Many people who are moving want to be as hands-on as possible. It makes sense—moving means packing up all your worldly possessions, so you want to make sure they’re handled by someone you trust. Who better than yourself?
Taking the self-directed approach to moving means dealing with some of the biggest obstacles other people might call movers to help them with. The biggest is renting the truck and hauling everything from your current place to your new one. Few people have ever driven anything bigger than a minivan, so renting a moving truck can seem like a foreign experience to them.
How much does it cost to rent a moving truck? Do I need a special permit? How do I load it properly? These questions and more are all valid and important to consider. Below, we’ll provide answers and some useful tips for renting a moving truck for your self-directed move.
Shop around for your needs
The simplest and easiest place to start when renting a moving truck is finding someone willing to rent to you! Not every moving company rents out its trucks, so be sure the company you’re talking with offers this service before you start asking about prices.
Once you’ve found a few companies willing to rent you a truck for your self-directed move, ask about fee structure. Do they charge by the day? The hour? The mileage? A flat fee? Not all companies have the same fee structure, so you’ll want to know exactly how you’re going to be charged for the rental. Once you know how, ask about the rate or costs and do some comparisons across each of your prospective companies.
Above all, make sure the company you’re renting from is reputable and that their equipment is in good condition. There are lots of moving companies out there looking to make a quick buck, so they’ll eagerly rent you their truck. But they might not be insured to rent equipment or their truck might not be in good condition. If something happens, you could be held liable for any costs or damages! Make sure you’re dealing with an above-board company.
Figure out capacity and logistics
Once you find a reputable moving company that can rent you a truck, start to work out the logistics of what, specifically, you need. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself or that a rental company might ask you as they help you determine your need for a specific type of truck:
- What is the total cubic footage of the truck?
- What is the estimated cubic footage of your items?
- What is the weight capacity of the truck?
- What is the estimated weight of your items?
- How many miles is the move, round-trip?
It’s very important for you to choose a moving truck that’s the right size, to assure a smooth moving experience. If you get a truck that’s too small, you’ll either need to unload all your stuff and reload on a larger truck, get a second truck, or leave some of your stuff behind and come back for it. These are all situations avoided with the right sized truck.
Lean on a professional to help you estimate and coordinate your truck rental. Someone who’s used to loading and driving these trucks every day will know about how much fits in them, how to load it properly and what to expect when you’re driving your items from one place to another. Don’t be afraid to ask about recommendations for the right size of truck and more.
Ask questions and get pricing
When you decide what you need in terms of a moving truck, take a moment to get a quote and ask any final questions.
The quote should give you a breakdown of what you’ll pay, as well as what’s expected of you when returning the truck. For example, you might be required to return the truck with a full tank of gas or with the cargo area swept out and empty. Other companies might hold a deposit on the truck until you bring it back. Knowing the stipulations of your rental and any associated costs and fees will give you the peace of mind you need for budgeting and when it comes time to actually rent the truck for your move.
It’s also a good idea to ask any questions you have. For example, ask about the available hours to drop the truck off when you’re done or if there’s a specific person you should return the keys to. You might want proof of insurance before you rent. Be specific when asking questions and make sure you feel totally comfortable in renting from your chosen company.
Get moving with the right truck
Self-directed moves take a lot of work. If you’re the only person you trust to get it done right, you’re going to need all the help you can get in terms of support services. Truck rental is the biggest and most important part of the move you’ll need to take care of. Find a reputable company, get an upfront quote and ask plenty of questions before you grab the keys and sign the agreement.
Whether you’re going across town or across the country, transporting your worldly possessions in the back of a moving truck is the most efficient way to get to where you’re going!