If you have the extra time to do the packing, loading, and driving on
your own, you may be considering renting a truck for your move. A low-cost
alternative to hiring full-service movers, truck rentals are a great way to save
some money. However, just like hiring a moving company, renting a truck requires
planning and research.
The following tips will help you understand the
truck rental process so you can find the best service for the right price.
What size truck do you need?
The first step to renting a truck
for your move is determining the size you require. This will depend on the size
of your home and the volume of your belongings. While your needs will vary
depending on how much furniture or other large items you must move, the
following will give you an idea of the size truck you'll need:
- 26': 4+ bedrooms
- 24': 3- 4 bedrooms
- 17': 2 - 3 bedrooms
- 14': 1-2 bedrooms
- 10': studio or small one-bedroom apartment
You can also call
rental truck companies with a description of your shipment to get a
recommendation for the truck size best suited for your move.
TIP: It's a good idea to rent a truck
at least 10 to 15 percent larger than what you think you'll need to ensure you
will have enough space.
Rental truck costs may be determined by:
- The size of your truck
- The distance you are traveling
- The number of days you use the truck
- The need for a one-way rental (long distance moves) vs. a local, round-trip
- The time of year you move
Some rental companies will also charge
additional fees or require you to replenish the fuel before returning the truck.
When receiving estimates from rental truck companies, be sure to ask questions
about any extra charges.
Before choosing any rental truck company, it's
important to shop around. Call at least three to five companies to compare
available services and costs.
Some questions to ask:
- What size truck will I need? (give a description of your home size, volume
of goods, and any especially large furniture items)
- What is included in the price?
- What is the cost per mile?
- Are there extra costs per day I have the truck?
- Is it more expensive for a one-way move?
- Are there any discounts available for the time period I'm moving?
- How much gas needs to be in the tank when I return the truck?
- Can I cancel my reservation and how far in advance?
- Are there any cancellation fees?
- Do you require a deposit?
After receiving several estimates,
conduct a background check of any truck rental service you are considering for
hire to ensure they are reliable and legitimate. Read online customer reviews
and check websites such as MovingScam.com
for complaints about unethical
companies and poor business practices. Some examples of truck rental scams
include requesting a deposit without holding a reservation, adding on hidden
fees, and claiming false damage to a truck after its return.
Reserve the truck
Once you choose your company, call and make
your reservation. Truck rental reservations should be made at least two weeks in
advance. If you are moving during peak season (June through September) you
should reserve the vehicle at least one month in advance. Moving services are in
high demand during the summer months, and may book up quickly.
reserving the truck, the company will need to know:
- The size truck you wish to rent
- The distance of your move
- Your pickup and drop off locations
- The date and time you plan on picking and dropping off the
Depending on your method of payment, you may be asked to pay a
deposit upon reserving your truck.
Ask about insurance
Depending on your auto or home insurance
policy, you may or may not be covered in case of an accident. Be sure to find
out this out in advance, so you can inquire about purchasing coverage from your
rental company. The agency will provide you with insurance on the vehicle for a
small fee per day.
The company may also offer you additional coverage for
damage to your shipment. Ask about your insurance options and the cost of each
plan--make the optimal choice for distance of your move and the value of your
shipment. Check with your homeowner's insurance for possible coverage of your
goods before purchasing a policy from the rental agency.
Have the right tools
The truck isn't the only moving tool you'll
require for your do-it-yourself relocation. You will need other materials to
protect and safely load your goods, furniture and appliances into the truck. You
can rent these items from your rental truck agency--ask about your options and
prices when receiving your truck estimate.
Some essentials include:
- Moving pads/blankets: These are used to wrap and protect
furniture and appliances from scratches, dents and dings.
- Dolly/hand truck: These useful apparatuses make it simple to maneuver
your most cumbersome items, such as refrigerators, couches, and washers/dryers.
You can even use them to transport high stacks of boxes to minimize your trips.
- Straps: Straps are used to support heavy items carried manually to
limit strain on your back.
Inspect the truck
When you arrive at the agency on pick-up day,
be sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle
before signing any papers. Check the
truck's exterior and interior for any damage, specifically scratches, dents,
dings, or fabric rips and stains. Verify that any and all current damage to the
vehicle is noted on the inspection sheet.
Also remember to check the
truck's fuel level and odometer for mileage and ensure that is accurately
recorded in the paperwork.
Sign the documents
After signing the rental agreement, make sure
you keep a copy with you during your move. You should also have copies of the
inspection report and insurance forms. After your move is complete, be sure to
retain these documents in a safe place in case any dispute arises later.
Get truck rental quotes
Need a truck rental quote for your move?
Fill out this fast and easy quote form
to get FREE moving truck rental