Is there a cheaper alternative to U-Haul? | Citizenshipper

Ulhas Sukhare Ulhas Sukhare · Updated: March 8, 2023 / Published: August 6, 2020

Is there a cheaper alternative to Uhaul? | Citizenshipper

If planning a move, you’re probably considering a U-Haul truck or cargo trailer rental. Their rates are usually decent, in-town, one-way, or round-trip. But when the destination is halfway across the country, those rental rates go up pretty sharply.

So is there a cheaper alternative to U-Haul? There could be quite a few of them, depending on your location and the distance traveled. But let’s first break down U-Haul’s pricing structure and see where the potential savings lie.

Issue #1: hidden costs

While U-Haul tends to keep pricing above board, some of the stuff you might be charged with is outside their control. For example, the price you’ll find listed on the website doesn’t include taxes. And taxation, of course, varies widely from state to state. Depending on location, this might tack on as little as 5% or as much as 12% to the expense. 

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Environmental fees are also added on top of what you signed up for. These are rarely high, but people tend to be surprised when they see the item on their bill. Unnecessary friction, yes, but almost impossible for U-Haul to prevent. 

Issue #2: unforeseen delays

When talking about transportation, we always try to emphasize the importance of planning. But it’s not easy to plan your move down to a tee ahead of time, is it? Sometimes there are delays due to poor planning, and sometimes due to circumstances beyond your control. Either way, you’ll need to pay! U-Haul charges $40 for each extra day beyond the original agreement. And if you end up going an extra few miles? You’d better believe that’ll cost you too!

But when delays are associated with accidents on the road… Well, that’s when the financial rigamarole really starts.

Issue #3: insurance and liability

No one likes to think about it, but traffic accidents are a fact of life. All too often, they result in personal injury or property damage. That’s what makes quality insurance coverage so important, after all. 

As is the case at many other businesses, U-Haul’s rental truck insurance is entirely optional.  

They offer the Safemove, Safemove Plus, and Collision Damage Waiver packages. The last of these provides no coverage at all for the actual cargo you’re hauling.

As far as liability goes, U-Haul’s basic insurance option provides only the state minimum coverage. Needless to say, this can be very low in some locations. Safemove Plus does cover up to a million dollars in liabilities, but it’ll cost you a pretty penny.

So what’s the cheaper alternative, then?

The truth is, when it comes to rental companies, the market is pretty leveled out. U-Haul has its competitors such as Penske or Budget, but their prices are roughly in the same ballpark. Choosing who to rent a truck from, you’re more likely to be guided by convenience than cost. 

But if you’re looking to save money, you’ll need to think outside the box.

This might sound counter-intuitive, but have you considered hiring professional movers instead? We know, we know, that’s supposed to be the pricier option — and yet, it doesn’t have to be. 

Truck rental is practical for short-distance moves, but as explained above, the costs quickly stack up on a longer route. But booking independent drivers, operating trucks of their own, can save you money when moving cross-country. 

For one, there are never any hidden costs. You deal with the driver directly, agree on a price, and pay that amount exactly (typically on delivery.) Any fees, tolls, and taxes are for the driver to handle.

Unforeseen delays and extra mileage accrued? Not your problem. Insurance coverage? Likewise, it’s the driver’s responsibility to provide it. All you have to do is choose the ones you like and book them for the job.

Of course, the quality of service will be commensurate with the quote the driver sends you. We’re not trying to say that reliable, high-quality transporters work for peanuts! But the way it usually works, they make their money by picking up one job in either direction. They can afford to bid low for your move, especially long-distance. So list your shipment for free, and see what quotes you get!

For more details on CitizenShipper’s online marketplace and the bidding system, check out some of the articles on our Help Center. 

Stay safe, and happy shipping!

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