Sales Manager for Jucy Group Limited
Hi Lisa, who are JUCY Rentals? Where are your branches located? What do you offer as a product?
Jucy is a company that started in New Zealand in 2001 with two brothers, Tim and Dan, they started out with 35 cars ex hospital lease. It has now grown where today we have up to 4,000 vehicles across New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
In New Zealand we have cars, camper vans, motor homes. We have three hotels and two boats on the Milford Sound and in Australia we have cars and camper vans. In the USA we have many RV’s.
In New Zealand we're in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.
In Australia we're in Melbourne Airport, Melbourne city, Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Brisbane and Adelaide.
What age demographic usually travels in your vehicles?
Traditionally people between the ages of 18 to 35's - young and adventurous and the young at heart as well. Our predominant age group is the 18 to 35s, but we do get the slightly older people that have got a bit more of adventurous spirit as well.
Do you charge a under 21 age surcharge?
For cars we charge a $5 per day surcharge because you can hire with p plates licence if you're 18 and over with JUCY Australia.
Do travellers need an international drivers licence to drive in Australia?
No, however, if their licence is in another language, it does need to have a professional, authorised translation.
One of the best things about traveling around in a camper van is the people that you meet, so you quite often find that you end up a little bit of community on the road, just go wherever it takes you.
Are there restrictions to where camper vans can drive in Australia?
No, there is not. We just tell them that we prefer them to be on sealed roads. JUCY campers aren't really cut out to be going through the out back.
Does JUCY offer unlimited kilometres and 24 hour roadside assistance?
Yes we do, We offer a 24 hour contact centre and roadside assistance and also unlimited kilometres.
Does JUCY offer insurance options, like zero excess insurance?
Yes, we have excess reduction options. We have risk-taker, which is where you effectively take no extra insurance and we take a bond of your credit card for the full excess. There's chance-it where we take a reduced fund of $1,000 and you pay a nominal fee daily or there's the stress-free, which we encourage, which is dependent on the vehicle type you've got. This price gives you no excess baring in mind that does not cover you for things such as roof damage or single vehicle roll over. Basically, don't hit the roof and don't roll the car and you'll be okay.
What are the benefits of travelling in a camper van rather than with a bus pass?
You can do your own road trip and decide where you're wanting to go and if you like a certain location you can stay longer. One of the best things about traveling around in a camper van is the people that you meet, so you quite often find that you end up a little bit of community on the road, just go wherever it takes you. Plus you've got convenience of having a kitchen in the back, so you can stop and pull off at the side of the road whenever you want and make a meal. You've got room for sleeping and you've got your transportation as well.
What would you say people find most surprising about JUCY cars and camper vans?
How well they're laid out. We build our own camper vans, we have a big factory West of Auckland called JUCY by Design, we also have a smaller factory out the back of our Brisbane branch where we do all of the desings ourselves.
It started from the original designs and I'd like to say that the campers are a little bit like iPhones. Every time we do a new generation same model camper van, but they just get slightly better. We just make little tweaks and just make the overall customer experience that much better.
Do you still have USB chargers and DVD players and all that sort of stuff?
We do have USB chargers and DVD players but they're sort of moving with the times. Now we've got dual battery systems, one battery runs the vehicle. Then you've got your secondary battery, which has the backup of the solar panel that can charge all your USB devices etc.
We've gone away from having the built in DVD players in the vehicles just because this is not the demand. It is a bit old school. People can use their tablets and phones to watch stuff.
What are some tips to bring or have prepared before arriving to pick up the camper van?
Soft bags. If there's a group of you going in a camper van, do not bring big hard, rigid suitcases, you'll find it very hard to fit them. There's loads of places and loads of areas for storage within your camper van, but it's always a lot easier if you've got a soft bag or a back pack.
What's the average pick up and drop off time for a camper van?
It really depends, some days you can walk in, it's really down to you. Our JUCY crew are there to make sure that you know exactly what to do with your camper van and how it works, but also that you feel comfortable about driving it.
Not everyone comes from driving on the right side of the road, so safety is key and comfort is key. There are times when people pick up and they practice driving on the grass for example.
When there's lots of people in store then it may take a little bit longer, but generally when you're picking up a camper you wouldn't really want to be doing it in under 30 minutes. You really want to get a feel for the vehicle and how it all works, but like I say, for us as well your safety is key.
Probably allocating an hour for pick up?
Absolutely yes. You want to make sure it all works, pack your stuff away, see how everything fits in and go from there.
How new are your vehicles and how often do the vehicles get maintained or repaired?
We buy older chassis’s, maybe chassis’s that have done around 50,000 kilometres depending on the model of the vehicle and we build them on top of that. As much as the actual car istelf might be older, everything on top of it is new. With regards to our Australian camper fleet, by the time we get into the summer season this year, so November, December this year, all of our fleet will have had a full internal refurbishment within the last 18 months.
New Zealand we try and pull them off the road every two to three years, but obviously if some need it sooner than others, then we pull them off and give them a refurbishment.
What qualifications, certificates or awards has JUCY obtained?
We won Golden Backpack Awards for best Australian camper van 2016 and hopefully for 2017. We win a number of tourism awards within both New Zealand and Australia just for contributing to the different markets that we're in. We've had innovation awards in the past because our owners, the CEO and our COO, Jim and Dan are both quite entrepreneurial. They are always winning leadership awards, entrepreneurial awards etc.
How many people can fit in your vehicles and what type of vehicles do offer?
In Australia we have our four main categories of campers. We have got our condo, which can sleep four people. That is the green high ace van with the kitchen at the back. It's my absolute favourite vehicle. It's got a really decent kitchen and also the two good size double beds.
A little bit smaller than that we have the champ. Now the champ is based on the traditional Toyota estina base that you see lots of people use camper vans for. The reason that this can sleep four people is it can sleep two in the body of the vehicle and then also two because it has a pop tent on the top, so that works well for two people with maybe a slightly bigger budget, that would want a more compact vehicle or people that are just on a budget and want to be able to sleep four.
We also have the cribs, which is our traditional two berth camper, without the penthouse and to sort of make the real budget end of the market, we also have our El Cheapo sleepers, which are two berth. They don't have the full kitchen like the rest of the campers do, but they go out at a really, really good price.
In terms of the two berth campers, can they travel with four people and take a tent for their mates?
The crib has got seat belts for four people, so you can definitely take two people and a tent though the El Cheapo sleeper can only take two people with seat belts. The champ again because it can sleep four people has seat belts for four and the condo can take four people.
What are extra costs or optional extras that people should be aware of?
We try and make sure that everything is included in the price, but depending on the season and where you're picking up and dropping off to, there may be one way fees. There's always the option of GPS, picnic chairs and tables come with your vehicle, but if you think that you may be needing a few extra for people you may meet along the way and baby seats as well. We also offer portable DVD players as we removed quite a few off the old ones out of the vehicles now and portable cassette toilets as well if you need them.
Is there a high and low season when booking JUCY vans and if so how far should people be booking in advance to secure camper van or car?
Cars are a little bit different to campers. Cars you can generally get a little bit more last minute. Camper vans my advice is always to book early to avoid disappointment, but depending on the season sometimes there's lots of availability and sometimes there is not. You can be a little bit clever. For example, at certain times of the season, everyone wants to drive into Cairns, which means we have an over supply of vehicles in Cairns and we really need people to drive out of Cairns. If you have a little bit of a think about it when you're looking to book your camper van, if you think of going in the opposite direction that everyone else does, then the chances are, A, we can give you a better deal and B, you'll get better availability.
Do you have safety systems and procedures in place for travellers when hiring the vans?
We have a drive safe program, so we go through road rules etc with everyone before they pick up the vehicle and that is the actual vehicles themselves they go through thorough and rigid safety checks as well.
Why should people choose JUCY over other camper van companies?
Well, apart from the fact that they're green and purple, JUCY, although we don't seem to be, we are still a very small company at heart. There's a lot of heart and soul that goes into what we do, our company values are fun, family, pride and passion, and we hope that that carries over into our products as well. With a JUCY vehicle you always know that there's been a lot of thought and a lot of pride going into the design and the overall turnout of the vehicle.