If you are looking to be in New Zealand for less than a month, then renting a campervan is the no-nonsense way to get on the road as quickly as possible.
If you have more time in New Zealand, buying your own campervan can be the best value for money, but there is a few things to keep in mind.
A major advantage of renting a camper in New Zealand compared to buying is that you can get on the road straight away. By renting a camper you can book prior to your arrival in New Zealand.
Renting a camper is affordable. Some campers can be hired for as little as NZ$70 a day, rental prices are sky high in the summer season (December – February), so consider traveling in the shoulder and off-seasons (June-Sept).
If you buy a camper it is likely to be an older model as the cost to buy a newer model is very expensive. In most cases the campers have already done high kilometers and will have a few issues to sort out along the way.
The hardiest thing is finding a good camper because as the season get closer it is very hard to find a good reasonable low km camper that is in good condition without spending a lot of money. Also you are limited in most cases as to where you are landing and leaving from and you can spend a lot of your holiday time just finding the camper rather than relaxing and enjoying your holiday.
Break down would be the main issue with your own camper. If it breaks down in say the middle of nowhere and you have to take it to someone to fix it; first off it will be expensive and secondly there is a very good chance that they will not have the time to do it straight away, especially if its is over the high season November to April. The other problem will be getting parts. Sometimes you have to wait for 2 weeks for parts to arrive from over seas depending on the make and the year and model of your camper. In the case of an older camper these parts can also be hard to get. Plus keep in mind that you will need your own insurance cover which will be expensive for short term and hard to arrange with no fixed address etc. Then of course you have to sell the camper and the fact that you are leaving the country and have to sell it is a disadvantage when trying to get a good price.
So my advice is to just hire a camper and relax.
As if you break down or have a accident all our campers come with replacement options.
If you break down we have 24 hour roadside assistant and you are not liable for the cost which includes the towing etc which you would have to pay if it was your own camper.
So it may seem cheap to buy and sell the camper but in most cases it can turn pear shaped real fast and turn your holiday in a hassle instead of enjoying this great country. So paying for a rental seems the best way to go. It your holiday after all and you only live once right?