7 Things You Should Know about U-Haul® before Renting a Truck

Know what to expect from U-Haul

Moving with U-Haul® isn’t as simple as choosing a truck and putting your stuff inside. While it may seem like a straightforward process, several details can complicate it, like equipment guarantees and fuel. Since 1997, people have compared U-Haul and U-Pack® because they both offer DIY moves at affordable rates. So, if the specifics of U-Haul truck rental don’t meet your needs, U-Pack might be a good fit.

Man with hand on chin in front of orange background, thinking about renting a U-Haul.


1. There’s a set timeline for long-distance moves.

Every one-way truck rental includes a set number of days and miles, so you’ll have to complete your move in that timeframe. For example, for a move from Seattle, WA to Nashville, TN, U-Haul gives you only 8 days. While it may seem like plenty of time, there’s a lot to fit in: loading, driving across the country and unloading.

Instead of rushing, U-Pack gives you plenty of time on both ends of your move. You get three business days to load and unload, and in between, we do all the driving, leaving you free to travel to your new home in your own vehicle.

2. Reservations don’t guarantee equipment.

Even if you select an option online or over the phone, your U-Haul reservation isn’t guaranteed until the day before you’re scheduled to pick up the equipment. At that time, a representative will contact you to verify the details (equipment, location, date, and pickup time), and once you agree on the specifics, the reservation is considered “guaranteed.” If the U-Haul truck size you requested isn’t available, they may offer a different vehicle at another location. If you arrive on moving day and they don’t have the verified equipment, you’re eligible for a $50 compensation.

With U-Pack, you can avoid the worry of not getting the equipment you need. When you make a reservation, we take your moving equipment out of our inventory for your move date — so it’s set aside for your move.

3. Fuel costs can add up.

Did you know U-Haul trucks get just 10-12 mpg? And with tanks that are 30-60 gallons, that means you’ll need to stop every 300-400 miles. That can get costly. Plus you’ll pay for fuel in your personal vehicle.

Since U-Pack does the driving, fuel is included. You’ll still need to fill up your personal vehicle, but you won’t have the added expense of fuel in the rental truck.

4. Equipment availability can vary.

While U-Haul offers trucks, trailers and U-Box® containers, they may not be available everywhere. Some locations offer full fleets, but others are smaller franchises (like those located at service stations or storage facilities) and may not have what you need.

U-Pack has two types of equipment, moving trailers and ReloCube containers, and they work for any size home, so you don’t have to track down the right piece of equipment for your move.

5. Seating options are limited.

U-Haul trucks can only seat 2-3 people, depending on the size of the truck. And since it’s all one row, it’s not an ideal place for kids. Studies show they’re safer in the backseat.

If you’re traveling with your family, the best choice is to let U-Pack handle driving the moving equipment, so you can drive across the country in the comfort and safety of your own car.

6. No special license is required, but driving can be a challenge.

U-Haul rental requirements are basic — just a driver’s license. But it takes some skill and experience to maneuver these trucks safely. Drive the recommended speeds, give yourself plenty of braking distance, and make sure you can handle busy highways without rearview mirrors. While a friend or family member can drive the truck for you (make sure to verify their eligibility), the person who signs the contract is responsible for the equipment in case of damage.

If you’re worried about spending hours (or days) driving an unfamiliar, bulky truck packed with all your belongings inside, consider leaving the driving to U-Pack. We deliver equipment to your door, you pack and load everything inside, and then we drive it to your new home.

7. The move will cost more than just the truck.

The initial U-Haul rate is calculated based on the equipment size, move date, and pickup and drop-off locations. Things like adding more miles or days or choosing to drop off at a different location could cost more. You’ll also need to budget for fuel, tolls, taxes and liability coverage.

U-Pack rates are based on similar factors as U-Haul: equipment (estimated based on your home size), the move date and locations. But there are no surprises since prices include the equipment,liability coverage and transportation.

Is U-Pack cheaper than U-Haul? Every move is different, and rates can vary. But we’ve found when looking at U-Pack vs. U-Haul, U-Pack rates can be more affordable for many long-distance moves once you add in the cost of fuel and liability coverage. Not to mention the benefit of not having to drive a large rental truck across the country. Take a look at how you can save more than a U-Haul discount with U-Pack!

Want to check rates for your move? Call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 or click to get a quote online.



Wondering how U-Pack compares to truck rental? Learn how they’re similar and different in this one-way truck rental guide.


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