Compare campervan hire New Zealand – How to find the perfect camper to suit your needs.

If you’re starting to plan your dream trip you’ll want to compare campervan hire New Zealand to ensure you have an amazing, comfortable and stress free holiday. Nothing is worse than being unhappy with your campervan or having your holiday wrecked by endless problems. We’ll show you what comparisons you need to make between campervan options themselves and also between hire companies. We’ll also show you the easiest way to compare campervan hire options! If you follow our recommendations you’ll have a campervan that meets all your needs.

This post contains affiliate links. We earn a small commission from items you purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you. For more information see our Affiliate Disclaimer

For most people, a campervan holiday around New Zealand is the trip of a lifetime. Your campervan will be your home for the duration of your trip. It will be the place you sleep, prepare meals, shelter from the rain, wind and sand flies, and yes, there are sandflies! It’s understandable that you’d want to make a good choice that’s comfortable and meets your needs.

One of the potential risks when choosing a campervan is ending up with a dud. One that is mechanically unsound or has electrical or other items that don’t work properly. It’s a sure-fire way to reduce your enjoyment.

Of course, when you have problems, you would hope that the hiring company would help you but that can also be a bit tricky with some being fairy difficult to deal with. Imagine, you’re on your dream holiday, stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken-down camper van and a rude unhelpful person on the phone! Yikes.

You can greatly reduce the chance of having an easy, stress-free, incredible adventure by taking the time to compare your options and choosing a good camper that meets your needs. This is one of those times a little preparation goes a long way!

In this article we’ll outline

  • What you need to think about before you choose a campervan or motorhome
  • How to compare campervan hire companies in New Zealand
  • What to look for when comparing campervans and motorhomes in New Zealand
  • How to use tools like Motorhome Republic to find all the information you need

Definitions and explanations of campervans in New Zealand

Every country has their own terminology when it comes to campervan’s and the difference between a campervan, motorhome and RV can be a bit confusing.

The ultimate guide on how to compare campervan hire companies and types in New Zealand to make sure you get the ideal camper for your trip! #campervan #newzealand #motorhometravel #travel
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Types of campervans in New Zealand

In New Zealand there are 4 main types of vehicles that you can hire for a self drive holiday. These include

Car

Your standard two wheel drive car is an inexpensive, fuel efficient way to travel New Zealand, however it is NOT a campervan. Unless you intend to sleep in the drivers seat, you’ll have to stay at hotels. While this is a perfectly fine way to travel around New Zealand, it’s not what we’re talking about here.

Camper car

This is a decent sized car with the back area converted into a bed. Depending on your preferences, it may be self contained, which means it may have a small toilet. You will usually also have some small cooking facilities. This type of camper is ideal for one to two people.

Campervan

A campervan is a larger car or a van which has been converted to include a bed, which you’ll often have to pull out at night, and pack away again in the morning. There are often more ‘homely’ kitchen facilities in a campvan. Campervan’s will generally fit 2 people quite comfortably. Again, you have the option of whether to choose a self contained or non self contained campervan in New Zealand.

Motorhome

A motorhome, or RV, is a larger ‘home on wheels’ that comfortably fits two to six people. There will generally be a toilet and shower, more spacious cooking facilities and a greater amount of room overall. All information below applies to campervans as well as motorhomes.

If you can’t wait to start comparing skip ahead to the section where we compare campervan hire New Zealand

Things to consider before you compare options for campervan hire in New Zealand

Your personal comfort and preferences

The campervan will be your home for the duration of your trip in New Zealand so make sure you take the time to think about what you would actually prefer.

Do you mind living in close quarters with your travel buddy or do you want more space? Do you want to eat out a lot or do you intend to make your own food, thereby needing a decent kitchen?

The first campervan we ever hired was a camper car, and we soon realised that Ben was too tall for the bed! When we hired our small, two birth campervan for our New Zealand holiday, we realised that next time, we would prefer a bed that doesn’t need to be pulled out and put back every day.

It pays to put some thought into your preferences in advance.

How many people are you travelling with?

Your answer to this will determine which type of campervan you begin to compare. Don’t be tempted to squash into a smaller camper than you need. Make sure you look at options with adequate space.

What is your budget?

It’s important that you’re realistic about how much you have to spend on hiring a campervan in New Zealand. There are additional expenses that come with a campervan such as fuel, road tax and the cost of campervan sites if you aren’t freedom camping. Be honest about how much you can afford to spend on the actual hire price of the campervan.

Important note: If you’re not sure where to even begin with your preferences, We have an article on how to choose a campervan for New Zealand that goes through everything you need to think about before committing to a particular type of vehicle. You can also use the Motorhome Republic website to filter through some of the campervans available and see what kind of things are on offer.

Juicy campervan in New Zealand country side

How far in advance should you book?

Campervanning around New Zealand is incredibly popular, with the perfect and busiest time being the summer months, or November through Feburary. It’s amazing how many other campervans you’ll see on the roads and at freedom camping sites during this time.

It is important to book your campervan as far in advance as possible. Many of the popular, reputable companies will sell out of their campervans in the months before peak season. This does not mean that you won’t find one, it just means your options are more limited. You wouldn’t want to take all the time to compare campervan hire New Zealand only to not have your choice available.

If you’re booking last minute, don’t panic, if you book a campervan that is unavailable, the company will usually work with you to find an alternative. 

On a personal note, we booked our campervan about 6 weeks before our trip and had no problem at all but we were lucky. We’d recommend booking in advance to be on the safe side.

Another thing to consider is that it is usually cheaper if you book your campervan well in advance.

How to compare campervan hire companies in New Zealand

When you first start looking at hiring a campervan you’ll notice that there are hundreds of companies to choose from. The unfortunate thing is that they are not all created equally and it can be difficult to filter out the good from the bad. Lucky for you that’s where we come in! Below are the things you’ll want to compare across the campervan hire companies that you find.

Compare the base price of the campervans

The base price is really the minimum price, before you begin to add on additional items. But to be honest, it isn’t the only thing you need to consider as it can change substantially

Do a comparison of Campervan hire inclusions and exclusions

An inclusion is an item that is included in the base price of your campervan. An exclusion is something that you will need to purchase additionally should you decide that you want it.

There are often quite a few fees attached with hiring a campervan in New Zealand. These include

  • administration and hiring fees
  • fees added for additional or young drivers
  • cleaning fees.

When comparing hire companies check whether these sorts of fees are included in the price.

Other fees will include things like

  • one way fee
  • insurance
  • road tax
  • road side assistance

While the occasional campervan hire company will include them, generally they’re excluded and you’ll need to pay them seperately.

Most of the items that you need will be included in the campervan, for example bedding and basic kitchen items. We did have to buy a couple of kitchen items that we use regularly however.

Expert tip: Make sure that when you compare campervan hire New Zealand, you check the included bedding and kitchen equipment as some budget campervan hire companies exclude these items and they become necessary additional purchases

There are some extra items that you may want to purchase such as a solar shower or table and chairs. We found the table and chairs to be really worthwhile.

Compare the quality of the hire vehicles from each company

This is kind of a big one. While it may be tempting to find the cheapest campervan you can. It may not be worthwhile if it spends your entire holiday breaking down. Make sure the company has a reputation for good maintenance, and also good customer service. If you happen to have a problem, you want someone helpful to sort it out.

Check reviews of the hire companies

It goes without saying that you should always check the companies reviews in a variety of places to see how others have found their services. You can also use reviews to gauge the quality of the campervans for rent.

If a company has a lot of really negative reviews relating to mechanical issues and bad customer service, or horrible support, then you don’t want to use their services.

Reviews about customer service are particularly important. In a perfect world you would have limited interaction with your hire company, you’d simply pick up the campervan and return it at the end. However if you have a problem, you want good customer service. You need them to be helpful and on their game so you can continue to enjoy your holiday.

Freedom camping by Oaphu lake
Compare campervan hire New Zealand – there are plenty of different types of campers available

How to compare hire vehicles

If you’re unfamiliar with car makes and models, many of the types of camper/car and campervans will look pretty similar to you (and me!) but here are slight differences you will want to consider.

  • the age of the vehicle: If you’ve compared hire companies and they have a good track record of repair and maintenance then the age of the car may not be an issue. If however you’re looking at a 20 year old rental vehicle with a lot of complaints about mechanical issues… move on.
  • Fuel efficiency is an important factor as fuel is expensive in New Zealand. Compare how many litres of gas it uses per 100km
  • self contained or not self contained? Do you want a self contained or non self contained campervan? This is a personal preference and is usually a more important decision if you intend to freedom camp.
  • Check the living inclusions and other vehicle inclusions for things such as kitchen and bedding equipment, whether it has air conditioning or heating etc

How to use Motorhome Republic to compare and contrast hire campervans

As mentioned, we use Motorhome Republic for our campervan hires. We’ve found it to be really easy to navigate and it provides all the information we need to make good comparisons.

Steps to comparing suitable hire campervans

  1. Go to the Motorhome Republic website and enter the dates you wish to travel and the city you want to collect your campervan
Loading search form…
  1. Use the filters on the left to filter down your options
    1. automatic or manual
    2. do you need a toilet (ie self contained?)
    3. Do you have a preference for vehicle age?
    4. Set your budget
    5. set a filter for quality companies based on the reviews
  2. Across the top you’ll see a display allowing you to choose how many people you’ll need to sleep inside your camper, the ‘berth’

Once you’ve set your filters, you’ll have a complete list of the available campervans for hire during the time of your holiday.

As you click on them, all the information you need is divided into subheadings.

You’ll find the vehicle specifications box will include the fuel consumption values.

The section called ‘Inclusions in the standard rate” will allow you to work out the base price and make comparisons with other hire vehicles that fit your needs.

The “Living features,” “beds” and “entertainment” sections will tell you whether those comfort and preference features we discussed earlier will be met with this camper, and whether or not you’ll need to purchase additional items.

It’s really that simple.

Start your campervan comparison search here

If you’re unsure where to begin, we’ve researched some excellent options. These will give a a great place to begin your search, or they may just be the campervan for you!

Camper Car – Small campervan hire in New Zealand

A camper car is a small, compact, fuel efficient way to explore New Zealand. While they are usually inexpensive compared to larger options, you do lose some of the comfort you get from having more space.

Budget Camper car hire

Spaceships – Rocket 2 Berth

This Spaceships Rentals Rocket 2-Berth is a fantastic, award winning option. From a reputable company, and at great value it really can’t be beaten in the budget category. One good thing about this camper car is that it includes all bedding and kitchen items, which are not necessarily included in the base price with other budget models.

Is it for me?

This Rocket 2- Berth is a great small and budget camper car. You’ll be able to get around easily within the cities and cruise along on the open road. Great for a single person or a couple. When you compare campervan hire New Zealand, it’s worth nothing that Spaceship rentals have an amazing reputation.

Pro’s and con’s

A pro are all the inclusions that you get making the Rocket 2-Berth great value.

A con is that the cooking facilities are minimal, which you have to expect in a small, budget camper,. You can only carry 5L of fresh water, and there is only a cooler to keep your food in.

Average price per day

Expect to pay between $16NZD and $70 NZD depending on the time of year, with peak season, November-Feburary being the most expensive of course!

Mid range Camper Car – Compare campervan hire New Zealand

Spaceship Rentals Beta 2-Berth

When looking at small camper cars space ships have a reputation second to none, and in the mid range price bracket the Beta 2-Berth offers a very comfortable options.

Is it for me?

The Spaceships Beta 2-Berth is for those looking for all the benefits of a budget camper with a little extra comfort.

Pro’s and con’s

There are better cooking facilities with the Beta than with the rocket. For example there is a 20 L fridge/freezer which makes it easier to cook your own meals. There is also better fuel efficiency, getting 10L/100km, making longer road trips cheaper than with the Spaceships Rocket.

A negative is that there are no fly screens to keep bugs and sand flies out.

Average cost per day

The average cost of the Spaceships Beta 2-Berth is between $46 and $97 NZD per day, depending on the time of year you visit! Again, super cheap in winter, not so much in summer.

High end Camper Cars

Spaceships Rentals Dream Sleeper

Once again Spaceships take out the top camper car in this category. Their great reputation and excellent value for money make them pretty unbeatable when it comes to small camper rental in New Zealand. The Spaceships Dream Sleeper is the top of the line when it comes to camper cars.

Is it for me?

Building on the mid range and budget offerings, the Spaceship dream sleeper offers liveable comfort. With the most cooking facilities it’s suited to a single or couple who want easy access to cities, fast and simple parking in National Parks and the ability to cook their own meals with ease.

Pro’s and con’s

The Dream Sleeper has a sink, unlike the cheaper models, making meal prep and hygiene a lot easier. It also has a larger 40L fridge/freezer and a larger fresh water tank. It is also the most fuel efficient at 9L/100km.

The Dream Sleeper is missing fly screens on the windows, just like the Beta.

Average cost per day

The Dream Sleeper will cost you anywhere from $30 NZD to $116 NZD. Of course, you can save some money by booking your camper car well in advance.

Comparing standard campervan companies and models

Campervans freedom camping beside Kingston Lake New Zealand

A campervan gives you more space than a camper car, and usually includes more items that increase ‘liveability’ such as a larger fridge freezer and more cooking space. Most will still be compact allowing you to move freely through the cities.

Budget campervan hire

Jucy Rentals Condo campervan

When you compare campervan hire New Zealand, the Jucy Condo is hard to leave out. A very reputable brand, this model is self contained and offers a little more room to move about.

Is it for me?

If you intent on cooking your own meals you’ll be happy with this camper which has two gas hobs and an 80L fridge. It has an interior height of 1.9m meaning that you can stand inside.

Pro’s and con’s

Pro’s are the good cooking options and two beds. The con’s are that you need to pay an additional one way fare,

Average daily price

$50-120 NZD

Comparison of mid range campervans in New Zealand

Sleepavanz 2 Berth Hiace

A step up from the basic economy package of the Comet Hitop, the Sleepavans 2 Berth Hiace gives you a compact vehicle with a spacious interior and a good amount of inclusions.

Is it for me?

If you’re looking for a quality, self contained campervan that has plenty of room but will still fit in and around the cities and in parking spaces easily, then this is for you.

Pro’s and con’s

The Sleepavanz Hiace comes with all the bedding and kitchen equipment that you need. It also has an interior height of 2 meters giving it more of a spacious feel.

Average daily price

The Hiace ranges anywhere from $55 NZD up to about $183 NZD in the height of peak season.

High end standard campervan comparison

Britz Campavan Rentals – Venturer

With a great reputation for quality, the Britz Campervan Rentals Venturer offers a more luxurious option with many inclusions, and bigger, better options, despite its relatively compact size.

Is it for me?

If you intend to use the kitchen quite a bit then the Britz Venturer has one of the best equipped kitchens. You can cook a nice dinner and relax, all in a slightly larger space than with other campers.

Pro’s and con’s

The kitchen is equipped with an 80L fridge freezer. while the cooktop has 3 cooking plates as opposed to the two you normally find in campervans. This camper also has hot water and is quite fuel efficient for it’s size at only 12L/100Km

A down side is that all this luxury takes some space and it is slightly longer than the previous campers, at 7.2 meters, making it a little more of a challenge in city areas.

Average cost per day

The average cost of the Britz Venturer is between $100 NZD and $244 NZD per day.

Compare motorhome hire in New Zealand

Motorhomes provide the ultimate luxury, with plenty of space and cooking equipment they provide that comfortable, homely feel.

Compare campervan hire New Zealand Motorhome freedom camping by Lake Tekapo

Budget motorhomes options

Concord 4 Berth from Kiwi Autohomes Motorhome Rental

The Concord 4 Berth is a fantastic budget option. With almost everything included, this spacious camper sleeps 4 very comfortably.

Is it for me?

If you’re a couple looking for extra space, or 4 people wanting to have a comfortable trip than the Concord 4 Berth is definitely for you.

Pro’s and con’s

This self contained camper comes with a lot of inclusions making it very budget friendly for a motorhome. It is also very compact at only 6.2 meters making it smaller than some of the large vehicles without losing any space.

One negative, I think, is that the fridge is only 70L which is quite small for 4 people.

Average cost per day

The average cost of the Concord 4 Berth is between $103 NZD and $342 NZD.

Mid range motorhome hire

Maui Cascade Elite Motorhome

A bigger, grander motorhome than the Concord, the Maui Cascade Elite Motorhome comes with an enormous number of inclusions and everything you could want to be comfortable, and self contained throughout your trip. A well known, reputable name in motorhomes, you can’t go wrong with Maui.

Is it for me?

If you’re really looking for something that feels like home and allows you to freedom camp for extended periods, staying off the grid, the Maui Cascade Elite Motorhome will give you just that.

Pro’s and con’s

This motorhome comes with functional cooking utilities such as a 4 burner cooktop and 130L fridge. There is also heating and air conditioning throughout the cabin and living area’s meaning you’ll be comfortable no matter what the New Zealand weather is doing.

This motorhome is 6.8m long which requires some driving skill and makes manoeuvring and parking within the cities a little more difficult.

Average cost per day

The Maui Cascade Elite Motorhome ranges from as low as $158 NZD to $465 NZD per day.

High end motorhome hire in New Zealand

When it comes to hiring luxury motorhomes in New Zealand you’re only really limited by the size of the motorhome. I havn’t included any options here, although Maui and Pacific Horizon Travel Homes are great brands with a few options in this category.

Once you get to this category, you really don’t get anything extra, compared to say, the Maui Cascade which has everything you need. What you do get however is the space, and how much space you need is really up to you.

What to do after you’ve hired your campervan

You’ll find these articles helpful after you’ve hired your campervan

This post contains affiliate links. We earn a small commission from items you purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you. For more information see our Affiliate disclaimer

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A guide to New Zealand campervan hire - Discover what you need, how to easily compare compare companies and campervans. Take the stress out of renting your perfect campervan!
About Christine

Christine and her partner Ben have spent the last few years traveling through New Zealand and then Europe by campervan. They travel with their dog Alisa, who they adopted in Croatia. You'll find them exploring old cities, hiking through National Parks, and taking unforgettable road trips.

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