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Everything You Need to Know About Using U-Haul When Moving

Couple unloading boxes from a moving van.
kali9 / Getty Images

A‌ ‌quick‌ ‌look‌ ‌at‌ ‌U-Haul‌ ‌

U-Haul has been helping people move since 1945. That’s an astounding 75 years of service. There are more than 21,000 U-Haul truck and trailer locations in all 50 states, plus 10 Canadian provinces.

This is why when you search for “rent moving truck” or “moving truck rental,” you’re likely to receive multiple results for renting U-Haul trucks. It’s important to understand U-Haul rates upfront, before you actually rent a truck, though. Their fees can be tricky and you don’t want to be caught off guard.

How‌ ‌much‌ ‌does‌ ‌renting U-Haul trucks cost?‌

The cost of renting a U-Haul truck can vary depending on whether you’re planning a local move or a long-distance one. It’s important to understand their truck rates (including hidden fees) upfront, so you can budget accordingly. One of the biggest complaints about U-Haul involves hidden fees.

According to a 2016 report by the US Census Bureau, 64% of Americans move less than 200 miles. Based on this report, we reached our cost estimate by calculating a move of 199 miles (which U-Haul then estimated at 232 miles to give us some wiggle room). Our fuel estimate is based on the national average of $2.59 (as of 11/22/19), according to AAA.

Please be aware that these are base prices. There are additional fees you will need to discuss with U-Haul directly. This includes taxes, environmental fees, damage protection, and insurance, should you choose to purchase it. For this trip, we were offered Safemove Plus insurance for $85.

Truck Size Base Price Included Mileage Estimated Fuel Costs Add-ons
10-foot $90 232 miles included $43 (based on 12 mpg) Extra mileage,

Fuel costs, Environmental fee, Taxes,

Damage Protection, Insurance coverage

15-foot $94 232 miles included $52 (based on 10 mpg) Extra mileage,

Fuel costs, Environmental fee, Taxes,

Damage Protection, Insurance coverage

20-foot $104 232 miles included $52 (based on 10 mpg) Extra mileage,

Fuel costs, Environmental fee, Taxes,

Damage Protection, Insurance coverage

26-foot $118 232 miles included $52 (based on 10 mpg) Extra mileage,

Fuel costs, Environmental fee, Taxes,

Damage Protection, Insurance coverage

*Pricing information as of 11/23/19‌

‌Understanding‌ ‌your‌ ‌U-Haul ‌quote‌

There are many factors that contribute to the quote you will receive for your U-Haul truck rental. These include the distance of the move, insurance options, environmental fees, and more. The distance of the move itself can have a huge impact on the prices you see offered. A local move can be advertised at $19.95, while a move across state lines could cost you 100 times that much.

Just remember that the quote you receive will be the basic rate of your rental truck. It will not include extras like environmental fees, taxes, fuel costs, insurance, damage protection, or extra mileage. You will want to be cautious with your quote and be sure you understand every add-on and extra cost that could be incurred. ‌

Breaking‌ ‌down‌ ‌Uhaul’s‌ ‌fees‌  ‌

The following is a breakdown of some fees that could sneak up on you if you’re not aware of them.

  • Fuel costs factor in greatly — even a quick run across town could eat up a $60 tank of gas. You will definitely want to use a mileage calculator to plan out your trip.
  • U-Haul offers two types of insurance: SafeMove Plus, and the more basic SafeMove. The SafeMove Plus option is usually about twice as much because it offers substantially better protection.
  • The environmental fee is small but still something to be considered. It usually runs somewhere between $1 to $5 total for the rental.

What‌ ‌size‌ ‌U-Haul‌ ‌truck‌ ‌do‌ ‌I‌ ‌need?‌

It depends on how much stuff you are moving. The following chart will help you figure out the right size of truck for your needs.

Truck Size Capacity Weight Limit
10-foot Studio to 1 bedroom apt. 8,600 lbs. max
15-foot 1 bedroom home to 2 bedroom apt. 14,500 lbs. max
20-foot 2 bedroom home to 3 bedroom apt. 14,500 lbs. max
26-foot 3-4 bedroom home 25,999 lbs. max

U-Haul:‌ ‌The‌ ‌pros‌ ‌and‌ ‌cons‌  ‌

There are many pros and cons to renting a U-Haul. Here, MYMOVE breaks them down for you so you can make the best choice for your moving needs.

The‌ ‌advantages‌ ‌of‌ ‌renting‌ ‌a‌ ‌truck‌ ‌through‌ ‌U-Haul‌ ‌

  • Good rates for local moves‌ make it a budget-friendly option.
  • Locations all across the country make pick up and drop off simple.
  • Every move includes roadside assistance. ‌ ‌

‌The‌ ‌disadvantages‌ ‌of‌ ‌renting‌ ‌a‌ ‌truck‌ ‌through‌ ‌U-Haul‌ ‌ ‌

  • The price quote can be confusing.
  • Hidden fees can make it pricier than anticipated.
  • They do not guarantee their reservations.

Uhaul‌ ‌reviews‌ ‌ ‌

ConsumersAffairs (which features unfiltered reviews from U-Haul customers) has them at three stars out of five. That’s based on 636 reviews received in just the past year. One of the latest reviews boasts about how excellent their customer service is. Yet, another recent reviewer says it was the “worst experience ever” because the truck was not ready when they arrived.

With such varying reviews, this is why it’s important to do your own research. Weigh the pros and cons and be sure you are prepared for any unexpected surprises before you make a decision.

Frequently‌ ‌Asked‌ ‌Questions‌ ‌‌

How‌ ‌much‌ ‌does‌ ‌it‌ ‌cost‌ ‌to‌ ‌rent‌ ‌a‌ ‌U-Haul?‌ ‌ ‌

The cost can vary greatly depending on factors such as the mileage amount used, the add-ons you choose, the size of the truck, etc. Make sure you do your research so there are no unexpected fees.

Is ‌PODS‌ ‌or‌ ‌U-Haul‌ ‌better?‌

PODS have become very popular in recent years. Many people like the concept of shipping their belongings, rather than hauling them on the freeway. Other people want their prized possessions under their control at all times. It all depends on which process you prefer.  ‌

Should I purchase insurance?

Insurance is important. However, if you have your own homeowners or renters plan that will cover the trip, then you might not need to worry about it. Make sure you do your research beforehand.

How old do I need to be to rent a U-Haul truck?

You need to be 18 to rent a truck, but you can drive one at 16 with a valid driver’s license.

Can I pick it up and drop it off at different locations?

Yes. This is the beauty of U-Haul having so many locations nationwide. You can pick it up in the city you are moving from and drop it off in the city you are moving to. Simple as that.


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