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To Rent or To Buy?

Your question is whether you should buy or rent a campervan. Well, that very much depends on a couple factors and we are here to help you out.

Few questions to ask yourself:

- How long am I staying?

- How much money am I looking to spend on transport?

- How flexible is my travel itinerary?

Length of Stay

Backpackers or travelers who are staying for longer periods of time, usually more than a month, are keen on buying a campervan as there are tremendous benefits that we’ll get to. On the other hand, if you’re only spending a month in the country, renting a campervan will reduce the cost and risk associated with ownership of a vehicle.

Figuring out how long you will be staying will be helpful in calculating the costs for both renting and buying.


It’s easy to calculate how much it will cost for renting a vehicle for that time being. The tricky part is figuring out the cost and returns for buying a vehicle. You must know that loss comes with buying a vehicle, because you are reselling a vehicle. You usually get a good amount back, but that can be affected by season. During high season, you can sell it for higher, while low season you will get less back. Figure out your acceptable loss rate, this’ll help you decide.

Do consider looking into companies with a Buy Back guarantee, it gives you a guaranteed amount for how much you get back. Back rates vary based on how long you have the vehicle, so be sure to check out the correct rate!

Pros: buying a campervan

Having your own campervan will let you have the liberty to choose where you want to go, when you want to go, even the most remote regions that this country is known for.

Campervan park/ Elements Motors

You have the freedom to stay at campgrounds scattered all around both the North and South Island. There are different tiers of campgrounds: holiday parks (fancy campgrounds), serviced campgrounds (with bathrooms and running water), and regular campgrounds (a plain open field). 100% Pure New Zealand is a great place to search for campgrounds and holiday parks around the country!

Campervan Day Plan/ Elements Motors
Campervan Night Plan/ Elements Motors

Most campervans are equipped with a water tank, sink, a fridge, gas cooker or hot plate, and of course a double bed. This means, if you choose to travel in a campervan, you save on any accommodation cost!

Cons: buying a campervan

Buying is no doubt a more expensive way, as you can rent a campervan for $200 per week, this can be lower when it is the winter months. The additional costs of maintenance and insurance with buying a campervan can take a toll on your expenses.

No Showers/ Elements Motors

To be sure that you experience no faults, make sure you complete the check list here prior to your purchase.

Insurance is not mandatory in New Zealand (I was surprised too!) but if you're looking for insurance, Kiwi Bank Auto Insurance and BBH (Budget Backpackers Hostel) are two companies that offer cheap rates for longer periods.

Campervans also do not have showers… stink bombs coming your way. If you are down for that hippie lifestyle, you do you, don’t let no one stop you. When you are looking to clean up a bit, hostels and holiday parks will usually let you hit up a hot steamy shower at a cheap price.

Our Verdict

If you are staying for a short period (less than a couple weeks), renting will be the way to go in our opinion. This is because buying a vehicle and maintaining it can become expensive. Though you will get money back from selling the campervan but looking for a buyer will be time consuming. Some companies give out deals for renting for longer periods, so you might even get a deal on that!

But if you're staying for quite some time, more than 2 months, buying yourself a campervan comes with lots of benefits. No hostels, just you, your mate, and the wilderness!


Last thing, follow your heart and personality for your final decision, we want you to have the most fun while traveling in your very own preferred style!

It is your call now, let us know your verdict on traveling around NZ. Shoot us any questions you have below.

Happy travels to you and your mate! :)

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