A Guide to 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 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 to New Zealand campervan relocations!
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 guide to New Zealand campervan relocations.
What Do Campervan Rental Relocations Include?
Campervan relocations sometimes (but not always) have additional free inclusions. These could include:
- One tank of fuel
- The cost of the ferry crossing between Wellington and Picton
- Expenses – usually of a capped amount. GST receipts must be provided.
Before we get into the ins and outs of campervan relocation, make sure that you are also 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 Relocations 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, some rentals offer optional extra days to add to the rental, 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 New Zealand Campervan Relocations:
- 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 (security deposit) 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 them. 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.
The Most Popular New Zealand 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:
Which New Zealand Campervan Rental Companies Offer Relocations?
So how do you find free and cheap campervan rentals in New Zealand? Some campervan rental companies post relocation opportunities directly on their website, while others can be found on campervan relocations aggregator websites.
Campervan rental companies that offer relocations include:
- Travellers Autobarn
- Jucy Rentals
- Cheapa Campa
- Apollo Camper
- Hippie Camper
You can compare many of these companies in The Best Motorhome & Campervan Rentals in New Zealand and The Cheapest Motorhome & Campervan Rentals in New Zealand.
More About Campervan Relocations in New Zealand
That’s its for our guide to New Zealand campervan relocations and how to hire a campervan for free! For more campervan rental advice, check out the following guides:
- A Simple Guide to Car Relocation in New Zealand
- Private Campervan Rental: Should You Rent a Peer-to-Peer Motorhome?
- Which is Cheaper: Campervan Rental or Car Rental + Stay in Hotel/Hostel/Airbnb?
Finally, head over to How to Plan a Campervan Trip in New Zealand for even more mind-blowing tips.