Established in 2003 by three friends, Escape Rentals New Zealand is a hire company in that rents out campervans that sleep up to three adults. One of Escape Rentals’ unique features is that each van is individually painted by one of the company’s artists. They are generally aimed at the budget market.
Every camper is equipped with bedding, kitchen facilities and beach chairs. With depots in Auckland and Christchurch, Escape Rentals also offers 24-hour roadside assistance.
Escape Rentals has around 200 vehicles, while the average age of each van is five years old (the average age of each van fit-out is less than three years). Most vehicles are Toyota Hiace, with a few Nissans and Mazdas. All vehicles run on unleaded petrol and come with a mix of manual and automatic transmissions.
All vehicles also come with a certificate of fitness, are serviced regularly and adhere to a strict maintenance programme. Other features include:
* Full queen-size bed that sleeps up to three adults;
* Stereos; 97% of the vehicles also are MP3 compatible;
* Gas cooker, crockery, cutlery and a foldaway inside table;
* Sink (with running water);
* Ice box;
* A heater, lamp and a connection for electricity that can be used at powered camping sites;
* Plenty of storage room.
Escape Rentals claims to have the “most modern and reliable” campers of any budget fleet in the country. All are endorsed by Qualmark. Escape Rentals also says customers won’t be stuck with hidden costs.
One-way hires are also available, and customers pay a NZ$300 deposit to secure the booking. Customers also receive a travel guide that comes with local information – such as hiking spots, activities, Escape Rentals’ favourite places and tips to get customers off the beaten track – as well as discounts.
Prices start at NZ$24 per day for most rentals, but customers can get a better deal by booking their van well in advance. Additional options can be purchased, including automatic transmission; GPS system; mobile phone; snow chains; picnic table; baby car seat; solar shower, and; DVD player.
Minimum Rental Period
Campervans can be rented for a minimum of five days although the minimum hiring period can be changed at Escape Rentals’ discretion. The company, though, says it’s flexible scheduling-wise.
Escape Campervan Rental is heavily associated with Travellers Autobarn in New Zealand and also Escape Rentals in the USA. In New Zealand, you can hire the Escape vehicles directly through the Travellers Autobarn website, they are basically considered a "category" within the site, however, all TAB gets in return is a front page mention on the Escape Rentals website. In the US
Generally speaking, Escape Rentals has generated a lot of positive reviews and lots of them. One recent review said the van was cheap, came with a large bed, and lots of storage space. Another said the vans were “cheaper than other” rentals, and customer raved about the customer service and colourful van.
But the campervans fell short in a couple of areas, according to some of the recent reviews. Some customers complained about the power (or lack thereof) inside the vans. And despite touting its new fleet, several customers said their respective van was “old.” One customer, for example, said he/she chose Escape Rentals because of the age of the fleet but then was stuck with an “old” (13 years) van.
And another customer gave Escape Rentals low marks for the “strange smelling” blankets and mattresses. However, in most cases – whether the review was glowing or bad – a representative from the company responded back. In the above example, a company representative wrote back to say he would make sure to have the grooming staff recheck the vans, adding that all linen and bedding is changed between hires.
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