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7 Things You Should Know about U-Haul® before Renting a Truck

October 15th, 2018 - 10:06 AM

Before renting a U-Haul truck, go over these details

You’ve probably noticed U-Haul® trucks on the road or in rental lots in different cities and wondered if they’re the best option for your upcoming move. The answer is: it depends. While they might be a great option for local moves, long distance trips are an entirely different situation, and there may be some extra things to consider. If you’re thinking about using U-Haul for your move, here are some things to know before making a reservation:

U-Haul truck rental

Important things to know about U-Haul rental trucks

1. U-Haul reservations are only guaranteed the day before the move

No matter how early you reserve the truck, it isn’t guaranteed until the day before you’re scheduled to pick it up. At that time, a representative will contact you to verify the details (equipment, location, date and pick-up time). Once you agree on the specifics, the reservation is considered “guaranteed.”

U-Haul has many different truck sizes, and each location has different equipment in their inventory, so it may be difficult to get the one you need. If the size you requested isn’t available, U-Haul may offer you a larger truck or suggest a different rental location. According to U-Haul, if you verify the details of the move with a representative, but they are unable to fulfill the correct equipment, you’re eligible for $50 compensation. But while that’s helpful, it can create stress to not have the truck you wanted. 

2. U-Haul prices don’t include one important thing: fuel

Depending on how far you’re driving, fuel can really impact the overall cost of a U-Haul rental. Trucks get anywhere from 9-12 mpg, so depending on the size of your move and the number of miles between origin and destination, it can get costly. In some cases, it could almost double the price.

3. A one-way move includes a limited number of days and miles

U-Haul considers picking up the truck at one location and dropping it off at another a “one-way move.” For these, U-Haul gives you a set number of days and miles to complete the rental, based on where you’re moving to and from. Local rentals include a per-mile-fee. 

If you need additional miles or days, purchase them before the move: $40 per day for trucks, $20 per day for trailers and $.40 per mile. 

4. You may not be able to drive as fast as you want

For a long trip, you might imagine hitting the open road, setting the cruise control and zooming to your new home. However, since their fleet of trucks includes different makes and models, cruise control may not be an option on all vehicles. And depending on the equipment, there could be a maximum speed allowed. Read more about U-Haul truck driving speeds.  

5. Equipment gets driven frequently

Rental trucks are consistently driven from city to city and state to state. Before hitting the road, it’s vital to perform an inspection to ensure everything is in good working order. It’s also important to have a Plan B in case something goes wrong. Keep your phone charged and know what to do in case of a breakdown or other emergency. 

6. Locations may be franchises

For a long-distance move, you’ll interact with people at multiple U-Haul locations. Many of them are franchises, so even if you call the national corporate hotline to get a quote, make a reservation or ask questions, the individual businesses handle the move. Some sites are dedicated to renting trucks with full fleets and storage facilities. Others might keep a few vehicles in conjunction with another business (like a gas station), and may not be as full service. Policies and procedures can vary by location, so double check details like operating hours and acceptable forms of payment. 

7. Not just anyone can rent a truck or trailer

U-Haul has specific requirements for rental, including age, driver’s license and forms of identification. They also have some vehicles that they won’t rent trailers with, so it’s important to check that you qualify. Read more about the U-Haul rental requirements here. 

Learn more about renting a truck with this comprehensive truck rental guide

Need to do some more research?

Another great way to learn more about a service is through customer reviews. It can provide a great picture of what to expect. Check the Better Business Bureau®, Yelp® and social media sites like Facebook® to hear from actual U-Haul customers.

And if U-Haul doesn’t sound like the ideal fit for your move, check out U-Pack®. It’s a truck rental alternative where you do the packing and loading, but U-Pack does the driving. Rates include fuel, taxes, liability coverage, transportation and the moving equipment. Get a free moving quote online or by calling 800-413-4799 to compare.


*This blog was originally posted on 9/18/2013. It has been updated with current information.

U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc.  Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.

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