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  • Moving? 5 tips for renting a U-Haul truck

    2 posts, 2 voices, 15869 views, started Sep 4, 2008

    Posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008 by Feathermaye


    • Carnelian

      Due to the nature of my business, I talk to people who are moving—or planning to move—on a daily basis. It seems as if everyone is either moving in with their kids or moving in with their parents; they are either finishing college or starting it; they are either downsizing or upgrading. Some are moving across country, while others are just going right down the street.

      We are certainly a nation on the move!

      But regardless of which of these (or numerous other) categories your move falls into, you and everyone else have certain needs to be met to help you get that move accomplished.

      Although moving companies are prevalent and (usually) reasonably priced for the services they provide, it seems to me as if more and more people are taking the DITY—Do It Yourself—route.

      If you‘re about to move and have decided to take on the packing, loading and driving of your own personal belongings, you should do a bit of research to make your job as easy as possible.

      While I can’t vouch for the customer service of each of the numerous dealer locations (other than my own!), I can offer you some tips for making the most out of your U-Haul rental.

      1.) Always purchase the SafeMove or SafeTow* (for trailers/auto transports) protection.* Most auto insurance policies do not cover U-Haul trucks because they are classified as 'cargo' transportation. The cost of the SafeMove or SafeTow protection is minimal compared to the expense of replacing a piece of skirting ($37.50 per 3 ft. section) or repairing grill damage (starts around $300). The lower level of protection offers complete damage protection for the truck and your belongings, and medical coverage in case you're injured in an accident. If you decide to pop for the Super SafeMove* protection, you'll even be protected against lawsuits filed by other people in the event you're sued as a result of an accident.

      2.) Always refuel the truck according to your contract terms. The gas gauge in your truck should match the reading on your contract; if it does not, resolve it before you ever leave the lot. All U-Haul trucks are to be re-fueled to the level at which you received the truck. If a truck is not re-fueled, U-Haul charges a $30 fee + $5 per gallon. 99% of the time, the location where you return your truck will have no sympathy if you did not verify the fuel level before taking possession of the equipment. Dealers have strict rules to abide by and face steep penalties if they stray from them. If you drop your truck off overnight and have not re-fueled it according to your contract, the receiving dealer is under no obligation to call you and give you an opportunity to correct your mistake the next morning.

      3.) Always check your mileage before leaving your dispatching location. Just like with fuel, you want to make sure that the odometer on your rented equipment is correctly reflected on your rental contract. With a local move you are paying according to the miles you actually drive; on a one-way (out of town) move you are given a flat amount of miles to work within and a per mile charge for anything over that flat amount. Either way, if your numbers in your truck do not match the numbers on the contract, you could be held liable on the return.

      4.) When making a local move (returning the truck to the same location you picked up from), try to schedule your move between Sunday and Thursday to save on expenses. U-Haul charges $0.99 per mile when you pick up your truck on a Friday or Saturday, but only $0.69 per mile Sunday through Thursday. It could make a HUGE difference to your bottom line!

      5.) Sweep the back of the truck clean before returning it! If not, the dealer that receives your rental could stick you with a $25 cleaning fee, particularly if you dropped it off overnight and left the keys in their night drop. U-Haul locations tend to be very busy and charge dearly for their time on the matter of re-fueling and cleaning.

      These 5 items are the basis for most of my conflicts with U-Haul customers. Some dealers do not thoroughly explain the terms; some do, but the customers aren’t listening. Ultimately, anyone who signs the contract without reading it bears all of the responsibility (it’s a 1-page document!) anyway. It is a binding contract, even if it is just for the day!

      Proprietary and/or trademarked titles/information as verifiable through U-Haul's [Link Removed] 

      Feathermaye, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


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