If you’re planning a do-it-yourself move, securing the right moving truck is certainly one of the primary tasks ahead.
Getting the right one for your move just might make or break your moving experience, so be sure to plan ahead and choose carefully.
Follow these steps to rent the perfect truck!
Which size truck to rent?
When it comes to selecting the right moving truck, the first thing to determine is the size truck you’ll need. Company sites typically have an “easy-to-estimate” guide that walks you through the decision-making process based on how much stuff a certain-size truck can manage.
Most companies seem to break it down along these lines:
- One bedroom — 10-ft truck
- Two bedrooms — 15-ft truck
- Three to four bedrooms — 20-ft truck
- Five to eight bedrooms — 25-ft truck
Estimate 10% to 15% more space than you think you’ll need. There is nothing worse in the moving experience than discovering too late that your stuff won’t fit in the truck you’ve rented!
Once you determine what size truck you’ll need, begin price comparisons based on whether your move is local or long-distance. If you can return the truck to its point of origin, you may pay less. Be sure to check out different truck companies’ price per day when comparing offers.
Remember that when you are moving can impact rates. Be sure to ask for seasonal specials if your move is during colder months or on either side of the summertime crunch.
Who’s going to drive?
Keep in mind that a moving truck of nearly any size will not drive like a typical car. You’ll want to have a driver – you or someone else – who feels comfortable getting the vehicle from Point A to Point B. Consider that an automatic transmission might be easier than a manual. You may also have other options to improve the comfort of your journey: ask about air conditioning, CD player or MP3 input, types of mirrors, and styles of loading doors, for instance.
Reserving the truck
When your decision is made, book your reservation as soon as possible. Also be sure to reserve other items you might need from the rental company, like hand trucks and furniture pads, plus boxes to start your packing. If you’re moving during the peak season of June through August, the further in advance you can make your reservation, the greater the likelihood you will get the exact kind of truck you want.
Plan your route as much as possible to avoid narrow openings, busy streets, hills, and left turns. There may be some difficult parts of your journey that can’t be avoided, but if you eliminate as many as possible, you can considerably reduce your stress.
Similarly, if you are an inexperienced driver feeling uncertain about tackling a truck, don’t plan your move for a time when there might be ice or snow on the roads. Carefully consider your loading and unloading areas, as well, and make sure that you position the truck for an easy exit.
Being able to rent your moving truck and relocate on your own terms can be a cost-saving and liberating option for many people. When you plan ahead to choose the right truck for your move and consider your own driving preferences, you’re sure to make the experience a smoother one!
Photo credits: Shutterstock / jonson, bikeriderlondon, B Calkins