11 Key Things to Know When Renting a U-Haul Truck or Trailer (2024)

11 Key Things to Know When Renting a U-Haul Truck or Trailer (1)

Preparing for a DIY move? If so, you’re going to need a rental truck to haul all of your belongings. For many, this means renting a trusted U-Haul moving truck. Thankfully, with thousands of locations nationwide, it’s easy to find a U-Haul franchise near you. The company offers plenty of trucks, trailers and services to meet your moving needs.

Here are 11 important things to know about renting from U-Haul as well as more tips for a successful DIY move.

  1. Some U-Haul equipment is only available for local moves

    Those setting off on a long-distance move won’t be able to rent just anything. U-Haul’s cargo van, pickup truck and open trailer are reserved for localmoves only.

  2. You can purchase additional days or mileage for a one-way move

    In-town moves have a flat rate — starting at $19.95 — plus a per-mile fee. Smaller trucks have a lower flat rate and mileage fees, according to U-Haul. Mileage rates vary based on several factors and may change, even daily (rates are lowest Sunday through Thursday). But in general, average mileage fees are between $.59 and $.99 per mile driven. One-way rental prices encompass a designated mileage allowance and a predetermined number of days. If you need additional miles, they can be added at a rate of $1 per mile. Additional days can be added to one-way rentals for $40 per day. Per U-Haul, the best way to estimate the cost of a one-way or in-town move is to get a quote.

  3. Most of U-Haul’s moving trucks can seat three passengers

    While most U-Haul moving trucks can seat up to three passengers, not all of them will. According to U-Haul, the company’s 10 ft. moving truck and cargo van are equipped with only two seats for passengers.

  4. You can rent more than just moving trucks

    In addition to the typical moving truck, U-Haul offers cargo vans, pickup trucks, U-Box containers, and trailers for towing.

  5. Rental moving trucks don’t have great gas mileage

    Be aware that U-Haul’s rental trucks don’t offer great gas mileage. This is especially true for the company’s larger trucks. For instance, U-Haul’s 26 ft. moving truck only gets 10 miles per gallon. The company’s 10 ft. moving truck gets 12 miles per gallon — albeit with a smaller fuel tank capacity of 31 gallons. If you’re planning a local move, this may not be such a big deal. However, those moving long-distance or across the country should be aware that the fuel costs of renting a U-Haul moving truck do add up quickly.

  6. You probably won’t need to stop at a weigh station (but you might!)

    You most likely will not need to stop at a weigh station when driving a U-Haul moving truck. According to U-Haul, customers are normally not required to stop because it is not considered a commercial move. However, a few states do require non-commercial trucks that exceed a certain weight (usually 10,000 pounds) to stop in at the weigh stations. To find out more about a state’s weigh station requirements, check the state’s local Department of Transportation for details.

  7. U-Haul’s rental trucks come in a variety of sizes

    Choosing the right size rental truck is absolutely crucial. Trust us — you do not want to spend hours loading up the truck, only to realize that there’s not enough room for your last set of boxes. To avoid this, make sure to refer to U-Haul’s size online guide. For instance, U-Haul recommends renting an 8 ft., 9 ft. or 10 ft. moving truck for small moves. For a medium to large move, U-Haul recommends looking into their 15 ft., 20 ft. and 26 ft. moving trucks. These trucks are capable of transporting large loads. U-Haul’s largest moving truck is its 26 ft. rental truck, which can hold up to 7,400 pounds and also comes with the ability to tow a trailer.

  8. You can also purchase your moving supplies from U-Haul

    Whatever you need for moving, U-Haul has it. The rental truck company offers customers a wide assortment of moving supplies and add-on services. These include moving labor, moving boxes, covers and bags, packing supplies, rope and tie downs, storage options, hitches, bike racks, wheelchair carriers, hitch accessories, RV and boat accessories, wiring and lights, grilling supplies, motorcycle towing, and much more. Customers can choose their add-ons when making a rental truck reservation.

  9. U-Haul has age restrictions

    Not just anyone can rent a U-Haul moving truck or trailer. The rental truck company requires that customers be 16 years of age to rent a trailer and 18 years of age to rent a moving truck. To rent either option, customers must have a valid driver’s license. For more information, please check out U-Haul’s blog post on rental requirements.

  10. Loading a U-Haul truck correctly will save you room (and money)

    Loading a U-Haul moving truck correctly will save you time, money and aggravation. Here are some key packing and loading tips to follow next time you move:

    • Disassemble all furniture.
    • Place the heaviest or largest items on the truck first.
    • Heavier items should go in the front of the truck towards the cab.
    • Small moving boxes should be the last thing you load onto the rental truck.
    • Make sure your couches and mattresses are arranged vertically.
    • Use padding to protect items from breaking during transport.
    • To prevent your belongings from shifting during transport, make sure to use packing straps or tie-downs. Strap down tiers of items separately.
    • U-Haul claims that“packing for a tight, evenly distributed load is key to ensuring that all belongings arrive undamaged.”
  11. There are other truck rental options

    U-Haul (here’s our 2024 U-Haul review) isn’t the only truck rental company available. In fact, there are multiple other moving truck rental companies to choose from when planning your next relocation. You’ll want to make sure you choose the one that best fits your budget and needs. We recommend choosing a truck rental company that is conveniently located near your current and new home. For more information and discounts on various rental truck companies, such as Penske, Enterprise and Budget, check out their respective reviews and Moving.com’s truck rentalcenter.

More Tips for Making Your DIY Move Successful

Renting a moving truck and/or trailer that meets your budget and needs is just one important component to a successful DIY move. From enlisting help and using quality moving supplies to budgeting appropriately and purging a home of clutter, here are more helpful tips for moving yourself without the help of professional movers.

Make sure you have help

The most important thing to have for a DIY move (besides the rental truck) is help. No one should move large furniture and heavy boxes by themselves — especially if stairs are involved in your move. Not only is this physically dangerous to do, but it’s also the opposite of efficient.

The more help you have on moving day, the faster and easier your move will be. If you’re looking to save money, try asking friends or family if they’re able to help.

If you’re willing to spend money on moving labor, consider hiring labor-only movers to assist with the heavy lifting on moving day. These types of movers do not pack or transport your belongings. They simply help with loading and unloading the rental truck.

To find moving labor, check out HireAHelper, which connects customers with movers who specialize in load and unload services.

Use quality moving supplies

By not hiring a full-service moving company, you’re sure to save plenty of money on your upcoming move. We recommend putting some of this extra cash towards quality moving supplies. After all, moving with used, damaged boxes isn’t the best idea. Invest in sturdy cardboard boxes, plastic bins, strong packing tape, and some sort of protective wrap or covering, such as bubble cushioning and foam pouches.

Using specialty boxes, such as wardrobe boxes and picture/mirror boxes, will also go a long way in making the packing process more efficient. For help purchasing necessary moving boxes and packing supplies at great prices, check out our . Also, please read our guide to the “Definitive List of Moving Supplies.”

Consider whether or not you need a storage unit

Will you need a place to temporarily or permanently store belongings? If you’re downsizing, you might. To move and store belongings, we suggest using a moving container instead of a truck rental. A moving container can be used to transport your belongings from one house to another. It can also double as a storage container.

If you wish to use a moving container for storage, the company will pick up your container and bring it to the storage unit for you. Moving containers are typically more expensive than truck rentals, but they can save customers the hassle of having to move items to storage. For more information on moving with a moving container, check out our guide to moving containers and pods.

Pack an overnight bag to bring with you on moving day

Don’t forget to pack a separate overnight essentials bag to bring with you on moving day. Keep this suitcase with you at all times, so that you have all of your necessities and basics when you move in.

Not sure what to put in your essentials bag? We recommend packing pajamas, extra clothes, toiletries, medications, phone chargers, a first aid kit, and your wallet. You may also want to pack household essentials to use on the first night in your new home. Cleaning supplies, trash bags, batteries, bath towels, lightbulbs, can openers, toilet paper rolls, paper towels, plastic cups, and plates are all items to bring.

Strategize your packing process

DIY moves are made so much easier when you have a strategy for packing both household belongings and the rental truck itself. When packing up your home, we recommend starting with all non-essentials first. These are items that you won’t need in the days and weeks leading up to the move.

For instance, books, decor, knick-knacks, wall mirrors, seasonal clothing, and even rugs can be packed ahead of time. Save necessary kitchen items, bedroom items and closets for last.

Rent moving equipment ahead of time

Even if you have friends helping you load and unload the truck, you’re going to need moving equipment to assist with certain items. For instance, loading a large appliance or heavy piece of furniture up a moving truck ramp is best done using a dolly or hand truck. This will make loading and unloading the truck much faster and more efficient come moving day. Here’s where to rent moving equipment and supplies.

Pick a convenient time to move

One of the advantages of moving yourself is that you get to choose when exactly to move. Make sure to choose a date and time that is convenient for you. Remember: If you’re able to move during a weekday and/or non-holiday, you’ll likely get better rates on moving trucks and equipment rentals than moving on a weekend. We recommend starting your move early so that you aren’t unloading your truck in the dark. Here are our tips for choosing the best time to move.

Purge your home of clutter

The more belongings you purge, the less you’ll have to pack and move. Moving less stuff doesn’t just save you time. It could end up saving you money as well. After all, the less stuff you move, the smaller the truck rental you need — and the less expensive your move will be.

So, make decluttering a high priority before packing up your household. Easy ideas for decluttering a home include donating furniture and clothing to charities (think: Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and The Salvation Army), selling gently-used items on one of the many online marketplaces, and hosting a yard sale.

Plan for the unexpected

The longer the move takes, the more expensive the move will be with a truck rental. So, before moving with a rental truck, be sure to plan out your route ahead of time — especially if you’re moving a far distance. The last thing you want is to run into unexpected detours or (god forbid) get lost.

We recommend checking the weather as well, so you can plan for any harsh weather conditions. For instance, if the weather forecast calls for ice and snow, plan to have proper winter wear and gear readily available. If the weather forecast calls for extreme heat, be prepared with plenty of water and ice packs.

Budget appropriately

Finally, make sure you budget appropriately when planning a DIY move. By moving with a truck rental and not a full-service moving company, you should be able to save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on moving expenses.

However, other moving costs can add up quickly. Factor in the cost of gas (check your truck rental’s gas mileage), equipment rentals, moving supplies, truck rental rates, any additional insurance needed, labor costs for moving assistance, and storage costs. Use our Moving Cost Calculator for Moving Estimates to get an idea of how much to budget for.

Frequently Asked Questions About Renting a Truck or a Trailer From U-Haul

How old do I need to be to rent and/or operate equipment from U-Haul?

U-Haul customers must be 16 years of age to rent trailers and 18 years of age to rent trucks. A valid driver’s license is required to rent all U-Haul trucks and trailers.

Do I need a credit card to reserve or rent U-Haul equipment?

Making a reservation online requires a major credit card or debit card with a major credit card logo (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or Visa) but you are not required to use a credit card when paying for your rental. You may pay for a rental with cash when the truck is returned.

Is my reservation guaranteed?

Yes, confirmed reservations are guaranteed. When you reserve online and choose a location where the $50 guarantee badge appears, that reservation is considered confirmed. If you select a location where the badge does not appear, U-Haul will contact you a day before the pickup to finalize the time, place and equipment size.

Can my friend drive the U-Haul truck?

Yes, another person, like a relative or a friend, can drive the U-Haul truck you rent but they are also required to have a validdriver’s license. In the event of an accident, whoever signs the rental contract is responsible for the damage.

How do I make a U-Haul reservation online?

You can reserve online if you provide the pickup and drop-off dates, times and locations, and the size of the moving truck you want. If you’re not sure, you can also reserve by phone or in person.

Prefer to Hire a Professional Moving Company?

Whether you’re relocating across the country or across the street, Moving.com has you covered. To find the bestmoving companyto handle your upcoming move, check our extensive network of reputable and reliablemovers.All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Good luck and happy moving!

Related Articles:

  • What to Consider When Reserving a U-Haul Rental Truck
  • What Size U-Haul Moving Truck Should You Rent for Your Next Relocation in 2021?
  • Your Guide on Moving With a Pickup Truck
  • Can You Put a Car Seat in a Rental Truck?
  • What Is the Largest Moving Truck I Can Rent?
  • What You Need To Know About Rental Truck Insurance
  • What Is the Gas Mileage of a U-Haul Truck Rental?
  • A U-Haul Van Rental is Great for a Small Move
  • How to Calculate Fuel Costs When Renting a Moving Truck
  • How to Save on Your Truck Rental Fuel Costs
11 Key Things to Know When Renting a U-Haul Truck or Trailer (2024)


What's the longest you can rent a U-Haul? ›

Equipment scheduling is based on available time frames ranging from one hour up to a 24-hour rental period. Some locations do, however, offer multiple day In-Town rentals on our trailer fleet. Check with your local U-Haul center or independent dealer for exact regulations.

What should I pack for U-Haul first? ›

Load heaviest items like your washer and dryer into the truck first. Fill gaps using furniture pads and/or smaller items to minimize shifting.

How much does U-Haul hold on a credit card? ›

Whether you pay a deposit depends on your method of payment. No deposit is required if you're paying by major credit card. If you're paying with cash, the following is due when you pick up your equipment: In-Town truck - $100 or estimated rental charges (whichever is greater)

Is a 26-foot U-Haul hard to drive? ›

Indeed, out on the open highway, it's not a difficult vehicle to drive. It accelerates far more briskly when in high gear than one would expect from something so loaded down. It's no drag racer, but it's no cruise ship either. Thanks to the high perch, visibility is excellent.

Can you pick up and drop off U-Haul at different locations? ›

Please refer to your contract. If you have an In-Town Rental contract, this must be returned to the location you picked it up from. All One Way contracts will include a return location address, or a phone number to arrange a drop-off location.

How much weight can a 26 ft U-Haul carry? ›

How big is a 26' truck? Max Load: 12,859 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight: 25,999 lbs. max. Empty Weight: 13,140 lbs.

Should you load boxes or furniture first? ›

Load your heaviest items first. Whether you're a DIY or professional mover, this usually means furniture goes in before boxes, unless you have large, heavy boxed items such as a TV or a floor mirror. Place dressers, chairs, appliances, couches and other large items against the back wall.

How to keep things from sliding on U-Haul? ›

Fill Every Space: A packed moving truck will prevent items from shifting. Look for gaps between furniture, and fill in every open space with furniture pads, or filling materials.

Why did U-Haul charge me so much? ›

The cost of renting a moving truck depends on several factors, such as the distance traveled, the size of the truck, day of the week, and rental location. Additionally, mileage fees play a significant role in determining the overall cost.

How much does U-Haul cost per mile locally? ›

The cost to rent a moving truck for one-way moves depends on the truck size, pickup location, destination, and move date. U-Haul prices often work out to about $0.90–$1.00 per mile, but you might pay more in cities with a higher cost of living. You may also pay a higher rate for Friday and Saturday rentals.

Does uhaul give you a certain amount of miles? ›

Each trip includes a mileage allotment with fees that are incurred if exceeded. In-town or local moves are priced based on a flat rate and mileage. You must consider both factors when choosing which size moving truck to rent.

What is the gas mileage on a 26 ft U-Haul truck? ›

Did You Know?
Sub CategoryPickup truck26' truck
Unleaded Fuel Tank Size34 Gallons60 Gallons
Miles Per Gallon (up to)1910
Miles Per Fuel Tank (up to)646600

Why does uhaul recommend 55 mph? ›

A road hazard that could be avoided at 55 mph, may become unavoidable at a higher speed. When driving at a lower speed you are less likely to lose control of any vehicle, than when driving at a higher speed. Excessive speed is a major cause of accidents.

What is the smallest U haul you can drive? ›

Our 10ft Mini Mover® (the smallest truck you can also tow your car behind) is used by customers who are moving a studio or 1 bedroom apartment.

What happens if you keep au haul longer than you're supposed to? ›

U-Haul late fees

U-Haul charges a $40 late fee for each extra day you keep your rental truck. It also charges $20 per day for trailers and towing devices. So, if you agreed to return your $40 truck by 10 a.m. on Thursday, you're technically responsible for the U-Haul late fee, which would be another $40 at 10:01 a.m.

How to pack a 26 ft U-Haul truck? ›

Large appliances should be wrapped up if they are too big to place in boxes. Always place them with the right side up, so that nothing breaks. Any large and heavy items, you should place them in front and low in the cargo area, over the center of gravity of the truck.

How much stuff fits in a 26 foot truck? ›

The 26 ft. truck moves five to seven rooms and is the right size for moving a three to five bedroom home. Easy to load, unload and drive. Among some of the newest vehicles in the industry, Penske trucks receive regularly scheduled preventive maintenance and are cleaned and inspected thoroughly prior to pickup.

What is the largest moving truck you can rent? ›

Our 26ft moving truck is the largest truck available.

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