Should You Rent a Moving Truck?
When moving to a new place, you have to figure out how to move all of your things. Moving trucks are an obvious solution with no shortage of providers, but they’re not always the right solution to the problem. To figure out if you need to rent a truck, use these questions as a guide.
How much stuff do I have?
This should be the most obvious question to ask, but it’s easy to overlook. If you’re moving out of a small space and don’t have a lot of large possessions to move, you might not even need the truck. Using your own vehicle or getting help from friends or family may be enough to get you there.
Can I move without the truck?
The decision to rent a truck isn’t just about how much you have to move. Consider the following factors:
- How many friends/family you can get to help?
- How long do you have to make the move?
- How close you currently live to where you’re moving?
Given the right situation, you could skip the truck entirely and move things over a bit at a time, with maybe one big day needed for moving the largest items.
How much does this cost?
If you’re unable to make the move with just the resources you have, it’s time to start looking at the cost of renting from different companies. There’s no shortage of companies, meaning a lot of competition for the lowest prices, but make sure you take any numbers you’re quoted with a grain of salt.
What are the hidden costs?
The number you’re quoted from each company can be misleading. You’re going to have a lot of costs that come up along the way, not all of them hidden in the fine print.
- Moving equipment: You’re going to want to use packing blankets, dollies, and the like. Sometimes they’re included with the truck, and other times you’re going to have to pay a little extra for them.
- Insurance: Some car insurance policies will cover you renting the truck, so check to be sure if yours does. If not, your insurance company or the rental company can point you in the right direction.
- Mileage and returning the truck: How many miles are covered by the rental fee? If you go over, you’re going to have to pay for each mile you drive over the limit. Returning the truck late will likely also result in a fee.
- Gas: You’re going to have to pay for gas on your trip, and trucks aren’t the most fuel-efficient vehicles, especially when loaded down with all your possessions, so budget for that. Also, make sure to fill up the truck before returning it – you can be charged for returning it low on fuel.
You need to look at all these costs, not just relying on the quote for the rental.
How well can I drive the truck? Can someone else drive for me?
If you’re used to small cars, you’re probably going to be thrown off by how big the truck is. It’s not impossible to adapt to, but it’s something you might not be comfortable doing. If you can get friends or family to help you move, they could drive for you, depending on the specifics of the rental agreement.
There’s no one right answer for everyone. If the signs point to yes, talk to your rental company about any additional questions you have and make sure you rent the right truck for your move. In no time, you’ll be trading in your rental truck keys for new apartment keys.