It's a difficult decision: Should you hire movers or rent a moving truck for your move? Under certain circumstances, renting a truck is one of the most affordable options, and Moving.com can help you plan and get the best rates on moving truck rental. But, there are some important points to cover before you make your decision.
What Size Truck Do I Need?
The size of your home will determine what size truck you need to rent. We recommend renting one with at least 10 percent more size than you think you'll need. It's easy to underestimate the amount of stuff you have in closets, cabinets, or stored in the attic. And, packing furniture in a truck isn't as easy as a game of Tetris. Be safe and go with more room, so you don't have to make multiple trips or leave possessions behind.
Most trucks run between 10 foot in size for a loft, studio, or one-bedroom apartment, up to 26' feet or more for a four bedroom home or larger. You should also take into consideration how much furniture you own, because it often takes up the largest portion of a truck. Packing boxes of various sizes will let you slip some into nooks and crannies.
Potential Rental Truck Fees
If you decide to rent a truck, make sure you take into consideration how far you are moving and the variable costs associated with that distance. How many miles will you put on the truck (some truck rentals have unlimited mileage), the cost of fuel, and how many days you will need the truck will all be taken into consideration for your total cost
If you're moving within your current city, you'll be able to return the truck to the same location where you picked it up. If you're moving to a new city, you'll drop off your truck at the company's nearest lot to your new home. This is known as a one-way move and it will be more expensive than if you returned the truck to the lot where you started because truck rental companies may have to drive it empty to another location to make sure the stock of trucks is balanced for customer needs. The additional cost you pay will cover those logistical needs. Before signing an agreement, make sure you discuss all potential fees with the rental agency and agree to a drop-off location that makes sense financially and distance-wise.
Peak Truck Renting Season
If you plan on renting a truck, remember that the summer months of May through September are the peak season for residential moving. Companies often book up all available trucks during these months. If you need to move during the summer, book several months ahead of time. The end of the month also tends to be a popular time for moving. With this in mind, consider an off-season or mid-month move if at all possible.
Truck Rental Fraud and Scams
Do your research before choosing a truck rental agency. A review of the company's Better Business Bureau profile and other online review sites will help ensure you rent a truck from a company with good business practices and good customer service.
Renting a truck is signing up for a do-it-yourself move. While you are saving money, you're spending your own time and effort to complete the move itself. No matter how big or strong your family members are, don't put the entire burden on them to get every box and piece of furniture loaded on the truck. Recruit a few friends and promise them a nice reward to help with the heavy lifting. Take care of everyone and know everyone's limits. Follow proper protocol for handling heavier items and use appropriate tools to ease the process. If you can spread out the move over a couple of days to save your energy, even better.