The Best Backpacker Campervan Rentals in New Zealand© JUCY Group
The Best Backpacker Campervan Rentals in New Zealand

The Best Backpacker Campervan Rentals in New Zealand

© JUCY Group
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
NZ Pocket Guide is 10 years old. Thank you for trusting us with your trip for over a decade!

The Best New Zealand Campercars and Campervan Rentals for Backpackers

What are the best campervan rental companies for those with a sense of adventure and on a budget? As you might have figured out by now, renting a campervan in New Zealand is not cheap. However, we’ve whittled out the expensive campervan rental companies to bring you the best of the backpacker campervan rentals in New Zealand. The budget campervans from the following companies are perfect for keeping the costs down.

The backpacker campervan rentals below have an affordable daily rental rate – NZ$40-$185 per day depending on what season you hire the campervans. While they tend to have the limited amenities, these campervans have all the essentials most backpackers need to keep the costs low, rather than added extras that you would normally end up paying more for.

For more information on planning the ultimate campervan road trip, check out How to Plan a Campervan Trip in New Zealand.

How to Budget for a Campervan Trip in New Zealand

Before we move on to the best backpacker campervan rentals in New Zealand, here are a few tips on how to budget for campervan rental.

The Costs Involved in Renting a Campervan

  • Daily rate – This fluctuates with the season: summer being the most expensive season and winter being the cheapest.
  • Insurance – Most campervan rentals in New Zealand have standard insurance included but you have the option to reduce the excess and bond (security deposit) costs at a daily rate between NZ$20 to $45 per day. However, not all insurance policies are the same so be sure to look into what’s covered. Check out our explanation of how insurance works in New Zealand Rental Car & Campervan Insurance: Explained!
  • Young driver fee – Some campervan rentals will incur a fee if the driver is under 25 years old.
  • One-way fee – Most rental companies charge a one-way fee if dropping off the vehicle in a different location from where you picked up the vehicle.
  • Extra driver fee – You may be charged a one-off fee for an extra driver.
  • Premium location fee – Most commonly charged for picking up a vehicle from an airport depot. Not all companies will charge a premium location fee.
  • Self-containment fee – Some cheap campervan rental companies in New Zealand charge an extra fee to include a portable toilet that would make your vehicle valid for freedom camping; most don’t charge this fee but look out for the ones that do.
  • RUC charge – Especially the case when hiring a larger RV or motorhome, rental companies will often make you pay the local diesel tax charge (RUC) on the number of kilometres travelled.
  • Optional extras – GPS, camping chairs, snow chains, gas bottles and others may be available to hire as an optional extra.

For a more in-depth look at budgeting for campervan rentals, take a look at How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in New Zealand? Plus, if you’re looking to save as much money on your rental as possible, make sure that renting a budget campervan is right for you with our campervan vs. car rental cost guide.

The Best Backpacker Campervan Rentals in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

Travellers Autobarn

Travellers Autobarn is ideal for backpacking around New Zealand while staying in holiday parks and campsites. With no extra fees for young drivers, Travellers Autobarn is a great choice even for younger travellers. It is an extra NZ$50 to hire a portable toilet and for your certified self-containment sticker to be valid to be able to freedom camp in New Zealand. Tip: rentals are usually cheaper when starting in Christchurch with Travellers Autobarn. Plus, check out our review of their “Kuga” campervan.

We also list Travellers Autobarn in The Cheapest Motorhome & Campervan Rentals in New Zealand, so be sure to take a look there too.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations: Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Backpacker Campervans Available

Campervan/station wagon Toyota Estima sleeping 2 people in a tent, and Hitop Toyota Hiace vans sleeping between 3-5 people.

Vehicle age range: 4 to 12 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • 10% discount for premium caravan parks
  • Access to free campgrounds
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gas stove, fridge, sink, microwave
  • Optional extras also include kitchenware, bedding, child booster seats, multiple drivers and a heater.

Insurance

Free standard cover with NZ$3,000 excess and NZ$3,000 bond to pay. Full cover is also available at an additional NZ$30 per day for no excess or bond to pay.

What Does a Travellers Autobarn Campervan Look Like?

Check the NZ Pocket Guide team touring a Travellers Autobarn campervan in the following video:

Mad Campers© Mad Campers

Mad Campers

With affordable campervan rentals and totally Insta-worthy vans, Mad Campers is a great option if looking to travel New Zealand on a budget. All of their vans are certified self-contained meaning you can legally freedom camp, meaning that camping for free is likely to be an option. Plus, their low season rates are an offer you can’t refuse!

For more campervan options starting from Auckland, check out The Best Motorhome & Campervan Rentals in Auckland.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Courtesy transfers are available in Auckland, however, outside of office hours may incur a transfer charge. Christchurch transfers are subject to availability.

Pick-Up/Drop-off Locations: Auckland and Christchurch.

Backpacker Campervans Available

Nissan Vanette sleeping up to 2 people and is certified self-contained. Nissan Cube sleeping one person and is certified self-contained.

Vehicle age range: 0 to 12 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • Up to 2 drivers (18+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gas stove, fridge and sink
  • Portable toilet
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Safe box

Insurance

Free standard insurance with NZ$5,000 excess and NZ$2,500 bond or insurance add-ons for NZ$17.50-$30 per day with less excess and bond to pay.

Escape Campervans© Escape Campervans

Escape Campervan Rentals

With awesome spray-painted designs, Escape Campervan Rentals are your good-looking trip companion. The vans have all the essentials for staying comfortably at campsites around the country. Be aware that not all vans are self-contained. For tips on where to sleep, check out Where Can You Camp in New Zealand if Your Campervan is Not Self-Contained?

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations: Auckland and Christchurch.

Backpacker Campervans Available

Nissan Caravans sleeping up to 3 people.

Vehicle age range: 8 to 19 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • Multiple drivers (18+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Solar shower
  • Gas stove, sink, cooler box
  • Portable toilet (in self-contained vans only)
  • Mains-powered heater
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Guidebook with activity discounts
  • New Zealand SIM card
  • Snowchains in winter (on request)

Insurance

Free standard insurance with NZ$3,000-$4,000 excess and NZ$3,000 bond. Other insurance options are available at an added NZ$22.50-$30 per day for less excess and bond to pay.

The Best Backpacker Campervan Rentals in New Zealand© Hippie Campers

Hippie Campers

Hippie Campers certainly plays the part with their hippy-style vans that are small enough to be easy to drive. The campervans have all the basic essentials, however, they are not self-contained so you will need to stay in campsites and holiday parks, rather than enjoy freedom camping. See Where Can You Camp in New Zealand if Your Campervan is Not Self-Contained? for more advice.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations: Auckland and Christchurch.

Backpacker Campervans Available

High-roof Toyota HiAce sleeping up to 3 people.

Vehicle age range: 3 to 17 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gas stove, sink, fridge and kettle
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Towels

Insurance

Insurance is included in the rental with a NZ$3,000 bond and NZ$3,000 excess. There are options to reduce the excess and bond to pay for NZ$22 per day.

The Best Backpacker Campervan Rentals in New Zealand© Tui Campers

Tui Campers

The ultimate backpacker campervan option with Tui Campers is their “Deluxe Sleepervan”. These vehicles are easy to drive and are as low as NZ$39/day in the low season and only as high as NZ$140/day in the high season. Note there is a minimum hire period of 5 days or 14 days during peak season. For more information on the New Zealand low and high season, check out When is the Best Time to Visit New Zealand?

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Courtesy transfers to and from the airport and city are available.

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations: Auckland and Christchurch (Wellington, Picton, Greymouth, Dunedin, Queenstown and Nelson also available at a NZ$800 charge).

Backpacker Campervans Available

Toyota Voxy sleeping up to 2 people and certified self-contained, Toyota HiAces sleeping up to 2 or 5 people and self-contained, Ford Transit sleeping up to 2, 3, 4 or 5 people and self-contained, and Ford Ranger with tents sleeping up to 5 people and self-contained.

Vehicle age range: 9 to 18 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • Multiple drivers (21+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gas stove, sink, 12v cooler box or fridge
  • Portable or fixed toilet
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Awning
  • Road atlas

Insurance

Standard insurance is included with NZ$4,000 excess (NZ$5,000 for drivers aged under 25 years) and the same price bond to pay. There are options to reduce the excess and bond for NZ$25-$45 per day.

Cruzen Campers© Cruzen Campers

Cruzen Campers

If “flashpacking” is more your style then hire one of the modern Nissan NV200 campervans from Cruzen Campers. The vans are compact so easy enough to drive and include a few little contemporary touches, such as USB charge ports, GPS mapping system, unlimited WiFi and Bluetooth/USB stereo system to make road-tripping around New Zealand all the easier!

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Courtesy transfers are available.

Pick-Up/Drop-off Location: Auckland

Backpacker Campervans Available

Nissan NV200 sleeping up to 2 people and are certified self-contained.

Vehicle age range: 8 to 12 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • 1 driver (21+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gas cooker, fridge and sink
  • Flushing toilet
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • GPS mapping system/Apple Car Play stereo
  • Unlimited WiFi hotspot

Insurance

Free standard insurance with NZ$3,000 excess and NZ$3,000 bond. Other insurance options are available at an added NZ$20-$25 per day for less excess and bond to pay.

Jucy Rentals© Jucy Rentals

Jucy Rentals

With regular deals, great prices in the shoulder and low season, and a wide selection of campervans to choose from, Jucy is worth considering when choosing a backpacker campervan rental in New Zealand.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

A courtesy shuttle is available for airport branches offering airport pick-up and drop-offs.

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations: Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport and Queenstown Airport.

Backpacker Campervans Available

Toyota Estima campercar sleeping 2 people (not self-contained), high rise Toyota HiAce sleeps up to 4 people (self-contained) and a high rise Toyota HiAce (more premium option) sleeping 3 people and self-contained.

Vehicle age range: 2 to 10 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Basic insurance
  • Gas stove, fridge, sink
  • Portable toilet (included in HiAce)
  • Shower and toilet (included in premium HiAce)
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Cleaning equipment

Insurance

Free insurance with NZ$5,000 excess and NZ$5,000 bond. Or insurance add-ons for NZ$40-$55 per day with less excess and less bond to pay. What’s included in the insurance (or more likely, what’s not!) is clearly stated on the Jucy website so be sure to use this to compare with other insurances offered.

Lucky Car and Campervan Rentals© Lucky Car and Campervan Rentals

Lucky Car and Campervan Rentals

Lucky has three campervan types to choose from ranging from the super-low budget campercars to hi-top campervans decommissioned from other campervan rental companies mentioned on this list. While they provide the basic cooking equipment, note that you will have to hire bedding from them (or supply your own). There is a minimum hire period of five days.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations: Auckland and Christchurch.

Backpacker Campervans Available

A non-self-contained Toyota Estima sleeping up to 2 people and self-contained Toyota HiAces sleeping up to 3 to 4 people.

Vehicle age range: 12-18 years old

Free Inclusions

  • Multiple drivers (18+ years old)
  • Basic insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Sink and water tap
  • Gas cooker
  • Fridge (HiAce)
  • Kitchenware
  • Portable toilet and shower (HiAce campers)
  • TV (HiAce campers)

Insurance

Standard insurance is included with NZ$2,500 excess and the same price bond rate. Other insurance options are available at an added NZ$15-$40 per day for less excess and bond to pay.

Wicked Campers© Wicked Campers

Wicked Campers

This backpacker campervan rental company in New Zealand has made a name for itself for its controversial spray-painted designs. Plus, Wicked Campers‘ vans are affordable to rent! Just watch out for the few hidden fees. We suggest reading their FAQ to really understand what you are being charged for and what’s included in the rental.

For more campervans available from Queenstown, check out The Best Motorhome & Campervan Rentals in Queenstown.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations: Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Backpacker Campervans Available

Toyota Alphard (or something similar) sleeping up to 2 people spray-painted in various designs or no design is available. Campervans are certified self-contained for a fee.

Vehicle age range: 7 to 15 years old.

Free Inclusions

  • 1 driver (18+ years old)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Gas stove, sink, cooler box
  • Kitchenware
  • Mattress (no linen)

Insurance

Insurance is mandatory but not included in the daily rate of the rental. Insurance is a mandatory payment of NZ$30-$45 per day for NZ$1,000 excess and a bond to pay if you don’t have a credit card available for imprint.

More About Backpacker Campervan Rentals in New Zealand

That’s it for our list of backpacker campervan rentals in New Zealand. For more tips on planning the perfect campervan road trip, check out the following guides:

Now that you’ve found the best backpacker campervan rentals in New Zealand, do you need some road trip ideas? Check out the following itineraries for the best road trip routes:

Finally, if there’s anything that we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in How to Plan a Campervan Trip in New Zealand.

Sources:

The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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