If you’re the type of traveler that doesn’t have a set schedule or destination, and travels on a budget, then relocation cars would be great for you!
WHAT ARE RELOCATION CARS?
Cars, campervans, trucks, and other vehicles that travelers are allowed to drive around for FREE. Most people pay to rent these cars, but if you know where to look, how to book it, and have a flexible schedule, then you can be driving around New Zealand and Australia for FREE!
Everyday people rent cars, drive one-way, and leave the car in a different location… Therefore, the rental car company now has one of their cars in a different location in the country. Instead of having one of the company’s employees fly and pick up the car, the company uses tourists to get their car back to where they want it. To entice tourists to do this task, the companies give perks such as having the car/campervan for $0 per day, free ferry rides [for the vehicle and sometimes the driver also], and even sometimes free gas! Sound too good to be true?
MY CAMPER VAN EXPERIENCE
I scored a huge camper van for 6 days! I drove is all over New Zealand! And the ferry ticket was even paid for by the company! The camper van was like a house on wheels – kitchen, bathroom, 3 beds, a flat screen TV, a loft, etc.
It was such a great experience. Most travelers book bus tickets and never really get to see a lot of the nature in New Zealand. Either they’re sleeping on the bus or it’s night time and they can’t see the amazing scenery. But more often than not, it’s simply because the buses do not take the scenic routes (what a shame).
When I had the camper van, I drove through the mountains and valleys – I would always take the road less traveled… And whether I was sick of driving that day or if it started to get dark, I just pulled over for the night. I would then make dinner, work on my computer, sew my travel clothes, etc. Then I would sleep in the huge bed (bigger than my bed at home – seriously), and wake up to postcard-view outside my window.
HOW TO BOOK & LIMITATIONS
All you have to do is check the websites and book one… but read about each car carefully because there are certain limitations [of course] that are specified in detail for each car/campervan such as:
- limited amount of days to drive from A to B
- some days are “24 days” and some are “calendar days” – make sure you know which!
- some have limited kilometers you are allowed to drive and you’ll be charged for every kilometer you go over.
Check out the following websites to see which cars are available for you to drive:
STAND BY RELOCATIONS [but this company charges a $25 booking fee]
NZ, AUS, USA, and CANADA: www.standbyrelocs.com
The above websites have every car/campervan from every rental car company in the country that needs to be relocated.
Although it’s nice to be able to see all the cars in just one website (from above), I found it easier sometimes to just call each company and quickly ask while I was out walking the town or on the road [either with another relocation car or while hitchhiking]. Most all companies have free numbers [0-800 is free in NZ] that you can call. Here is a list of companies, websites, and free phone numbers:
JUCY: www.jucy.com – NZ.0800.399.736 – AUS.1800.150.850 – USA.1800.650.4180
MAUI: www.maui-rentals.com – NZ.0800.651.080
BACKPACKER: www.backpackers.com – NZ.0800.422.267
BRITZ: www.britz.com – NZ.0800.831.900
When you’re looking to get a car from whichever city you’re in, call [or check the websites] at 9:30am – this is the time each day when their websites are updated and all the new cars are put on the list. Again, I found calling to be much faster and easier but when I was able to pick up WiFi somewhere, I had the websites in front of me while calling at the same time so that I could see exactly what the booking agent was telling me.
Wake up call!
Have a plan. Check out the website the day before and see which cars are available for exactly which dates. Make a decision and stick to it the next day when you call because cars go fast! If you hesitate, someone else WILL grab it!
Have a backup plan. Don’t rely solely on getting a relocation car. A lot of times it doesn’t work out due to someone being 30 seconds faster…
Ask questions! It’s better to be sure than to agree to something fast and then realize you have less time than you thought or something along those lines… I would also ask if you’re allowed to cancel your reservation. Some companies charge a fee if you cancel, but a lot of times all that was taken from me over the phone was my name so if I booked the car for myself and then the day before I decided I didn’t want to go, what could they do? … I never did this because it’s a little shitty, but… just letting you know!
OTHER RELOCATION TRANSPORTATION
Driving is not the only means of transportation in need of being relocated. Have you ever heard of a Relocation CRUISE?!! Yup, there is such a thing! I’ve been on one, and you will not believe how cheap a 14 night cruise across the Atlantic is! CLICK HERE to find out!