Campervans and Motorhomes are a very popular way of seeing New Zealand. There are many campervan/motorhome companies to choose from from top of the line new vehicles to older “sleepervans"(vans with a bed and basic camping equipment in the back) During the peak season (December to the end of February) campervans and motorhomes are nearly always fully booked , so forward bookings are a must. November and March and also very busy so it is advisable to book during these months. The rest of the year you could just turn up and you will find something. During the off season many rental companies are open to price negotiaton, as there are plenty of vehicles sitting around not getting used, including cars.
There are lots of campsites to stay at (which are all of high quality), or you can just “free camp". You can stop in rest areas around NZ, and stay the night as long as there are no signs stating “no camping" or similar messages, and you are not in anyones way, for free. It is not illegal, as the police would rather see you sleep than drive sleepy. Campervans and motorhomes let you stay in some beautiful remote parts of NZ. There are lots of places to stop and rest for the night. During the summer season there are thousands of motor homes on New Zealand roads and you will find plenty of new friends from all over the world having the New Zealand campervan adventure.
New Zealand has all the major car rental companies and you can get new cars and near new cars for top daily hire prices. There are so many car hire companies ranging up and down the price range and size (from around $15 per day upwards) If you hire cheaper cars and stay at the many backpackers or hostels around NZ you can get a cheaper package than a campervan/motorhome, but you are not as flexible.
Cars are also as popular in the peak season, just about to the same level as the campervans and motorhomes. Booking is advisable during the peak seasons.
Car vs motorhome would depend on your budget and the degree of comfort you require. The motorhome option is a very popular choice with travellers and a fun way to see beautiful New Zealand, so that would be my choice. We have found Adventure Kiwi (www.adventurekiwi. co. nz) are good for a cheap campervan or car.
You can find a complete list of New Zealand campervan and motorhome companies daily hire rates at www.newzealandatoz.com. This should speed up your search process.
http://www.newzealandatoz.com New Zealand AtoZ provides useful New Zealand free information and advice to travellers, including a full list of all New Zealand car, motorhome and campervan rental companies along with their daily hire rates. Your complete guide to New Zealand