Camper / Motorhome Pick-up

The Check

What is important to know when I pick up my camper or motorhome?

This article has all you need to know about vehicle pick-up and check-up at the start of your rental period in both New Zealand and Australia.

We clarify the following important points:

Arrival at the airport & important documents
Airport Transfer to the Depot
Vehicle pickup & important documents
Vehicle and equipment check

We also answer the questions of what happens in the event of a vehicle drop out (i.e. accident of the previous tenant).

Furthermore, our article Camper / Motorhome - Quality Versus Reality clarifies important facts regarding expectations and quality on site.

Arrival at the Airport & Important Documents

After a long flight you finally arrive in New Zealand or Australia and can't wait to pick up your camper or motorhome. In order to ensure this works as smoothly as possible, we would like to give you a few pointers.

Before your plane lands, the flight crew will distribute arrival cards. If they aren’t distributed on the flight, you can find the immediately upon arrival in the terminal. Fill these cards out honestly about what you’ve brought with you, where you’ve been and where you plan on visiting.

Important documents that are required for entry are:

2.The required visa if necessary
3.Proof of a return flight

or a bank statement that proves that you have financial means to remain in the country for an extended period of time. You will also be asked for the address of the first accommodation upon arrival. If you travel in a camper or a motorhome you can use the address of your rental company and write camper on the paper too. This information will be found in your booking documents.

*Please inform yourself regarding the entry requirements in your individual case. We can only give general information here that relates to traveling in a motorhome.

Airport Transfer to the Depot of the Rental Company

Once you've passed customs and left the airport, you're probably wondering how to get to the depot to pick up the vehicle you booked. Australian rental companies unfortunately do not offer airport transfers to the depot, so you’ll have to find your way there. Public transport is often times a good option, along with a taxi or an Uber.

New Zealand companies frequently offer transfer from the airport or even a hotel to their depot. These transfers need to be organized beforehand, specific dates and times are important to be discussed as well as flight number if the transfer is from the airport.

After you've picked up your luggage and gone through customs and visa control, you'll need to contact the rental company. As there are occasional delays in the arrival time or you are still standing in line at customs, you will only be picked up after you've made contact.

Regardless of whether you arrive in New Zealand or Australia, please plan your way to the depot and be clear about the pick-up and drop-off times of the rental companies. You can find the exact details on our website under Travel Country> Rental Companies> Depots or in the detailed overview of the camper or motorhome you have rented.

Camper / Motorhome Pick-up & Important Documents

The rental company will give you the rental contract, which you should read carefully and sign. The rental contract is based on the company`s general terms and conditions, which can be viewed on our website under Travel Destination> Rental Companies> Rental Conditions.

You should have familiarized yourself with the terms and conditions in advance to your arrival. If you have any specific questions concerning the terms and conditions of your rental company, we are happy to help!

You must also present your driver's license in combination with a valid credit card.

You might have paid the vehicle in advance by bank transfer, or perhaps you will pay for the camper/motorhome in cash at your arrival or directly by credit card. No matter which payment option you choose, a valid credit card (no prepaid cards!) is always required! Why? In the general terms and conditions, the customer gives the rental company permission that the company may charge the credit card if the customer violates the regulations, causes damage that is not insured or receives a parking ticket. For example, you will be financially prosecuted if you do not return the vehicle at the agreed time, at the agreed place and in the agreed condition.

And here is an important tip from us: pay any parking tickets directly on site! A rental company will charge you a processing fees of $50-100 to deal with a ticket. It is extremely annoying when you receive a parking ticket for $15 for parking incorrectly and you get charged over $100.

Vehicle and Equipment Check

Once the documents have been filled in and the collateral has been deposited for the company, the vehicle will be handed over to you. One of the campers or the motorhome is shown and all damage to the exterior of the vehicle is recorded on paper (front view, side view and rear view of the vehicle).

Here you should also keep a close eye on the vehicle and mention every defect that you encounter. The exterior of the vehicle is mainly about dents, scratches and stone chips in the window. It certainly doesn't hurt if you take a picture of the vehicle from all sides to capture the condition with a camera image. Most of the time, the rental companies with smaller quirks are more accommodating than you can imagine.

The interior should be examined and tested for functionality:

Do the drawers work?
Do all gas plates work?
Does the fridge work?
Does the fridge close properly?
Can the table be locked properly?
Does the heating work?
Do all taps work?
Are the fresh water and waste water tanks leak-proof?
Can doors and windows be closed?
Does the motorhome's staircase work?
Does the awning of the motorhome work?
Does the entertainment system work?

You should also have a look at the extra equipment and test the functions on site. Camping table, chairs, solar shower, GPS, outdoor grill, internet modem, dishes, towels, bed linen and cooking utensils.

All extras carry the risk that the quality is not sufficient. In fact, it happens every now and then that a camping chair is broken and unusable, the GPS doesn't work and the teflon coating on the pan sticks to the cutlery. It is therefore advisable to check the equipment for completeness and function at the beginning of the trip. If you are still at the depot, replacement is usually quickly at hand and the trip won't be delayed. Once you are on the road though and the problems start to add up, it's annoying. You are usually asked to go to the nearest warehouse, buy a replacement there, and submit the invoice at the end of your trip to get reimbursed.

Vehicle Failure - Does Something Like That Acutally Happen?

If upon arrival you notice a significant amount of damage to the camper/motorhome, you and the rental company have a problem. If the damage was caused during a previous rental period and has to be repaired, unfortunately no matter how aggravating it can’t be changed. You will, however, be reimbursed for the rental costs incurred while unable to use the vehicle. At times companies will offer a replacement vehicle for the duration of the repairs. One good example of this are worn breaks. Brake wear cannot be easily predicted, and therefore only discovered once a rental period ends. At times they then need to be changed before the van/motorhome can be handed over to you. If for some reason the vehicle has significant damage, the company will provide a replacement if possible.

Our advice remains of booking through a larger company, as the chance of a replacement vehicle is higher.

If an equivalent replacement is provided, this does not result in a breach of contract on the part of the rental company and the customer must therefore take the vehicle. Equivalent replacement is measured monetarily and by vehicle type. If it is a similar vehicle calculated with the same daily rate, the requirement is fulfilled. The layout (size of beds, arrangement of seats, etc.) of the vehicle is of secondary importance.

Another issue is damage due to force majeure. We had this situation in the 2016/2017 season after the strong earthquake rocked about 80 km south of Kaikoura. Access roads to the popular tourist location in New Zealand were impassable and this was the case for a time period of about 2-3 weeks. Many rental vehicles were trapped in Kaikoura and the companies had major issues replacing the failed vehicles during peak travel season and servicing the associated rentals. In this case, we were able to help one of our customers get another vehicle from an alternative rental company. Our overview of the market, fast reaction time and close cooperation with the rental companies were of enormous advantage here. The customer would not have had a chance to get a vehicle by himself on site.

However, this is also a situation that we have only encountered once. Nevertheless, you should know about it. The chances of being significantly affected by natural disasters in New Zealand or Australia are relatively low and cannot be influenced in any way. However, what can be controlled is the route of the trip. Therefore, it is very important to decide where the trip begins and where it ends during rainy season in Australia! We are also available to provide advice on itinerary planning!

Basically, you can say that a loss of rental occurs very, very rarely! So, you shouldn't worry too much in advance. Even with minor problems that can occasionally occur before the start of the trip, you should keep calm and enjoy a relaxed holiday. Smaller problems can usually be solved quickly. However, it remains important - and we cannot put enough emphasis on this issue - that the conditions at the start of the rental period match your preceding expectations. Then, as a rule, nothing stands in the way of a successful rental and hence a successful trip.

You want to know how to behave correctly if you have an accident or in case the vehicle is damaged? Then read further here: “Behavior in The Event of Damage”.