The Pod Campervan Rentals Review

Rated 4.9 / 5 from 34 reviews

Editors Review

Last Update: 7/31/19

The Pod Campervan Rentals stayed true to their words as they welcome some add-on to their fleet. Featuring the same exterior style and design, there are now three campers to choose from―Adventurer, Traveler, and Economy. The three differ, not with the outside look but rather on the interior layout. For a detailed review of each unit, along with other important info about the company, continue reading. 


The Pod Campervan Rentals is a modest, family-owned campervan hire company on the South Island of New Zealand, with a fleet of around 60 vehicles―either self-contained or non-self-contained campers. Providing free airport transfers and no one-way fees, they cater to budget solo travelers or couples.

About The Pod Campervan Rentals

If you're looking for decent and affordable campervan hire for two, this family-owned business with depots in Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown is a great option. The Pod Campervan Rentas prides themselves as one of the best value campervan hires in NZ, and a lot of positive feedback could back them up. Being a company run by a family, they specialise in providing quality and friendlier service to their customers, like allowing you to drive between the North and South Islands with free pick up and drop off at any of their locations. 

And whatever city you are planning to visit, there's a need for you to know and understand specific rules for freedom camping. Here's a useful NZ free camping tool you can take advantage of before you prepare for your greatest Kiwi adventure. 

Fleet

The company has a quite unique branding with the campervan mainly being painted black and a huge company logo styled on the exteriors. Most of the vans are automatic, though you can request if you prefer those with manual transmissions. All Pod campervans use petrol and are either self-contained or not. Since this is a small campervan and the aim of the company is to provide a quality rental on a budget, do not expect any frills installed within the campervan. No shower, fridge, and such―only a cassette toilet, double bed, and kitchen can fit inside the main cabin. The fan heater is very convenient, however, it requires to be plugged-in a powered campsite. 

Whilst these units are technically for couples or two people, you can sneak in an extra passenger because there are three front seats in the vans. They offer some optional extras including night time insect screen, solar shower, privacy tent for the shower, and hammock. 

Vehicles

Adventurer

Since the Pod fleet is now divided into three, let's start with their Adventurer. This unit is dubbed as the most spacious among all rental units on offer. Similar to a mid-range campervan, you have the toilet on the right side, a convertible double bed inside, and a kitchen at the rear. Aside from being the largest campervan, it also holds the reputation of being the best when it comes to the inclusion of campervan facilities. No doubt it's called the Adventurer!

Traveler

Unto the next is the Traveler, which is way comfortable, especially at night because of the extended double bed. Even if it's much smaller compared to the previous one, this unit still has everything you need for a comfy getaway. It comes with a sleeping area, cooking area, and toilet area. 

Economy

Lastly, they have their Economy camper, which is the same model as the Traveller―but varies with the mileage. The Economy campers are quite older, with over 200,000kms, hence the cheaper price. But lower rates does not mean low-quality camper. These are reliable vehicles that are regularly maintained and service for utmost convenience. Not only that, if you find the same model from other companies at a cheaper price, you can enjoy a price-match guarantee. 

Insurance

As a renter, you have to choose one of their three insurance options: All care no responsibility at $25 per day for an excess of NZ$0, Fence Sitter at $15 per day for an excess NZ$2, 000 and You break it you fix it at no extra daily charge for an excess of NZ$3, 000. Only the first option covers damage to tire, windscreen, window, underbody, overhead as well as single-vehicle accidents. 

Reputation

Without a question, Pod campervans are great little vans that can handle well on windy roads and even on unsealed tracks. Though the front seats are a bit uncomfortable on long journeys, these are in good condition with all standard accessories. And even if these aren't brand new models and these aren't as big and fast as some, the facilities on-board are very useful and convenient, and the vans are sure and steady that save you a couple of dollars in gas and camping fees. So for travellers wouldn't mind travelling in a small yet compact van like Pods, enjoy a campervan hire from this family-based business that can assure you of a friendlier and more personalized service.

Summary

For a couple travelling or independent backpacker on a budget, Pod Campervan Rentals is a great option. These petite but reliable vans drive really well, but you've got to keep in mind that these are few of the cheaper campervans that have space and height restrictions. 

From the Agency

Our focus at The Pod is providing outstanding customer service from your first enquiry through to when we drop you at the airport for your flight home. All enquiries before, during and at the end of the hire are answered by us, the owners of the company Liz and Mike Williams, and we guarantee a first rate and prompt service where we work with you to ensure that your holiday is a positive experience. Our campers have been carefully designed and tested to provide you with everything you need to travel in comfort :)

Pros

  • Family run with friendlier service
  • Multiple depots
  • Positive reputation
  • Free airport transfers
  • No one-way fees
  • More 2 berth options

Cons

  • Not be attractive for big families
  • Cassette toilet only
  • Loud exteriors with huge company logo

Facilities

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Write Your Own Review

Tell the world about your experience renting from this company
B. Fitzgerald avatar
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Loved every minute!"

  • Reviewed 3 days ago

Great little van! We hired the adventurer model for one month travelling the North & South islands. Solar panel and fridge were great features so would recommend this model. I would also recommend full insurance with 0 excess as we accidentally broke a pipe, and paid nothing for the fix - Mike was quick to fix it up and get us back on the road too.

Pod market themselves as ‘budget’. Whilst they are definitely affordable, the vans and experience from Pod is more than a budget experience. You get full kitchen equipment, cooking gas, bedding, great communication and a friendly service.

Would absolutely recommend Pod Rentals and we would definitely use them again!!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Brodi - we hope you guys make it back one day!

T. Devonport avatar
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Adventurer Model"

  • Reviewed 3 days ago

We had an amazing experience with pod rentals! They were very good with communication prior and during the rental period too.
Having opted for the adventurer model, the van was self contained with a fridge, gas cooker, toilet ( not that we used it because there are toilets everywhere in NZ!) and a solar panel to charge the auxiliary battery. This meant the fridge could run permanently and we could charge our devices overnight ect.

The van came with everything we needed, bedding, cooking utensils, a spare gas canister, table, chairs, heater and hook up lead. None of these items came at any extra cost. The only option we went for was the kitchen tent. Having put the tent up once it became very easy to put up after the first time. To make the tent easier to use it needs a nice grass pitch, some campsites have both so always opt for the grass pitch. It was worth every penny too as it rained allot during our trip and it allowed us to keep dry and warm when using the kitchen area. The water storage tank was also very big as we only ran out of water once! We didn’t top it up much either!

It was really nice to be in a van that stood out from the norm too. We had a few compliments and allot of people would check it out at campsites. It was one of a very few campervans we saw in a black colour scheme which made it really easy to find!

Being a smaller company their customer service was amazing. Pod campers were very helpful with any questions we had about the van. We had full insurance with our van too and during our trip we had a slight incident with a mound which broke the waste pipe. Having contacted Mike he organised to have it fixed the next day. In just over an hour the van was fixed at no cost!

I would highly recommend pod campers! Was really gutted when we had to return the van! Best experience i have ever had!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Tyler - and thanks for opting for the tent - you were our first users so it was great to hear it was helpful! We look forward to seeing you again!

C. R - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"Great van...LOVED it!"

  • Reviewed 5 days ago

My husband and I rented “Little Nikau” from The Pod Campervan Rentals for a week while exploring the South Island. The booking process was extremely easy and we loved being able to see the island with the ability of freedom camping. Everyone was super friendly and helpful the entire process. We booked an economy van which was great in price, didn’t have any issues with breakdowns, and drove beautifully. The bed was super comfy and had plenty of storage room for us for both our belongings and our food for a few days. The provided gas cooker, cooking supplies, dishes, etc were all in great condition for us. We loved that we were able to park in normal parking spots that larger campers wouldn’t be able to park in but still have plenty of room to be comfortable and not be crunched for space. It was also nice to know our van was easily recognizable amongst the tons of Mighty and Britz vans we saw everywhere & not trying to figure out which one was ours. We were extremely sad to say goodbye to our little van come the end of the week. I highly recommend renting from this company!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for the review Christine! I guess there always is a consideration when selecting a larger camper that parking isn't always as easy as the smaller ones! Thanks again :)

S. Swann - avatar not loaded
, New Zealand
1 Review

"Great van"

  • Reviewed 1 week ago

Good size van for two people. Just enough storage if you pack light. Blackout curtains were great! Perfect size van for all car parks. The bed was very comfortable. Location of toilet was not great and wasted space.

5Service 4Mechanical 4Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for the review Sebastian!

    A recent industry change in what was legally able to be 'certified' as self contained was that the toilet now had to be accessible at night when the bed was down. Our options were to no longer have our smaller vans certified as self contained, or to work within the new rules which is where the alteration to the bed came in. Having a certified van allows access to many more fabulous camping spots so we didn’t want to restrict our clients from these by handing in our certification! We still offer full size beds in our Adventurer models :)

D. Vosshenrich - avatar not loaded
, Germany
1 Review

"Perfect rental"

  • Reviewed 1 week ago

The car is all you need. It is well equipped and you get things like chairs and a table for free where other companies charge you a lot for. Mike and Liz are alway available and responding Mails at the point. I would always rent a van with them again.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks so much - and we hope you'll be back!

L. Koerner - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Great value and friendly staff"

  • Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great campervan and super friendly and helpful staff! We rented the more basic campervan option for a week and it was everything we needed, plus had the benefit of being a lot easier to drive and park than the giant options of other companies, not to mention it was great value. The full-insurance was also a much better value than other companies. I would certainly rent from Pod again.

5Service 5Mechanical 4Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Lauren - we agree about the insurance - our zero excess for full insurance option certainly allows folks to have stress free holidays - we're glad you enjoyed yourselves!

R. Walshe - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"The perfect budget camper experience"

  • Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Our experience with pod campervan rental was excellent, we picked up an economy van for a week out of queenstown in October, drove north and south and camped in DOC Campsites. The bed in back was comfortable and everything we needed was included, even a thick duvet to keep us warm in the chilly nights. Was also way easier to drive than those massive slow behemoth campers we overtook on the road! Would definitely recommend.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for your review Rory, and really pleased to hear you used the DOC sites! They have excellent facilities in NZ and are often in some of the most scenic locations. Hopefully we'll see you back again one day :)

T. Millwad Jacob's - avatar not loaded
, South Africa
1 Review

"What a POD!!!aka my Little Star called Little Whetu"

  • Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I am having an amazing camping experience which is made even better when you see that im am driving my Little Whetu aka star. She is The reliable and outfitted with a pee pod , a fridge and a bed and a stove WHAT!!! All this is just incredible value for money included in this deal , great service from a great team , I have renewed my rental twice I recommend this great company that is new to the industry this means they going to offer a fresh updated perspective. Love that campervan .

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Tania - and how great that you are finding more things to discover so have to keep extending your holiday! As for the fit-outs of our vans - we've been operating since 2011 and over the years have always sought feedback from our clients about how their experience could be made even better. We have then had the opportunity to implement some of the suggestions which you are now reaping the benefits of in Little Whetu! Enjoy the rest of your trip :)

B. Barbrow - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"A lovely way to explore!"

  • Reviewed 1 month ago

We loved our pod! It took us from Queenstown to Wanaka to Haast. And from there to Nelson, then down to Christchurch and much more. We had the freedom to go wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted! We were amazed by stunning views on all the drives and on all our hikes and runs. Our favorite hikes were on the Routeburn track, Roy's Peak, the Abel Tasman track, and exploring around Lake Tekapo. We cooked many tasty meals in our kitchen and didn't eat out once while we had our trusty pod. If you want to do that, be sure to order extra fuel when you make your reservation. That came in handy. We have absolutely adored exploring the South Island these past two weeks!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for the awesome review guys :) See you next time.

R. Clapton - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Best budget camper available!"

  • Reviewed 1 month ago

We had an amazing 3 weeks traveling around NZ in Little Apiti (Adventurer). The vans are great and you get a lot of the things you need thrown in (unlike many rivals) such as chairs, kitchen utensils etc. The bed is super comfortable and it's quite cosy in the back. It does get pretty cold (we went in winter) as I'm not sure there is much insulation but we had a sleeping bag along with the duvet and were fine.

The battery you get with the adventurer model is super useful, the fridge means you can live more off grid and still have plenty of good food and you can charge all your gadgets as much as you want without having to pay for powered campsites.

NZ is so well set up for campervaning. With the fully self-contained pod you can set up on pretty much any gov land and be good, but there are also loads of free campsites, many with toilets, taps and bins. You can also of course pay for proper sites and make use of their facilities like kitchens and swimming pools but there's so much natural beauty to see we didn't bother with any of these.

The van is a little old so can struggle up the hills and the engine isn't super efficient so you end up going through a fair amount of petrol but at this price it's what we expected and didn't effect our experience in any way.

Overall it was one of the highlights of our trip, NZ HAS to be seen by road and we would 100% book with Pod again.

5Service 4Mechanical 4Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Richard - great comments :)

N. Teer - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"Winter camping trip!"

  • Reviewed 2 months ago

We were in Queenstown over the month of August and were looking for a way to see more of the south island. We drove almost all of the west coast, over Arthur's Pass to the east coast and then back down to Queenstown. We had our van "Little Alex" for 4 days and loved every bit of it. (we only regret that we didn't have more time) We were able to see so much more of the stunning landscape than if we had stayed in the city. The van was clean and well maintained, a little slow up the hills but was never a problem for us.

Mike and Liz were extremely easy to work with via email before we arrived in NZ from the states. They gave us a thorough walk thru of the van before we set off on our trip.

The duvet blanket kept us warm on the winter nights and the pillows and cushions were super comfortable. Loved having the use of the sink in the back as well as the burner and the equipped kitchen. - The Pod's set up made us want to build one of our own! Would recommend to anyone visiting NZ.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Natalie - great to hear you enjoyed your winter escape with us :)

Jess - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Truly incredible 3 weeks"

  • Reviewed 4 months ago

We have just finished 3 incredible weeks in Little Suzie (and Little Bluff) travelling round the South Island. As 2 younger backpackers, we stumbled across The Pod as a company who hire to under 21s and are so happy we chose the smaller, much more personal company. From start to finish we were looked after so well by the team, including a really detailed introduction to the van and really helpful tips as to where to go and visit. Our trip to New Zealand was all planned ‘on the go’ and completely surpassed expectations, which The Pod are definitely to thank for!! Thank you so much to the team for such a wonderful trip!

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Jess - great to hear you guys enjoyed you trip with us. It was really nice to have met you both personally in Queenstown :)

. - avatar not loaded
, New Zealand
1 Review

"Little Lizzy <3"

  • Reviewed 5 months ago

We had an amazing time going around south island for a week. We loved Little Lizzy, she was great ! She took us everywhere we wanted with no problem at all though steep hills and overtaking were challenging at times but we were pretty happy with her. We put some fairy lights up in the van at night and she looked just perfect and also quite helpful when you need a bit of light at night thanks Destiny for the tip ;) In terms of fuel consumption we paid around $120 a tank and she could go for about 8 hours. Kitchen area was well set up though it can get a bit cold if you want to cook outside from evening onwards. We used a cassette toilet a couple of times. It's under the bed so it can be quite tricky to take it out and put it back if you have got your bed out (we did not want to keep setting up the bed every night). We would like to thank the Pod team for making our trip so comfortable and smooth, Mike and Destiny were super chill and helpful in every way with tips and services. They gave us some snow chain with no extra cost. We bought a zero excess (highly recommend!) and towards the end of the trip we had a stone chip in a big windscreen and it was all covered for!

5Service 4Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks guys - great to hear you enjoyed your time in Little Lizzy :)

wildtests avatar
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Great experience at a great price"

  • Reviewed 5 months ago

Genuinely great experience with this company and very much missing our Pod after returning it yesterday! Mike and his team couldn't have been more friendly, helpful and patient. The van itself was a pleasure to drive and simple to live in for a week. It had everything we needed and not much that we didn't - we camped mostly at serviced campsites but freedom camped a couple of nights too. Also no one-way fees made it a real pleasure to freewheel on the open road for the time we had, knowing we were never more than a long day's drive from our destination.

If you're looking for something simpler and more fun to drive than the Britz, Jucy etc campers which you will see everywhere across NZ, please do book with Pod. We didn't see another one and we couldn't be happier. Sweet as!

5Service 5Mechanical 4Interior 5Value
C. Jackson - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Great Service"

  • Reviewed 6 months ago

We rented a Pod for over 3 weeks in January and it was the perfect little home for this time.
Not too big and bulky so no problems finding anywhere to park but not too small to live in.
My only only very small downside would be that I wish our Lucy (pod name!) had a little bit more power to get up some of the steep hills of New Zealand! But she didn't stuggle too much. .
Great customer service and very friendly.

5Service 4Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for the comments - yes our smaller vans are built for love not speed, but you get more time to enjoy the views as you head up those mountain passes :) Our new Adventurer campers will be online for the coming season and these are larger and more powerful.

Kiwielise - avatar not loaded
, New Zealand
1 Review

"Autumn road trip!"

  • Reviewed 6 months ago

We just went in a 9 day road trip in a self-contained Pod van and it was amazing! The kitchen set up is great and easy to use and keep organised. We loved the stereo and the ability to play our own music on the road. The self-contained van has an odd bed design due to the rule that you need to be able to use the toilet while the bed is set up. This means the bed is an odd shape and we did find it a little uncomfortable to sleep in with two people. We would probably opt for the van that isn’t self-contained next time for the bigger sleeping space! We would definitely recommend Pod rentals and it’s always great to support a growing local business!

5Service 4Mechanical 4Interior 4Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks Elise - it was really nice to have met you both in Queenstown.
    For the 2019-20 season we will have more campervan options available, including a larger camper that retains the full sized bed :)

A. Todd - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"A campervan made for 2"

  • Reviewed 6 months ago

The Pod Campervan rentals are one of the best companies I have had the pleasure of dealing with, from the very first email they replied swiftly, personally and helpfully. A few other companies I had been dealing with simply gave stock answers to questions and seemed unwilling to enter into discussions about flexibility or customer satisfaction.
I would go so far as to say emailing with Mike was a pleasure and was actually a little looking forward to meeting him when the time came!
The Pods are incredibly well and thoughtfully designed and constant updates to equipment is made suggesting that customer suggestions are considered. The vans themselves are deceptively roomy given how big they actually are, the beds/seating is comfortable for that inevitable rainy day. There were so many extra and helpful touches such as a heater, small amount of dish washing liquid and toasting rack which lets you know that you're in good and thoughtful hands.

I can't thank Pod enough for how easy and wonderful they helped make our travels in New Zealand

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for the kind comments Alistair - it was awesome to catch up with you and Miranda. It's meeting amazing people like you that make owning this company so special :)

T. Umansky - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"Hire from The Pod Rentals!"

  • Reviewed 6 months ago

After a few hours of searching for campervans online, we luckily stumbled upon The Pod rentals. We called them to discuss reserving a van for a week and Liz answered the phone. We corresponded with her during the entirety of our trip and she was nothing but kind and helpful. The van was not only affordable, but provided us with everything we needed and more (including a kitchenette, toilet, ventilation, camping chairs/table, cutlery, duvet, etc. ). The company picked us up to go get our van and paid for a taxi to take us back to the airport when we were done. We could not have been more happy with the service The Pod rentals provided us with and we will definitely be using them again if we decide to plan a similar trip. We drove the van up the west coast (highway 6) and there were no issues whatsoever. If you get Little Sefton as your van, its new name is Podrick. Make sure to ask for Liz when you talk to the company because she is so sweet and attentive.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for the kind comments Tyler - we were happy to have been of service to you for your trip throughout NZ. Think we might need to name a van Podrick - we love it :)

S. Hulbert - avatar not loaded
, New Zealand
1 Review

"Easter weekend pod getaway"

  • Reviewed 6 months ago

My partner and I picked up from the Christchurch pod Depo and got travel coffee mugs included which was great as we both love our coffees☕️☕️ We started driving up towards Picton on the east coast in Little Apiti then over to the west coast #beautifulcoastalviews then back to Chch. It was an amazing experience and we defiantly felt like 2peas in a pod on holiday. I would highly recommend the pods we can’t wait for next years pod holiday to travel the bottom of the South Island this time. Thanks to Bianca at the Chch depo and Liz & Mike ??

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks for the amazing comments. See you soon for your for your next Pod adventure :)

C. C. - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"Definitely would recommend to anyone going to NZ!"

  • Reviewed 6 months ago

We spent two weeks in our Pod 'Little Alex', and had an amazing time! Collection and drop-off near Christchurch airport went smoothly and we had no issues at all with the vehicle throughout. The kitchen area is well equipped and easy to keep tidy, the camping chairs and table are included (unlike for some rental companies), and we just left the bed folded down the whole time as you could still access the storage space underneath easily. Bed was comfy as well, and we're both fairly tall! We had quite a few comments from other campers about how great & compact our little Pod looked! :)

5Service 4Mechanical 5Interior 5Value

  • Brand Manager

    Thanks guys - we were happy to assist with your trip through our beautiful country :)