Vanlife: How to campervan in New Zealand for free

New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world to live the vanlife in - it’s warm, easy to get around, has friendly people and has beaches and fresh water everywhere.

Not to mention it’s absolutely stunning.

It’s also possible to do cheaply - even for free, if you really put some time and effort into it. Read on to find out how.


ABOVE: Here's a full blown 6 berth Jucy campervan I drove down the country. They even included free fuel and ferry crossing.

Because New Zealand is so popular to drive around in a campervan or motorhome by tourists and locals alike, camper rental companies always need their vehicles relocated.

This includes some of the biggest names in the business, including Jucy campervans NZ, Britz campervans and Wiked Campers.

Instead of hiring drivers, most companies are happy to give you the campervan to rent either heavily discounted or for free for a few days while you take it back to where it’s needed - most likely Auckland.

If they’re really desperate, the companies might even throw in petrol costs and a ferry ticket to get across Cook Strait.

From where to where?

The most popular route for tourists is Auckland to Christchurch or Queenstown. So if you’re savvy, you’ll plan a trip from Queenstown or Christchurch TO Auckland.

You can even string together campervan drop-offs for an extended trip if you're particularly crafty.

What are the conditions to campervan in NZ for free?

You’ll need to:

  • Have a full valid driver’s license.
  • Be over a certain age (18, 21 or 25 depending on the campervan or motorhome company).
  • Have money for bond - this can be about $1000 but you’ll get it back at the end of the trip if everything went to plan.
  • You'll also likely have to pay for insurance. This varies from company to company so make sure you ask.



How do I book?

Our favourite websites to book free campervans to live the vanlife with are:




There you can browse what’s up for grabs - you’ll probably have to be quick though!

Then follow the company’s procedures to book. Normally they’ll respond in 24 hours and if you’re in, they’ll send you the details and the contract. Easy as!


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