If you're planning a DIY move, unless you're just starting out and pack all your stuff in the trunk of your car, you're likely to need a truck or van to help you get the job done. If you're moving a house, it's unlikely that even getting your friend with a pick-up truck to swing by will be enough; that's when you need to work with a company that rents moving trailers and trucks.
While your town may have local moving companies
that will complete your move for you, full-service moves are often expensive. Unless you're moving a significant number of possessions, they're rarely economical. A DIY move – renting the truck, getting friends and relatives to help you pack up and load a truck
, then driving to your new location where you unpack all over again – is usually the most economical option for getting your move done.
In general, it's best to work with a nationally known moving truck company. These companies have fleets of trucks that are (hopefully) in good repair. Their reputation protects you to a certain degree, and you can be fairly sure that if you need to put a deposit down on a truck
, it'll be there the day you need it. There are several major companies you can choose from in most communities. While getting a quote online is always the best way to find accurate pricing, these numbers and details will help you get started.
U-Haul is certainly the best-known player in the DIY move game. Some basics:
Truck sizes include 10, 15, 17, 20, 24 and 26 feet
Cargo vans and pickups are also available
Cargo, utility, and car trailers are available
U-Box containers are an option
While truck and van options are familiar to most people, container shipping is new to many movers. The U-Box option allows movers to pack up the belongings in a storage container which is then moved to their new location on the date they choose.
U-Haul also offers several different protection plans that are appropriate for different trips and types of transportation.
One downside of U-Haul is that because they're so big, service is unlikely to be particularly individualized. There are also so many options for moving truck sizes that it's easy to feel overwhelmed.
Penske trucks are much smaller than U-Haul, but are partnered with Home Depot to give their customers more options in delivery locations.
Truck sizes include 12, 16, 22, and 26 feet
Towing equipment includes a car carrier
Penske offers a variety of insurance plans that are based on your travel needs; again, it's best to discuss with your specific representative what would be most appropriate for your situation.
Most people know that Enterprise rents cars, but fewer people are aware of their moving truck division.
Trucks include 15, 16, 24, and 26 feet sizes
Cargo vans and pickup trucks are also available
That said, Enterprise is primarily useful for people who are moving to a fairly close location; rental agreements stipulate that moving trucks must be returned to the same location as they were rented from. For many larger companies, the truck can be returned at any authorized dealer. Still, customer satisfaction with the company is very high, so if you're moving around town, or picking up a new piece of furniture from a company that doesn't do delivery, Enterprise may be just what you're looking for.
Much like Enterprise, customers are familiar with renting cars from Budget, but may not have heard that they can rent moving vehicles.
Trucks include 10, 16, and 24 feet options.
Budget's overall operation is a lot smaller than U-Haul, which may make finding a local dealer a challenge; customer experience also seems to vary from dealer to dealer. This may mean that it's particularly important to get information and recommendations from local Budget users before making a decision.
With so many moving company options out there, it's not surprising that customers can get overwhelmed by their choices. Many websites offer guesses of how much truck space you need – for example, they might say that a one bedroom apartment needs a particular size of truck, but if you find that you have either way too much truck – or nothing like enough – for your needs, there's really nothing you can do on the day of your move to change your mind.
While you can make reservations with each of these companies online, it's a good idea to speak to your local dealer to make sure the truck you want will be in stock on the appropriate day, and that all of your questions are answered before you put down a deposit.
Written by Margarita Hakobyan
If you need an assistance with loading or unloading of your rental truck, browse through the links below to find an affordable moving labor in your state.