Best Campervan Hire for Backpackers: The Ultimate Comparison List

A place that’s almost as large as the entire continent of Europe, but has just 3% of the population. It can be a bit of a surprise just how big and empty Australia actually is.

A small population dispersed far and wide naturally limits a backpacker’s travel choices – there simply isn’t the demand for public transport here that there is elsewhere. While planes, buses and trains will travel between major centres, the best bits of Australia are so often hidden in the empty bits between.

Enter the humble campervan.

Almost a rite of passage for backpackers in Australia, hiring a campervan and hitting the country’s long and empty roads offers travellers the ultimate freedom, allowing them to explore this wide brown land at their leisure, and get a far more authentic experience while they do it.
But how do you go about hiring a campervan? How much are you likely to spend? And what other considerations should you take into account?

To answer all these campervan questions and more, at Backpacker Job Board we’ve created the ultimate guide to Australian campervan hire, designed to give you all the whats, wheres, hows and whys that you need to make a good rental decision. We’ve also created a price comparison breakdown of all the campervan hire companies on the market.

Index:

First thing’s first – who are the major players in the campervan game?

List of Campervan Hire Companies

You’re not short of choice when shopping for campervans in Australia. A wealth of companies both big and small offer vehicles, and the competitiveness of the market is a great thing for backpackers. Let’s take a look at how the biggest names stack up against each other.

 

Apollo Motorhome

Apollo Motorhome - campervan hire

A leader in Australian campervan rentals since 1985, Apollo offers up a range of vehicles, from 2-berth hitop campers to 6-berth luxury motorhomes. Their focus isn’t on the backpacker; they instead hire out late-model campers to travellers who are willing to pay a little more for quality.

What type of driver’s licence do I need to hire an Apollo? In order to hire an Apollo camper you must show a full motor vehicle licence that has been held for at least two years. If your licence isn’t in English it must be accompanied with an accredited English translation, otherwise an international licence is required. If you plan to travel in the Northern Territory, an international licence is required.

Are there age restrictions in hiring an Apollo camper?

To hire an Apollo camper you must be over the age of 21.

What is included in an Apollo rental?

While you pay a little extra, you do get a lot included in an Apollo rental. Cooking equipment and eating utensils, a clothes line and pegs, fire extinguisher, bucket, hose, broom, dustpan and brush, sheets, blankets/duvets, pillows, pillowcases and bath towels all come standard.

Is insurance included?

All Apollo rentals come with basic liability reduction insurance included (called The Low Road), but more comprehensive packages (The Middle Road or The High Road) are available for a daily rate of $22-$47.

Do I have to pay a bond?

If you choose The Low Road or The Middle Road insurance packages, a bond of $1500-$8000 will be debited from you card. If you choose The High Road, a credit card imprint of $100-$300 will be held.

Are there restrictions on where I can drive?

You must stay on sealed roads. The only exceptions are well maintained access roads of less than 12km.

Other important info:

  • Eight vehicle options
  • Depots in 10 strategically placed cities all around Australia (including Hobart and Broome)
  • 24/7 roadside assist
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Relocation deals available

Is Apollo good value for money?

While you’ll pay a little more, you certainly get quality when you hire an Apollo vehicle. If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, it might be worth checking out Hippie Camper, the company’s budget arm.

Visit Apollo Motorhomes

Awesome Campers

Awesome campers - campervan hire

Awesome Campers is a family owned and operated campervan rental company with a focus on the budget traveller. Despite being a low cost campervan provider, they include plenty of useful add ons that others don’t, and their no-frills fleet of vehicles is reliable and comfortable.

What equipment is included in an Awesome Campers rental?

All Awesome Camper rentals come with kitchen and cooking utensils (crockery, pots and pans, portable gas cooker), tea towels, washing up gear, linen (sheet, duvet, pillows and cases, towels), 2x outside chairs and an outside table.

Is insurance included?

Awesome Campers include basic liability insurance with all of their vehicles. Upgraded insurance packages are available for $20-$30 per day.

Do I have to pay a bond?

Yes, although the amount will depend on the insurance package you choose. You’ll need to pay a $3000 bond if you choose to stick with basic cover, while the $30 per day insurance package will reduce the bond to $500.

Is there anywhere I can’t take an Awesome Camper?

Awesome Campers must be kept on sealed roads. The only exceptions are unsealed access roads of less than three kilometres.

Will I be charged for how far I drive?

No! Awesome Campers offer unlimited kilometres on all their rentals.

Other important info:

  • Four vehicle options
  • Road tolls included
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • No minimum hire period
  • One way relocation fees apply

Is Awesome Campers good value for money?

Awesome Campers is great option for backpackers looking for a low cost hire that includes the linen, furniture and cooking equipment that can cost extra elsewhere. And with no minimum hire period, it’s also a great choice for anyone looking for a weekend away!

Visit Awesome Campers

Britz Campervan (owned by Tourism Holdings Ltd.)

Britz Campervan Hire

Another Tourism Holdings company, this time with less of a focus on the backpacker set. Britz is one of the biggest names in Australian campervan rentals, offering rentals to backpackers, young families and grey nomads in equal measure.

What is included in a Britz rental?

A lot! Britz campervans include bedding, towels, A/C, kitchen equipment, a 240V power supply and a tablet featuring GPS, CamperHelp and more – things that don’t tend to come standard with other rentals.

Is insurance included in Britz rentals?

Standard liability insurance is included with all Britz rentals, although a bond/excess will be taken from your card upon pick up (up to $10,000 depending on the vehicle). You can reduce the bond/excess by choosing partial or full cover for a daily rate.

Will I need a special driver’s licence to drive a Britz campervan?

No, you just need a standard, full car licence to drive a Britz van. If your licence isn’t printed in English, an accredited English translation or an international licence is required.

Are there restrictions on where I can drive a Britz van?

2WD Britz campervans must only be driven on sealed roads, except for well maintained access roads of less than 12km. 4WD Britz campervans are subject to fewer restrictions.

Is there a one-way relocation fee?

Yes, depending on the location you pick up and the location that you drop off the rental, a one way relocation fee of $165-$250 will apply.

Will I be charged for the kilometres I drive?

All 2WD Britz campervans come with unlimited kilometres, while 4WD campers have a 300km per day limit (averaged out over the course of the rental), with extra kilometres incurring a fee.

Other important info:

  • Nine vehicle options
  • Depots in 10 strategically placed cities all around Australia (including Hobart and Broome)
  • 24/7 roadside assist
  • Minimum age restrictions of 18 – 21 years (depending on the rental)
  • Relocation deals available

Is Britz good value for money?

While the rental itself won’t be as cheap as most others on this list, choosing Britz grants you access to their impressive network of locations and their market-leading array of vehicles. If you’re looking for choice and flexibility, the extra price might be worth it!

Visit Britz Campervan

Camperman

Camperman campervan hire

The team Camperman have taken a somewhat different approach to campervan rentals. This Queensland-based, family owned operation offers rates that are all-inclusive, taking the stress and bad surprises out of camper rental.

What is included in a Camperman rental?

Honestly, pretty much everything! While most companies offer things like unlimited kilometres and 24/7 roadside assistance, Camperman also includes comprehensive insurance, extra drivers and even road tolls in their rates!

How old do I have to be to drive a Camperman camper?

You must be 19 years or older to drive a Camperman, but there are no extra charges for young drivers.

How many depots does Camperman have?

Camperman has eight depot locations. Five of them are dotted along the coast of the company’s home state of Queensland, with others in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Do I have to pay a bond?

Yes, but it’s far smaller than most rental companies. All Camperman rentals come with comprehensive insurance included, which reduces the bond to $500 (most companies include a basic insurance package and charge $3000-$7000 for the bond).

Is there a one way drop off fee?

It depends where you drop the campervan off. There is no fee for one way drop offs in Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, a fee of $150 for Gold Coast drop offs, and $250 for Airlie Beach, Townsville and Adelaide.

Can I drive a Camperman camper on a foreign licence?

In Camperman’s words, “foreign driver’s licenses are fine by us, and we don’t charge an additional fee like most motorhome rental and camper rental companies.”

Other important info:

  • Seven vehicle options
  • Road tolls and comprehensive insurance included
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Additional drivers free of charge

Is Camperman good value for money?

While Camperman’s daily rates may seem higher than some of the more budget options on this list, it’s important to realise how many things are included in it. The inclusion of comprehensive insurance alone makes Camperman’s rates some of the best value on the market. If you want or need the added extras that Campervan includes, they’ll be one of the best value rental options out there.

Hippie Camper (owned by Apollo)

Hippie Camper campervan hire

Founded in 2006 by Apollo, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest privately owned RV operator, Hippie Camper says that it has the newest and best fleet of campervans on the budget market.

Do I need an international driver’s licence?

You only need an international driver’s licence if you plan to drive in the Northern Territory – otherwise a full driver’s licence from your home country is fine. If your licence isn’t in English, Hippie require an accredited English translation.

What is the minimum driving age for a Hippie Camper?

You must be at least 18 years of age (and hold the appropriate licence) to drive a Hippie Camper.

Do all drivers need to be present at pick up?

Yes, all drivers must show their driver’s licence in the branch upon pick up.

What does a Hippie Camper come with?

All Hippie Campers come with: kitchen kit and equipment, clothesline and pegs, fire extinguisher, bucket and hose, broom, dustpan and brush. Personal kits (sheets, blankets, pillows, towels) and 240V electrical appliances come free with some hires, and at a charge for others.

Is insurance included?

All Hippie Campers come with basic liability reduction insurance included (called The Low Road), but more comprehensive packages (The Middle Road or The High Road) are available for a daily rate of $22-$47.

Are there restrictions on where I can drive?

You must stay on sealed roads. The only exceptions are well maintained access roads of less than 12km.

Do I have to pay a bond?

If you choose The Low Road or The Middle Road insurance packages, a bond of $1500-$8000 will be debited from you card. If you choose The High Road, a credit card imprint of $100-$300 will be held.

How many depots does Hippie Camper have?

There are five dedicated Hippie Camper depots in Australia (four on the East Coast, one on the West Coast), plus a number of shared Apollo depots along tourist trails.

Other important info:

  • Three vehicle options
  • Unlimited kilometres offered on all vehicles
  • Breakdown assistance included
  • One way relocation costs apply
  • Potential higher costs for drivers under the age of 21

Is Hippie Camper good value for money?

While their range is (relatively) small, Hippie do offer great quality for a budget price, and have the backing of one of Australia’s largest rental companies.

Visit Hippie Camper

Jucy Rentals

Jucy Rentals campervan hire

A family business started in New Zealand in 2001, Jucy has grown to become one of the largest RV companies in Australasia, with over 4000 of their distinctive green and purple vehicles rolling along the roads.

What is the minimum hire period?

Jucy camper hires start at five days.

Do I have to pay a bond?

Yes, a bond will apply to your Jucy rental, usually in the range of $2000-$8000.

Should I use a debit card or a credit card?

You can use a debit card to hire from Jucy, but you’ll need to ensure that you have the necessary funds available for not just the rental itself, but the bond too. If you choose to pay by credit card, a fee of 2% (Visa, Mastercard) or 4% (American Express) will apply.

Will I be charged for the kilometres I drive?

No! Jucy offer unlimited kilometres on all their rentals.

Are there any restrictions on where I can take a campa?

You must keep your Jucy rental on sealed roads (access roads to recognised campgrounds are an exception). And Jucy not only allow their campers at festivals, they actively encourage their customers to take them to these sorts of events (it’s good advertising, after all)!

Does Jucy offer roadside assistance?

Yes, Jucy offer 24 hour roadside assistance on all mechanical breakdowns (but locking your keys in or running out of fuel won’t count I’m afraid!)

How many depots does Jucy have?

There are seven dedicated Jucy depots in Australia, found from Cairns all the way down and around to Adelaide.

Other important info:

  • Six vehicle options
  • One way relocation costs apply
  • Potential higher costs for drivers under the age of 21
  • Easy online booking
  • Relocation deals available

Is Jucy good value for money?

Jucy are popular for a reason! With a number of low-end, budget options, you’ll be able to find the perfect rental without needing to go at the piggy bank with a hammer.

Visit Jucy

Lucky Rentals (owned by Jucy)

Lucky Rentals campervan hire

The even more discount arm of an already discount provider, Jucy Rentals, Lucky does away with its parent company’s bold green and purple in favour of a more minimalist look. And minimalism, at a particularly cheap rate, is exactly what the company offers in its fleet.

What is included in a Lucky campervan rental?

All Lucky campervans come with basic cooking equipment, including cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, gas kettle and a few other bits and pieces. A pack with bed linen, towels and tea towels can be bought for $20 at pickup.

Do I need a special licence to drive a Lucky campervan?

No, you just need a standard, full car licence to drive a Lucky van. If your licence isn’t printed in Enlgish, an international licence is required.

How old do I have to be to drive a Lucky van?

Provided you meet the licence requirements, no age restrictions are placed on Lucky rentals, and no young driver fees apply.

Are there any roads I can’t drive a Lucky rental on?

Lucky is happy for you to drive your van pretty much anywhere, as long as it’s not on a beach. If you’re driving deep into the outback, their Outback Fee may apply.

Do rentals come with insurance?

Basic coverage – Lucky calls it ‘The Gambler’ option – is included at no cost with every hire, but an excess/bond of $3000 applies. You can reduce this bond by choosing an upgraded level of coverage for a daily rate of $20-$30.

Are there any extra fees?

Lucky only includes the basics, so the following incur extra charges:

  • Additional drivers: $1 per day
  • Cleaning fee: $25 (all bookings)/$100 (particularly dirty vehicles)
  • Premium location fee: $10 for Perth pickups
  • Pickup fee: $100 for all bookings collecting from the Melbourne and Brisbane locations that return to the same location as pick up.

Other important info:

  • Three vehicle options
  • Five depots across Australia (Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth)
  • A slightly older fleet than most (1997-2004)
  • 7 day minimum hire
  • Price promise – find a cheaper rate on the same vehicle and Lucky will beat it by 7%!

Is Lucky good value for money?

One of the cheapest options on the market, you get what you pay for with Lucky – a basic vehicle with only basic extras included, and limited support. Be sure to take all the extra costs into account so that you understand the full price before committing.

Visit Lucky

Mighty Campers (owned by Tourism Holdings Ltd.)

Mighty Campers campervan hire

Backed by Australasia’s biggest campervan company – Tourism Holdings – Mighty Campers offers one of the more diverse campervan portfolios, both in terms of locations and vehicles. They sit at the upper end of budget options.

What is included in a Mighty Camper rental?

Mighty Campers include bedding, towels, A/C, kitchen equipment, a 240V power supply and many other extras not included by more budget rental companies.

Is insurance included in Mighty Camper rentals?

Standard liability insurance is included with all Mighty Camper rentals, although a bond/excess of $3500-$5000 applies. You can reduce the bond/excess with partial or full cover ($29-$39 per day).

Will I need a special driver’s licence to drive a Mighty Camper?

No, you just need a standard, full car licence to drive a Mighty Camper. If your licence isn’t printed in English, an accredited English translation or an international licence is required.

Are there restrictions on where I can drive a Mighty Camper?

2WD Mighty Campers must only be driven on sealed roads, except for well maintained access roads of less than 12km. 4WD Mighty Campers are subject to fewer restrictions.

Is there a minimum driver age restriction?

Yes – for Action Pod, Mighty Highball and Mighty Double Down vehicles it’s 18, for all other vehicles it’s 21 (provided licence requirements are met).

Will I be charged for the kilometres I drive?

All 2WD Mighty Campers come with unlimited kilometres, while 4WD campers have a 300km per day limit (averaged out over the course of the rental), with extra kilometres incurring a fee.

Other important info:

  • Six vehicle options
  • Nine depots in all of Australia’s major centres (plus Alice Springs)
  • 24/7 roadside assist
  • Large 6-berth vehicles available
  • All vehicles come with in-camper tablet featuring GPS, CamperHelp and more

Is Mighty Camper good value for money?

While Mighty Camper has a focus on the backpacker market, partnerships with brands like Britz and Maui, and a fleet of late-model vehicles sees Mighty sit at the top end of budget providers. You certainly get quality for your money, but expect to pay more than you would with more basic backpacker options.

Spaceships Rentals

Spaceships campervan hire

With a promise of an all-inclusive rental without the nasty surprises, Spaceships sells itself as the honest and transparent campervan choice. Its fleet of small vans has been custom fitted to drive like a car, but feel like a mobile home.

What equipment is included with a Spaceships rental?

Quite a lot! Blankets, pillows, sheets, pot & pan, chopping board, plates, knives, forks, cups, bowls, can opener and much more is included, meaning you can turn up with just your backpack and get straight on the road.

Is insurance included in Spaceships rentals?

Standard liability insurance is included with all Spaceships rentals, although a bond/excess of $5000 applies. You can reduce the bond/excess with partial or full cover ($20-$30 per day).

Do I need an international driver’s licence?

To hire a Spaceships van you need to show a full licence from your home country. if your driver’s licence or permit is not in English you need to carry an official English translation or an International driver’s licence.

Will I be charged for the kilometres I drive?

No – all Spaceships rentals come with unlimited kilometres!

Will I be charged a one way relocation fee?

No! Spaceships is one of the few rental companies that doesn’t charge a relocation fee, saving you around $150-$200 on a normal rental!

Can I drive a Spaceships van if I’m 18?

Provided you have a full licence in your home country, you can drive a Spaceships van at 18 years old. Higher costs will usually apply to driver’s under 21 however.

Other important info:

  • Four vehicle options
  • Four depots (Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne)
  • 24 hour roadside assistance
  • Minimum hire period of five days
  • Free additional drivers

Is Spaceships good value for money?

If you’re looking for the most pain free experience possible, Spaceships is a great choice. The company includes a lot of things that others don’t, meaning that they can end up being far cheaper than self-described ‘budget’ options. While their vehicles are smaller and they only have four depots, this minimalism allows them to provide a really good service.

Travellers Autobarn

travellers Autobarn campervan hire

A hire company that also dabbles in campervan sales, Travellers Autobarn sees itself as a one stop shop for budget travellers. Established in 1993, it offers a full suite of vehicles for travellers to either buy or hire.

Does Travellers Autobarn offer roadside assistance? Yes, free 24 hour roadside assistance for all vehicle faults, with everything being handled by the TA team in-house.

Is insurance included in Travellers Autobarn rentals?

Standard protection is included on all TA rentals, but upgraded protection can be purchased at a daily rate.

Do I have to pay a bond?

If you choose the standard liability option, a bond of $2000-7500 will apply. But unlike other rental companies, which take the bond and then issue a refund on returning the vehicle in a good condition, Travellers Autobarn simply freezes the bond amount on your card for up to 14 days.

Will I be charged for the kilometres I drive?

No – all Travellers Autobarn rentals come with unlimited kilometres!

What kind of driver’s licence do I need?

To hire a Travellers Autobarn van you need to show a full and valid car licence from your home country. if your driver’s licence or permit is not in English you need to carry an official English translation or an International driver’s licence.

How many depots does Travellers Autobarn have?

TA have size depots dotted around Australia, in Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin.

Other important info:

  • Seven vehicle options
  • Station wagons available
  • 24 hour roadside assistance
  • No young driver fees (but drivers must be 18+)
  • Access to free campgrounds and discounted caravan parks

Is Travellers Autobarn good value for money?

Travellers Autobarn is a mid-range rental provider, providing quality vehicles at very reasonable prices. You’ll also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with using an established company.

Visit Travellers Autobarn

Wicked Campers

Wicked Campers campervan hire

The most famous, eye-catching and controversial campervan company in the business, Wicked Campers has built a reputation as the bad boy of the industry, although their spray painted vans are particularly friendly on the wallet.

What equipment is included with a Wicked Camper rental?

Every Wicked van comes with a mattress (no linen), fry pan and saucepan, gas stove, cutlery and crockery and a cooler (esky).

Does Wicked offer roadside assistance?

Yes, Wicked provides free roadside assistance for all vehicle faults, but a call out fee will apply to cases involving human error.

Is insurance included in Wicked rentals?

No, insurance will incur an extra charge. Standard liability costs a flat fee of $150, while upgraded liability costs $30 per day.

Do I have to pay a bond?

If you choose the standard liability option, you’ll be asked to pay a bond of $3000, which you’ll get back after the vehicle is returned in good condition. If you choose upgraded liability, a credit card imprint will be taken instead.

Do I need an international driver’s licence?

No, you just need a valid driver’s licence from your home country. Australian P-platers can also hire Wicked vans (at an increased rate).

Will I be charged for the kilometres I drive?

You can drive your Wicked van 250km per day over the course of your hire (e.g. a 10 day hire will give you 2500km in included kilometres). Additional travel will be charged out at $0.25/km.

Do I need to clean the van before I return it?

Ideally, yes. Wicked charges a $200 cleaning fee for dirty vans.

How many depots does Wicked have?

There are 14 Wicked depots dotted around Australia, including an unusually strong network up the Western Australian coast – perfect for backpackers who plan to travel the whole country.

Other important info:

  • Seven vehicle options
  • One way relocation fee applies
  • 5% booking fee applies to all hires
  • Easy online booking
  • Relocation deals available

Is Wicked good value for money?

Wicked sell themselves as one of the most budget options out there, but when you realise they are one of the only companies not to include unlimited kilometres or even basic insurance, the claim begins to seem a little questionable. On the flipside, the wealth of depots in regional locations is a huge perk, and the paint jobs make for good stories and Instagram material.

Visit Wicked Campers

Privately owned campervans for hire

Just as Airbnb has shaken up the hotel and hostel industry, similar online marketplaces are beginning to shake up the campervan rental market, by allowing private owners to hire out their own vehicles direct to travellers.

By dealing direct with the campervan owner you can often find better deals on these sites, although this does mean that you may be held more accountable for how you treat the hire – it’s the owner’s baby, after all!

There are three main marketplaces for campervan and recreational vehicle hire in Australia.

Camplify

Camplify

Essentially Airbnb on wheels, Camplify is Australia’s number one RV sharing community. It offers up thousands of campervans and motorhomes to travellers, with some truly unique (and Instagrammable!) vehicles available.

Is insurance included in Camplify hires?

Yes, all Camplify hires have insurance built into the cost, and there are no additional fees to be paid.

Do I have to pay a bond?

No. Instead, an imprint of your credit card will be taken when you booked, and funds are only taken if damage occurs.

Do I get roadside assistance?

Yes. Every Camplify hire includes roadside assistance for mechanical faults.

Can I drop the campervan off at a different location?

That will be up to the owner, but most will ask that you drop off you hire at the same location you picked it up from.

Do I need to be a member to shop on Camplify?

You’ll need to set up a free profile in order to start shopping for campervans on Camplify.

Is Camplify good value for money?

The strength of Camplify is in the sheer volume of different vehicles available for hire – you can find pretty much anything on there! You are generally more limited on what you can do with vehicles and where you can take them though, and the cheapest Camplify options will generally still be more expensive than the cheapest options from a traditional rental company.

Visit Camplify

Outdoorsy

Outdoorsy

The US equivalent of Camplify – and the self-proclaimed “most trusted RV marketplace in the world” (their Trustpilot rating of 4.6 is impressive) – is starting to gain traction in Australia.

Is insurance included in an Outdoorsy rental?

Outdoorsy offers three different packages to renters when they book a vehicle – Peace of Mind, Essential and Risk Taker.

Are one way rentals available?

While one way rentals are certainly possible, the terms of the rental are decided by the owner, who will generally be inconvenienced by such a deal, so they aren’t common.

Is Outdoorsy good value for money?

Like Camplify, Outdoorsy’s main perk is its choice. You will notice that for the moment at least, most of the campervans on the site are actually offered up by traditional rental companies, who have realised that they can’t beat these online marketplaces, so they might as well join them. This means that you may get a better deal by going direct.

Visit Outdoorsy

Camptoo

Camptoo

A Dutch marketplace that expanded into Australia early on in their journey, Camptoo offers a more boutique experience (for the moment at least), with a small fleet of 120 campers offered by a select group of owners. Impressive online ratings show the perks of keeping things small and manageable from a support and service point of view.

Do I need to pay insurance?

The owner of the camper will nominate an insurance policy on the listing, and upgraded policies are available.

Do I have to pay a bond?

Yes, you’ll be asked to authorise the bond nominated by the owner in the insurance section of the listing a minimum of two days before your trip. This is refunded should the camper be returned in good condition.

Do I need to create a profile to use Camptoo?

Yes, you’ll be asked to sign up before being able to shop for campers.

Is Camptoo good value for money?

As far as pure price goes, Camptoo is comparable with both Camplify and Outdoorsy. Their USP is their size, at least at this stage. While a pool of 120 campers may not sound like much compared to their competitors, it does allow Camptoo to deliver unmatched customer service. According to their website, “personal contact is our top priority.”

Visit Camptoo

To buy or to hire?

If you needed a car for a couple of days, you wouldn’t buy one, you’d hire. By the same token, if you’re travelling around Australia for a year or more, you shouldn’t hire a vehicle, you should buy.

Circumnavigating the country, Australia’s Highway One is the longest national highway in the world. At 14,500km, it’s almost 50% longer than the Trans-Siberian Highway. With so much to explore, and with so many backpackers choosing to stay in Australia for the long term, hiring often won’t be the most cost effective option.

So, should you buy instead?

The costs of vehicle ownership

While you can get most (and if you negotiate well, all) of the purchase price back when you sell your vehicle at the end of your trip, there are plenty of other costs that many travellers don’t think about when purchasing a vehicle. These include:

  • Vehicle registration
  • Insurance
  • Roadworthy certificates
  • Vehicle servicing
  • Roadside assistance
  • Vehicle repair/fit-out (from tyres to all the campervan bells and whistles)
  • Depreciation

When you count up all the costs involved in owning a vehicle, there’s far more value in the daily hire rate of a campervan than you might imagine!

Hiring vs buying: a cost analysis

Weighing up the cost of ownership versus the cost of hiring (based on a low-end campervan), this is how renting and buying stacks up over the long term:

Length of road trip Cost of a basic rental Should I buy instead?
6 weeks $1890 (@$45/day) No!
8 weeks $2520 (@$45/day) Not quite worth it
10 weeks $2800 (@$40/day) 50/50
12 weeks $3360 (@$40/day) Generally better to buy
16 weeks $3920 (@$35/day) Yes!

Where can I buy a 2nd hand campervan?

Facebook groups are a great place to start your search. Join Backpacker Exchange to find some great deals in used campervans and accessories.

Campervan Hire Comparison

The following comparison table is meant to give a general indication of how hire costs compare across the market. By no means is it meant to be treated as gospel. Prices change daily and deals come and go, so you’ll definitely need to do a fresh comparison when researching your trip.

That disclaimer aside, we’ve created this table by pricing the base model from each company, based on the following criteria:

  • Price comparison search from mid-December 2019
  • A one way trip from Sydney to Cairns, 1st Feb 2020 – 22nd Feb 2020 (four weeks)
  • Two drivers aged 26
  • Any relevant deals and discounts applied (excluding relocation deals)

(scroll / swipe left and right to see all the table)

Logo Company Vehicle Specs/ features Insurance included? Bond KMs One way fee Admin/ booking fee Total base cost Additional driver fee Credit card fee
Hippie Camper Mitsubishi Express L300 Basic Basic $3,000 Unlimited $165 $0 $1,106 $45 2% – 4.5%
Jucy Rentals Toyota Tarago Basic Basic $3,000 Unlimited N/A $75 $1,099 $44 1.87%
Wicked Campers Toyota Tarago Basic No (Basic $150) $3,000 250km/day ($0.25/extra km) $200 $72 $1,513 $44 0%
Spaceships Rentals Toyota Tarago Basic Basic $3,000 Unlimited $0 $0 $1,352 $0 0.2% – 2.7%
Travellers Autobarn Mitsubishi Express L300 Basic Basic $3,000 Unlimited $200 $0 $1,983 $66 2%
Lucky Rentals Toyota Estima Basic Basic $3,000 Unlimited $249 $25 $929 $22 2.5% – 3.5%
Mighty Campers Toyota Hiace HiTop Mid-range Basic $3,500 Unlimited $165 $0 $1,756 $30 1.7% – 2.8%
Britz Campervan Toyota Hiace HiTop Mid-range Basic $5,000 Unlimited $165 $0 $2,156 $30 1.7% – 2.8%
Apollo Motorhome Mercedes Benz Sprinter Mid-range Basic $5,000 Unlimited $165 $0 $1,844 $0 2% – 4.5%
Camperman Toyota Hiace HiTop Mid-range Comprehensive $500 Unlimited $0 $70 $2,028 $0 0%
Awesome Campers Toyota Tarago Basic Basic $3,000 Unlimited $250 $60 $1,454 $25 0%

Campervan Hire company owners – let us know if any of the above information is out of date. We’ll happily make updates. Drop us an email via our contact us page.

Finally… Van Life!

If you are embracing #VanLife to fullest, then make sure you check out these YouTube vloggers for some van-spiration for your Aussie road trip. Here’s a clip from Max & Lee an Australian/Canadian couple and full-time van lifers. Here they are buying a second hand camper for $1,200 for their Aussie road trip.

Which is the best campervan hire option for backpackers? Let us know your favourite and share your experience in the comments below.

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