Apr 172016
 

Camper van hire in New Zealand is big business. There has been some serious consolidation in the motor home rental market over the past few years as the smaller players have yielded to commercial pressures.

That, and the effects of the recent Global Financial Crisis that knocked the stuffing out of the companies relying on volume customers and running on tight margins.That said, the market for cheap campervan hire in New Zealand contains many small operators specifically geared to younger backpackers.

So let’s have a look at the various markets, we’ve broken them into:

  • Top-end or Luxury Campers
  • Low-end or Budget Campers
  • The Middle Market

Top-end or Luxury Camper Vans

Here you’ll find your Kea Campers, usually the 6-berth models, completely fitted out and very nice to spend a bit of time in.

While they are certified Self-Contained, meaning they have both grey and black water storage capacity, they are not designed for long periods of time away from the smoother roads and cafés one would associate with luxury camping, or “glamping” as the tent-version is known.

You probably wouldn’t want to take them too far off the beaten track and we’d advise that you keep to the better end of the “poor-road” spectrum with these campers.

Low-end or Budget Campers

The low-end, backpacker-focussed part of the market is saturated with cheap vans, quite often 2-berth, maybe 4. The key players here are:

Wicked Campers – known for their irreverent, sometimes misogynist, occasionally racist, paintwork, Wicked Campers has gained quite a foothold in the budget camper market. Wicked Campers have hit the headlines recently due to their slogans. It seems the limit for tolerating intolerance has been reached.

Spaceships – used the Mitsubishi Spacevan, hence the name but now run Toyota Estimas. Small vans, suitable for two people who don’t mind living a bit rough or are just travelling between hostels and want a bit more flexibility.

Jucy Rentals – quite a New Zealand success story. You can read about them here.

The Middle Market for Camper Van Hire in New Zealand

It is here that the greatest consolidation has occurred in the recent past: the middle market for campervan hire in New Zealand. This is where we find Britz, Maui and others, often with a huge parking area close to Auckland or Christchurch international airports.

At Auckland Airport, you’ll find

  • Alpha
  • Britz
  • Kea
  • Mighty Cars and Campers
  • Maui
  • United

and there’s a campervan park where you can stay for your first and/or last night in the country. Details on the Auckland Airport website.

At Christchurch Airport, you’ll find

  • Apollo
  • Britz
  • Escape Campers
  • Jucy Rentals
  • Kea
  • Maui
  • Mighty
  • Roadrunner
  • Tui

with Maui, Britz and Jucy on the Airport Campus. You’ll also find Maui and Britz offices in the International Arrivals hall.

This middle market is certainly the driving force of the New Zealand motorhome hire industry. They are constantly renewing their stock and offer good deals for used campervans, should you be in the market for such a vehicle.

To wrap up, the range in the NZ market for camper van hire will allow you to find something to suit your taste and budget.

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