Should you Rent or Buy?
To Rent or to Buy a Campervan in New Zealand?
If you’re travelling for longer than a few weeks, you may be considering the option of buying a campervan rather than renting one. Finding out how much it’ll cost you to rent a camper van for such a period of time isn’t too difficult, but it’s not easy to figure out how much it’ll cost you to buy a camper van yourself or to estimate how much you’ll lose when you sell it again after three months either by selling it back to the dealer or by selling it yourself.
Do the numbers
If you buy a camper van, you can pretty much guarantee that you will be selling it for less than you bought it for. So the biggest thing you’ll need to figure out is what kind of loss is acceptable, and whether it equates to less than renting. There are a few (only a few) companies in New Zealand that will sell you a campervan with a buyback guarantee. Buyback rates vary depending on how long you have the campervan. Here’s a website with more info about buybacks.
Allow time to sell your campervan
If you intend to buy a campervan and sell it again yourself at the end of your holiday, don’t forget that you’ll need to allocate some of your holiday time to that (unless you have arranged a buyback deal – more on that shortly!). Like cars or properties, campervans can take a while to sell! So make sure you’re flexible with your departure date, or have plans in place for what you’ll do with your camper van if you can’t sell it.
Consider the risks
Another thing you have to keep in mind when deciding whether you want to buy or rent a New Zealand camper van, is the fact that when you buy your own campervan, it’s you who runs the risk in case your van gets wrecked, whether you’re at fault or not. If you bump into a lamp post for instance – or worse, if you’re involved in an accident, you might not be able to sell the campervan for the price you had in mind or be entitled to a buyback.
So, what do we recommend?
Our advice is that buying a cheap campervan might actually look as if it would be cheaper than hiring one. But remember that with buying a camper, you will have more costs than if you rent such as diesel tax, registration costs, repairs in case of a breakdown, insurance etc… Most insurers in New Zealand will not accept travellers as insurance owners without full prepayment by credit card, and getting the insurance up and running is a hassle. Therefore unless you’re travelling for a really long period, our recommendation is to rent a campervan. If budget is an issue, you can find small campervans for cheaper rates which still offer a good level of comfort as well as the security of having everything sorted out beforehand.
Check out independent reviews on campervan rental companies