Last Updated: 9/6/19
Abuzzy Motorhomes specializes with luxury campervan and motorhome hires for 2 to 5 people. It operates both in the UK and New Zealand, with depots in Auckland and Christchurch. There isn't significant changes with their motorhome fleet, still offering eight different units.
About Abuzzy Motorhomes
The company’s history is a young one, starting back in 2009, delivering reliable motorhomes and campervans for rent. They have offices in both the UK and New Zealand. And if you’re concerned about where your money is being spent, it’s going to a large but independent corporation not owned by a conglomerate. Abuzzy offers airport pickup from Auckland and Christchurch airports and will also drop you back there after your rental. However, they also have a somewhat abrasive rule that if you have arrived at the airport on a flight that is 4 hours or more long, then you MUST stay in a hotel in town overnight, you can't take out the motorhome. So, basically, this leaves internal flights and flights from east coast Australia in the catchment. If you're coming from anywhere else, they won't give you the vehicle that day. On the flip side, they offer a free stay in their beach house for renters of their motorhomes, but its 40 minutes out of Auckland, so I guess you have to rent a car from someone other than Abuzzy to get there and then come back the next day to pick up your motorhome. Does anyone else see the irony of this offer?
Anyways, since you'll be travelling NZ with a campervan or a motorhome, for sure you'll be visiting lots of places. So, don't miss to check the freedom camping rules per district ahead of time here.
The fleet consists of motorhomes, with only the 2 berth being considered a campervan. The average fleet age is mostly 2008-2012 models, which are getting on a bit so you can expect some wear and tear. When rental vehicles are these old, it is always best to inspect your designated rental thoroughly prior to taking it about to avoid any misunderstandings when you return it. For the majority of rentals, the fleet has decent quality beds and accessories that many say are of good quality and worth the expense. Tourism radio is also an available option, which is a great little thing provided in New Zealand that will take your GPS readings and tell you about the surrounding area - this service is being rebranded as Skoot.
AB 2 Berth Deluxe
We do love the layout of this campervan - and fully self-contained! Fully self-contained means more free camping options as you roam around New Zealand. It means that the campervan has to have a freshwater tank, a grey water tank to catch the used freshwater and a black water tank (toilet). In this case, the campervan comes with a portable toilet and is not built into the design like in a motorhome. The layout is quite unique and the annex that can be added on to the back can give up to 35% more space. When it's on you can extend the bed and still have room to have the lounge and table out inside the camper. The rear kitchenette also has a fresh approach with an extendable table giving much more bench space than most rear-kitchenette setups, add to this a fridge running of a separate house battery and a TV/DVD combo and you've got a lot of value packed into this little camper.
AB 2 Berth Grand
This 2 berth motorhome is the smallest in the motorhome range that Abuzzy offers. Like everything else it is a certified self-contained vehicle, unlocking more places to stay across New Zealand. You can expect to motorhome to be from between 2008-2012 which is definitely getting old in the world of motorhome rental so you can expect some wear and tear inside the vehicle and a lot of KMs on the clock. It's based on the European Fiat model and is a diesel with a 6 gear manual transmission. The bed is permanently set up above the driver's cabin with swivel seats underneath that can turn from driving mode to facing internally for general chit-chat. The dinette is just behind the driver and in theory, can be turned in to a bed too, but if you rent this motorhome as a 2 berth, you won't be getting any bedding for that. There's a decent-sized fridge a freezer and a very decent 100L water tank. The only thing to note would be the listed 9-10ltr fuel usage per 100km - I am a bit skeptical that a motorhome this size is that fuel-efficient so will need to test that out on the next drive.
AB 2 Berth Ultimate
If you don't like to climb a ladder to get into bed, then this style motorhome is more for you. This version has the double bed set up permanently at the rear of the camper on the same level as everything else - whilst this means there is a little less living space to totter around in, it does also mean you can just flop in to it at the end of the day, or any other time of the day too :-) You'll want to make sure you have been using your toilet chemicals that stop the smell (a MUST have for motorhomes) as the bed is right next to the toilet. This is quite a standard layout for European styled motorhomes. Most other things with this motorhome are the same as the Grand model - vehicle age, bed size, fridge size, water tanks, double glazed windows, and the purported fuel efficiency.
AB 3 Berth Top
One of the newest campers on the fleet (2013 to 2016 model with 2017 fit-out), this 3 berth Top can even go up to 4 adults because of its furnished convertible dinette and over drivers cab double beds. Featuring its more modern interior, the unit gives more comfort to travellers onboard. The kitchen is equipped with all cooking and eating facilities while the bathroom comes with a fully functioning flush toilet and a separate grey water tank, giving it a Self Contained status. What makes this camper more unique is the solar panel mounted on the roof.
AB 4 Berth Grand
The Abuzzy 4 berth grand is remarkably similar to the 2 berth - you might almost say they are the same vehicle. Ah who are kidding, they ARE the same vehicle. There is a Ford version available in the listings but the system will be that there is a some Ford and some Fiat in the range - you'll get one or the other. If you rent a 2 berth you will get the motorhome with bedding and eating set up for 2, if you rent a 4 berth you'll get the same model with 4 sets of linen and cutlery etc.
AB 4 Berth Ultimate
Another 4 berth option, this 2.3 Fiat Ducato Turbo Diesel Engine is a six-speed manual, fuel-efficient camper ideal for families. This one is pretty the same with the 2 berth grand except for the convertible dinette area. This means that you need to allocate time to transform the dinette into a double bed, though it wouldn't take forever to complete it. Just like the other Ultimate, this one comes with swivel front seats, fixed rear double bed, bathroom with a separate shower and toilet, and a fully-equipped kitchen. Also, you can enjoy the spacious dining lounge.
AB 4 Berth Top
Last for the 4 berth category, this one seats 6 but perfectly fits up to 4 people only. An automatic transmission, the model is unlike most 4 berths. It provides a rear kitchen and rear bathroom with flush toilet, leaving the entire center area for the dining/ living space. The dinette also converts into a double bed so you have other option aside from the over driver cabs sleeping area.
AB 6 Berth Grand
The only 6 berth on offer, this manual transmission motorhome is built from 2008 to 2012 2.2 L Ford Transit Turbo Diesel Engine-- same as the 2 and 4 berth Grand. Well, there is nothing new about this, all the major motorhome rental companies do it. In this case, the main bed is above the driver's cabin, permanently set up and requires a ladder to get. The secondary bed is the dinette folded out to make a slightly smaller bed. The only thing that makes this camper different from the two is the set of bunks in the living room, so you can't expect an overly spacious dining/ living room.
The standard excess varies with the age of the driver and campervan rented: 2 Berth Deluxe Campervan for drivers 21 yrs + at NZD 2,000; 2 Berth Deluxe Campervan for drivers 18 - 20 yrs at NZD 2,500; all remaining campervans for 25 to 70yrs at NZD 5,000.
You have the option to reduce the excess by availing one of the insurance reduction options. Take note: Reduction Option 1 does not Motorhome overhead or underbody damage, windscreen & tyre repair or replacement and diesel road user tax; Reduction Option 2 does.
2 Berth Deluxe rental Campervan for drivers 21 yrs + at NZD 15/day (maximum charge of NZ$495) for NZD 1,000 excess or NZD 28/day (maximum charge of NZ 995) for NIL
2 Berth Deluxe rental Campervan for drivers 18 - 20 yrs at NZD 15/day (maximum charge of NZ$495) for NZD 1,500 excess or NZD 28/day (maximum charge of NZ 995) for NZD 250 excess
All remaining campervans for 25 to 70yrs at NZD 40/day (maximum charge of NZ$2,000) for NZD 1,000 excess or NZD 60/day (maximum charge of NZ 2,700) for NZD 500 excess
Upfront customer service - they will do as you wish within reason, and they strive to make your traveling experience comfortable, like a home away. The company does get quite a bit of praise for having their rentals in great shape, so it would seem that issues are rare ones. You won’t be going into a crapshoot on the service you get, nor the quality of the motorhome you’ll get. There are always detractors for every company though, and some of the biggest issues for Abuzzy could be older than advertised models and how they handle repair issues. The fact is, you as the renter will need to read your contract and insurance terms carefully before signing and check the campervan or motorhome carefully to make sure that there are no repairs required prior to renting it. Otherwise, you run the risk of being blamed for the damage and may get stuck with the bill. Take some time before leaving the depot, look the campervan over for scratches and dents, check the contents of cupboards and start the engine. Be prepared to say there is something wrong (if there is something) BEFORE you leave the depot.
Ultimately, if you don’t find any problems, you’ll likely find their customer service to be decent and their fleet to be comfortable and reliable. If you do need to have repairs done or find damage, you may have some difficulty with communicating with the company. They are not often praised for returning phone calls in a timely manner when it comes to repairs and damage issues.
With models being from 2008-2012, the campervans are going to have some miles on the clock and you should expect some wear and tear on the interior, but in general, Abuzzy puts great effort in trying to keep their campervans clean and tidy and this campervan design is something to crow about. All in all, they offer older motorhomes or campervans at a good price, with accessories, included, despite the unstable reputation.