Our Experiences
Carmarket Christchurch

Hostels – check the internet

Check the internet for booking. Often in the hostels they offer higher rates for your accommodation. Sometimes you can get up to 25% of discount.

Camping grounds – self contained
In New Zealand are many camping grounds, from small and familiar to big and professional you can find everything. The bigger camping grounds are offering you membership cards were you can get a small discount. Next to the camping grounds you can also sleep on DOC´s (Department of Conservation) there you can stay most of the time for free but the most of them are only for self-contained vehicles. If you rent a camper this should be no problem but most of the backpacker cars does not have such a self-contained certification which can cost you 200$ if you get caught.

Shopping and discount
If you are traveling in your own backpacker car or camper van you have do get some food and some petrol for your car. Why not combine these two things? Most of the supermarkets got special offers, if buy something you get some discount on the petrol. The bigger supermarkets got an own petrol station next to the market so it is one way.

Next to the petrol discount a lot of the supermarkets got special weeks, which means that for example meat or cheese is in one week cheaper than normally. As well you can get offers like take three and pay only two.

When you use your own camper for traveling:

Buy a camper:
If you buy a car or a camper you should get as much information as you can get:

- Does the car has a WOF (Warranty of Fitness - like German TÜV)?
   Vaild to 6 month - you can buy in each garage.
- May some traders got the equal car but for a different price?

Every hostels has a blackboard or a folder with backpacker who are selling there campers – here you can get next to a camper, tips and experiences from travelers like you! But be careful only because the traveler speaks the same language, does not meant that he is serious!

On www.bookme.co.nz you can find private traders or bigger Carmarket traders.

Have alsways in mind that the cars you are buying are most old and had different drivers bevor, so it´s normal that you have to go to a garage more often.

If you have found a car but you are unsure if it is save to travel with it, then let it check in a garage.
Every garage can take a look under your car and can check if the car is fit for the road.

After buying you should make sure that you got an insurance for the car. A cheap insurance you can get from your hostel.

Full tank – don’t trust the dashboard
As we traveled through New Zealand we sometimes got problems with our tank. We got the problem that our tank dashboard doesn’t worked very well. For every bigger tour you should check if enough oil, water and as well as petrol is in your tank. We always took an extra 10 litre jerry can with us to be sure we will not run out of petrol.

Parking tickets – have the time in mind and all your licenses
If you are parking in a city or smaller town you should keep an eye on the time, because the police is fast (NZD 20-200). As well you should keep an eye on everything important for your Van: WOF, Road User Charge and registration number and date.

If your car has a problem than you should get it into a garage, they will take a look and hopefully they can help you. But be aware! Sometimes they only think about their selves and their own profit, so it is every time better to get a second opinion! They know the backpacker problems less money and no local contacts. So they offer often a expensive solution, so please check alsways a second opinion.

Car selling – don’t trust every potential buyer
After a long and hopefully wonderful journey you have to sell your car. Use this websites, blogs, blackboards and other stuff where you found your camper. You know after buying and traveling what a backpacker needs to know about your car, where he can find you and how it works. So make it easy for the buyer to get in contact with you - mobile and mail.

But be aware of potential scammer.
If you try to sell your car over the internet it could be, that you get a lot of fake emails. Fake emails are written often in the same way: one person is working overseas and would buy the car but he could not come to meet you, a friend would pick up the car and the potential buyer will transfer it immediately to you. Don’t be so innocent that this works so easy.

The best way to sell your car is, if you sell it personally  to the buyer and cash or if you got some friends in New Zealand which are selling it for you and you can trust them.

See also our bad experience with the Backpacker CarMarket in Christchurch.