6 tips for moving truck rentals
(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Bob B.)
When you’re moving a small household or just moving a short distance, renting a moving truck can save you considerable costs in moving expenses. Moving truck rentals are available for in-town or one-way moves and most rental providers offer vehicles in varying sizes to suit your needs. Follow these seven tips to help determine what type of moving truck rental can best suit your needs:
What size do you need?
A smaller truck with a cargo area that’s only 12 feet long is probably best for smaller apartments or one to two rooms of furniture. For more rooms or larger moves, other truck sizes from 16 to 26 feet are available. It’s always easier to spend a bit more and rent more truck than you need rather than having to take multiple trips due to underestimating the vehicle size your move will require.
Rent what you can drive
With the wide variety of sizes of moving or cargo truck available, it’s important to consider if you’ll be able to safely drive the vehicle you rent. Before signing a rental agreement, sit in the drivers’ seat to make sure you’re comfortable with the size of the vehicle.
Many but not all moving truck rentals feature automatic transmissions, but it’s always a good idea to check and be sure before renting. If you’ve rented a larger moving truck, take the time to practice and get comfortable maneuvering it in an empty parking lot or a secluded area before packing your belongings.
Get the right insurance
Moving truck rental companies may offer different forms of insurance overage for the vehicle during your move. Insurance can cover more than just the vehicle and your liability, it should also cover your belongings in case of accident or damage. Since your personal auto insurer likely won’t cover the moving truck, it can be a good idea to purchase additional insurance for peace of mind.
Ease of loading and unloading
Not all moving or cargo trucks offer the same features. If you’re moving a large number of heavy items like furniture or other furnishings, a loading ramp or powered lift gate can be well worth the extra expense by making your move easier and less physically demanding. A hand truck is another option that can make a move easier.
Daily or weekly charges
Depending on the rental company, they may charge by the day, weekend or week. Ask what the rates for several different date scenarios would be. Renting a truck during the week is always cheaper than on the weekend, when DIY moving is in full swing. Be realistic in how long your move will take and compare it to the cost renting for an extra day, often you won’t be charged for extra days if you turn the vehicle in early.
Check the vehicle before signing the rental agreement
Most rental providers will conduct a walkthrough and inspection of the vehicle prior to finalizing the rental agreement. The inspection should include checking the existing damage, interior and exterior, as well as the tires, windshield glass and other features. Note any damage, even if relatively minor, to ensure you won’t be charged for damage you didn’t cause.
Clean out the vehicle before returning it
Before you drop off the truck, make sure you’ve have adequately cleaned or swept out the cargo hold as well as the cab interior. Some rental companies will charge a cleaning fee if the vehicle is not returned in clean condition. Ensure that all moving equipment such as moving blankets, dollies or hand trucks are present to avoid a charge for missing equipment.