Tips for picking your Campervan Rental in Auckland, New Zealand

There are plenty of campervan rental companies to choose from in Auckland but choosing one can
be difficult! If you don’t do your research and pick wisely, it could ruin your holiday or at least cost
you more money then you thought.

Things you should do before you pick your rental vehicle in Auckland
– Check the company’s Google reviews
Read reviews as they are the best guide to the actual quality of service you will receive. Some
companies might have mixed reviews, so it is best to stick with the majority rating. The best service
seems to come from small independent companies, since you are usually dealing directly with the
owner.

– Check the company’s pictures to see what you are getting
A lot of companies only show 2D layouts of the vehicles; so you can’t see what you may be getting
and this can be deceiving which could result in you getting some cheap and nasty campervan. Find
pictures of the interior, even if you have to Google them to make sure you hire the right one!

– Read their terms and conditions
Have a good read of the terms and conditions to see what is included and not included with the hire;
what you are liable and not liable for, as there may be something you are not comfortable with or
want to clear up before you make the booking.

– Cheapest is not cheap in the long run!
Picking the cheapest campervan may end up costing you more in the end. If the rental breaks down
due to the age of the vehicle or lack of maintenance, it could have a serious impact on your holiday
plans in New Zealand, especially if you are on a tight schedule.

So, with that being said, this should hopefully help you pick your perfect campervan or car rental and
increase your chances of having more of an amazing time in New Zealand.

Freedom camping in New Zealand

Freedom camping is when you camp on public land that isn’t a recognised camping ground or holiday park. Make sure you plan your journey in New Zealand with respect to the area you camp in.

Where can you freedom camp in New Zealand?

Any DOC (Department of Conservation) and local council land. This ultimately makes your trip quite cheap. The bylaws vary from Auckland to Queenstown and everywhere inbetween; however, most areas require freedom campers to have self-contained vehicles – so it is best if you make sure your rental campervan has been self-contained. This way you are able to take full advantage of the beautiful surroundings New Zealand has to offer

The rules for freedom camping apply to:

  • Cars
  • Vans
  • Motor caravans
  • Campervans
  • RVs
  • Motorhomes
  • Caravans
  • Mobile homes

Fully self-contained personal or rental vehicles are needed for the protection of these areas and the environment, from waste and rubbish.

Rules for when you’re freedom camping in your personal or rental campervan:

Make sure you’re following the bylaws for the area you’re in. You can check these in any information centre or council office – you can Google these too.

Remember:

  • don’t camp on private land
  • clean up any rubbish or toilet waste before you leave
  • use public toilets if you don’t have a self-contained rental vehicle.

Reporting problem campers:

For non-urgent matters, such as camping in prohibited areas or dumping rubbish, contact the local council office.

Signs:

Look out for signs that tell you what is and is not allowed.

A round red and white sign with a red bar through a tent and caravan means camping overnight is not allowed – regardless of the vehicle being self-contained.

A blue sign with a white caravan and ‘SELF CONTAINED’ written beneath, it means camping overnight is allowed for personal or rental self-contained vehicles only.

Fine

Fines for camping illegally are not cheap. You can get an instant fine of $200 if you:

  • camp where you’re not allowed to
  • damage the area you’re camping in
  • dump waste or rubbish
  • refuse to leave an area when you’re told to leave by a person of authority
  • refuse to give information to an enforcement officer
  • camp without a toilet in a place that only allows fully self-contained

You can be fined up to $5000 if you’re convicted of behaving illegally towards an enforcement officer — either a council or DOC worker.

You can also get a court fine of up to $10,000 for major dumping of waste – for example: a campervan emptying its sewage tank onto public land.

Your cheap holiday that you planned doesn’t look so cheap anymore, if you don’t follow the rules!

Paying your fine:

You have 28 days to pay from the date of the fine. The notice will tell you how and where to pay.

If you don’t pay your fine:

  • you’ll get another notice for the fine plus costs and another 28 days to pay
  • if you still don’t pay, you could get a court summons and if you were renting a vehicle at the time of the fine; the rental company can charge the fine to your credit card
  • Customs NZ officers can also stop you leaving New Zealand through Auckland airport or any other airport if you have unpaid fines.