How I Rented a Campervan for $1/day in Australia

Saving Money with Vehicle Relocation

By Nina Ragusa on October 10th, 2016
BootsnAll

“So where are we going?”

“I don’t know, but it’s getting too cold to stay. Let’s move!”

“OK, BUT WHERE?!”

Here we are again. Discussing where to head to next.

Should we even move? We don’t know where to go, so maybe we should stay?

This conversation happened every other day for a span of five weeks.

Leaving Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

My boyfriend and I were living in Melbourne, Australia and were getting desperate to escape the imminent blustery winter that was heading towards us.

We absolutely LOVED Melbourne and it was hard to think about leaving. We felt so at home and were head over heels for the city, but the weather was meaning miserable days in the cold and rain and less hours at work (our biggest concern).

So where to go? Where to move to? Where should we spend the last half of our six-month working holiday visa here in Australia?

We were so torn.

Want to include Australia on your RTW route?

Deciding on Darwin

Darwin, Australia

We did know one thing, though, if we did move elsewhere, we would likely do a vehicle relocation. It seemed to be the smartest way to move to another city. So my boyfriend, Garrett, signed up for some email alerts to see if any vehicle relocations were happening during the time we were aiming to move.

Relocations from Melbourne were pretty popular and ranged from Adelaide, which was also about to get hit with winter weather or way northeast to Cairns.

“Where to, babe?”

“I don’t know! But we’ll figure it out. Something will come up.”

…And then spontaneity hit.

One night, Garrett got an alert for a campervan relocation that was needed for only $1 per day, Melbourne to Darwin, for the exact time we needed to move. Without thinking any more about it, he hit accept and we finally had a destination to move to!

We had no plans on moving to Darwin, but we decided to just go for it. The weather was warm, money is supposed to be better, and while it’s not a big city, it’s not that small and jobs should be plentiful.

The outcome? Everything worked out perfectly and Darwin was the best choice, but that’s another story.

I know what you’re really wondering…

Planning adventures in the Outback for a gap year?

How Does Vehicle Relocation Work?

Desert in Australia

So how did we move there in a sweet Mercedes-Benz campervan for only a measly $1 rental fee?

Vehicle rental companies are in need of certain vehicles in certain places at certain times. If they don’t have a vehicle they need, they lose out on a customer. So instead, they allow others to drive the vehicle they need to them for a very low price.

The company we ended up renting through, coseats.com, needed a vehicle that was in Melbourne to be brought to Darwin. We did that for them, and got our transportation for only for a buck a day! They even threw in a $50 credit for fuel.

The process was painless:

You accept the vehicle relocation.

Pick up the vehicle on the day you’re scheduled.

Drive to the destination.

Return the vehicle.

That’s it!

The fine print isn’t too terrible either…

Thinking about a RTW Trip?

Navigating the Fine Print

  • Insurance was included, but we added coverage for $120. (Making our deductible only $250 instead of $1000 should anything happen. We were playing it safe.)
  • You have a limited amount of time to drive the vehicle. Our drive from Melbourne to Darwin was allotted six days. It wasn’t very much for a 40-hour trip, but we made it in time. Unfortunately, that meant there was no time to play tourist.
  • Fuel isn’t the cheapest, but if you’re going to drive somewhere, you’re going to need fuel. At least your rental cost was cheap, right?!
  • You’ll need to put down a deposit that’s returned to you after the vehicle shows up in one piece. The deposit did take a few weeks to finally return to our account, but it is what it is.

 

Doing the campervan relocation was a genius idea for our move to Darwin! The campervan was perfect for fitting all of our gear, it wasn’t too expensive, and it ended up being pretty fun!

If you’re looking to leisurely drive somewhere else in Australia and enjoy the surroundings, I wouldn’t recommend doing a relocation as your time is limited! BUT this type of trip would be ideal for travelers who are looking to travel straight to another city or need to move.

How can you say no to $1 a day anyway?!

For more information on how the trip went, how much we spent in total and more tips, check this post out.

Would you consider doing a vehicle relocation in Australia?

About the Author:

Nina Ragusa is the intrepid soul over at Where in the World is Nina? She’s been wandering and living abroad for over five years. Her mission is to travel, live and work on all continents. She loves beer, wine, trees and cheese, she’s clumsy AF, a professional beach bum and sometimes too honest. If you don’t mind wit or sass, and want a wandering lifestyle that fits you, you should definitely follow along on the journey….

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Photo Credits:Pics by NickGordon Bell,  clintharry,  ingehogenbijl