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Cheapest Moving Truck Rental: Tips and Tricks

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The cheapest way to rent a moving truck requires you to follow certain tips and tricks before making a reservation. If you are on a tight budget and are looking for a rental truck at an affordable rate, there are several methods you can use to bring the cost down. Although the price will mostly be determined by factors like the size of the truck and the distance of the move, you will still be able to avoid the bill-inflating hidden charges to carry out a seamless move that fits your budget.

Cheapest Moving Truck Rental

Below are some tips and tricks on how to get the cheapest truck rental options.

Move less to pay less

The less stuff you move, the less you'll pay. The size of the truck you need to rent is directly proportional to the per-day rates; the bigger the truck the more expensive the rate. In order to rent the smallest truck possible, consider discarding some of the things you won't need at your new place. Reevaluate your belongings before making the reservation. What can you part with? Do you have several pieces of old, tattered furniture? Boxes of old clothes, toys, or other useless junk collecting dust in your closet?

Sort through your belongings and decide what you can throw away, donate, or sell. Having a yard sale or listing items online can also be a great way to raise some extra cash for your tight moving budget.

Request quotes and compare the prices

The best way to save money when renting a moving truck is to shop around. Truck rental agencies offer different prices and have different methods for calculating costs. Some companies may offer promotions at different times of the year or for certain types of moves.

When you call each company for a quote, be sure to tell them all the important details of your move and what services you'll need, such as:

  • truck rental insurance
  • moving tools like straps or dollies
  • the distance of the move
  • duration for which the truck will be needed

The more information the company representative has about your move, the more accurate their price quote will be. Once you have all the truck rental quotes, you can compare and choose the best deal.

Inquire about hidden charges

Truck rental companies typically charge you based on the truck size you need, the miles you are traveling, and the number of days you need the truck. However, there are a variety of other fees you could incur. These include late return fees, moving tools, fuel costs, one-way moves, cost recovery fees, peak-season charges, and rental tax.

Always read the fine print in your rental agreement to understand all the conditions of your contract before signing it. Asking questions about the possibility of extra charges will help you get the most accurate estimate and the best price.

Use discounts and offers

You'll often be able to find discount codes for a rental company that can save you hundreds of dollars on your move. Apart from such deals and offers, you can also try to bargain with the truck rental companies. There is no harm in exploring your options to get the cheapest truck rental.

Move during the off-season

Truck rental agencies charge higher premiums during peak season - usually from May to September - because their services are in more in-demand. This is because summer is the ideal period for moving as the weather is fair and school is out of session. If you reserve your truck during the off-season, say fall or winter, you'll probably pay a lower price.

Trucks may also be more affordable to rent on weekdays than weekends. Ask the company representative about the price differences for various days when calling for a quote.

Book the truck in advance

If you wait until the last minute to book your truck, you may not get the size you need. You also may wind up paying more, so book the truck in advance if possible.

Inspect the truck rental before booking

Before signing the contract inspect the truck thoroughly and ask questions about its maintenance to ensure it is in good condition. Low fluid levels, dirty air filters, and poor tire pressure can all contribute to decreased gas mileage - which will cost you more on gas. So, verify that the truck has been recently serviced and everything is up-to-par before signing the contract.

Load the truck properly

One of the most effective ways of getting the cheapest truck rental is to load the items strategically. Loading the items properly will save space, which means you'll be able to rent a smaller truck, which will be cheaper. However, be sure not to simply cram as much as possible into the truck as doing so can damage your belongings.

Practice green driving to save fuel

Driving a cumbersome moving truck filled to the brim with heavy furniture and boxes can burn a significant amount of gas. Practice green driving methods to burn less fuel and save money while traveling.

Most truck rentals will provide you with a half tank of gas; you will be responsible for returning it with the same amount - and, of course, you'll have to pay for any gas used during the trip. Some fuel-saving tips while driving a rental truck include maintaining a steady speed, driving slowly, using the a/c sparingly, and limiting idling.

Return the truck on time and in good shape

When you return the truck it's important that you drop it off in good shape and on-time. This way you will avoid paying any late fees or penalties for damaging the truck. Also, if the truck already had some damage before you started driving, make sure that you have proof so that the company doesn't charge you for that damage when you return the truck. The key is to rent a truck that is in good working condition - and to keep it that way.

Return the truck to the same location

When renting a moving truck, you have two options for returning the truck, depending on the distance of the move. If it's a local move, the truck can be picked up and dropped off at the same location. However, for a long-distance move (also known as one-way move), the pick-up and drop off locations will be different.

If you can't return the truck to its original location, the company will charge you more since they'll have to return it themselves or adjust the inventory at each location. Conversely, returning the truck to the same location doesn't affect the inventory and hence the rates will be lower.

Be sure to find out the charges for dropping off the truck at different locations to see which will be the cheapest. Also, if you are moving long-distance ask if you could save any money by returning the truck to certain locations in your new region that need inventory.

Cheapest moving truck rental companies

When it comes to the cheapest truck rental companies, the two biggest names are U-Haul and Budget. It's important to note that there is no sure-fire way to figure out the exact cost of renting a moving truck with these companies as there are too many factors involved. Despite this, when it comes to the pricing, U-Haul is seen as the cheapest truck rental company among all other reputed names.

U-Haul is not only the very first company to allow one-way rentals, but it's also the largest truck rental company with 20,000 locations across the US and Canada. Its most remarkable advantage is the variety of truck sizes it has available for rent. However, there is no unlimited mileage option offered by U-Haul, so other companies might wind up being cheaper if you're driving long-distance or have to make multiple trips.

Another good option is Budget, which offers several deals and discounts that may suit your needs. Budget isn't necessarily the cheapest way to rent a truck, but it is still among the most affordable. The biggest drawback with Budget is that it has a limited variety of truck sizes which may or may not suit your needs.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on April 4, 2014

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