"Shit company- boycott!!!!"
- Reviewed 1 month ago
Do not go with this company! Charge for out of hours return, read the fine print carefully as the liability reduction is pointless and there are so many hidden charges. Shit service, crap vehicles
Ah, Wicked Campers Australia. The most polarizing campervan hire company in the country. You’ll either love them or hate them. With each van individually painted you will stand out from the crowd anywhere. Other Wicked renters will flock to you so you can compare notes, any and all backpackers in the area will know there is more backpackers inside that van. It is your ticket to having people come to your van to talk.
Wicked Campers has a reputation for encouraging their renters to flaunt rules, cut corners, and generally do anything to save money. This encouragement has been excitedly gobbled up by many a renter in the past and, having maybe gone just a little bit too far, has given Wicked renters a somewhat dubious reputation. Their customers have a reputation for not maintaining standards. Unfortunately, Wicked themselves have also been accused many a time of not maintaining standards by their own renters. Stories of breakdowns and being left in the middle of nowhere with no help from Wicked abound. But keep reading there is a silver lining.
Wicked Campers were the first successful kid on the block with the “budget” vehicle where comfort and quality took a back seat to just getting from place to place in the cheapest possible manner. Their reputation grew, and now they are a worldwide company. However, they had a reputation of skimping on little things like servicing the vehicles and keeping them viable operational and then not giving a hoot when a renter called from the middle of nowhere with a breakdown. This reputation must have finally started to hurt the bottom line as more competitors entered the market as they now seem to have expanded their fleet to include “premium” vehicles and the reputation for breakdowns has diminished. There are still plenty of haters out there, a quick trip to facebook will come up with some Wicked Campers hate groups with a few hundred members, however, you will also notice that they have over 4000 people who like them, they must be doing something right.
The long and the short of renting with Wicked is this: you get what you pay for. They are aiming at the discount market and are simply the most successful company to do it. You can’t get to number one by being the worst, so suck it up and if you rent from Wicked, go in with your eyes open. Cheap but very cheerful.
Wicked vans are simple and work to the same basic layout. They have an esky (cooler box) instead of a fridge, they have a 40-litre water container (removable) for the sink. They have the kitchenette section at the back that must be used with the rear door open. They come with advice on how to best save money whilst traveling. There are no bells and whistles, but they are simply the most loved brand of cheap van because they don’t try to be something they are not. You will have the best or the worst time in a Wicked. Like I said at the start – polarizing.
In the last few years, they have expanded their fleet a little to include 4wd, mini campers, and Premium models. Here is a short rundown of them:
Small hatchbacks kitted out with some basic sleeping gear. Only to use short people who only have a small backpack each as luggage. Will be cramped and will suck if you just need to hang out in it while it rains. Basically, this is just sleeping in a car.
Well, as they clearly mention, their vehicles are All Wheel Drive. The difference between 4wd and AWD is that a true 4wd will have a Hi range and Low range gear selection. This is all about the gearing ratios in the mechanics that I won’t go into here. AWD basically is just a normal car that has 4 wheels engaged at all times. AWD vehicles are OK on dirt roads but once you get in to really rutted terrain are going to struggle more. Also, the brands of the cheaper versions, Honda and Suzuki do not have a great reputation for staying together and if you break anything whilst in a more remote location, you are going to struggle to find parts in smaller towns. The more expensive Toyota 5 seater (sleeps 3 or 5) can be expected to be more reliable, more comfortable to ride in and a lot easier to get parts if you have to have repairs on run. Pretty much all their 4wd vehicles sleep in roof tents so you need to be comfortable with heights and the idea of sleeping in a tent.
On the Wicked website, they suggest some popular trails. These vehicles will cope on the Oodnadatta track, the Kings Kanyon track and most the others, however, I DO NOT RECOMMEND you do the Gibb River Rd in these vehicles – particularly after and bad weather. That river crossing can be a b!tch and that river is full of crocs.
One the up side, you can rent them if you are under 21y.o.
Vehicles are all relevant to the starting point of Wicked Campers. Their premium is still pretty crappy compared to some companies, but seeing as this is a budget company, you are looking at the premium in that space. They might have premium paint jobs, but really they are just managing to crawl in the bottom level of most of the other major campervan companies. If the facilities of the wicked Premiums interest you, you should look seriously at other companies too in this rental space like Hippie Campers and Cheapa Campa or maybe even Camperman
Wicked Campers come with hi adventure with maximum unknowns. Not recommended if you want to get to your destination on time, or at all, but the unknown and unplanned element of a journey are normally what make for the best memories. However, go in with your eyes open, this is a budget company and things are going to tacky, sticky, dirty and broken, but they are going to be dirt cheap.
By Tim Ahern
Do not go with this company! Charge for out of hours return, read the fine print carefully as the liability reduction is pointless and there are so many hidden charges. Shit service, crap vehicles
The van we were issued was not roadworthy and literally fell apart as we were travelling along a 100km highway. We then had to organize emergency assistance, a mechanic, and stay at a run down motel in the middle of nowhere for three days whilst we got the van fixed. After many emails back and forth they offered no compensation for the motel stay and issued no apology for endangering our lives on the road. DO NOT HIRE FROM WICKED CAMPERS. A truly awful company that does not care about its customers
This should be the last of your lasts options. Way too much money for what you get. I already knew that the vans were old and beaten but pray you won't need to depend on Road assistence. Of coure it breaked down and the worse part was having to deal with their "road assistance" service. The guy must be the biggest cunt in Australia. They didn't answer my calls and would respond my messages 2 hours later. I was on my own with a broken van with no assistance at all at night! This is outrageous. Not to say that he refuses to send me a new Van, really really bad... Wicked is a TRAP!!! Never ever again
We hired one of wicked campers 3 sleeper mini campers picking up at Adelaide and dropping off to Melbourne. Unfortunately, we had a number of things wrong with our camper and we are extremely disappointed at the quality of the car we was provided. We have a list of things that went wrong and were unacceptable for the amount of money we paid to hire this camper. After countless emails back and forth they showed no interest or care in our concerns and we have now been completely ignored.
- Our car had no horn, this is illegal to drive a car with no horn. We was driving the great ocean road and a kangaroo jumped out on us in the road. This should of been checked before we was given the car. Johns response to this was that this is a "minor issue."
- This is supposed to be a 3 sleeper camper. We are 3 small girls and this was unbelievably uncomfortable to sleep in all 3 of us, this should be a 2 sleeper!! We had to take turns in sleeping in the car as the sleep was too uncomfortable.
- Our car had a noise the tyre was making the whole journey. The lady said to us this has been fitted with bigger wheels than it should have which is why the car is making this noise, however hiring a car for 5 days straight and hearing this whilst driving on winey roads like the great ocean road, this gave us low confidence we was driving a safe car.
- We paid $10 per day for kitchen equipment. Our equipment provided had food over the plates, the cutlery was dirty and the wooden spoon was mouldy. This was disgusting and we refused to use the plates we were provided. After one use of the cooker, this also broke and we struggled to use this at all without people around us assisting or letting us borrow theirs. It should not have been provided at all and should be thrown.
- The tent is secure on the roof with Velcro only. We was driving along narrow roads and the tent cover opened up and fell infront of our windscreen - whilst driving which nearly caused an accident. When we dropped off our car we saw other cars with straps to hold their tent on top safely.
To top all of this off, we tried to drop off our car keys as explained, and there was nowhere to leave them. Someone else was there, spoke to someone on the phone and said we can leave it in the box at the front. We then received an email to say we will be charged $200 if these aren't returned.
In addition to all this the tent we was provided with was half broken and extremely dirty.
Overall, we are incredibly disappointed with the quality of the service wicked campers provided. And the ignorance of their staff.
DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!!
The off colour remarks and the appearance of their vehicles are totally inappropriate! On their website the word C**T!!! is written in texta on the inside of the vehicle, my daughter asked me what's a c**t daddy, she actually said that. Disgraceful, misogynistic and revolting. Who creates a company like this? Shame!
After travelling with Wicked Campers, I would NEVER do it again nor recommend. The most appealing aspect was affordability, but it comes at the price of SAFETY. My friend and I were both renting a vehicle for the first time and took it on the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne. While giving the benefit of the doubt, our vehicle proved unsafe for normal road conditions and would not pass a road inspection. The van had minor defects (i.e. broken radio, curtain fixings without curtains) but the greatest SAFETY concerns were:
Sideview mirrors - would turn in on uneven roads or when reached 80km/hr driving speed
Steering Wheel - incredibly misaligned. Driving straight had the steering wheel at nearly 75% angle. Obvious an accident had taken place before and repair was not completed.
Windshield wipers - outdated and worn out. Even when cleaning the blades, it made driving in the rain WORSE.
We discovered all the defects while nearly out of the city. In addition, we were given the keys and left to leave the lot without any instructions for vehicle use. There was also no car manual. Just lots of stickers and decals posting any liability of the car on the renter (this is why it is CHEAP).
Upon returning the vehicle, we voiced are concerns and felt that they were well received. We received instructions for who to communicate with regarding our dissatisfaction. After sending a very polite and thoroughly crafted e-mail, with photo and video evidence, we were told that an investigation would take place and our concerns would be taken care of. After a month, no follow-up e-mail was sent so we inquired about the status of our complaint. One day later, we were told that nothing was done. Based on the hiatus time, and the response to our follow-up e-mail, we doubt the company did anything and that car is still on the road. For a company that values “Safety, Value and Practicality” but views these concerns as “minor inconveniences”, shows the misalignment of morals as a business practice principles.
While the price is an incentive, the safety as claimed by the company is not to standard. Spend the extra money with another company (with an international reputation), to have a safe, enjoyable, and hassle-free trip.
At the pickup already a huge spider (I mean Australian huge) sat in the car. No liquids where checked and the car had a broken bumper and head light. Wanted to return it sooner, because of the whole experience but of course no refund. I hope I will see my deposit again... why is it taking them to deposit it into an Australian account 2 weeks? Crooks
They are a totally disaster. Dirty, unsafe, they don't have most of components they say they have. Only goods to take pictures of them. I don't recomend it at all and I will never hire with them. Take any other company or book a car and a tent.
Customer service is the worse I have received, when things go wrong with the van don't expect anything to be done with any urgently. Not only haveing to chase them up for updates all the time we where let down time and time again and seemed like they just tell you anything to get you off the phone. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone I know! Hopefully this helps you
"C#%t" do you wanna be surrounded by pictures of male genitalia and misogyny? This is your company!
Ok, so as a traveler, I too like to find the cheapest nastiest deal to get me to my next destination. The upside to wicked campers is that yes, they'll probably give you the cheapest deal (even though they'll charge you unknown fees for insurance, "remote location" or one way journeys).
When you book with them, be prepared to be surrounded by a cesspool of teenage Bogan misogyny. As a woman in a same sex couple, I wasn't really prepared to be surrounded by male genitalia. Actually regardless of my gender or sexual orientation... Should I have to be surrounded by male genitalia!?! In every box I opened- and yes, I appreciate the pretty pathetic irony- I found a picture of a penis with generally hairy balls. The side of the van was graffitied with a picture of a lurid green python erupting from a man's pants with the slogan "trouser snake", the other side of the van told me to "ride the snake". Then there was the casually misogynistic sticker, with wicked logo, on the kitchen wall telling me to clean up the van using the word "c#%t" and then the slogan on the boot saying "b#%ch, I know I said I wanna loose weight but I'm hungry".
Could it all be a wonderfully ironic piece of art? I don't think so- as much as I wish it were so.
Top this off by not being told how to put the bed together (in a three seater it requires significant manipulation of the third seat) being asked to vacuum the sand from the floor at the end of hire (I'm not talking excessive amounts but what ANY hire car company would deem reasonable) and being surrounded by tacky permanent marker brain farts.
I have vowed to never again use this company. This is my second time (the first time I specifically requested a van that didn't have a sexist slogan on it... They told me they could not hand pick the van given the demand at the time of rental). I will pay for the privilege (maybe an extra $50-$100 for a week, of believing in a different kind of humanity- one that doesn't tell a "c#%t" to clean up the kitchen (I apologize for the language, but you should know what you're getting yourself into).
If you need a van... Rent from Juicy Campers or Hippie Campers of hitch hike, or message me, I'll give you a lift... Anything to stop these disgusting vans from being on the road.
We actually ended up renting from Wicked Campers for our New Zealand road trip. Its actually a bit funny- As americans, we had absolutely no idea how many campervan companies operate in New Zealand. We counted over 15 different companies renting out everything from rusty old Toyota Vans to brand spanking new $150 k mansions on wheels.
We ended up quite please with our Wicked Camper Iconic 2 Seater. It turned out to be just enough room for the both of us to fit in the back comfortably when it was sleepy time, which is something of a feat since we're both 6'Ft.
The kitchen setup was far from luxurious as we're talking about a plywood table and some plastic bins, but it seemed like a high society setup whenever we saw other campers pulling out milk crates containing their stove, cook ware, and food all jumbled toghether.
The vehicle itself was in good shape. I was pretty skeptical as we'd heard a lot about piss poor condition vans from wicked, but ours was in fantastic shape. It was a late model Toyota Voxy that ran like a top the entire time we had it. The tires looked brand new and it was turned over to us nice and clean. In fact, we ended up being the ones to return it worse for the wear- someone backed into our van in the parking lot of a national park. They left a huge dent in the back and shattered a taillight. Still waiting to see how wicked handles the charge for it.
WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!...EVER!!!
Just hired a Wicked camper van with my girlfriend for three weeks. I will try to explain our experience as best and accurate as possible. The concept of Wicked is great, but the execution was far from remarkable.
Firstly be warned that the pick up and drop off 'depots' are in the middle of no where. Our pickup location took us 4 hours from the main city that it was described to being closest to. Took a 50 min train, waited 45min for a bus, 15 min in the bus and a 20min walk in 37 degree scorching sun with luggage and finally we discovered the pick up point. We were met by a person, who was lovely, but explained that he did not work for wicked buti in fact his mate who was some where else did and he was just 'filling in' for him.
The "bed" in the back is hardly a bed and myself and my girlfriend (who are 180cm and 165cm tall respectively) were forced to lie like pretzels squeezed in a sardine can in the back for 21 days straight. Fun for the first few nights but not being able to stretch out in the comfort of your bed gets tiring after half a week.
Our van had a sexist 'tagline' plastered all over the back, which was very embarrassing to drive around in.
Finally after three weeks we arrived at the specified drop off point, at the time and place specified in the contract, and waited...and waited...and waited. Again in the middle of no where. After 45min of waiting we missed our train and our connecting bus. During this time we called the head office NUMEROUS times, Over and over. We tried calling the number of the person who was meant to pick up the car, no answer. We tried called every number on the contract and the website, and what do you know, no answer! After waiting over an HOUR and depleting our credit on our mobile phone after calling over seas and local numbers again and again, and using Internet searching for an email for wicked we decided to leave and drive to the next state.
After we finally got the car out of our hands, thank god!, and we missed out connecting train and bus, Wicked tried to argue via email that we didn't take the required steps to contact anyone when there was no one at the drop off point, and that compensation for loss of transport fund was not due???
All in all we had an amazing experience on our holiday, we did some amazing thing and saw some beautiful places, but the van really let us down. I would NOT RECOMMEND WICKED TO ANYONE!
We hired the mini camper without the tent on top for 5 days driving from Adelaide to Melbourne. The staff was friendly, gave us plenty of cookware, soap, and a small grill. The car was fine the whole time, no accidents or issues. Watch out for kangaroos as hitting those is not covered in the insurance policy, which we did opt to buy. Our biggest challenge was trying to find places that we were allowed to sleep overnight in our car, but we found free places to sleep with BBQ grills and bathrooms for 3 nights and paid for a caravan park for the other night. They expect you to clean the car at the end at a carwash, but they barely checked it when we dropped it off. I would recommend the company.
I recently took a really pleasant road trip renting a wicked camper, the sales team are really friendly and the vehicle was pretty much brand new - BUT - it's been 4 weeks since I returned the vehicle and I'm still waiting to receive my whopping $5K bond back. I haven't been able to get in contact with anyone but sales, who repeatedly have told me they don't have any new notes on my booking, and can't/won't put me in contact with accounts or any other area. I feel that this company is very poorly managed and I don't think I would not rent from them in future. I'm currently stuck thinking I may have to claim credit card fraud with my bank just for my bond to be returned!
It's interesting how wicked have also moved to include small hatchbacks with rooftop tents on them. Not bad for those who just want to stick to the bitumen!
In the land of Oz now, the Queensland Gov’t is going after wicked. We have rented thrice from them: Darwin, Adelaide and England, marvelous vans, good people, sort of third world in the best way possible. Go wicked!
Had a awesome with wicked in Australia and New Zealand. Hired a wicked for 3 months in Australia and drove more than 14000km without breakdowns =)
I just hired a Wicked Camper for a month in the USA. The van was a 1997 Chevy Astro – neat, good with fuel and reliable-didn’t miss a beat. I had a repair issue that was sorted out and no problems with the bond. No complaints about anything, even the garish paint job which was a fun way to meet people.
Don’t hire anything from these crooks. There vans are not road worthy and the staff are rude and unhelpful.
We hired a van in Perth, it’s was filthy and not fit for use. Broken lights, windscreen, too many bangs and scraps to mention. The seat belts did not work and the door kept filling off. The staff refused to write down all the faults on the collection check list which meant we lost our bond.
Wicked should not be allowed to operate. Don’t to it.
We met loads of other wicked hirers with even more serious issues.
My girlfriend and I hired a Wicked van from Darwin in March this year. We had nothing but problems, I would advise anyone to steer well clear of this company!
We booked the van through Darwin’s tourist office the previous day. They actually recommended Wicked to us.
Our plan was for a one way lease from Darwin to Sydney over four week’s.
We arrived to pick our van up on at 10.00am. We went through the necessary paper work before we were shown the van. We left the depot to start our journey.
We didn’t get very far before we realised that there had been a misunderstanding at the tourist office and we had booked a vehicle without air-conditioning. Considering the time we were planning to have the van, the distances we would travel and the temperatures we would encounter this would be a big problem.
We returned to the depot and explained the situation. We were prepared to pay the extra for a van with air-conditioning and were shown another vehicle. This would have been simple if it wasn’t for the fact that even the mechanic couldn’t figure out how to collapse the rear seats to form the bed. The idea of renting a camper-van is that you can sleep in it so obviously this one was useless.
After stating this we were offered a four wheel drive vehicle that was equipped with air-conditioning and appeared to have a suitable sleeping area. We agreed that we would take it and would return in an hour allowing them time to ensure the vehicle was ready.
We returned to collect the new van an hour later (it was now around 1.00pm). We filled in the paper-work and were shown around the van before we left, relived that we were now on our way.
The relief didn’t last long! We had driven about 100 meters when there was a loud rubbery noise and a burning smell. I thought to start with that I had a flat tire. We called your help-line and we were told to return to the depot. When we got out of the van we saw the belts off the front of the engine as they fell to the floor underneath the van. This does not exactly install confidence in the reliability of their vehicles.
If it hadn’t been for the fact that we were egar to get on the road we would have cancelled our booking and found a another rental company!
A rather embarrassed member of staff then offered us one of their premium campers, it was so late in the day and we had to make up so much time that we accepted it straight away hoping that the previous problems were just bad luck.
A few day’s later, on our way south along the Stuart Highway we thought we’d make use of the vehicles sun-roof. It opened electrically as it should, when we came to close it; it stopped short and a warning light appeared next to the switch. It was starting to get dark and the weather forecast was for rain. It was clearly stuck so we improvised, covering it with a plastic bag.
We very soon reached Alice Springs and decided it would be best to pay a visit to your depot to get it fixed. Here we met another Wicked employee: Danny. Danny attempted to fix it but obviously didn’t have the tool’s or the knowledge to solve the problem. At one stage he even told us that we might have to pay for it to be repaired, this made me quite angry. The problem was a vehicle fault that was certainly not caused by the way we had used it.
It turned out that it was a common fault and that the sun-roof should have been de-activated but hadn’t. This again show’s a lack of professionalism in this company. Firstly- it hadn’t been de-activated when it was claimed it should have been and secondly- if you provide a camper-van for lease surely all of the equipment on the van should be functioning? If there are common faults such as this one maybe they should consider replacing that vehicle with one that is more reliable?
Surely the logical solution for our situation would have been to refer us to an auto-glazing company who would be more qualified to fix the sun-roof? Instead we had to wait for Danny to find something to cover the roof with to keep water out until we reached Sydney. This again took more of our time, we had not intended to spend an extra day in Alice Springs. In the end all Danny did was to tape the edges of the sun-roof and advise us to buy our own tape should it come off. Again this did not exactly fill us with confidence; there has been record levels of heavy rain in Northern Australia this year has there not?
We arrived in Sydney on . The van was due to be returned at 3.00pm, we left Darling Harbour at 1.30pm believing that we had left a very generous length of time to reach the depot within the same city. We had been given a map to find the Sydney depot on George Street, this made it slightly difficult because there appeared to by two George Street’s in Sydney. Also the map did not show how to get there from the city centre. We were struggling to find our way, stopping for directions several times. At 2.30pm we called the depot to ask for directions, the lady we spoke to had no idea how to direct us even though we gave her the precise address of where we were and offered no help. We struggled along, asking for directions from several people. It seam’s even locals were confused by their map, what chance did we have?
We called again at 3.50pm to explain that we were lost and that we needed directions. We were now outside Apollo camper-vans, we told her this and the only help we were given was “your not far away”. She told us quite rudely that she had to leave at 4.00 to collect a child form school (very strange during the Easter holiday) and that there was no one else there who could help us (yet we passed one of their employees in a camper-van just minuets before we eventually found the depot). We were then told that if we arrived after 4.00pm we would have to “leave the key on top of the exhaust pipe”. I had absolutely no intention of doing this! As I see it that vehicle is my responsibility until my bond (a substantial amount of money) is returned. What would have happened if the van had been taken, with the key’s from an unlocked yard over-night?
Eventually we asked for some help in the Apollo office, we assumed that being a rental company they would have a better chance of knowing where your depot was. One of their employee’s actually volunteered to come with us and show us the way. It goes to show that some company’s are willing to be helpful.
We arrived at the Wicked depot at 4.15pm to find, as expected, that no one was there. I would have no complaint about this if it wasn’t for the fact we had asked for help and directions and given nothing. Not being to leave the key’s in an unsafe place we left the van but took the key’s with us.
We returned to the depot (taking up more of our time and unnecessary expense) first thing in the morning to return the key’s. We tried to explain to the staff that we were not happy but as always we were presented with blank faces and indifference. We filled in a small review card describing some of the issues we had with the van. We have had no response from that card which mean’s I can only presume it has either been discarded or ignored. Either way I find this incredibly rude seeing as we took the time to fill it in.
This was the first time we had ever hired a vehicle, had we been aware of what most company’s provided in the way of service we would have steered well clear of Wicked.
The quality of the vehicle we were provided with was exceptionally poor. In their advertisement’s it say’s “a large comfortable bed”; we are not tall people but our feet over hung the end of the bed, so it is neither large or comfortable. It was dirty when we picked it up and ill equipped for the job. Surely in a camper-van that has cooking equipment should come with a fire extinguisher? We found a dust-pan but no brush, pretty useless, especially as we as the customer are expected to clean the vehicle.
When we first collected the vehicle we were given no advice about where we were and were not supposed to camp. We were not provided with any map’s or given any advice about driving on Australia’s road’s. This is actually quite shocking! We had explained the route we were planning on taking the vehicle which included some very remote areas where mobile phone coverage is minimal. We were not advised about the vast distances between fuel stations or the need to take food and water with us. Luckily we had already received that advice from other party’s but their employees were not to know that. It is scary to think that they would allow someone out on the road in some quite hazardous environments without vital safety information.
Every hire company I have used since ensure that there vehicles are professionally valteted between customers. One lady at a camping ground actually said to me that she believed your campers looked unsafe and shouldn’t be on the road.
It appears to me that Wicked camper-vans use a fun concept, fluffy hand-cuffs (also not in the van) and interesting paint-work to cover a shoddy, unprofessional service.