Campervan or Car? A Cost Comparison for Road Trips in Australia.

Which is more cost effective?

I was curious to know how I could see as much of Australia as possible on a very tight budget. Hence, I compared touring in a campervan with touring in a car. The results were surprising.
When exploring Australia, or anywhere for that matter, a campervan provides not just your transport, but your restaurant and your accommodation needs as well. Touring by car, on the other hand, requires the expense of hotel accommodation and eating out (unless you camp in a tent).

Photo: Hilvee
Photo: Hilvee

The average cost of a hotel in Australia is $115 per night. The average cost of dinner for two is $80. And petrol prices in Australia are almost half what they are in the United Kingdom.

Here’s my cost comparison between cars and campervans for two people for a week. All prices are in Australian dollars.

CAMPERVAN TOURING COSTS

  • Weekly campervan hire Australia – $595
  • Weekly accommodation – $0 – $100
  • Weekly groceries and beverages for 2 people – $200
  • WEEKLY TOTAL – $795 – $895

CAR TOURING COSTS

  • Weekly car hire Australia – $238
  • Weekly accommodation – $805
  • Weekly meals 2 people – $910
  • WEEKLY TOTAL – $2, 003

*Prices for the campervan and car hire were based on 30 days hire picking up from Adelaide and dropping off in Sydney. Campervan hire gets cheaper at 180 days or more. 

A table with a view, please. Photo: EternalRevolver
A table with a view, please. Photo: EternalRevolver

If you have more than two people on your camper van adventure, the savings are even greater because of what you’re saving in accommodation. For free places to camp, pick up your copy of Australia Free.

For adventures longer than 150 days it would be even more economical to buy a campervan from a trusted source.  Camperman Australia, a camper van hire company, sells ex-rental camper vans and will even buy it back from you when you’re adventure is over.

Photo: Camperman Australia
Photo: Camperman Australia

Please share your Australian road trip experiences or campervan experiences in the comments. I’d love to hear about your favourite places to stay, and any tips you’d like to share.

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