How to Rent a Moving Truck for Your Move

By Staff

If you're on a tight budget, one of the easiest ways to save on your moving cost is to do it yourself instead of hiring a moving company.

One of the bigger expenses in moving yourself you don't have a lot of control over: renting a truck. However, there are some things you can do to make this expense a little more palatable.

When Do You Need to Rent your Truck?

Truck rental companies tend to get busy in the summer -- and their rates reflect that. So when considering your move, investigate how much you can save by moving in off-peak season.

Also, whenever possible, try to book your rental truck well in advance, particularly if you move during the busy part of the year. If you plan to move then, try to reserve your rental as soon as you have fixed a moving date. Also be aware that many people move at the end of the month. You might save some money and have a greater choice of trucks if you rent in the middle of the month. (Don't want to hassle with driving a truck? Consider a self-service move -- you can load your stuff in a truck that someone else drives, then unload it at your new home.)

How Much Stuff Must You Move?

Start out with a complete and detailed inventory of what you need to move and try to get rid of any unwanted (or seldom-used) items and ensure that you are only moving those things you really want in your new home. The less stuff you have to move, the less work it is for you, and you might be able to rent a smaller truck and save some cash.

What Size Truck Do You Need to Rent?

You should be somewhat conservative in your choice of truck size: Making an extra trip for a local move can add a significant expense with mileage or gas charges. For a long distance move, it will create even more havoc. As a guide, each room to pack will need between 125 and 150 cubic feet. To convert cubic feet to actual truck size, here are some guidelines: * 10 ft truck - 1 bedroom small apartment- approximately 350 cubic feet * 15 ft truck - 2 bedroom house or apartment- approximately 750 cubic feet * 20 ft truck - 3-4 bedroom house- approximately 1,250 cubic feet * 25 ft truck - large 5-8 bedroom house- approximately 1,550 cubic feet

What Other Supplies Do I Need?

Most truck rental agencies can provide you with pads and dollies. Pads are relatively inexpensive and they protect your furniture, appliances and any other items that have the potential to be damaged during your move. Dollies are essential for heavier items and can be rented for $7 - $15 per dolly usually.

Do I Need Extra Insurance?

Rental agencies will offer you additional insurance for a per-day cost for each day you rent the truck. Before accepting this option, check with your credit card company to learn if they have coverage to protect you when renting a truck.

Sometimes credit card companies exclude insurance coverage on moving vans and moving trucks. If you choose to go with your credit card insurance or select the rental truck insurance options, ask the following questions:
What's the deductible?
Is there protection in case of collision?
Is their coverage in other cities or states?
What happens in the case of theft of your items from the truck?
Are your own personal items covered inside the truck in case of an accident?

Make sure you are fully aware of how your coverage is going to work, well before you set out on your move.