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11 September, 2023 - Updated Last updated on
15 September, 2023

Posted by Marty | Spaceships Crew

Picking up a Spaceships campervan is a super easy process. We recently applied some more hacks (“hack the planet!”) to make the process even simpler and lots more fun. Here’s everything you need to know about the process of picking up your campervan at our New Zealand depots.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try”, the wise words of Yoda have been applied to all our systems and processes. We don’t even want to call them processes as that sounds like something the average, boring car rentals company would use. Spaceships is different… In case you haven’t noticed, we are fond of doing things differently (aka better). Everything we do revolves around making your roadtripping life easier and more fun. And it all starts with picking up your campervan.

1. What to bring to our depot?

You don’t need to bring much to our New Zealand depots when you’re going to pick up your campervan. Your driving licence is the most important item to bring. Yes, you’ve uploaded a copy of your driving licence into our Online Check-in Portal, but you must bring your driving licence as you cannot drive a vehicle in New Zealand without having your driving licence on you.

Please bring an International Driving Licence or Official Translation if your driving licence isn’t in English. You can get an NZTA approved translation online. See for more info about using your local driving licence in New Zealand.

Picking up your campervan at the Spaceships depot

It's road trip time. Picking up your campervan at the Spaceships depot is easy.

2. Contactless & paperless are happening now

No need to print your booking confirmation or anything else. All the info is in our super-intelligent systems, so no trees were harmed in creating your rental contract. Of course, we can still print you a copy of the rental agreement, but we can also email the signed version to you. Just let our friendly crew at the front desk know if you prefer the digital (PDF) version or an oldskool paper version.

Spaceships Rentals, a New Zealand-owned and operated campervan rental company, has been at the forefront of the digital revolution. All our processes, from booking your campervan to the online check-in process, are fully digital. We process and store your details safe and secure (we only ask for the minimum info needed to fulfil your booking). In the post-COVID social distancing society, we have improved our digital services even further.

All pick-ups and drop-offs are fully contactless, with human support during business hours. Your campervan will be waiting for you; you will receive an email with the pick-up instructions and in which lockbox to find the key. This will be emailed to you 1 day before the scheduled day of pick-up.

Depot front desk picking up your campervan

Our crew will explain the contract, campervan features and more. You can ask 'em anything about travelling & camping in NZ

We recommend doing the following before arriving at the depot:

  1. Please complete the online check-in process in full. You can add extra accessories via the online check-in and manage your booking.
  2. Please pay your booking in full one day before the scheduled day of pick-up. When you log in to our payment portal you will see the remaining balance and how to pay it. It's easy, safe and secure.
  3. Check your inbox (or spam folder) for the pick-up instructions, which will be sent 1 day before your scheduled pick-up at the latest!

After-hours pick-up means that you can arrive at any time at the depot (no matter how early or how late), as long as it is on the scheduled day of pick-up. No staff member will be on-site.

Personal assistance or show-around during opening hours. Staff members can assist in person, via telephone, email or online chat during business hours. If you require personal assistance on pick up or drop off, this can be arranged Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 4 pm.

3. Pick-up time explained and when to contact us about it!

At Spaceships New Zealand, the pick-up process is easy and flexible. Here's some info about the process and the pick-up time you see listed on your booking confirmation

  • Picking up between midnight and 8 am = Early After-hours (contactless, unmanned)
  • Picking up between 5 pm and midnight = After-hours (contactless, unmanned)

This means you can arrive at the depot at any time, as no staff will be on-site. However, you will still see a time on your confirmation, as that is how computers work. As long as your pick-up time is within the after-hours range, it'll be an after-hours pick-up.
When your pick-up time is between 9 am and 4 pm, you will pick up your campervan within business hours. The process is contactless, but staff will be around to help and answer questions. If you want to change the pick-up time, that can be done via the Online Check-in Portal. You have all the power to update your details and to make lots of changes to your booking!

Flight delay or want to make changes to travel dates?

If you are delayed or want to switch to an (early) after-hours pick-up, please contact us to arrange this. That's the only time change you'll need to send us: when requesting a switch from 'during business hours' to 'after-hours'.

4. Need more accessories?

As soon as you have booked your Spaceships campervan, you'll have access to our awesome and secure Online Check-In system to manage your booking. By using your booking number and last name you can log into that system 24/7 to update your details, add an additional driver (another free service at Spaceships) or to add or remove accessories. Only our Online Check-in Portal has the full list of all optional accessories (there are just too many accessories to list ‘em all on the booking page).

Did we mention that you can come back to the Online Check-in system anytime (up until the day of pick-up) to make changes? That system is like a game without an end boss; there’s no end level to complete. Therefore, we don’t send a confirmation from the Check-In. It’s either done or it isn’t. And if you haven’t completed the Online Check-In, you can even do it at the depot. We have some cool touchscreen Check-In computers for you to use. But we recommend doing the check-in before arrival as it will speed up the process on the day of pick-up. Then you'll have more time for the other fun stuff at our depot. Keep on reading.

5. Plan your road trip or fine-tune it

To make your road trip life as easy as possible, we will supply you with free NZ Frenzy guidebooks - e-books aka PDF files, one for exploring the North Island and one for exploring the South Island. NZ Frenzy is the best way to get off the beaten path in New Zealand. You will receive an email a few days to 2 weeks after booking your Spaceships campervan online.

But there's more. There are also free camping & travel apps. These are the easiest way to plan your road trip. It has all the info about where to find free and budget campsites, things to do in the area, where to find (free) wifi and more.

And then there is ExperienceNZ, a new activity booking platform to help you find and book amazing activities in New Zealand. From relaxed wine or brewery tours to adrenaline-pumping activities like bungee jumping & helicopter tours, it's all there. Find activities, grab a bargain and book it! Easy as.

Checking in & booking activities at the Spaceships depot

Check-in at the depot and use the sytem to plan or tweak your trip: book accommodation, activities and more

6. Leaving the depot: ready for lift-off?

Before we will hand you the keys to your Spaceship, a crew member will do a show-around to show you all the features of the specific campervan category if you are picking up during business hours (week days between 9am and 4pm) AND have requested a personal show-around. You can see an online version yourself as we have a how-to-use-your-Spaceship video online for each category.

It's a great way to prepare yourself for the upcoming road trip. At the depot, our crew will demonstrate the features as well and you can ask 'em anything you like about the campervan or travelling & camping in New Zealand. We're always happy to help.

If you will be travelling on Standard or Partial Insurance our crew will do a damage check as well. This has been done before your arrival and time-stamped photos have been taken of the campervan and are securely stored in our digital vault. Our depot crew is happy to email you these photos - ask us via email - so you can keep a copy as well. The same check will be done when you return, so we can see exactly if the vehicle has been returned in the same condition.

Only on Stress-Free Insurance, there is no damage check and no bond or excess to be frozen on your card. Why? It’s all covered by the Stress-Free Insurance policy… There are some exclusions, but that’s only when dangerous driving or illegal things have happened.

7. No rush: sit back and relax

Picking up a campervan is different from buying groceries at a supermarket. We don’t expect you to leave straight away. Consider our Christchurch depot to be your living room. Stay longer to plan or finetune your trip as soon as you have received the keys. Drop in to relax or for a chat when you’re in the area on your way to your next destination. Our friendly crew is always happy to see you and can answer any questions you might have. Our Auckland depot is a bit smaller and has less seating space and few amenities, but the crew is always happy to answer your questions during business hours. Otherwise, they are just a phone call or email message away.

We’re only a free phone call away. Feel free to contact us if there’s anything we can do to make your trip more enjoyable or if there’s a question about your campervan.

Relaxing at the Spaceships depot

These beanbags are soooo comfy. Sit back and relax at the Spaceships Christchurch depot.

8. Enjoy the freebies

There’s a reason why it’s so much fun to stay a bit longer at our Christchurch depot (or to drop in again at a later time)… Of course, it’s our fun & friendly crew, but there are more reasons.

  • Enjoy the free barista-style coffee. Whether you go for a short black (espresso), flat white or cappuccino, they’re all super tasty and free. Washable cups are available, but it’s, of course, better to use your own multi-purpose travel coffee cup.
  • Use our free WiFi to download apps, update your phone or to book activities, accommodation or flights.
  • Play classic arcade games for free. Yes, the arcade machine you see as you enter our Auckland or Christchurch depot is free to play. Choose from classics like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, 1942 or Galaga and see if you can beat the high scores fellow Space Travellers and our crew have set.
  • Book activities, accommodation or flights on our awesome touchscreen travel & check-in computers. Our easy-to-use ExperienceNZ activity booking system is always ready for you, even at the depot. Just sit back and plan or tweak your trip. You can even ask our crew for tips and advice.

Our opening hours depend on the season: see the opening hours in Auckland and the opening hours of the Christchurch depot. You’re always welcome to drop in during opening hours, and also in winter. No worries. Please note: our Auckland depot is smaller and does not have the same facilities as the Christchurch depot.

Unfortunately, you cannot camp inside or outside the depots. You’ll need to go to a motel or campsite nearby for a good night’s sleep.

That’s how we roll: picking up your campervan made easy

Picking up a campervan shouldn’t be as boring as picking up a rental car… And that’s why we turned it into a relaxing and fun process (yes we can use that word now, as we just gave it a fun meaning). If you do have suggestions to tweak or hack this even further, please let us know. Our crew is always interested in hearing about things you think we should add to make picking up your campervan even easier or more fun. We’ll see you soon at one of our New Zealand depots.

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