Home New Zealand Motorhome & Campervan Hire in Christchurch

Motorhome & Campervan Hire in Christchurch

Motorhome & Campervan Hire in Christchurch

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? The best way to explore the country is to hire a Campervan or a motorhome. You can travel completely independently and spend most of your time outdoors, experiencing places off the beaten track. If you want to start your trip on the South Island, here are some tips for campervan hire in Christchurch.

Where to rent a campervan from Christchurch?

There are many car rental agencies in Christchurch. The best-known are to be found in all New Zealand’s major cities: Britz, Apollo, Maui, Jucy Rentals, Lucky Rentals, Euro Campers, Heron Campers , Freedom Campers, Wendekreisen, Star RV (bought out by Jucy), Travellers Autobarn (5% discount HERE).

Motorhome rental agencies are mainly located in vicinity to the airport. They usually offer a free shuttle service to the depots, so remember to check with the rental company.

We advise you to use an online comparison tool to get an idea of prices and also to find the cheapest rentals according to your search criteria.

Why renting a Campervan in Christchurch?

Christchurch, often referred to as the ‘gateway to the South Island’, is the perfect place to start your road trip. With its blend of English heritage and Maori culture, this city offers a rich urban experience before you embark on your adventure into the great outdoors, where destinations such as Lake Tekapo and Abel Tasman National Park await.

Christchurch is New Zealand’s second largest city after Auckland. It is the main city of the South Island and the capital of Canterbury. It’s very easy to get here, thanks to its international airport close to the city. But above all, you should know that van and motorhome hire rates are generally cheaper than from Auckland. This is especially true if you are travelling from Christchurch to Auckland, as many tourists make the journey in the opposite direction, so rental companies have to take the vehicles back to Auckland afterwards!

What type of motorhome / campervan to choose?

There are several types of motorhome/van available for rental. To choose the best model for your needs, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many people ?
  • Indoor toilet/shower? Or can we do without them and use those of a campsite?
  • Kitchen inside or in the back of the vehicle?
  • What is your budget? A motorhome requires a higher budget than a campervan.
  • What comfort do you want? Is it more comfortable to sleep in a motorhome than in a van?
  • What time of year do you want to rent? Motorhomes are better insulated than vans if you want to rent in winter. Also check if there is a heater!

What budget should you plan for a Road Trip in New Zealand?

Your rental budget will vary according to different criteria. Thus, it is important to ask the right questions before making your vehicle reservation.

The criteria to take into account

  • Vehicle model (size / options / number of seats)
  • Range level (recent or not)
  • Rental season
  • Rental period
  • Rental period
  • Advance booking deadline.

When you make your motorhome reservation, we advise you to do it well in advance (1 month minimum and up to 3 months in advance).


Remember that the seasons are reversed. The most expensive months to rent a vehicle are November, December and January, while the cheapest will be June, July and August, in the middle of winter!

Examples of prices

📅 Rental in December (high season)

🚐 Van for 2 people
⏱️ 2 weeks rental
🗺️ From Christchurch to Christchurch
⌛ Booking + 6 months in advance
🛑 Rates excluding extras and insurance

📅 Rental in June (low season)

🚐 Van for 2 people
⏱️ 2 weeks rental
🗺️ From Christchurch to Christchurch
⌛ Booking – than 6 months in advance
🛑 Rates excluding extras and insurance

What about the Insurance?

Some hire companies block a large sum from your bank account when you pick up the vehicle (7,500 NZD at Apollo), to cover the excess for your first accident. You should be aware that you can opt for comprehensive insurance offered by the hire company. This will reduce your deposit to a minimum. However, comprehensive insurance is relatively expensive.
You should also be aware that some credit cards include vehicle hire insurance in their charges. So check before you hire your motorhome/ campervan.
You can also opt for private insurance, which will cost you less and provide better cover. However, you should be aware that you will still have to pay a deposit to the hire company.

How to book your motorhome?

We advise you to use a booking comparator to get an overview. This will allow you to know the different models of vehicles available as well as the different rental companies. Once you know your travel dates and arrival city, use the Motorhome Republic comparator to get the best available rates.

Do not hesitate to also consult the reviews on the Internet. These can sometimes direct your choice towards one agency rather than another.

What are the conditions for hiring a vehicle in NZ?

If you wish to drive in New Zealand for a period of less than a year, you will need your national driving licence and an international driving licence (if your license is not in English). When your international permit expires, you will need to exchange it for a local permit.

An alternative to the international licence is a translation approved by the NZ Transport Agency. This document is also valid for 1 year.

You can hire a van from the age of 18, but additional charges apply if you are under 25.

Visiting Christchurch and surrounding areas

If you plan to rent a vehicle and then visit the city and the region, here is some information that could be useful. As with all major cities, it is best to get around on foot in the city center. Places for motorhomes are available in the city center but quite expensive. However, do not try to drive near the cathedral and the adjacent streets which are often under construction and therefore very narrow!


After the devastating earthquakes, this city has come back to life with a new energy, creativity and unique farm meets city vibe. You will notice the city walls are stricken with urban artwork and beautiful sculptures decorate the streets. The restaurants and cafés are found to offer fresh food, sourcing local produce. The perfect place to satisfy all foodies!

As in all major cities, it is best to walk through the city centre due the parking expense and traffic. Try not to drive in the district around the cathedral, as there are always construction sites and the streets are pretty narrow!

If you do wish to park within the city however, there are several parking spaces available that provide ample space for motorhomes but it’s best to walk or use public transport. If you use the Cathedral as your centre point of navigation, you will find the main sights are located close by. There is the Canterbury Museum, the Transition Cathedral, the Botanical Gardens and the 7-day Riverside Farmer’s Market.

Rent a campervan in New Zealand an visit Christchurch and surroundings

What to visit near Christchurch


Christchurch Gondola: A cable car that takes you from the city centre to the mountains and offers a magnificent view of the Banks Peninsula! An absolute must-see!

International Antartic Center: The Antartica Expedition Center, where you can see blue penguins, the world’s smallest penguins. You can also put your hand in water at 0 ° or experience a snowstorm. Cold temperatures are guaranteed here!


Banks Peninsula: There are beautiful lookouts, fine sand beaches, rivers and a small French village called Akaroa. Beware, there is not much petrol available on the peninsula. We strongly recommend refuelling in Christchurch! Even though at the beginning the road is still flat, at some point it rises steeply. Therefore, you need a vehicle with a powerful engine!

Arthur’s Pass: One of New Zealand’s national parks, a real favourite. Like the Banks Peninsula the road goes steeply uphill. Check for overheating. The drive from Arthur’s Pass village to Devils Punchbowl Waterfall takes about 30 minutes and is well worth it. Parking is limited.


Hokitika: This small town on the west coast of the South Island is known for its glassblowers and rivers. The Hokitika River is 30 km from the city. Finding a parking space is difficult due to lack of space and the road is quite long, but the trip is worth it!

Moeraki: The round rocks called Moeraki Boulders create an enormous sense of well-being when being touched. A beautiful place that you should not miss!

Dunedin is 350 km from Christchurch (a 5-hour drive without a break). This city is known for its historic train station, the chocolate factory Cadbury (a must-visit) and the peninsula. Amazing!

discover new zealand - christchurch and surroundings

Itineraries from Christchurch

Christchurch – Queenstown (on the west coast)

Duration: 2 weeks

Sights on the way:

  • Arthur’s Pass
  • Pancakes Rocks to Punakaiki
  • Hokitika
  • Fox Glacier and Franz Josef (in good weather)
  • WanakaMilford Sound
  • Queenstown

Christchurch – Queenstown (on the East Coast)

Duration: 2 weeks

Sights on the way:

  • Mount Cook
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Oamaru (capital of the blue miniature penguins!)
  • Dunedin
  • The Caitlin
  • Invercargill (There is the southernmost Starbucks in the world)
  • Pahia
  • Queenstown

Christchurch – Christchurch (north of South Island)

Duration: 10 days

Sights on the way:

  • Arthur’s passport
  • Punakaiki
  • Nelson Lakes (Beware of Sandflies!)
  • Nelson
  • Abel Tasman National Park (kayaking!)
  • Blenheim (wine tasting)
  • Picton

Please note: Before leaving, inquire whether Kaikoura Road is open.

Christchurch New Zealand - campervan rentals

Driving in New Zealand: our tips

New Zealand has well-maintained roads, most of which are tarmac. Here are some tips for a smooth drive in New Zealand:

  • Luckily for UK drivers, driving is on the left hand side of the road, just like home.
  • You need an International Driving Licence to hire a car / vehicle in NZ
  • Speed limits are regulated and controlled. On main roads, the speed limit is generally 100 km/h.
  • The roads are winding in some areas. So drive carefully, especially in a motorhome. Allow for a longer journey time than indicated on your GPS!

When is the best time to take a road trip in New Zealand?

The best time to take a road trip in New Zealand depends on your interests. The summer months (December to February) are the warmest and driest, making them ideal for outdoor activities. It’s the perfect time to enjoy beaches, water activities and mountain walks. Autumn (March to May) brings mild temperatures and colourful landscapes as the leaves change colour. The winter months (June to August) can be colder, but also offer opportunities for winter activities in the snow, such as skiing. Finally, spring is characterised by milder temperatures, blossoming flowers and lush greenery. It’s a great time of year for nature lovers, with opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching and botanical gardens.

FAQ New Zealand

What type of vehicle should I hire for my New Zealand road trip?

It is advisable to hire a spacious and comfortable vehicle for your road trip. If you plan to do a lot of hiking, a 4WD may be useful. Motorhomes and vans are also popular for road trips and a good way to save money on accommodation (hotels).

When is the best time to take a road trip in New Zealand?

The best time to road trip in New Zealand depends on your interests. The summer months (December to February) are the warmest and driest, making them ideal for outdoor activities. The winter months (June to August) can be colder, but they also offer opportunities for winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding.

How do I plan my New Zealand road trip itinerary?

It is important to consider the driving time between destinations, the activities you want to do, and the closing times of attractions. It is also useful to plan ahead to book accommodation and activities along the way.

Do I need a special driver’s license to rent and drive a motorhome?

A standard driver’s license is usually sufficient for most motorhomes and campervans, but regulations may differ based on vehicle size and weight.

What additional costs should I expect beyond the rental fee?

Additional costs may include insurance upgrades, equipment rental, fuel, campground fees, and potential excess charges.

Do I need to pay a security deposit?

Yes, a security deposit is typically required to cover any potential damages or excess charges during the rental period.

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