How to Get the Cheapest Campervan Rental in New Zealand
How to Get the Cheapest Campervan Rental in New Zealand

How to Get the Cheapest Campervan Rental in New Zealand

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Campervan Relocation in New Zealand

Did you know you can hire a large motorhome in New Zealand for NZ$5? Or how about a campervan rental free-of-charge?! Yes, there is a way to rent campervans for free or extremely cheap in New Zealand. Campervan relocation is becoming a big thing here where campervan rental companies are offering free rentals in exchange for travellers to drive their campervans from A to B. Sounds awesome, right? We’ll go through the details with this guide on how to get the cheapest campervan rental in New Zealand!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in The Essential Guide to Renting a Campervan in New Zealand.

What is Campervan Relocation?

Simply, campervan relocation is helping campervan rental companies transfer rental campervans from one of their depots to another. Campervan relocations work almost the same as a normal rental booking, except that the rental rate is free or just a few dollars. However, there are extra conditions attached to your campervan relocation, which we’ll explore in this article.

What Do Campervan Rental Relocations Include?

Campervan relocations sometimes (but not always) have additional free inclusions. These could include:

Before we get into the ins and outs of campervan relocation, make sure that you are first aware of the 10 Things You Need to Know About Camper Van Rental in New Zealand.©

Why Are Campervan Relocations Free (or Extremely Cheap)?

With many campervan rental companies having multiple depots around the country, they often need to transfer vehicles between their branches for new hires. This is usually an expensive process for rental companies who often use trains and trucks to transfer fleets across the country. However, by offering campervan relocations, rental companies vastly reduce their costs on vehicle transfers by getting backpackers, holidaymakers and even locals to drive vehicles to the company’s chosen depot.

So why are campervan relocations free? Well, let’s be honest, free campervan rentals are a great incentive for us to rent a campervan, while the rental company gets to relocate their vehicles in the cheapest way possible. It’s a win-win!©

What is the Catch with Campervan Relocation in New Zealand?

Like most things that come free of charge, there’s a catch. You can only rent the campervan for a limited time. Campervan rental companies will state in their campervan relocation agreement that the vehicle will be relocated to the destination within a certain amount of days. Don’t worry, the time specified is usually enough to leisurely make your way between destinations – just not enough time to take a big detour or stay somewhere between destinations for a few days. However, with campervan relocation websites like Transfercar, some rentals are listed with optional extra days, usually at a cheaper price than the original rental rate, so it’s still worth looking into.

The second most obvious drawback of campervan relocation is that you can only arrange campervan relocations between a limited number of locations. You won’t have as much choice in where you start and end your rental as you would with a normal campervan rental – more of that in the section below.

Other Limitations of Campervan Relocations You Need to be Aware of

  • Only one tank of fuel will be included in the relocation rate at the most – the rest of the fuel you will have to pay for
  • You will need to still pay an insurance bond as with a normal rental. There will be the option to reduce the excess by paying a daily excess waiver fee
  • The ferry crossing between the North Island and South Island is not always included
  • The availability of campervans to relocate differs between the seasons and locations.©

What are the Most Popular Campervan Relocation Routes in New Zealand?

Campervan relocation opportunities are only available around New Zealand where there is a demand for it. There are certain locations offering much more campervan relocations than others. This is due to a number of factors, such as that most travellers in New Zealand rent campervans travelling from north to south and the majority of campervan rental depots are located by New Zealand’s busiest international airports.

The most popular routes for campervan relocations include Christchurch Airport to Auckland Airport and Queenstown Airport to Christchurch Airport. Relocation is also available, though not as frequently, from Auckland Airport to Christchurch Airport, Christchurch to Picton, Christchurch to Greymouth and Queenstown Airport to Invercargill Airport.

Most Popular Locations for Campervan Relocation Pick-Ups

Here are the most popular campervan relocation locations for pick-ups in order of the most popular to the least popular:

Picton, Nelson and Invercargill are also destinations in demand but with slightly fewer relocation opportunities.

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How to Get Started

So how do you find the cheapest campervan rental in New Zealand? While some campervan rental companies post relocation opportunities directly on their website, the easiest way to find campervan relocations is on websites like Transfercar.

Transfercar is a car and campervan relocation listing website where campervan rental companies list their most recent campervan relocations for anyone (who can legally drive in New Zealand) to book online. With a huge range of campervan rental companies listed across New Zealand, it’s the best place to find campervan relocations in New Zealand all on one website. Use the search filters to find the right vehicle type, fuel inclusions, ferry inclusions and more. Transfercar also takes the guesswork out of the conditions of the campervan relocation, with conditions, inclusions, price and the number of days clearly stated on each listing.

More About Campervan Rentals in New Zealand

That’s it from this guide on how to get the cheapest campervan rental in New Zealand. Now head over to Travel by Campervan in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide for even more mind-blowing tips.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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