Wendekreisen Review

Customer rated 3.5 / 5 from 10 reviews

Editors Review

Wendekreisen Travel Ltd. are a family-owned and operated New Zealand campervan and motorhome hire company, in operation since 1991. Based in Auckland, they also have a depot in Christchurch, and offer free transfer to and from the airports of both cities.

What Wendekreisen Tell Us

Wendekreisen pride themselves on servicing international customers, with the team speaking both French and German as well as English. They place an emphasis on the efficiency and experience of their staff, and provide 24/7 roadside assistance.

Fleet

Wendekreisen’s vehicles are mostly Volkswagen and Mazda makes, though some of the smaller campervans are built on LDVs, and there is, of course, the standard hi-top model based on the Toyota Hiace — offered by many campervan hire companies all across Australia and New Zealand.

The size of the fleet is worth taking notice of: it means that Wendekreisen’s vehicles vary quite widely in age (their Koru 2 Berth ST XLs, for example, date from 2005 or later, while the Budget range has a 4-berth that dates from 2003!). The trade-off here is price: older vehicles allow for competitive rates of hire, and the Budget models are quite a lot cheaper owing to their age.

All vehicles come fully equipped with linen, cutlery, crockery and appliances (an electric kettle and a toaster), and a camping table and chairs are thrown in free of charge — this is a particularly good deal, as most other hire companies charge for picnic furniture. Unlimited kilometres and airport transfers are included as standard.

Comparing Fleet Vehicles

Budget 2 BerthLet’s start with the ‘Budget’ range. The Budget 2-Berth, as you may guess by the name, is probably the most basic of the vehicles in the Wendekreisen fleet, and shows it with the double bed (at 1.85 x 1.50 metres, or 72 by 59 inches, if you’re much over six foot you won’t be having an easy time!). What this Mazda model does have going for it are its easy handling and compactness, as well as its good storage capacity for a campervan of its size. Unlike some super-low-budget models from other companies, the Budget 2-Berth also has a small fridge and 2-hob gas stove, along with a sink that runs hot and cold pressurised water — so if you can put up with the rather petite bed, it’s worth it for the kitchen facilities in a vehicle of this size. A 240V electric heater is also a plus. It features a handheld outdoor shower and a portable toilet, making it self-contained.

Budget 2+1 Berth

The Budget 2+1 Berth, a Toyota Hiace, offers additional sleeping with a single over the main cab, and three seatbelts in the driver’s cab without a passenger airbag, allowing for a child seat to be fitted. The double comes in at 1.88 x 1.53 metres or 74 x 60 inches, which is just a bit bigger than that in the Budget 2-Berth, while the single is pretty tiny at 1.88 x 1.17 metres or 74 x 44 inches. While it has all the same kitchen facilities as the Budget 2-Berth (with the addition of a grill), it has cold water only, and no handheld outdoor shower — so in this case, plumping for more room and more storage will mean a slight reduction in comfort!

Budget 2+1 Berth Premium

The Budget 2+1 Berth Premium is much the same as the Budget 2+1 Berth — all the same kitchen facilities and sleeping space — but includes hot water, as well as a handheld outdoor shower, which some would say is pretty essential for a small family in such close quarters. The addition of a CD- and MP3-player-compatible stereo with AUX cord is also a nice touch. This would really be the most comfortable option for a three-person family.

Budget 4 Berth

Moving on to the Budget 4-Berth, which allows for living and sleeping space for up to 4 adults, we have a fully self-contained motorhome (shower and cassette flush toilet included!) with walkthrough between the cabin and the rear. The beds (at rear and above the cabin), are a lot more spacious than in the other Budget models, and a flyscreen is a welcome addition, along with a microwave and a total of four gas hobs on the stove — plus the cab has air conditioning and a CD/radio. The Budget range ends here.

Koru 2 BerthSo taking a look at the other vehicles in the Wendekreisen fleet, the Koru 2-Berth is a basic vehicle, but nevertheless well-provisioned. Tthere’s a double bed in the rear and a single above the cabin, with three seats in the front; because it doesn’t have a passenger-side airbag, an infant seat can be fitted. The portable cassette toilet also means it’s certified self-contained.

Koru Star 2ST Premium

The Koru Star 2ST Premium is a new LDV-based vehicle in the Wendekreisen fleet, with three seatbelts in the cabin and one double bed in the rear at night, which means it can sleep up to three (though you may well be cramped). During the day, this serves as the living area. The Premium also features a small kitchen area with sink, fridge and 2-hob gas stove, as well as a shower/toilet cubicle — and a 19-inch TV with stereo sound!

Koru 2 Berth ST

The Koru 2 Berth ST is based on the design of its predecessor, the 2-Berth Budget, but offers a wider double bed (at 1.82 x 1.55 metres, or 71.5 x 61 inches) and a good deal more storage — there’s also a shower cubicle and a portable toilet.

Koru 2 Berth ST XLThe Koru 2 Berth ST XL, as you might guess from the name, offers extra space for those with a little more to spare. On-board heating without the need to connect to mains is a nice touch. With internal walkthrough to the front cabin and the capacity for the living area to convert to one double or two singles (plus a bunk bed) at night, it will certainly feel more roomy for two adults and a possible child than some of the 2-berth models on the market.

Koru 2+1 Berth

For three adult travellers, the Koru 2+1 Berth sleeps up to three comfortably with the cooking facilities to match; unfortunately, the best it does in terms of bathroom facilities is a handheld outdoor shower and portable toilet. Still, unless you’re willing to upgrade to a 4-berth, this is one of the better options for a small family or three adults from Wendekreisen.

Koru 4 Berth

The Koru 4 Berth is very similar to the Budget 4-Berth, but will obviously be a newer vehicle, and features a gas central heating system as well as an electric heater.

Koru 6 Berth

The Koru 6 Berth motorhome offers comfortable living and sleeping space for a family of up to six adults, with LPG-powered central heating and large rear windows with enviable views. It has three seatbelts in the driver’s cab and four in the main cabin, all the kitchen facilities you’d expect (fridge, microwave, sink, hot and cold running water and four-burner gas stove with grill and oven) and three double beds, well-spaced — plus a built-in LCD TV.

Koru Star 6 Berth

Right up at the top of the Wendekreisen range is the Koru Star 6 Berth, the largest on offer with two seatbelts in the driver’s cab and four in the main cab. The living area features a complete kitchen with 140-litre fridge, microwave, four-stove gas cooker and integrated grill, while the bathroom has an integrated shower, sink and toilet cassette system, and the three double beds are all surprisingly spacious. If you really value your comfort and space, then this is the one for you, but remember that fuel costs can quickly pile up at a diesel consumption of 13 litres per 100 kilometres — and the price might be prohibitive anyway!

Insurance

Wendekreisen offers different insurance options, including a reduction of excess or bond. A credit card imprint is sufficient; they only charge in case of damage or fines. The three insurance options (more than you get with some companies!) are:

Compulsory standard insurance: NZ $16.00 per day, with an excess of $1500 for drivers over 25 years ($2000 for drivers of 21 to 24 years).

Standard insurance with tyre and windscreen cover: NZ $22.00 per day with an excess of $1500 for drivers over 25 years ($2000 for drivers of 21 to 24 years) for any single vehicle accident, with zero excess payable for windscreen and tyre damage.

All-inclusive package (full-cover insurance and extras): NZ $36.00 per day reduces the excess for any one instance of vehicle damage to $250.00 ($500 for drivers of 21 to 24 years). This option includes cover for all damages, compulsory standard insurance and windscreen/tyre cover.

These are all capped at 50 days.

Reputation

Some renters have described their experiences with Wendekreisen as fraught with hidden fees and service charges, although will admit that the information relating to these unexpected costs is included in the terms and conditions (a must-read for any traveller planning a campervan holiday, especially if there are a lot of clauses!). The staff, however, have been frequently described as friendly and helpful, and the roadside assistance is almost universally praised. Vehicles are thought of as being well-maintained, and the value you get for the price you pay is generally good.

Summary 

Wendekreisen’s large fleet allows travellers on all budgets to find a vehicle to their liking, and for a smaller company, it’s unusual that their service is almost universally praised.

From the Agency

No word from this agency yet. Come back and see if they checked in soon.

Pros

  • Wide range of vehicle for hire at various price points
  • Free airport transports for particular branches and one way fees
  • Most campervans are self-contained

Cons

  • Older campervan on fleet, mostly 1999 or later models
  • Certain issues during road trip like facilities not working, too much noise with the internal electric heater, gas heater not working
  • Exclusion of standard campervan equipment like vehicle tool kit

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M. Bern - avatar not loaded
, Argentina
1 Review

"Outstanding !"

  • Reviewed 1 month ago

We had a well used campervan. It was the Koru 2ST XL, a 2005 model with over 400,000Km's on it. We were well aware that Wendekreisen also offer brand new units and we did ask for more detail. They supplied us with loads of information regarding their servicing and we booked the much cheaper XL vehicle for 5 weeks. When we collected the vehicle it was presented in an immaculate condition. It drove well, the heating did a great job keeping us warm and the fuel consumption was much less than what we had budgeted for. In fact, Wendekreisen does not charge extra for RUC or Road User Charges which is great. Diesel is significantly cheaper than Petrol in New Zealand. Highly recommended company. We would not hesitate to hire a well serviced and looked after 'older' vehicle for the price we paid ... which was peanuts really !!!! Go and do it...they are great !

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
S. Brown - avatar not loaded
, United Kingdom
1 Review

"We loved our Motorhome from Wendekreisen"

  • Reviewed 2 months ago

Just to be clear, Wendekreisen has loads of new vehicles. We hired a budget 4 and were super impressed. The interior was just refurbished and in a near new condition. The vehicle itself had high mileage but we could tell it was looked after and it ran like a dream. Had a pretty big storm and not a single leak. We loved our van and Wendekreisen was excellent !

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
Nicolas D. - avatar not loaded
, Switzerland
1 Review

"Bad surprises to be expected"

  • Reviewed 2 months ago

Here below our experience, we will let you have your own opinion after this review. We decided to write reviews on Internet several months after handling it back to make sure things settled down and waiting for more information in case any would come from Wanderkreisen. We booked a campervan immatriculation HNJ118 for 25 nights at the end of the high season april 2018 until begining of the low season early may.
- In case you don’t have any serious issues with the campervan, i would say there is not much to complain about the company. We had one extra sheet and one towel missing in our package when we left. They offered us to buy a towel right away and we go our money back afterwards.
- However, you have to know that the campervan we had is very old, more than 450,000 km (all their fleet is not that old apparently but check in advance to avoid bad surprises). Old means as well : we had to stop once to check the orange warning on the dash board at a garage, they said it was an electronic issue and fixed it. It came back on the next day and Wanderkreisen told us to drive without paying attention to it as it happens all the time, (it could have been something serious, we will never know). Their emergency line didn’t work during business hours and the people in charge of issues we tried to call didn’t answer as well. Old means : Under heavy rain, the water leak inside the doors and the van become very humide. They checked this internally afterwards and found nothing but i would be very curious to know how they reproduced more than 10 hours of heavy rains in a garage ? Nothing needed to be fixed according to them, so keep in mind it hapenned to us. Moreover, the curtain hooks made out of fabric inside were hand put with screws, make sure to take them off in case of heavy rains otherwise it might leak inside because the curtain’s hook is too close from the door and gets trapped inside the door . Last but not least, the battery gauge inside the van might not work properly and can’t be fully charged but don’t worry the battery should work fine still, at least that’s what we thought as we couldn’t know and there was no way to check.
Make sure to check the validity date of your gas bottle before leaving as ours expired during our trip and it took us at least 10 emails back and forth to have a solution and know what to do (internet access was crucial but there is no wifi in the van so it means several wifi stops during our trip). Those are just facts you have to be prepared to face.

- Now, let’s talk about the main issue we had. After a few days driving, some friends following us in a van as well told us that we were loosing some water going up on the road. We contacted Wandekreisen for assistance and were sent to another company RVonroad that is dealing with all the issues happenning to the camper on behalf of Wandekreisen. From then, the communication with Wandekreisen stopped and we could only deal with this other company. After several email exchanges i twas decided to go to a garage to have the van checked. They have a booklet on board which says that we can stop to any recommended garage. RvOnroad suggested one on our way, but as we couldn’t loose two days just to wait for an appointement in that one we mutually agreed to stop at another recommended one. For the record we were accused afterwards, not to have followed the recomendation because the first garage was « specialised in campervans », (not all of them are then). Great to know several weeks after we left NZ that we mutually agreed to go to a garage mentionned in their booklet « not as good » and this was our fault.
The garage spent the morning checking the van and found nothing in the van that could cause a leakeage (they said we just had to empty to greywater tank) and then issued a written report to Wandekreisen to say so. Wanderkreisen or Rvonroad notified us via our booking agency and for them the problem was solved. We knew the problem was not coming from the water tank. We decided to stay the whole afternoon to the garage, emptying the water tank, filling it up again, driving up to simulate the leakage and it works proving that we were right, this had nothing to do with the grey water tank being full. The garage participated with us during all the tests and completly agreed with us that the van was leaking water and there was nothing we could do about that. We even found, doing some testing with buckets inside the garage that the theoritical water tank capacity written on the booklet wasn’t matching the actual water we put inside the van. We did the tests twice with the garage to confirm that information. The garage reported everything back to RvOnroad/Wandekreisen and we got the confirmation that there was nothing they could do on the van right now, we should get going and empty the grey water tank every day to avoid leaking water (not being self contained). As we had not choice we agreed to do so, hoping for a gesture when we would return the van almost two weeks later as this will become very irritating to find a free dump station every day…

The story ended when we returned the van, and we received no proposal at all from the company. We lost one full day in the garage to prove all the malfunctions of the van and we had to pay for lunch outside. They told us they never received any calls or written reports from the garage for the afternoon spent. We never heard from RvOnroad since then despite all the emails asking why they didn’t confirmed the phone call from the garage confirming the issues, and we were shutted down by Wandekreisen saying that they would no longer reply to our emails as the garage never issued a report for the afternoon work. They blamed us for not following their instructions to go to the first garage while the second garage where we went was mutually agreed in front before taking the appointement. All the issues we faced and that the independant garage confirmed were double checked by Wandekreisen own team after we left the country and of course they found nothing...

To conclude, as long as the van is recent and you don’t have any serious issues, it’s like all the comments we have seen so far about the company, you can come back anytime. But keep in mind that if you are about to rent an old van, you can face a lot of issues and lose some days which won’t be compensated. You may need to have a local internet connection and cell phone if you don’t want to be charged extra by your service provider back home as you have to be ready to spend hours on the phone and sending emails, waiting sometimes for days for the appropriate reply. Most importantly make sure you get everything confirmed in writting because phone calls and promises are easily forgotten when money is a stake.

The only thing we regret is not to have read all the other comments matching ours before booking the van about the company, and we are glad to know that we are not the only people who had this kind of issues. Before booking, make sure your understand what you can face and maybe it would worth spending a little more to avoid people ignoring you and lying to you.

1Service 1Mechanical 3Interior 3Value
P. Holgersson - avatar not loaded
, Norway
1 Review

"Excellent Company"

  • Reviewed 4 months ago

This site is saying that they have old vehicles only. We hired a brand new one and did see many of them. The staff were great and so was our campervan. Had a nosy around their yard and even their oldest look very tidy and looked after. There are only a few reviews on this site and I wouldnt give too much about it. Their vehicles and service are great and so is their pricing and the terms.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
R. Braendle - avatar not loaded
, Germany
1 Review

"Nie wieder Wendekreisen"

  • Reviewed 4 months ago

Wir haben am 19.02.2018 für 4 Wochen einen Koru 6 Berth zum Preis von 7.058 NZD gemietet. Leider gab es bei diesem "deutschen Familienunternehmen" keine Einweisung auf deutsch. Da Fahrzeug sah in keiner Weise so aus, wie im Video auf der Website gezeigt. Es hatte knappe 440000 km auf dem Buckel und überall Unfallspuren. Der Manager in Auckland hatte als Kommentar zu dem Fahrzeugzustand nur die Antwort: "Was wollen Sie, Sie sind hier in Neuseeland - nehmen Sie das Fahrzeug oder lassen Sie es."
Nun - positiv war, dass es durchgehalten hat und bei Regen dicht war. Für alles andere haben wir uns mehr als einmal geschämt. Wir würden kein zweites mal bei Wendekreisen buchen.
Wenn Sie mal sehen wollen, wie so ein Fahrzeug im Original aussieht, dann schauen Sie sich folgende Seite an:
https://c.gmx.net/@328078907230132852/8z0nBhenSPOD68QS1ba93A

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
J. Martínez - avatar not loaded
, Spain
1 Review

"All good except the end..."

  • Reviewed 9 months ago

It all was good until I got a quotation for 4.400 dollars to fix a scratch in the side of the van. Fixing that shouldn't have costed more than 300 to 400 dollars. The quotation included several items not related to the damage and the rates were outrageous. I can guess the quotation was provided by a friendly company and the works will not really be performed, since the van already had some bumps from previous trips. They will most likely fix all the bumps and scratches together at some point with a cost several times smaller than the sum of the quotations provided to all the clients... If I had lived in New Zealand I would have gone to court about that issue, but they take advantage of the fact that the last thing most customers do before leaving the country is returning the van. With those kind of costs for small scratches it is crazy not to hire the "full insurance" and they should inform the people properly in advance. Too bad to end the trip that way because otherwise things worked pretty good.

5Service 5Mechanical 4Interior 2Value
C. Shaw - avatar not loaded
, Germany
1 Review

"Great Experience"

  • Reviewed 11 months ago

We had a wonderful time. The terms and conditions were very much more favourable compared to other operators. The vehicle age was disclosed and for its age, our vehicle was in perfect condition. The staff were ultra friendly and our camper never missed a beat.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
J. Chia - avatar not loaded
, Singapore
1 Review

"Read the fine print"

  • Reviewed 1 year ago

They make you sign lots of clauses and conditions that guarantee you will be responsible if something were to go wrong. Our van broke down soon after took off and had to be towed back for repair. We were offered a courtesy car to continue our trip but the promise to deliver the van to Dunedin wasn't uphold (so we drove back). They claimed that the damage was beyond repair and our rental fee forfeited due to driver error (double check what you sign). Most of their staffs were friendly though.

3Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
Squish - avatar not loaded
, Canada
1 Review

"Make sure of your plan before you book"

  • Reviewed 1 year ago

Make sure of your plans before you book. We reserved through one of the consolidators and ended up with a Wendekreisen booking. Any change, even one month before your pick up is considered a cancellation and they charge a lot for cancellations. They say it is 30% but once you read the fine print it costs much more (you forfeit your deposit PLUS 30% of total cost!!)
We wanted to change route to start and end in Auckland (i.e. nothing remote!) They had vehicles available but wouldn't change our existing reservation so we had to cancel and book with someone else. They would rather have our fee and then rerent our vehicle.

2Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
J. Townsend - avatar not loaded
, Australia
1 Review

"Brand New Campers"

  • Reviewed

We had brand new camper from Wendekreisen. Absolutely happy with the interior which had a lot of unexpected bonuses. Very good company

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value