A follow-up to our previous article about campers and hiring campervans. You can read more here. Have you ever thought about making a quick getaway or road trip either on your own or with others? Then there are some options available to take a road trip, and these choices are not just available in Australia but in other countries as New Zealand, UK, Canada and the US. While searching online, I came across some great deals on offer and … I mean good deals – try a dollar a day for a few dollars a day to hire a camper sleeping two people and even up to AUD$15.00 for a camper van or motorhome capable of sleeping 6 to even eight people. The method to snag some of these deals is called campervan relocation. Yes, camper van relocation’s are something that most people may not consider but can save loads of holiday cash. There are some catches which I will cover below.
The cheapest road trip that you will take ever.
Now you may be thinking what is so special about using relocation services to make a cheap road trip compared to hiring a camper van at reasonable daily rates – you will be surprised. Camper relocations have this name for a reason! As with car-hire, companies need to move their vehicles from one branch to the other every day they can hire a driver to do it, but they have become wise and rent out these vans at deeply discounted prices for users to relocate them back to the depot.
In some occurrence, you may be even lucky to get the fuel FREE or paid ferry charges even with some spending money thrown in – making this a ridiculously cheap ride. You can find daily deals posted on different relocation camper van sites; there may also be a reference term called standby vehicles or cars.
For deals, you can search the various relocation vehicles for hire online. Whether it be a standard sedan car for rent, a camper van/ motor home, etc. that needs repatriation back to the depot interstate. These are available from pickup points whether you are in Tasmania, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne – right across Australia. Quite a few localities indeed to choose from for your next road trip.
Be ready to go
As with any camper van rental, there are certain things you need to know regarding hiring a relocation camper.
- Responsibility – you can find different options available and will most likely opt for the cheapest one, these vehicles may not always be the best. Look at the possible deals and read the fine print always as there is usually clauses. There is a deposit fee and varies with the arrangement you choose – starting from $250 that is refundable on drop off.
- Toll package – Some companies will provide toll options and also ferry payments for the vehicle even have arrangements and pre-book the ferry for you.
- Refunds – Always remember that it can take up to 21 working days before you get back your refund. Some expenses like petrol need receipts for proof of purchase and refunding.
- You need to be flexible and ready to go as these deals sell fast, and you need to book ASAP when you see a bargain. There is only one vehicle usually at the quoted price and going in a fixed location from point A to B, and that’s it.
- Be careful as not all the deals are fantastic and double check how far you are expected to drive as there is a time frame. If you want to spend an extra day or three travelling, you will need to work this out with the hire company and pay the standard daily rate. Averaged out though it will work out cheaper.
- If you do have a hire including free petrol, be careful not to exceed the kilometer limits, as you will have excess mileage deducted from the allowance for drop off.
- Prevent driving at night and take a well-deserved break at one of the camping sites along the way.
- For those thinking of using the camper van toilet best not as it needs to be cleaned before dropping off and for some may not sound that appealing. Find out about the cleaning of the vehicle and that aspect.
- Factor in where you will be camping and staying and the cost of the fuel. There are some that may require you to refill the tank back up to full on drop off.
- Always check what fuel the vehicle takes. Perhaps this seems like duh? What do you think I am but if you are used to filling up a petrol car, subconsciously you don’t want to be putting petrol in a diesel vehicle. I hired a car from a company in Brisbane some years ago, and they had a customer fill a diesel vehicle with petrol for which they were suing the client for damages, and it was quite a large amount.
Finding the best relocation campers – Heres a list of camper companies that you might want to consider that it’s not conclusive and also always check reviews, e.g., Google customer reviews are usually worth reading. Perhaps ask where the companies advertise their relocation campers or how to get a camper relocation deal. I do not earn a commission or remunerations for mentioning these companies.
Apollo Specials – Apollo Specials have some of the best deals for your next getaway. Choose from coastal Queensland getaways to the stunning natural wonders of the outback Western Australia or anything in between. They have some last minute discounts. Phone 1 800 777 779. At the time of writing 55% discount on selected vehicles with limited availability.
Drive-now – Drive now has an online booking system for last-minute relocation bookings throughout Australia, Europe, North America, UK and New Zealand. This company claims that the price you see on their website is the price you pay with no hidden costs (but read the fine print to be sure). When placing a booking you see the full price that included taxes, premium location fees, and stamp duty. For a no prepayment, booking -You pay your full rental when collecting the vehicle. Telephone number – 1 300 547 214
SelfdriveShop – They are a division of Salamanda Travel and focuses on campervan hire in Australia, Canada, USA, and New Zealand. SDS have a one-stop-shop for a camper van holiday. Like most of the others, you can book online. Self Drive Shop offer you with a range of flexible payment options and take advantage of paying a small deposit to secure your camper. You can visit them here or 1 800 995 446
The company I like is Imoova.com – these guys used to be called standby cars. They have been around on the campervan relocation scene a while. They’re kind of like a portal that offers deals to return campers from one location back to base so to speak in some countries.
Imoova has relocation campervans in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, UK and Europe from $1.00 per day. These are vehicles for relocation between city areas from, e.g., Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Avis rental cars, Thrifty and Redspot and Budget Rent a car. The New Zealand deals on camper vans are particularly cheap and also offer an exciting way to holiday overseas and travel at the same time.
Sightseeing at its best
I will be making a camper relocation journey soon and will update with a trip report about the experience. Personally, if you don’t mind a little rush (re time limit to return the vehicle, e.g., Melbourne to Sydney vehicle returns are usually three days) then camper relocation’s are an excellent option to get out and drive, you always need to read the fine print on the terms of hire.
Some of the inclusions that Imoova offers for returning his vehicles include – fuel and ferry allowance for the journey. The fuel subsidies and rebates at the end of the trip will require presentation of receipts along the way. The image below is from the Imoova website (below).
Disadvantages of camper van relocation’s – Time. Some people may find the times a bit restrictive and some people may not want to rush themselves in getting a vehicle interstate in say 2 or 3 days. You will need to pay a standard daily rate on top of deeply discounted rate you receive. When you work out the numbers, say you have three days to get the vehicle from city point A to city point B e.g. Melbourne to Brisbane, and drivers may want more time, you just pay the standard daily rate for the fourth day and so on. Overall, when aggregated the price still works out a whole lot cheaper than if you walked into the company and hired the vehicle.
Jucy Rentals– Lastly, it might be worth hunting around, e.g., Searching google for example [name of company] camper van relocation’s, etc. as you might come across company listings not featured in some of the aggregation sites like Imoova. Take this group, for example, which have vans for rent for a dollar a day on their website.