What to expect from your campervan rental operator
Campervan rental companies in New Zealand vary not only in the type and standard of vehicles they offer for hire, but in their service offering. By and large, you get what you pay for – so if you’re paying for a budget hire, the service is likely to be fairly basic.
The minimum you should expect from any campervan rental company:
- Responsiveness – a prompt, and detailed response to your enquiry.
- Information – all the information you need before pick up so you’re not left wondering about anything.
- Transparency – complete, clear information about what you intend to purchase including full product and service description as well as terms and conditions. The age and condition of the vehicle should be clearly communicated.
- Fairness – you should expect to pay a reasonable deposit (no more than 20%) and the balance 35 days before pick up. Some web agents will charge in full at the time of booking if you select to pay in your own (not NZ) currency.
- No surprises – no charges on your credit card that you didn’t authorise and weren’t informed of.
- No unnecessary fees – charging administration fees on procedures that require little or no staff input is a “rip off”. Some companies charge a ridiculous ‘admin fee’ for processing things like speeding fines. Check the small print in the terms and conditions.
- Care – you should be attended to promptly and helpfully by friendly people who know what they’re doing and genuinely care about you and your holiday.
- Minimal delays – you should need to spend no longer than one hour to complete the pick up. If there are delays, you should be informed right away and offered help e.g. another vehicle so you can purchase supplies at the supermarket while you wait.
- You get what you paid for – The vehicle you are given should be what you selected and paid for. It should be legal and roadworthy, and all vehicle equipment should be supplied (in sufficient quantities for all occupants). Your rental campervan should have been cleaned and prepared to a high standard and its build and maintenance should be fit for its purpose.
- A thorough orientation – You should receive a complete show-through of your rental campervan, with someone explaining to you how everything works in a manner you can understand.
- Support – Friendly, helpful on-road support (some companies offer a 24 hour helpline).
- Commitment to do right by the customer – If something goes wrong, your campervan rental operator should apologise and attempt to put it right. Every effort should be made to remedy a breakdown or equipment malfunction quickly and effectively to minimise lost travel time. Good companies will refund you for lost travel time.
Just like normal cars, campervans have a lot of parts, and they can and do break down and have mechanical problems occasionally. A vehicle that’s been well maintained and regularly serviced is less likely to have these problems, though even with a vehicle that’s been superbly maintained, some things are out of an operator’s control. Make sure you choose a campervan rental operator who offers prompt, caring support and service to get you quickly on your way again if the unthinkable does happen and you have problems on the road.