5 Tips To Save Money While Traveling New Zealand!

Want To Save On Travel Costs In NZ? A Free Rental Car Is A Great Start! These tips will help you make the most of your time and budget while you are here, with or without a rental car relocation!

  1. Couch Surfing/House Sitting:
    • Couch Surfing is a great way to meet locals and see some of the lesser known activities that only true locals know about . Couch Surfing also offers you a cheap or free stay! Couch surfing is great for short periods of time however for a longer stay you should consider house sitting or even a house swap! In these situations you will have the house to yourself and for a longer period of time but you wont have the fantastic tour guide! If these options sound great to you then you check out Airbnb.com, KiwiHouseSwap.co.nz and AllHouseSitters.co.nz!
  2. Travel during the off season:
    • New Zealand is most expensive during the summer months (Dec, Jan, Feb) as everyone wants to enjoy our beautiful beaches! But some selected areas are busier during the winter months, because of their snow covered skii fields. If its possible and you don’t mind the cold visiting New Zealand will be cheaper in the winter and if your frugal enough you might be able to enjoy our skii fields!
  3. Buy NZD When the exchange rate is in your favor!
    • The New Zealand Dollar fluctuates a lot! This is great for over seas visitors prepared to do a little more preparation in the months coming up to their travel! By looking at basic trends (found here Finance.Yahoo.com) you will be able to take a guess as to when the best time to trade your local currency for New Zealand Dollars!
  4. Freedom Camping:
    • Freedom camping is the ideal partner to rental car relocation! Partner a free rental with an equally free camping ground and you have yourself a great start to a budget friendly holiday! Rankers.co.nz is a great source for finding sites, just be wary that especially over summer these sites will fill up quickly and often close before dark.
  5. Grab a seat:
    • Grab a seat is a website run by Air New Zealand, It’s what they use to make sure planes are running full. They will often have flights from as low as $1, unfortunately these are always popular so you will have to be quick to take advantage of these offers!

Bonus tip: Cater for as much of your own food as you can, eating out in New Zealand can be expensive!

What other budget oriented tips do you have to share? Have you found these tips helpful? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

The Pitfalls You NEED To Know About When Relocating A Rental Car!

Apollo Camper

As the age old saying goes, if it seems to good to be true then it likely is. This is no different with rental relocations even though both parties are benefiting from the deal it is still important to watch out for these things!

  • Prices, just because it is cheap doesn’t mean you won’t have unexpected costs! Expect transaction fees, Insurance and high penalties if you are late to your destination!
  • Insurance, often insurance won’t be included on relocation deals and even if it is make sure you are aware of the excess, it can often be above $5,000! This will sometimes be covered by travel insurance (if you have it).
  • Pre-inspection, always do a pre-inspection check of the vehicle you are relocating and to be extra secure take a video or photo to prove the condition of the rental before you started.
  • Credit Cards, although credit cards are often the easiest and sometimes the cheapest way of paying for things you have to be careful when relocating a car via credit card. Companies are often apprehensive to accept payment from other sources because of the security that having your credit card details provides. Imagine you are involved in a crash and the excess is $5,000 now imagine it takes a few days for your travel insurance to cover you. In the meantime your rental company has just withdrawn your credit card to the limit and you are now unable to continue your trip.

Despite these pitfalls a free or heavily subsidized rental can be a huge saving especially for backpackers and people on tight budgets! It’s still important to make sure you are aware of the risks and get the best deal available!

Sound like vehicle relocating could be for you? Don’t miss our how to guide for rental car relocation!

Heard About Rental Car Relocation? What Is It? How Does It Work?

NZ Camper

The principle is simple, rental companies often get build ups of cars in less popular destinations and shortages in popular ones! To compensate for this and avoid shipping vehicles across the country, someone came up with the fantastic idea of allowing travelers to drive them back for them! Rental companies benefit from their vehicles being in the right place for their next paying customer and you get the benefit of having a free ride!


  1. Check availability online or over the phone, if you haven’t already have a look on our master list of vehicles for relocation!
  2. Book the best deal (consider vehicle suitability, insurance cost, booking fees, time allowance kilometer allowances and fuel allowances).
  3. Pick up your vehicle you will likely have to pay a bond or small fee.
  4. Drive your camper to the planned location before the number of days allocated runs out!

It’s really that simple! But before you jump in feet first make sure you read about the pitfalls of vehicle relocating!

How To Maximize Your Rental Car Relocation Experience!

So you’ve got your heart set on using a rental relocation service? Wondering what you can do to make the most of your experience? This is the post for you!

Relocation and one way flights:
With airlines offering cheaper and cheaper flights it’s becoming more and more attractive to combine a one way flight with a relocation service! This allows you to combine the thriftiness of one way budget airline tickets and rental relocation’s to give you the best of both worlds! Imagine you have a limited time to road trip around New Zealand, you can start off in Auckland, fly direct to Christchurch for $69 and then drive back in a free camper van all within a tight budget and time frame!

Be prepared to be flexible:
Often the best deals are for a limited time and you can’t plan the location or the timing. To get the best vehicle and best rate it’s important that you are flexible, in where you want to go and for how long!

Driving ability:
Are you a driving wizard who can drive literally any vehicle of any size and any transmission? Most people are not, campers are often a manual transmission. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to learn how to drive a camper larger than a double-decker bus, with a transmission you’re not comfortable with!

Plan, plan and plan some more:
Once you have secured a relocation vehicle it can be important to plan your trip and to secure locations ahead of time. This becomes especially important over peak seasons as spaces are limited especially in freedom camping sites. Planning can make sure you get to do the things you want and helps you avoid excessive late fees.

Have some tips you found useful? Don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below!

Beginners Guide to Free Rental Car Hire Or Free Campervan Hire

The first thing you need to know is that free rental car hire or free RV hire is almost always against the flow of normal demand.

For example, one of the most popular, full-price rental car trips is a drive from Auckland to Christchurch. People pay full price for that trip every day so that means you won’t get free car hire for that journey.

But, it does mean that if you are prepared to drive Christchurch to Auckland to transfer the car, you’re in luck!

The second thing you need to know as that the car is at the centre of the agreement, not you.

Who has the power in a rental car relocation agreement?

Who has the power in a rental car relocation agreement?

This means that the current location of the rental car (or campervan) and where the rental car company needs that car relocated to, and when they need it there, are more important than your schedule.

Can you see how that is completely different to a normal hire agreement? In that situation, you are at the centre because you are a paying customer.

Next, consider your answers to the following 3 questions before you check through the list of rental cars and campervans that need returning:

  1. Which cities are you prepared to get to for picking up the car?
    • You might only be prepared to pick up from the city you live in?
    • Or, you might be a bit more adventurous and pick up a cheap flight from Grab a Seat to get to a different city?
    • Or, you might be able to catch a ride with a friend to relocate yourself?
  2. How will you get back home from the city you are dropping the rental car off in?
  3. Do you have flexibility in your schedule for getting back home?
    • You’ll need at least 2 days to complete the transfer, probably more like 3
    • Don’t be crazy and try and get a Christchurch car back to Auckland in a single day!
    • Do you have friends to stay with on the journey or will you be paying for backpacker accommodation or motels?

Ok, great, now it’s time to see what rental cars and campervans are available right now.

Looking For Relocation Cars in NZ?

If you are looking for relocation cars in NZ, you’ve come to the right place.

Isn’t it marvelous that you can get rental cars or motorhomes for free?

The 5 most common trips that need rental cars relocated are:

  1. Rental Car Relocation from Christchurch to Auckland
  2. Rental Car Relocation from Queenstown to Christchurch
  3. Rental Car Relocation from Wellington to Auckland
  4. Rental Car Relocation from Auckland to Wellington
  5. Rental Car Relocation from Auckland to Christchurch

See the pattern there? The rental car companies most often need cars (and campervans) returned to the major cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch.

That makes sense because the trips they charge customers for would start in those cities. Also, for many of those trips the customer does a one way trip (eg Auckland to Christchurch) in the rental car and then flies home leaving the rental car behind.

That creates an opportunity for you and me because we can get free rental by returning the rental car. You often get about 3 days to make your trip so that’s pretty good.

The thing is, the rental car companies really want to charge full price so they can’t make it too easy to find their lists of relocations! That’s why I’ve put this list together for you. It’s a list of the secret webpages hidden away on all the major rental car company websites.

Enjoy 🙂