Renting a Moving Truck? What You Need to Know
If you’ve decided to move, then you’re likely planning out which moving options are best to get you and your belongings to your new home. Renting a moving truck can often be a cost-effective option if you’re looking to move your stuff yourself. But, as with any move, it takes some research and preparation — especially when you’re doing it yourself. Here are some tips for renting a moving truck that may help make your move a little more manageable.
Do Your Research
It’s important to think about the size of the truck you may need. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), most truck rental companies will help estimate the size of the vehicle needed for your move. A 12-foot truck may work if you’re moving out of a place with one to two rooms, says the BBB. If you have more than two rooms, consider something larger like a 16-foot truck, adds the BBB. Angie’s List suggests renting a larger truck than you think you might need to help avoid taking multiple trips with the truck.
Look at Insurance Coverages
Don’t forget to look into insurance coverage for the rental truck. Review your personal auto policy to determine whether its coverage will apply to the rented truck. This usually depends on how large the truck is, as many auto policies do not cover large vehicles. You may want to purchase coverage through the truck rental company.
A majority of truck rental companies charge a daily fee coupled with a cost per mile, says the BBB. Generally, the cost of the truck can vary based on the time of year you’re moving and the day of the week. Consider comparing rates at different times and days to see what option is right for your needs. The BBB also suggests moving midweek, if you can, when rates are often lower. You may also want to think about return trips or if your move will be a one-way rental. Remember, ask if the truck rental company offers any discounts, too.
Rent a truck that you’re comfortable driving. The BBB recommends sitting in the driver’s seat and making sure you’re OK with the size of the truck before heading out on the road. You might also want to map out the route you will be taking, and be sure to watch out for low bridges or detours. It might be a good idea to practice some basic driving maneuvers in an open parking lot before the truck is full of your belongings, says Angie’s List.
Inspect the Truck Before and After Use
Be sure to note any dents, dings or scratches to the truck before signing off on the rental agreement, says the BBB. This may help prevent the rental company from charging you for damage to the truck you didn’t do. Some rental companies charge a cleaning fee once the truck is returned, so make sure you thoroughly clean out the vehicle before returning it, says Angie’s List.
Remember, gas is usually not included in the truck rental, so don’t forget to budget for that in your moving expenses. Also, ask what type of fuel the truck uses and how much gas the truck had before you drive it off the lot. If the truck is returned with less gas than it had before you used it, you may potentially be charged an extra fee, the BBB notes.
With the help of these tips, your moving day may be a little more manageable so you can get back to enjoying your new place.
Originally published on June 14, 2013.