As someone that has rented hundreds of U-Haul trucks over the years, I am all to familiar with the costs associated with renting one of these moving trucks or trailers. While the flashy graphics of the trucks may be a little misleading, let me take a moment and explain all of the potential expenses you will encounter when renting a U-Haul moving truck or trailer.
Daily Rental Rate
This is the big flashy graphic that you are likely used to seeing in all of U-Haul’s advertisements, where the big $19.95 is highlighted in a bright green star. These ads are solely displaying the daily rental rate for having possession of the truck. The daily rates are for local rentals only and vary based on the size of the truck or trailer you wish to rent. At this time (which has remained unchanged for over a decade) the daily rates for trucks range from $19.95 up to $39.95 per day. Trailer rental rates run anywhere from $14.95 to $54.95 per day based on the size or equipment desired. When renting a U-Haul, you are going to be charged the same rate for a 6-hour rental as you would for a 24-hour rental. Do not let them rush you to double their income potential by getting you to agree to pay a full day’s rent and only have the truck for a few hours, keep it overnight and give yourself plenty of time to work.
In addition to the daily rate, when renting a U-Haul moving truck, you will be charged a mileage rate. When you pick up the truck the odometer is recorded and you sign agreeing the starting mileage was accurate (make sure to visually check this yourself before signing the contract). When you return the truck, the mileage will again be recorded to determine how many miles you put on the truck. Also be sure to visually check the odometer when you return the truck and verify the contract to ensure they put the same number in that you saw in the truck. The mileage rate currently runs anywhere from $0.59 to $1.09 per mile based in the day of the week and the location of the rental across the United States.
Dealerships are trained to sell you on purchasing their private rental insurance when renting their equipment. The deal is really not all that bad. If you damage the truck at all, you are liable for payment for damages upon returning the truck to the dealership. However, if you have the insurance and an accident happens, you are covered from the cost of repairs. The insurance runs around $14 – $28 based on level of coverage you desire. This is not however required to rent the equipment, just be aware your own car insurance will not cover moving truck rentals. If you are not certain of what could happen on the road, get the insurance to prevent the hassle and costs of an accident.
You are also responsible for the gas in the truck. Whatever the gage reads at the time you pick up the truck, it needs to be at the same level upon return. You can put the same unleaded gas in these trucks as most typical vehicles at any gas station. If you fail to refill the tank to its starting level, you will be billed a large fuel surcharge (at least $25 -$40) plus the cost of the gas by the dealership.
In all the rental of a midsized truck for one day while putting about 50 miles on it with the optional insurance included would cost you a total of somewhere around $100 plus taxes. This is what you need to consider when you decide to rent a U-Haul moving truck.