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Are you considering renting a U-Haul truck for an upcoming move? Whether you need to move you and your family across the state, or you’ve just got some building materials for an up-and-coming product you need to move, you’re probably going to need to rent a truck.

Your first choice may be a U-Haul rental, but do you know all you should know about this rental company before you go ahead and trust them with your money and your goods?

Well, if not, we have formed a list that has all you need to know about the U-Haul truck rental service so that you can be much more informed and better prepared when you rent your first truck.

The first task will be finding a local U-Haul. One of the better ways is to search online for U-Haul near me. You should see the nearest U-Haul’s closest to your location. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has an in-depth resource covering pricing and other things you should know about U-Haul.

In the past, we have reviewed Home Depot rental trucks, which is one of U-Haul’s competitors. Now it’s time to showcase what an excellent DIY moving company U-Haul is as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the basics for renting a truck through U-Haul.

Not Everyone Can Rent a U-Haul
Although you don’t need a commercial driving license to drive a U-Haul rental, there are still some requirements you’re going to need to rent one for yourself.

You’re going to need:
– To be old enough to rent one (18-plus)
– A valid U.S. driving license
– A credit or debit card, so you can reserve a truck online

With all these things considered, you might qualify to rent your own U-Haul, though you better get looking for other options if you do not have all of these three things in order…though you might have a friend or family member who does.

U-Haul Rates Aren’t So Simple
U-Haul rates have a flat amount you’re going to pay normally, and then everything else is based on the equipment size you require to the dates you want the truck for, which could cost even more depending on the demand.

You should also note that it is best to budget for non-included expenses such as fuel or potential damage that might happen when you’re using the truck.

Ultimately, U-Haul rental rates are not as straightforward as we’d like them to be, so make sure you’re budgeting for absolutely anything, so you are not hit with unnecessary fees.

You Might Need to Fill the Tank Up a Lot
Now, this depends on how far you’re traveling, so if you’ve got a local move planned, then you shouldn’t really have to worry too much about what we’re going to say here.
But if you’re moving across the country, you should be expected to have to stop and fill up every 300 to 400 miles on average, since U-Haul trucks only get about 10 to 12 miles per gallon.

Again, just like in our previous bit of advice, fuel is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to using the U-Haul service, so it’s not something that everybody accounts for, especially since you’re not paying for this upfront, so it might come as an unexpected fee if you’ve used other all-inclusive services.

Ensure Everything Is Damage-Free Beforehand
The trucks and the equipment that goes along with them are being used every day by many different people, which could mean that there are unseen damages that have been made before you’ve even got them into your hands.

Because of this, we would advise doing your own inspection checks before you go on ahead with your move so that you know everything is going to be in tiptop working order when you need it.

And of course, so you don’t get hit with any fees if the company believes you’re the one responsible for damage to the truck or the equipment.

Making a Reservation Doesn’t Mean You’re Going to Get What You Need
Even if you’ve booked weeks in advance, there is no guarantee you’re even going to get the equipment you need, though you will find this information out the day before you’re scheduled to pick up the truck and said equipment.

A representative will usually call you and go over all the details of the whole transaction beforehand.

If it turns out you can’t get what you need, for whatever reason, they may suggest going to a different U-Haul location where they might have the things you need, or in some cases, you will need to reschedule the transaction altogether.

You could be eligible for a $50 compensation if this happens, which isn’t much, but at least it is something.

You Might Need Some Experience to Drive the Truck
Driving a large truck or pulling a trailer can take some serious skill and experience to maneuver properly.

If you’re not comfortable navigating the equipment yourself, then a more experienced friend or family member could do it for you, assuming they are verified to do so. The person who signs the contract is responsible for any damages done, just to keep that in mind.

Not All Locations Are the Same
While you can call the corporate hotline for a quote, get a reservation or simply ask questions, each location can be very different from the next, which means some of them have dedicated fleets whilst others may only hold a couple of vehicles at a time.

Some U-Haul locations may be a part of another business, too, such as a gas station, which means they may not offer a full service like the other branches. Policies and procedures can vary as well. Keep in mind that renting a moving truck from U-Haul is for local moves. They are not appropriate for long-distance moving.

Loading Your Truck Correctly Can Save You Money
Not only will loading your truck correctly save you money, because you’ll be able to fit everything in a smaller space, which means you’re going to need a smaller truck to do so, but it can also save you a huge headache.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you can pack your truck up as good as possible:
– Remember to disassemble all of your furniture.
– Place the heaviest/largest items on the truck first
– Heavier items should go toward the front of the truck (the cab)
Small moving boxes should be the last thing that gets loaded onto the truck
– Make sure your couches and mattress are arranged vertically
– Don’t forget to use padding to protect important items from breaking
– Remember to use straps or tie-downs to make sure your items aren’t banging against each other throughout the whole journey.

Who is U-Haul’s Competition for Truck Rentals?
When it comes to local moving, as mentioned previously, U-Haul’s chief competitor is Home Depot. Without a doubt, Home Depot truck rentals are a viable option for those who are moving around their city or town. They have competitive pricing and do not charge for mileage. You will pay to rent the truck based on the time you have it away from the store.

When renting a truck, it will certainly be worth doing a little comparison shopping with Home Depot vs. U-Haul.

Final Thoughts on Renting a U-Haul Truck
By now, you have learned quite a bit about renting a moving truck through U-Haul. Whether it is DIY or hiring professionals, it makes sense to do your homework whenever doing any kind of move. Hopefully, you have gotten something out of this guide to renting a U-Haul truck and can put the information to good use.

Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 33 years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England for the past decade. In 2018, he was the No. 1 RE/MAX real estate agent in Massachusetts.