Minimum hire age -  21 years – must have had a full licence for a minimum of 1 year. Vehicle types – 2-6 berth campers, station wagons+roof tent and a budget range of 2-4 berth campers. Self-contained options - yes. Insurance details – 3 grades with excess options NZ$250- NZ$2000, from NZ$16 per day.

   

Hire price includes:

  • unlimited kilometres
  • free one-way hire
  • 24 hour helpline

Rental depots and pick-up/drop-off details:

  • depots in Christchurch and Auckland – open 6 days per week
  • pick up or return to Picton or Wellington - relocation fee of $400
  • after hours collections and returns - NZ$60

 

Equipment included:

  • all on the 'what is the camper
    equipped with' list above plus.....
  • kettle and toaster
  • camp table and chairs 
  • bucket

Optional extras available:

  • DVD unit (not all vehicles)
  • multimedia centre of TV/DVD/USB/SD
  • Satellite TV
  • snow chains
  • SatNav

 


 

Model: Beta 2
Model: Beta 2

Spaceships

Described as 'the Swiss army knife of campers' these ingenious little vehicles can at first glance appear to be somewhat inadequate for a camping trip. However, think TARDIS – they are so incredibly well-designed that every inch of space has been utilised in some clever way. This means you get what in essence is no bigger than a large car making it easy to park and drive, more economical on fuel and less costly for the North to South Island ferry crossing.

It doesn't look like it would have the space but nevertheless Spaceships come with a full size double bed which can be used inside in winter or extended out the back into a waterproof rear awning with insect screen in the summer. In short – a Spaceship 'drives like a car, sleeps like a camper' is how the folks at Spaceship sell their rental campers.

Minimum hire age -  18 years. Vehicle types – 5 different styles of custom fitted Toyoto people movers – 2 berth. Self-contained options – yes – but only with one of the vehicle styles – the Dreamer. Insurance details - 3 grades with excess options NZ$0- NZ$3000, from NZ$20 per day. Covered for driving on unsealed roads with the zero excess option, full cover insurance.

Hire price includes:

  • a 'no hidden costs' policy
  • standard insurance
  • free one way hire
  • 24 hr roadside assistance
  • no extra driver fees
  • unlimited kms
  • free after hours and weekend service
  • 'Frenzy' guide books
Sleeping Options in Beta 2
Sleeping Options in Beta 2

Equipment included: 

  • all on the 'what is the camper equipped with' list above plus.....
  • chilly bin, fridge or bag
  • water tank
  • CD player and iPod cord

Optional extras available:

  • 240-volt mains plug for electricity supply when at powered camp sites
  • table and chairs
  • SatNav
  • roof bars
  • 'Summer Pack' - 1 table and 2 chairs combo /solar shower / chiller bag 
  • 'Winter Pack' - 240-volt mains plug / oil heater / 2 x hot water bottles

Special deals – Spaceships offer several discounts and deals on a regular basis such as seasonal 20% discounts, relocation deals, long term hire discounts and early booking 5% discounts.

Rental depots and pick-up/drop-off details:

  • depots in Auckland and Christchurch 
  • free out of hours collections and returns
Model: 2 + 1 Berth Euro Hitop
Model: 2 + 1 Berth Euro Hitop

Euro Campers

Offering a diverse range of campers from the compact to the fully fitted-out motor-home variety and for both budget and high-end customers, Euro Campers's vehicles are all self-contained.

Minimum hire age -  18 years for some vehicles, 21 years for all vehicles. Vehicle types – a diverse fleet of campers, hi-tops and motor homes with 2-6 berth options. Self-contained options – yes – all Euro Campers's vehicles are self-contained. Insurance details – Euro Campers has a 'one package' policy which means the hire price includes full insurance and with an excess of only NZ$250 (NZ$2500 on some vehicles for under 21s) offers one of the best deals around with regard to this. Within this you are covered for tyres, windscreen and glass too. Driving on unsealed/gravel roads is not permitted.

Hire price includes:

  • a 'no hidden costs' policy
  • insurance 
  • extra driver at no extra cost 
  • free one way hire
  • 24 hr roadside assistance 
  • unlimited kms
  • petrol discount card
  • airport transfers
  • SatNav
  • NZ SIM card, phone and Wi-Fi modem
Bed layout
Bed layout

Equipment included:

Each of the vehicles in the fleet of Euro Campers offers something different. The following applies to the lowest priced budget sleeper so will be the minimum you can expect to find. For the higher priced vehicles you may get lots more. 

  • all on the 'what is the camper equipped with' list above plus.....
  • mechanical kit – jack, tool kit, jump start cable etc
  • special media pack - GPS, tourism radio, phone and SIM
  • extensive kitchen and cooking equipment
  • camping table and  chairs
  • solar shower
  • chilly bin
  • many small extras such as washing line, buckets, dustpan/brush etc

Optional extras available:

None offered as the equipment levels already include most if not all of what other companies would offer as extras.

Special deals – Euro Campers occasionally offers special discounts such as a seasonal 25% discount. It also operates a discount system to encourage people to book early e.g. book 7 months in advance for a 5% discount, 6 months in advance for a 4% discount and so forth.

Rental depots and pick-up/drop-off details:

  • depots in Auckland and Christchurch open 7 days a week 
  • out of hours collections and returns possible for NZ$80 fee.
Escape Campervans Kiwi Experience Backpacker campervan & car rental Budget traveller camper vans hire New Zealand
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