"Avoid them at all cost!!"
I should read Spaceships feedbacks around some websites before booking with...
Last Updated: 7/31/19
Before, Spaceships New Zealand's units only cater to 2 people. Now, they offer a camper for groups up to 4. The newest add-on to their fleet is the Beta 4-berth, a compact yet suitable camper for small families.
The one and only camper for small families, the Beta 4-berth is built on a Toyota Estima. This automatic unit comes with baby/child seats. Sleeping areas include the interior bed and the pop-top tent. The inside double bed can be extended so you get extra space and ventilation. Plus, instead of a sunshade, you get an awning. The interior height of this unit is bigger compared to the previous models, which are only 1.8m height. For this one, you have 2.3m height, making it pretty much comfier and spacious.
Spaceships Rentals New Zealand is a company who operates simultaneously in Auckland and Christchurch. Australian in origin, they have expanded their reach to the large market of camper hire in New Zealand.
Spaceships Rentals New Zealand is a medium-sized company, in business for over a decade, with two depots―in Auckland and in Christchurch. Australian in origin, they have expanded their reach to the burgeoning market of camper-car hire in New Zealand. The company offers 2-berth sleeper models in a variety of designs, and combine an environmentally responsible ethos with good rates for limited budgets.
Endorsed by Qualmark and having won multiple Tourism Awards, Spaceships’ efforts outside of offering vehicles for hire are nevertheless notable. Influenced by their previous eco-tourist approach when operating out of Australia, they run a community project in Akaroa which has helped reintroduce multiple native plant species, with almost 50,000 having been planted to this date. The public walkway that links together Akaroa and the town of Takamatua is also part of their doing. Their work in conjunction with the Department of Conservation has helped popularise DOC’s camping facilities, and they sponsor trapping, tagging and releasing of endangered species each year. Larger competitors, like Apollo and Britz, don’t put in nearly as much work in this area; Spaceships’ smaller size allows them to maintain a clear focus on these issues. Included in the rental price for all vehicles are free PDF guidebooks and the professionally-developed Spaceships, Travel App. Access to the Space Mates network — a community spread across New Zealand who can help out with deals, places to stay and local information — is also provided, along with discounts on selected activities.
To give you more idea about freedom camping in NZ, check out this impressive free camping tool.
Spaceships’ modest selection of vehicles is not the largest among the fleets of their competition; however, they make up for this with much more affordable pricing than larger companies. Their most expensive model is the luxury Dream Sleeper, whereas the Rocket Budget is the most popular because of its very affordable rate. Each vehicle in the fleet has its own quirky ‘name’, usually in keeping with the Spaceships brand—Star Wars characters, superheroes, and scientific geniuses are included. With around 40 different vehicles, it can be something of a toss-up as to any particular hire’s age and kilometers clocked, some of them coming in at hefty hundreds of thousands. The majority, though, are in good condition.
All vehicles have awnings for ‘summer sleeping’, allowing the bed to be extended out underneath a tent-like structure that bridges the gap between camping and sleeping in the back. One plus point is that the vehicles all belong to the smallest vehicle class for ferries, so getting between the north and south islands of New Zealand is much cheaper than it would be in a campervan — and you can stay in Department of Conservation campgrounds, which isn’t possible with a full-sized motorhome. The dual-battery system is unusual in a camper this size and charges itself as you drive, so connectivity and power are well accounted for. Four cheap-and-cheerful models— the Rocket, the Beta 2 and Beta 2S, and the Dream Sleeper Mini— all are available to suit customers’ needs. The budget models struggle to accommodate small children in need of booster seats, so keep that in mind; families will be best off in a pricier but roomier Dream Sleeper Mini.
The Rocket can seat up to four and sleep two, so for those who want to camp, it’s a great budget option. This is the cheapest but not all bare and bones. As with all the vehicles in the Spaceships fleet, bedding, cookware, and crockery are included. Plus, you get 2x gas cooker, a chilly bin, and nice storage space. Given its suitability for parties who wish to camp, it’s worth shelling out a few extra dollars for Spaceships’ own rental tables and chairs—not to mention tents and sleeping bags, if you haven’t already brought them!
The Beta 2 is larger than the Rocket yet highly similar to its design. Coming with a fridge-freezer, the Beta 2 the best option out of Spaceships’ array for those who need a balance between affordability and functionality. Distinctively, this unit comes with a backseat, giving travellers different seating options.
Another 2 berth camper, the Beta 2S is a variation of the Beta. They are likely the same except that the 2S has 40% extra space, additional storage, and more discreet layout. Because of these unique features, this camper does not come with a back seat. Still, it is tagged as the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the fleet. That is why trips that last longer than a couple of weeks are best served by the 2S.
The Dream Sleeper Mini is the newest model in the fleet, with a slightly smaller bed that’s compensated for by a fully equipped rear kitchen loaded with a 2x gas cooker, fridge/freezer and running water facilities. On top of this, the campervan comes with lesser fuel consumption and a bigger fridge. It also takes pride in its modern stereo with GPS included, as well as its side awning.
For the Dream Sleeper Mini, Beta and Rocket models, the standard bond has an excess of $3000, included in the day rate. Partial excess reduction—only available to those over 21—halves your excess to $1500 (requiring you to pay $20 extra per day), whereas the all-inclusive option means $0 excess and added coverage ($30 extra per day). Excess is deducted in full immediately upon report of an incident or accident. The all-inclusive option, although more expensive, covers to a maximum payable 40 days’ rental damage to the roof and undercarriage, as well as unlimited windscreen chips and one full replacement. The latter two will also be covered on glass cover for the standard bond, for an additional $8 per day.
The majority of travellers report that Spaceships vehicles are well-maintained and easy to drive, offering a freedom that’s not possible with a full-blown campervan, as well as much better fuel consumption. The facilities provided—which, depending on the model, can range from Wi-Fi, through side awnings to glassware and crockery—are said to be a good catch for the price. Customers have also commented on the spaciousness of the 2-berth models, which are reportedly perfect for 2 people to sleep inside—though not always the case! And now, they offer a camper for families up to 4, giving them a nice campervan assortment.
The professionalism of the staff themselves has also been noted, with minor hiccups such as flight delays handled swiftly and smoothly, and extras such as a second water tank provided upon request for small fees. A few complaints have nevertheless been raised: mostly, these are that customer service isn’t great on busier days, which is to an extent understandable. Some models can be cramped if you’re tall or have a lot of camping gear with you, and on occasion appear to be thoroughly well-used and show their age. One small recurring problem appeared to be poor-quality canvas back covers.
Overall, Spaceships is trying very hard to give the market something unique and they are succeeding. They are a recommended company not only because of their affordable, unique, and classy campers but because of the efforts they put in to be so much more than just a campervan hire company.
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I should read Spaceships feedbacks around some websites before booking with them (the real people ones). Firstly, nothing is good enough to be true, their cheaper prices and promises will get your attention straight away. I did not see these signs and now I am another victim. They use tricky adds on their portal such as "book with confidence", "You will never lose your deposit" etc etc. at the end the will wash their hands with the fine print. STAY AWAY at all cost, there are hundred of companies around don't just go because pricing, like me. I'll regret always. They also use to change policies very often to avoid responsibilities.
We feel like we had bad luck with spaceship since all the other reviews are so positive, but our experience with spaceship was definitely not the best :
- THE CAR HAD A MECANICAL BREAKDOWN LITTERALY TWO DAYS AFTER WE PICKED IT UP THAT ALMOST COST US OUR LIVES; Some bolts were missing near the motor, and the motor belt snapped, damaging a lot of things inside, and overheating the motor, wich made the antifreeze liquid explode all over. THIS MEANS THAT THERE IS NO MECANIST CHECKING THE CARS WHEN THEY ARE GIVEN TO CUSTOMERS, which is dangerous AND irresponsible.
- The car had 300.000+ Km and did 9 to 11 L /100 km (which is a LOT compared to most vehicules)
- The vehicules are not self contained, when for less price other companies offer self-contained vehicules
- The sliding doors of the car were broken and did not function proprely.
- The car was FULL of dents, and on one side the metal was so broken it was almost dangling!
- The person in charge of our dossier, Jake in Auckland, was truely unhelpful. He litteraly gave us the key of the car, and send us our way. Thanks god we asked another spaceship employee for the information : Martin was really nice and told us how to turn on the fridge, how to open the reservoir, the hood, where are the tools in case of a flat tire, and other important information, which saved our day during the mechanical breakdown. Appart from Jake and customer service, the front staff was nice.
- Furthermore, we booked our Beta 2S Premium via an agent in Australia (happy travels, never, EVER go with them) who told us he could get us some better price (i.e, quote unquote "reduce the price, include a ferry crossing or include a "summer pack" (sun showers, table and seats) in the deal"). We paid, and then litteraly a day later, when we went to spaceship's website, the price was nearly 1000$ cheaper ! (you read that well, 1/5th of the price, one thousand NZ dollars cheaper). We tried to discuss with spaceship's custumer service, who laughed at us and told us that "the prices are like airline prices, they can change at any moment". Since there was a time stamp on our booking (and that it was less than 24hours ago) and the customer service was so bad, we definitely felt as if we were being ripped off, and that this happened daily.... Not a great way to start a collaboration.
- 0/10, would never rent again!!
Very good car, great service, no surprises. I recommend!
Great car overall! Very convenient having everything in to the tiniest detail. Great mechanical shape. Very good service from the guys at the depot. I definitely recommend.
Loved our experience with Spaceship. Car got us where we needed to be and had some really nice touches that fully maximised the (extremely limited) space available. I've been in vans three times as big that felt much more cramped. Great way to see the country at a good price.
In New Zealand our rental experience with Spaceships was good. The staff was very friendly, helpfull and with patience.
The campervan was new and everything worked.
Even when we (very slowly) had hit a (small tree). The bump was directly taken care of by a mechanic when we arrived to return the car. This made us feel like we could trust the way It was handled and the price we had to pay to fix It.
Good experience with New Zealand.
The campervan showed poor acceleration when we needed to take over and get prepared to fill the tank quite often, the petrol consumption is really high...
Appart form that the pillows and duvet were amazing :)