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Motorhome or car rental better for a family trip around South Island?

Motorhome in New Zealand

So you’re thinking about renting a motorhome but not sure if it’s for you or if you should just be renting a car and booking hotel rooms?

We have done the hard work for you, and created a general overview of the costs and benefits of both options to help you plan your ultimate self-drive adventure!

The Taylors are a family of 4, with two children aged 8 & 10. They are travelling to South Island in the school holidays in search for fun & adventure for 8 days! They are flying into Christchurch, and driving to Queenstown via Dunedin and Invercargill. See below for a breakdown of costs comparing a motorhome and hotel holiday.

 

Motorhome

Car & Hotel

 

Maui Cascade 4 berth + all inclusive pack with nil excess

Avis Full Size SUV Toyota Highlander with nil excess

Cost for 8 Day Hire NZD $1795 NZD $1185
One Way Fee NZD $75 (paid locally) $0
Queenstown Location Fee NZD $95 (paid locally) $0
Fuel NZD $143 (based on approx. price of diesel, fuel consumption of vehicle and distance travelled) NZD $166 (based on approx. price of petrol, fuel consumption of vehicle and distance travelled)
Powered Sites / Accomodation NZD $448

  • Christchurch (1 night) = NZD $85 per night
  • Dunedin (1 night) = NZD $76 per night
  • Invercargill (1 night) = NZD $55 per night
  • Queenstown (4 nights) = NZD $58 per night

NZD $1790

  • Quest Christchurch Serviced Apartments (1 night) = NZD $250 per night
  • The Victoria Hotel Dunedin (1 night) = NZD $210 per night
  • Colonial on Tay Invercargill (1 night) = NZD $190 per night
  • Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown (4 nights) = NZD $285 per night

TOTAL COST: NZD $2556 NZD $3141

Please note: We have used 1 AUD = 1.05 NZD exchange rate for all above costs, including local fees which must be paid locally in NZD. The costs and pricing above are correct as of 15 November 2017 based on the dates 01 October 2018 - 08 October 2018 and should be used as a guide only. Subject to availability & change at all times.

What else should I consider?

Food & cooking

Comforts and unpacking

Meeting other people

Space for the kids

Freedom