Home Vehicle Rental Differences Between Buying and Renting a Campervan in Australia

Differences Between Buying and Renting a Campervan in Australia

Differences Between Buying and Renting a Campervan in Australia

When going on a Road Trip in Australia, we often wonder if it’s worth renting or buying a van. Renting a campervan or motorhome in Australia can be costly, but renting is sometimes easier and more reassuring than buying your own vehicle. We have listed the advantages and disadvantages of buying and selling a campervan in Australia. You will find tips for buying a vehicle as well as information and tips to rent a van for cheap in Australia.

Buying a Campervan in Australia

When hesitating to buy a vehicle, it is important to make a list of the pros and cons. Here are a few to guide you.


  • Freedom – You can go wherever you want and therefore change your plans whenever you want.
  • Buying a vehicle is cheaper than renting: When you resell your van, you can expect to get most of your investment back. If you buy it for $8,000, you are entitled to resell it for $8,000. In general, it is recommended that you buy your own vehicle if your stay in Australia exceeds 3 months.
  • The possibility of negotiating the price: Nothing prevents you from negotiating the price with the backpacker who will sell it to you. It may be worthwhile to find a compromise.
  • Customising the van: Do you dream of repainting it? To hang up some decoration? Go ahead, it’s your van. You can customise it as much as you like to feel at home in it.


  • Risk of breakdown – In this case, repair costs and maintenance of the vehicle will be your responsibility.
  • Search time – Allow about 2 to 3 weeks of searching for the right vehicle, and again for reselling it. Meanwhile, you may have to stay in a hotel/hostel, which represents extra costs, especially in big cities
  • Constraints due to resale – Some backpackers are forced to sell off their vehicle before they return.
  • Rather complex administrative procedures for the registration of his vehicle (renewal, change of ownership …). The registration laws differ from state to state.
  • Only third party insurance is included in the registration.

What to check when buying a vehicle?

When choosing the vehicle, it is important to be vigilant on a few things: the age of the vehicle, mileage, interior equipment, any repairs or maintenance on the vehicle by previous owners, fuel consumption (petrol / diesel), presence or absence of a spare wheel and registration.

It is mandatory to test drive before buying! Thus, you may notice an unusual noise. If the owner does not want you to test drive, stay away from it. If you do not feel comfortable looking at the engine or have concerns about the vehicle, take your vehicle to a mechanic before buying! Mobile mechanics also offer to come to you to inspect the vehicle. Count $200 for this service.

Buying a van in Australia: How much does it cost?

The selling prices of a van are quite variable. They depend on the brand, age, number of kilometres, size, equipment, condition of the vehicle and the city where you are buying.

Depending on all these criteria, vans are generally sold between $5,000 and $10,000. Some vans will only have a mattress in the back, while others will have a small kitchenette, a sunroof or a shower area with a water supply! The average cost of a well-equipped van is $7,000.

Renting a van in Australia


  • Vehicles are often better equipped. Newer vehicles, double battery system etc …
  • You will have 24-hour roadside assistance and you can buy a full comprehensive insurance (Insurances offered by rental companies can be quite expensive. It is better to get insurance from a specialised company like Rentalcover.)
  • No admin tasks
  • You spend less time searching for a vehicle.
  • Possibility to book in advance, allowing you to leave immediately on a Road Trip. This makes you spend less money on accommodation / food.


  • You have to plan your trip, so you return the rental car at a certain time in the chosen city.
  • A rental car may cost more than buying, depending on the season (high or low) and the length of stay.
  • You usually have to pay a bond: This can be substantial.

In any case, it is important to compare both options to make the right choice!

Buying or renting : How to pick the best option?

It is up to you to study the two options according to your stay in Australia. It will also depend on the period and the city where you arrive. For example, if you arrive during high season (school holidays, high summer), rental prices will be higher. As for the purchase, if you arrive in Brisbane, you will have less choice in the purchase of a van than if you arrive in Sydney for example (more backpackers in the latter).

To direct you to the best option, use the comparator below with your dates of stay. This will give you an idea of ​​the price of renting a van. Then look on Gumtree or different Facebook pages to check the sale section. Depending on your criteria, you will get a “purchase” budget to compare with the rental one. Next, think carefully about the pros and cons of each option. Because beyond the price, there are also important factors such as flexibility, ease, security etc.

Campervan Rental in Australia: compare prices

MotorHome Republic is an agent specialized in campervan & motorhome rentals in Australia and New Zealand. It is the best way to compare prices from all different rental companies in Australia. On top of that, they always have good discounts!

Why get a van in Australia?

Australia is the land of the van life! Its land is so vast and its landscapes are so diverse, that the best way to enjoy it is to travel by van. Why is that? Because you can take as much time as you need. For example, drive 50 km one day and 600 km the next. Spend a night at an amazing freecamp and decide to stay an extra night on a whim. In a van, you can sleep by the ocean or in the middle of a forest. If the weather is bad, you can use the space in the cabin to listen to the rain while you go about your business.

A van is like a small house, but with an engine and wheels. Inside, you can store all your life and have the best time of your road-trip. You’ll see, your heart will be heavy with memories when you part with it. Whether you bought it or rented it!

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