Understanding Motorhome Rental Companies' Terms & Conditions

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Does this sound like you? When buying something online, most shops and portals require you to tick the box that you’ve read their terms and conditions and agree before you can complete your purchase. 

You tick the box even though you haven’t read a single word so you can finally get your purchase confirmation?

Reading any terms and conditions can be intimidating, grueling and downright boring. However, understanding the terms and conditions is important, especially when a lot of money is involved. When looking for motorhome rentals in New Zealand, make sure to know the terms and conditions of all motorhome rental companies you consider as they tell you a lot about how the companies operate. 

What should you find in every motorhome brand’s rental terms and conditions?

Although there are differences between the contracts, most motorhome rental companies tend to cover off many of the same topics in their rental terms and conditions. Knowing what to look for should help you to find the best campervan hire:

  • Motorhome rental company’s obligations

This section tells you that it’s the rental company’s obligation to provide you with a vehicle that is in roadworthy condition and holding a current Certificate of Fitness. Additionally, this section tells you what condition the motorhome will be in when you pick it up (clean, full petrol or diesel, full gas, etc) and what happens in case your campervan type is not available at pick-up.

  • Hirer’s obligations

The hirer’s obligations is usually a longer section that explains what you have to do during the hire. This usually includes that you have to look after the vehicle as if it was your own, check the oil and tyres, always lock the motorhome when you leave and never smoke inside the campervan. It also tells you what you need to do before returning the vehicle.

  • Changes and cancellations

Sometimes, life happens and you have to change your holiday plans. If you book with the motorhome rental company directly, you’ll find all the information on the change and cancellation of your motorhome rental on their website. If you booked via an online travel agent or a travel agent in your home country, you’ll have to look into their terms and conditions as they might differ from those of the rental operator. 

Related article: Campervan Industry Secrets - OTA vs Direct Booking

  • Breakdowns and accidents

This section will cover what you must do if you have an accident or a mechanical breakdown. Depending on which motorhome rental company you booked with, this can vary a bit, but the number one rule is the same when you compare campervan rentals: you have to call the operator within 24 hours of the breakdown or accident and let them know what happened.

  • Insurances and Liability

This is a very important section! Here, it explains how much the standard excess (the maximum you have to pay) is if the motorhome is damaged accidentally. The liability can be reduced or even eliminated by purchasing additional insurance or a liability reduction option.

Important: No matter who you’re renting with, you will always be fully liable if the motorhome is wilfully damaged (e.g. standing on the roof) or you’re using it for something illegal (e.g. speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, etc)

Related article: Do I Need Campervan Rental Insurance?

Why comparing terms and conditions matter?

While some basic terms are the same with all rental companies, it always pays to read the rental agreement before hitting that final “Book” button. Ignoring the fine print can turn into a major problem for you when you run into issues down the road. From unknowingly signing up for hidden fees to agreeing to liabilities, knowing and comparing terms and conditions can cost you in more ways than one.

 

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