Are There Cheaper Alternatives to U-Haul? | CitizenShipper

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated January 16, 2024

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If you’re planning a move, you’re probably wondering if there are cheaper alternatives to U-Haul trucks or cargo trailers. Their rates are usually decent, in-town, one-way, or round-trip. But when the destination is halfway across the country, those rental rates increase sharply.

So is there a cheaper alternative to U-Haul? There could be quite a few, 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% of the expense.

Environmental fees are also added on top of what you signed up for. These are rarely high, but people are 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 discussing transportation, we always 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 for the cargo you’re hauling.

Regarding liability, 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 Are Cheaper Alternatives to U-Haul?

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

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

This might sound counter-intuitive, but have you considered hiring professional movers? and do you know how it works? We know that’s supposed to be the pricier option, but 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 to operate 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. You have to 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 shipments for free, and see what quotes you get!

Comparison of Cheaper U-Haul Alternatives

Moving ServiceU-HaulPenskeBudgetCitizenShipper
Hidden CostsYesYesYesNo
InsuranceOptionalOptionalOptionalDriver's responsibility
Environmental FeesYesYesYesNo
Delay ChargesYesYesYesNo
Liability CoverageVariesVariesVariesDriver's responsibility
Explore cheaper alternatives to U-Haul for your next move. Compare pricing, hidden costs, insurance, flexibility, and other factors for Penske, Budget, and CitizenShipper to find the best moving solution for your needs.

Tips for Reducing Moving Expenses

Regardless of your chosen moving method, finding ways to reduce expenses is crucial. This section will provide tips on decluttering, packing efficiently, using recycled packing materials, and more. By implementing these strategies, you can save money and make your move more efficient and stress-free.


Are There Cheaper Alternatives to U-Haul for Long-distance Moves?

While U-Haul’s competitors, such as Penske and Budget, offer similar pricing, CitizenShipper can be a more cost-effective option for long-distance moves.

What Are Some Hidden Costs When Renting a U-Haul Truck?

Hidden costs may include taxes, environmental fees, additional extra days or mileage charges, and optional insurance coverage.

Does U-Haul Offer Insurance Coverage?

U-Haul offers optional insurance packages such as Safemove, Safemove Plus, and Collision Damage Waiver, with varying levels of coverage and liability protection.

Can Hiring Professional Movers Be a Cost-effective Alternative to U-Haul?

CitizenShipper can save you money for long-distance moves by avoiding hidden fees and providing a more personalized, flexible service.

Bottom Line: Cheaper Alternatives to U-Haul

With various options available for moving your belongings, choosing the right service that fits your budget and requirements is essential. By evaluating each option, you can make an informed decision and select the best moving service for your unique situation.

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

Stay safe, and happy shipping!