Backpacking in New Zealand is going to be one of the biggest adventures of your life. It would be an amazing experience living in a campervan and exploring the beauty of New Zealand.
However, before buying a campervan, it is better to decide if purchasing a campervan would be more beneficial, or renting would be a better option. Do not decide before comparing the pros and cons of both the options. Moreover, if your holiday in New Zealand is only going to last for only 2~4 weeks, it is better to rent a campervan, but if your vacation time is going to exceed more than two months, it is better to buy a campervan and then sell it later at a reasonable price.
Anyways, what matters most is how you are going to buy a campervan in Auckland before starting your adventure. Here are 10 tips and tactics that you should consider before buying a campervan in Auckland
1. MAKE SURE THE CAMPERVAN HAS A VALID WOF(Warrant of Fitness)
Every vehicle that is traveling on the road of New Zealand should have a valid WOF. But what is WOF? WOF is the Warrant of Fitness, which ensure the vehicle is safe and reliable to take on the roads of New Zealand. Driving a car without a valid WOF in New Zealand is illegal. If you are buying a second-hand campervan, make sure to check that the WOF is still valid. Of course, new WOF would be ideal, which means the vehicle has just been checked.
However, there are some mechanic issues such as engine overheated, transmission faulty that are not included in the WOF, which can cost $1000+ to fix, so if you are buying a campervan from an individual, arranging a Pre-purchase inspection would very helpful, alternative you can buy from a car dealer who offers mechanic warranty, which gives you a peace of mind.
2. REGOS AND RUC (REGISTRATION TAX AND ROAD USER CHARGES)
Driving a car in New Zealand, you will have to pay the REGOS (registration charges) and the road user charges(for diesel cars). Registration tax is a road tax that the owners need to pay to keep using the vehicles on the roads of New Zealand. If you don’t pay this tax, you can have a fine of $200. Registration tax is only around $10 per month for standard cars and $25 per month for the cars which use diesel.
While selecting campervan, do not forget the factor of mileage. Campervans in New Zealand usually have high mileage, but some great models of campervans, such as Toyota Hiace, and some diesel engine campervans, show great mileage potential even after crossing 400,000 kilometers. They are specifically designed to travel on the road for years.
4. TEST DRIVE YOUR CAR
Always go for a test ride before buying a campervan. The first thing you should see is if the vehicle is moving straight when the steering wheel is kept straight. Moreover, check if the brakes are not that loose and if the car stops in a straight direction.
Look for any unusual engine noises and switch gears to see if the vehicle is moving smoothly or not.
Moreover, use brakes when going on the hilltop and test the brakes and suspension to see how rough and tough they are.
Check the vehicle by taking a highway ride. Look for any fuel-related problems, like fuel leakage or fuel smell. Moreover, the engine should not be heated up too much. If the temperature indicator shows it is overheated, this is not a good sign. Also, check if the car releases an excess amount of smoke, pay extra attention if the smoke from the exhaust is not pure white color.
Car insurance in New Zealand is not compulsory, however, most backpackers purchase insurance soon after they bought a campervan, as insurance is quite reasonably priced in New Zealand.
Most insurance companies offer 3~12 months insurance provides to the vehicle owners.
It’s highly recommended to purchase insurance, at least third party, which save you the expensive costs of being in a road accident.
6. PETROL VS. DIESEL
In Auckland, petrol for vehicle costs around $2 per liter and the diesel costs around $1.20 per liter. Diesel is a cheaper option than petrol but New Zealand has more petrol operated campervan options than the diesel operated campervans. It is due to the fact that you also have to pay the RUC taxes for every 1,000 km traveled if you have a diesel vehicle.
7. WHERE TO BUY YOUR CAMPERVAN
Here are some places that you can buy a campervan from:
TradeMe is a New Zealand popular website for buying and selling things. However, this website is mostly used by the local people rather than the backpackers. Anyway, it’s worth having a browse to find second-hand vehicles all over the country.
- In your Hostel
In most hotels, there are ‘car for sale’ listing on the notice boards. You might buy a second-hand vehicle from the backpackers there. Check the date of the listings, as they are rarely updated, some vehicles might already be sold, or the owner already left the country.
- Auckland Car Fair
Individual car owners and Car dealers display campervans in the car fairs for sale. This could be a good option only if you know how to inspect the mechanic issue properly. Test drive the car thoroughly and consider doing a pre-purchase inspection when you are buying a car in car fair.
- Registered Car Dealers/ Campervan companies
It is more reliable to buy from a registered car dealer than an individual while purchasing a campervan. Some registered car dealers also offer mechanical warranty for the campervan and repair the vehicles if anything goes wrong.
Backpacker Cars New Zealand is a registered car dealer who inspects and maintains the campervan before selling it and also offers a mechanical warranty with every vehicle.
For further details, you can contact us on WhatsApp: +64 29 123 0020 or email: email@example.com
- FACEBOOK GROUPS
Many New Zealand facebook groups have Campervans listings. The advantage of buying campervan from the member of these types of groups is that they often leave behind the camping gears in the campervan for you.
8. CAMPING GEAR AND OTHER NECESSITIES
Camping gear and other necessities are important before starting your long adventurous journey. If you want to buy proper camping gear, here are some excellent places to shop:
- The Warehouse
- Bunnings Warehouse
9. BUY-BACK OPTIONS
Look for the car dealers who offer buy-back options. Buyback options will sell your vehicle quickly at the end of the journey. The most significant benefit of the buyback option is that you can sell the campervan back to the dealer from whom you have bought it. However, the price is early arranged and fixed between the two parties.
Some dealers, like the Backpacker Cars New Zealand, offers you buy back options. It means that you can enjoy your adventure after purchasing a campervan by knowing that at the end of this journey, you will get back most of your investment.
Buy-Back is relatively cheaper than renting a campervan if you are more than a month in New Zealand.
Also, you won’t have to find a potential tenant to buy your vehicle at the end of the journey.
10. SELF-CONTAINED CAMPERVANS VS. NON-SELF CONTAINED CAMPERVANS
Self-contained campervans give you a lot of benefits as you can camp in more sites.
These campervans give you the freedom to park and sleep in any most grounds in New Zealand without needing to consider the facilities on offer. They are usually more expensive than the non-self-contained campervans but are beneficial and save you more money if your trip is more than a month.
However, non-self-contained campervans are usually cheaper and smaller. You’re required to camp in some specific camping ground. If you can plan your trip well, this could be a good option.
For any queries and questions, do contact us on +64 29 123 0060. Or, you can even fill your online query form at www.backpackercar.co.nz We are here to help:)