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Renting a Moving Truck: What You Need To Know

MyApartmentMap - Sep 23, 2009

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Moving is hardly ever an inexpensive or easy endeavor, but if you’ve decided upon moving yourself; renting a moving truck can save you money, car/truck trips, gas, and lots of valuable time. Here’s some valuable info on what you need to know about renting a moving truck:  

First of all, ask around and find out any info or recommendations from friends, family, etc on moving truck experiences and/or specific reputable moving truck companies.

Beyond asking around, do some research online and in the phonebook to get an idea of available moving truck companies.

Know how far you plan to travel-i.e. across town or across the country-and research companies according to that. They will gauge rates differently based on this, so it is very important to have the exact distance before you call.

If you are moving at least a few hours’ drive away, most major moving truck companies will let you just drop off the rental truck at your destination, without having to drive it back to your original departure point. Be advised that they most do charge a drop-off fee. Make sure to find out what this is, and how it factors into your final price.

Have in mind how large a truck you will need to accommodate your personal belongings. Most moving truck companies offer a truck size guide that gives general estimates in relation to their various size trucks. For example, you could be moving the contents of a 3-4 bedroom house or a studio apartment. Estimate based on your previous address, and always over-estimate the truck size you will need.

Know when you want to move. Keep in mind that peak moving season is between May and October, so if you plan on moving during this period, make sure to call a couple months in advance to ensure there’s a truck for moving day. You might even consider changing your moving plans to an off-season date-if possible-if you are moving sooner than a couple months. Same goes for the popularity of moving at the end and beginning of months. If you can, opt for mid-month. Also, the moving truck company may offer special off-season rates.

Find out how the moving truck company charges. Typically, it will be by a certain mileage, but make sure you know how much they charge for going over that mileage. Some can be extremely expensive, or add up very quickly if you are driving a long distance.

Find out how gas factors into the final price of your moving truck costs. Know what the gas to mileage ratio is, so you know how economical your truck will be in relation to others they may provide.

Remember that most moving truck companies will rent you the moving truck with a full tank of gas (like any car/truck rental), and they expect to have the gas tank full when you return it. Most will charge you an extremely inflated rate if you bring the tuck back without refilling the tank after use, so make sure to do so.

If you are moving a long distance or do not have enough drivers for your vehicle(s), you should also inquire about attaching vehicles to the moving truck. Though this can add an approximate extra $150-$300 onto your final moving costs, it can save you a lot of stress, time, and trouble depending on the nature of your move. This also applies for any other vehicles needed to be moved, such as: snowmobiles, jetskis, motorcycles, etc.

Strongly consider moving insurance. Most rental truck companies will provide moving insurance to cover the wide array of incidents that could occur while traveling to your belongings, the truck, or any hitched vehicles or items. They typically tack on an extra $20-$30 a day that you are renting the truck, which is not bad, but if you going a long distance…it can add up. Before agreeing blindly to their rates, it’s always good to check around with your credit card companies, car insurance company, etc to see if they could offer you a better rate. In either situation, make sure you know exactly what is covered and what isn’t.

Remember that you’ll need dollies for transport, protective pads for furniture and décor, as well as rend pads (which will allow you to slid heavy items into the truck without scratching the item). All of these are available for rent at the moving truck company. They typically, rent these in pairs and more for convenience. Rent more than you think you’ll need, as you probably will.