Buy Campervan New Zealand
Buying a campervan can be overwhelming. Handing over several thousand dollars to a stranger is a little scary. Cars and vans in New Zealand are turned over each season by backpackers, leaving doubt about the condition of the vehicle.
buy campervan new zealand
We arrived in New Zealand in early March, a good time to buy a vehicle, and planned to stay until the end of May, a bad time to sell a vehicle. So we needed to be confident that we got a good deal on a reliable campervan. Hours of research and countless nights were spent browsing backpacker boards because we wanted to find that perfect campervan.
Buying and selling a campervan takes time and effort. While it is possible to get lucky, allocate at least two weeks for the purchase and sale of the vehicle. It should take three to four days to buy a campervan, and may take over a week to sell it.
Keep in mind that there are some risks with buying a campervan. Managing maintenance issues and potential breakdowns will cost you time and money and might make it more difficult for you to sell your campervan.
Depending on the vehicle type, it is important to have a budget in mind. On average, most vehicles sell in the range of $2,500 to $4,000 for an older backpacker car; however, it is possible to get a very cheap small car (as low as $1,500) or invest more in a self-contained campervan (up to $8,000).
There are about 350 free campgrounds that are allocated for self-contained vehicles. Although not as plentiful, there are also free options for regular campervans. However, there is a large cost increase to buy a self-contained vehicle.
If you are going to be traveling for a couple of months, buying a campervan in New Zealand is more cost-effective than renting. If you do want to buy a campervan, make sure you read this guide first as it includes a ton of information to help you make the right choice (and not get ripped off!)
When it comes to buying a campervan there are things you really need to look for and things you must do before handing over any money. Alternatively, if you are only planning a road trip for a few weeks you may want to take our tips on how to land a cheap campervan rental instead.
It can be worth the investment if you are planning to travel with it for at least a couple of months. You will also want to make sure the campervan you purchase is priced correctly, know what red flags to steer clear of, and what aspects to look for that will maintain the resale value.
Yes, since freedom camping in New Zealand became legal in 2011 you can live in a campervan for an extended period of time. But a general rule is one cannot park in one spot indefinitely.
However, in New Zealand, you must pay a fuel tax for every kilometer you drive on the roads if you own a diesel vehicle. The current tax for a van or car (under 3500kg) is $68 for 1000km. This means if your diesel campervan burns 12 liters of fuel per 100km it actually costs you an extra $0.56 cents per liter of fuel.
In the coming years, it is going to become super important to buy a campervan in New Zealand that is a long-wheelbase van for self-containment. This is because new laws were made in mid-2018 stating that you must be able to use your toilet with elbow room in your van when the bed is made.
In short wheelbase vans, this is impossible as the room between the bed and kitchen is almost non-existent. This means that when the self-contained certification runs out (4 years from the date of inspection) the campervan will no longer be able to be certified self-contained. At the latest, these vans will be self-contained until mid-2022.
Some common types of campervans are the Nissan Caravan, Toyota Hiace, Mazda Bongo, Ford Transit, Nissan Vanette, and the Mitsubishi L300. These vans make up 95% of the budget campervan market in New Zealand. It is very hard to say which van is the most reliable as every car in every different year and model can vary so much.
Mold can be a huge issue in campervans. This is because of the wet winters and condensation caused by sleeping in cars with little to no ventilation. Growing mold is a health issue and you should not purchase or sleep in a vehicle that has mold.
If buying a campervan seems a liittle too confusing, consider renting one instead! Check out our guide to renting a campervan in NZ (inlcuding some unque discount and promo codes) or head straight over to Motorhome Republic to compare prices and types of Campervans!
Getting a pre-purchase inspection before buying a campervan in New Zealand is very important. During the inspection, the mechanic will look for defects that would fail a new WOF, problems that could arise in the near future, and give you a better understanding of the campervan you are buying.
Buying a campervan in New Zealand can be a tedious process but spending some time looking around could save you a huge headache later on. If you have any questions or feedback on this post please feel free to leave a comment below!
If you are considering renting instead of buying, be sure to read our blog about renting a campervan in New Zealand! For more campervan-related blogs, check out all of our van-life articles including these popular ones:
My partner Fiachra and I started searching for a campervan to buy as soon as we arrived in New Zealand. It was quite tricky to know where to look for a campervan in the beginning. However, after gaining some tips from other backpackers and searching around, we found some great ways to find secondhand campervans for sale in New Zealand.
After 2 weeks, we bought our first ever campervan! More than two years later, we are still super happy that we decided to buy our van for travelling New Zealand. Having a campervan gives us so much freedom. We love our little home on wheels!
While searching for our campervan, we discovered the best places to look to buy a campervan in New Zealand. There are several places where you can look for secondhand campervans for sale in New Zealand. In this post, I will share with you the best places to search for your dream campervan. Here begins your journey to find your own perfect home on wheels!
As mentioned above, there are new ads posted to Facebook every single day so there are always new sellers looking for buyers for their campervans. I think because of the sheer volume of listings, Facebook is the best place to find a secondhand campervan for sale in New Zealand.
We viewed many campervans we found through Facebook Marketplace including the campervan we eventually bought! So I definitely think it is a good place to look to buy a campervan for travelling in New Zealand.
Backpacker Board is a great resource for any traveller to New Zealand. It has so much information about how to get a job, how to get around New Zealand, travel guides and a dedicated notice board for the sale of cars and campervans.
I found this website to be pretty good when looking at campervans to buy in New Zealand. Sellers can upload several photos, plus they have to list key details of the vehicle such as WOF, mileage, REGO, transmission and fuel types.
Ask around the hostel and see if anyone is looking for someone to buy their campervan. We managed to view a couple of vehicles while staying at the YHA in Auckland. There were flyers put up on the noticeboards and in the common areas. We also got word of a campervan for sale through speaking with other guests at the hostel.
Lauren is a coffee and cat obsessed travel writer from the U.K., specialising in solo female, couple travel and budget backpacking. She has previously lived in Australia, Japan, England and Scotland. Currently, she is traveling full-time in New Zealand and living in a self-converted campervan. Follow her adventures around the world on her blog WildLovelyWorld.com
This comprehensive guide has literally everything you need to know about planning a campervan trip in New Zealand; from how much it costs, to how to shower while living in a campervan, to the magic trick you need to know to find campsites. Any questions you have about renting a campervan in New Zealand, we answer them here!
This comprehensive guide has literally everything you need to know about planning a campervan trip to New Zealand; from how much it costs, to how to find the best campervan companies, to how to shower while living in a campervan, to the magic trick you need to know to find campsites.
Prior to that summer, neither of us had ever spent a night in a campervan, let alone 3 months. But we quickly fell in love with #vanlife and the simplicity and freedom that comes with it. (So much so that we even built a second campervan!)
Summer will be your best bet. Great summer weather means you will be sharing the roads and popular sites with lots of other travelers, as this is peak tourist season. It is also during this time that prices for campervans are at their highest.
You could easily spend a year traveling New Zealand by campervan (a popular thing for those on Working Holiday Visas) and still not see everything. If you have the time, but all means, go for it! (And buy a campervan instead of renting one!)
If you only have time to explore one island, we would absolutely, without question say you should travel around the South Island. The North Island is wonderful in its own right, but it is nowhere near as epic or perfectly suited to campervan life as the South.
Note: In this article, we are only focusing on campsites that are accessible by campervans (not backcountry sites or Great Walks campgrounds). We put together an entire round up of the best New Zealand campsites according to our experience and the experience of fellow travel bloggers to get your started.
If this is your first time in a campervan, this will be new for you! The good thing is using a dump station is quite easy and intuitive. And if you rent a vehicle through a reputable company, they should walk you through how to use a dump station. 041b061a72