U-Haul trucks offer a cheap option if you're moving in town. You supply the labor, boxes and driver. U-Haul supplies the truck. So, how much is a U-Haul? Rental prices vary based on length of the journey, the duration of the rental and size of the truck. But there are myriad hidden costs, too, which can easily double the cost of your rental. Be sure to check whether U-Haul is actually cheaper than hiring a moving company, especially if you're moving a long distance.
The cost of renting a truck is composed of a number of elements. The first is the daily base price of the truck, which can vary from $19.95 to $39.95, though the cost varies by region. The next element is the mileage that you will put on the vehicle during the move. The typical charge is about 79 cents to 89 cents per mile, as of 2008. Then, there are insurance costs as well as fuel costs, which vary based on the region. You can avoid fuel costs if you refuel the vehicle prior to returning it. The site listed in the Resources section includes a calculator to help determine the cost of your move.
U-Haul rents trucks of multiple sizes. The size depends on the number of rooms you need to move. The largest is the 26-foot truck, recommended for a four bedroom or larger house. Next is the 24-foot truck, recommended for a three to four bedroom house. Then there's a 17-foot truck, recommended for a two to three bedroom house. The two smallest trucks are the 14-foot, recommended for a one to two bedroom house, and the the 10-foot truck, recommended for an apartment. They also rent vans, cargo hitches and pickup trucks to haul smaller items. The larger trucks feature an area called "Mom's attic" which is additional space above the cab of the truck where you can place smaller items.
U-Haul offers more than just vehicles to help you move. You can also use their stores to buy boxes, packing tape and other materials. They also sell items such as bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts to protect the delicate items you're packing. Refrigerator dollies and forearm forklifts are also available for rental only a daily basis. See the link in Resources for the plethora of items U-Haul makes available for purchase and rental to ease your moving day.
Be aware of the mileage charges that U-Haul will add to the daily base charge of renting your moving equipment. This can add up significantly. You must also provide proof of insurance, or you will pay a fee for this also. Also be aware that some large dealers have you process paperwork in one location and then shuttle you to another for the pick up of the vehicle. This can add several miles to your overall total, and the shuttles are not always frequent.
Make sure you can drive a big truck safely, if that's what you're renting. The larger trucks are typically a manual shift, so be sure you know how to operate the gears. Check your auto insurance to be sure it covers you in case of an accident.
If you rent the truck, you are personally responsible for it, even if you don't drive. If you're moving a longer distance, be sure to call the number provided at the initial rental location before you drop off your equipment. Not all U-Haul locations are set up to receive equipment, so make sure you call to find out where to drop off. Last, even if you return your equipment early, you will pay full price. U-Haul contracts the rental to you, and it is non-negotiable even in the event of an early return or lower than expected mileage.