When moving locally (short distance), organizing a self-move by renting a moving truck and transporting your household items on your way can be a good way to have complete control over your house move.

As long as you know what to expect when renting a truck to move on your own, you should be able to turn your DIY move into a successful relocation experience from start to finish. So, how to rent a moving truck?

Here are the top 10 tips for renting a moving truck – useful pieces of advice that you will help you organize your self-move like a true house moving expert.

1. CONFIRM that renting a moving truck is the way to go

Renting a moving truck vs. hiring movers is a classic pre-move dilemma that you may face early in your preparation. To resolve it successfully, base your decision on the following factors:

  • moving cost, move distance, number of items to move, number of specialty items to move, time until the day of the move, moving labor, packing/unpacking, and safety.

2. PICK a trustworthy truck rental company

The moment you’ve decided that the best way to approach your upcoming house move will be to organize a self-move – most often when you’re moving locally within the same state or to a neighboring state – it’s time to pick a good truck rental company as your trusted partner.

To find one of the best moving truck companies near you,

  • Request truck rental quotes from several moving van rental companies.
  • Compare carefully the received offers. The thing is that you don’t want to go with the first company that you come across – see various quotes before making your final decision.
  • Pick the moving truck company that that best seems to fit your budget and meet your requirements.

3. SELECT the right size of moving truck

Moving truck rentals have different cargo capacities – starting from 10 ft. trucks and going all the way to 26 ft. trucks. As a rule of thumb, 10 ft. truck should be able to fit the items from a studio apartment or a 1-bedroom apartment, while a 26 ft. the truck should fit all the stuff found in a 3- or 40-bedroom home.

Speak with the experts at the truck rental agency to determine the right size of moving truck for your needs. And when you do, reserve your moving truck ASAP to get a better price and a greater choice of available vehicles.

4. HAVE a deeper understanding about moving truck rental costs

  • Moving truck rental companies charge a daily rate that is different for each size of cargo vehicle.
  • Some truck rental agencies offer a set number of miles included on the base of the move distance. You can always purchase additional mileage, if necessary.
  • Some nationwide truck rental companies offer unlimited mileage when you hire one-way truck rentals.
  • The majority of truck rental agencies charge more on weekends, around national holidays and at the beginning and end of each calendar month. The reason for those higher truck rental rates is that the cargo trucks are in high demand during those peak periods.

5. DETERMINE if you’ll need to rent more than just a moving truck

You may not realize this but the best moving truck rental companies in the country offer much more than just moving vehicles to rent. 

  • Cargo trailers, utility trailers for moving tall and odd-shaped items, and car/motorcycle trailers to tow behind your personal vehicle;
  • Temporary storage for your household items;
  • Moving boxes and packing supplies (packing paper, Bubble wrap, plastic wrap, packing tape, etc. so that you can pack up your things quickly and safely;

6. LEARN more about one-way moving truck rental

If you happen to be moving across town, then you should be able to return the rented truck to the location you rented it from. This way, the truck rental company will charge you less simply because you’re bringing the moving truck back to the same place and they won’t have to worry about balancing out their truck fleet to meet any increased demand.

On the other hand, if you’re moving to another city within the same state or to another state altogether, then you will need to drop off the rented vehicle to a place that is different from the place you rented it. The drop-off location is the nearest office of the same truck rental company in the destination town or city. And that is known as ONE-WAY MOVING TRUCK RENTAL.

7. PURCHASE adequate insurance when renting a moving truck

One thing you may have forgotten to include in your moving expenses is the price of the insurance you’re required to have when renting a moving truck as part of your self-move planning. 

  • Damage waivers. This is a protection plan that will protect you financially in case the items you’re moving get damaged or stolen, or in case the moving truck gets damaged in an accident.
  • Personal accident and cargo protection. These are types of insurance that will protect you and your belongings that are inside the vehicle in case you get injured or your things get damaged by a number of causes listed in the insurance policy.
  • Auto tow protection. This is an insurance plan that covers you in case the personal car you’re towing on a rented trailer gets damaged or stolen on the road.

8. BEAR IN MIND the extra charges, fees, and fines

In the end, renting a truck to move on your own may cost you more than you planned. Why? There are a number of extra charges, fees, fines and penalties which you should be well aware of from the start so that you can avoid spending more money than you would have liked to.

  • You’re going to have to return the rented cargo vehicle with the same amount of fuel it had at the time of renting it. 
  • You’re going to be penalized if you return the vehicle with any visible damage EVEN if it was pre-existing and you were not the one responsible for it. This is why it’s very important that you do a detailed visual inspection of the moving vehicle prior to renting it. If you do find any type of damage, report it immediately to the company so that you don’t get blamed for it later.

9. GET READY to drive a moving truck cross country

How old do you have to be to rent a moving truck? You must be 18 years of age or older to rent a moving truck and drive the big vehicle to wherever you’re moving to. Of course, you’ll also need to have a valid driver’s license.

  • Familiarize yourself with the basic controls of the moving truck.
  • Check if the rental truck is loaded properly for a safer relocation trip.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and always apply the brakes early and gradually. Never slam on the brakes.


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