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Save the Headache, Rent a Truck?  
The DIY approach to saving money and taking responsibility for your move across town or the USA!

Can you Save Money when you move?

The concept is: if you're planning to move, save money by renting a moving truck or trailer instead of hiring a professional moving company to transport your household goods.  Ok, so is it more or less of a headache to rent a truck and drive your goods rather than to hire someone else to do it for you?  Well, that depends.  (Don't you hate it when the answer is complicated?) There are plenty of us who like to "Do it yourself" and when it comes to moving our goods, whenever feasible, it makes sense to consider renting a truck an doing the job ourselves.  Call it obsessive-compulsive or "control freak" if you will, but when something gets broke, there is no one to blame if we're the ones who packed it, boxed it up and loaded it onto a rental truck. budget truck rental

Should you hire a Moving Company?

On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice to just call "XYZ moving company" and have them do it for you?  Certainly it would, but as we discussed in "find a shipper for your move"  there are some issues to consider there...higher costs, and the issue of finding the right moving van company that won't cheat you.  So, that brings the discussion back to finding a "moving truck rental" company and doing it yourself...or, why not rent the truck, load your belongings, and then hire a friend to do the driving and unloading.  Perhaps we're on to something here?

Consider these rental tips and ideas that may save you a few headaches when you go rent a moving truck:

Moving Truck Rental Tips
  • Tip 1: Determine the size of moving truck or trailer that you need, based on the number of rooms to be moved. General guidelines indicate a 24-foot truck for moving eight rooms, a 20-foot truck for five rooms, a 15-foot truck for three rooms, and a cargo van or trailer for a small load of household goods.
  • Tip 2: Contact rental companies about driver requirements, including minimum age, driving records and special licenses.
  • Tip 3: Check your auto insurance policy to see if coverage is provided for truck and van rentals.  This will save you a lot of money in rental insurance fees. Some insurance coverage may also apply if you charge the truck rental to a major credit card. In both cases, you will usually be minimally insured for collision, but it is a good idea to check the policies with your insurance agent or credit card company.  Rental companies do not usually require a special driver's license to operate a rental truck for personal use, but many require that drivers be at least age 25.  Additional insurance may be necessary for protection during your move. 
  • Tip 4: Obtain rental prices on the truck size that you need for the move by completing online information forms or calling rental companies in your local area. Check on availability of trucks during your scheduled move dates.
  • Tip 6: Reserve a rental truck for the dates of your move.
  • Tip 7: Ask the rental dealer for special instructions for operating a rental truck and review them.

Moving Discounts?

Also: Ask about discounts for major national organizations, frequent-flier programs and

 credit card programs you may belong to. They'll frequently offer deals on commercial truck rentals. Those offered through AAA can be very good. If you're employed by a company that frequently rents vehicles, they may have a negotiated rate. Make sure to check.

Be sure you understand the conditions of your reservation. Is there a penalty for no-shows? How long will the moving truck be held if you're stuck in traffic on the way to the pickup station? Is there a fee for additional drivers and must their names be listed in the contract? Is your 20-year-old daughter old enough to drive it? (This is important for liability reasons)

rent a truckIf applicable, ask about any restrictions on interstate travel (Though not as likely with commercial truck rentals, this can be an issue when renting cars). For your own protection in case of breakdown, be sure the company has offices in all the states on your itinerary.

For one-way rentals, ask about drop-off charges. They can be exorbitant.

Always get a confirmation number.

It is very important to inspect the rental truck before you drive it. You should get an employee to make note of all existing cosmetic damage, in the exterior and interior of the truck and to write a description of the damage on your contract. This ensures that you are not held responsible for any costs for the aforementioned damage. It is also a good idea to check that everything works correctly, and that you familiarize yourself with the truck.

Be sure to check the following:  the brakes, the headlights and turn signals for working order; the windshield wipers, electric windows, audio and heating systems for proper functionality; the tire pressure, fluid (oil/water) and gas levels; and the availability of an owner's manual for the truck.

Ask for the contact number in the event of an accident or a breakdown (some companies will offer roadside assistance). Also ask what sort documentation is necessary to use as registration and to prove your right to drive the truck.

There are several ways to deal with the gasoline charges. Be aware that the rental companies will charge you inflated rates for the gas usage. Always make sure to fill the tank yourself before returning the rental truck. 

Now, get on your way to your new home...

If you want to have someone else move you, you can see some options on our "shippers" page!

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