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How To Save at U-Haul for Every DIY Move


| Getting Started | Truck Sizes | Rental Options | Rental Rates | Self-storage Options | U-Haul Moving Boxes | U-Haul Deals | More Savings Tips |

The real estate agent hands you the keys to your new home. Excitement quickly fades to anxiety as you remember that now it’s time to plan the move. Packing up your life and carting all your furniture, clothing, memories and more from point A to point B is no easy task. While many opt for professional movers, those can cost thousands of dollars — especially if it’s a long-distance move. 

With 15.3 million American households moving annually, according to the 2021 data from Shyft, that’s a lot of people on the move. A more financially sensible option? Move everything yourself by renting a truck or trailer from U-Haul.

U-Haul doesn’t just offer trucks and trailers to help with your move. They also provide everything you need for a smoother, more affordable move, including hitches and accessories, storage units, dollies, furniture pad rentals and moving containers. 

These are the best ways to save on your DIY move with U-Haul, sprinkling in some insider tips:

When in doubt, donate.

Obviously, the fewer items you have to move, the cheaper your move will be (smaller truck, yay). So now is the time to unload those unwanted items and do some purging before your move, not after arriving at your intended destination.

Depending on the area you live in, some charities like Big Brothers Big Sisters or Habitat for Humanity will even come and get items from you. Others let you drop off at the store or donation bins or even sell online on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or have a yard sale. It’s more money to put toward your move. 


2. Picking a U-Haul Truck for Your Move

Image: U-Haul

First things first, determine what you need for your size move, be it a trailer or an enclosed truck, and the right size you need (renting something too big creates unnecessary expense whereas too small may mean more trips and more money spent on fuel). Planning a strategy going in is your best bet. 

These are the moving truck options from U-Haul for small or large moves:

10-foot U-Haul Truck

The smallest box truck option in the U-Haul fleet, it’s ideal for moving from or into a studio or one-bedroom apartment. It holds up to a king-size bed and frame, a love seat, two end tables, a four-piece dining room table and boxes of household items.

For a local move, the 10-foot truck costs roughly $19.95 a day, plus $1.09 per mile, depending on where you live and the time of year.

15-foot U-Haul Truck

The perfect size for a one- to two-bedroom apartment or condo, a U-Haul 15-foot truck comes equipped with a low deck and the U-Haul EZ load ramp. It holds up to a king-size mattress, washer and dryer, refrigerator, dressers and a large sofa, plus moving boxes.

For a local move, the 15-foot truck costs $29.95 a day, plus $1.09 per mile, depending on where you live and the time of year.

20-foot U-Haul Truck

Moving into a two- to three-bedroom home or apartment? Then the 20-foot truck is probably your best option. It holds up to two king-size mattresses, a crib, dressers, a sectional sofa, a coffee table, end tables and a six-person dining table with chairs and boxes.

For a local move, the 20-foot truck costs $39.95 a day, plus $1.19 per mile, depending on where you live and the time of year you’re moving. 

26-foot U-Haul Truck

The 26-foot truck is the largest in the U-Haul fleet, for moving three- to five-bedroom homes. It fits up to three king-size mattresses with box sets, nightstands, dressers, a sectional sofa, a recliner, a coffee table, an office desk, a washer and dryer and boxes.

For a local move, the 26-foot truck costs $39.95 a day, plus $1.19 per mile, depending on where you live and the time of year you’re moving.

U-Haul Pickup Truck

Best for small jobs, including towing your boat to the lake, hauling your personal car to the mechanic, making fewer trips to the lawn and garden store and more. The 8-foot truck seats up to three people and costs $19.95 a day, plus 79 cents per mile, depending on where you live and the time of year. You’ll also have options to extend your rental times, which saves money by foregoing mileage fees.

U-Haul Van

The 9-foot cargo van is suitable for small jobs, including hauling a queen mattress and box spring and moving an apartment or studio space. It holds up to two people and costs $19.95 a day, plus 79 cents per mile, depending on where you live and the time of year.

U-Haul Trailer

Anyone with a hitch can use a trailer instead of a truck. “That’s the cheapest way to go,” says Lupoli. Trailers can tote the same amount of items and range from $15 to $35 a day plus tax (depending on the size), as opposed to paying fees and mileage for a box truck.

Trailers are also useful for hooking up to a U-Haul moving truck when your load is a little larger than the truck but too small for the next size up.


3. Explore U-Haul Rental Options

U-Haul Truck Share

U-Haul Truck Share is a flexible self-pickup and self-return service for renting trucks and vans at any hour of the day or night. To get started, you’ll need a mobile device with a camera and GPS to take advantage of the self-service options.

Using the U-Haul Truck Share isn’t only excellent for the environment but pretty amazing for your wallet, too. And as U-Haul says, “Your equipment waits on you; you wait on no one.”

U-Haul One Way Rental

This option can save you time and money when opting for a one-way move. A U-Haul one-way rental alleviates wear and tear on your vehicle, saves gas and comes with cheaper rates.

U-Haul Local Rental

Moving a short distance within the same city? With a local moving truck rental, you can conveniently pick up and drop off at the same location. Truck rates start at $19.95 and if you need extended miles or days, you can get the U-Haul Best Rate Guarantee and special truck rental rates on vans and pickup trucks.


4. Compare U-Haul Rental Rates

Use the U-Haul Cost Calculator

The company has a handy guide for determining exactly what you need, based on how many rooms you’re planning to move. You can use the cost calculator to estimate your mileage expenses, too.

U-Haul Best Rate Guarantee

Just like an airline, U-Haul changes its rates based on the availability of trucks and time of year. Lupoli’s advice is to get “locked in” early by booking online a month or two in advance. That way, if prices go up by the time you need your rental, you’re guaranteed that lower rate.

“If we have a shortage of trucks and the end of the month is coming, prices to go one way will rise significantly. We also tend to be busier on the weekends and at the start and end of each month (when leases end), so prices tend to be higher then.”

Michael Lupoli Jr.

It’s also a good idea to avoid the summer and fall timeframes, as warmer weather months (as well as people trying to move before the start of the school year) are more desirable — and U-Haul knows it (and hikes the rates). 

Mileage rates for box trucks are also typically cheapest Sunday through Thursday, so keep that in mind if your timing is flexible. Lupoli says on average, it’s 20 cents more per mile just to rent outside that time frame. 

Negotiate Your U-Haul Rate

Something most consumers might not know is that U-Haul prices are sometimes negotiable. Another insider tells us you can shop around at competitors like Budget and Penske, and if they offer lower rates for the time and distance you want to rent, U-Haul will almost always match the price.

“Our discount does not show it, but we will often lower the contract price to keep your business,” says our insider. But keep in mind — discounts are still taxed. Before you book online, check out the “hot deals” section of the U-Haul website to see which routes are cheapest at the moment, and check out any other special offers.


5. Use the U-Haul Self-storage

It’s tough deciding which size storage unit you might need. U-Haul has a guide to help you better gauge the size unit your move requires.

Image: U-Haul

U-Box Portable Containers

U-Box containers are a super convenient way of storing your stuff until you’re ready to move. Each one holds roughly a room and a half of the items, and you aren’t charged for containers you don’t use. U-Haul delivers them to your home, so you can pack them on your own time. When you’re finished, U-Haul picks them back up and stores them for you or ships them to your new location anywhere.

Use the U-Haul estimator to find out how many U-Box containers you need. A U-Box costs $79.95 per month to use (depending on where you live) and it comes with two dozen furniture pads per container for free.

Climate Controlled Storage

Indoor storage unit rates vary depending on the location, availability and size. Unit sizes range from small (up to two rooms) to large (1,600 to 2,000 square feet). Options also include split-level storage units that are divided into upper and lower levels.

  • Small Storage Unit (0 to 50 square feet): Store miscellaneous items like fishing gear, skis, bikes, and other small items.
  • Medium Storage Unit (51 to 150 square feet): Ideal for smaller home or apartment storage.
  • Large Storage Unit (151 + square feet): Store an entire home’s contents (when properly packed).

Storage Lockers

Storage lockers are located inside of a self-storage facility and offer the same security as traditional storage units, but at a reduced height and small sizes starting at 3-by-3-by-4 feet up to 4-by-3-by-3 feet.

Outdoor Drive-up Storage

Outside drive-up storage units are like your home’s garage in that you can pull up with your vehicle anytime during U-Haul access hours and quickly unload or load your stuff. These types of units are the most affordable option and are ideal for items that can tolerate extreme heat like extra vehicles, gardening tools, sports and camping gear and more.

Vehicle Storage

U-Haul offers specific vehicle storage for cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles and other larger types of vehicles. Storage spaces come with up to 45 feet, electrical outlets, secure gates, 24-hour access and more. Options include open or covered vehicle storage and indoor or enclosed spaces. Units start at $19.95, depending on your location and availability.


6. Save on U-Haul Boxes + Supplies

U-Haul 100% Unused Box Buy Back

U-Haul offers a 100% buy-back for any unused U-Haul box. Just hold on to your receipt. Use the moving supply calculator to figure out what you need for a successful, affordable move. You can get free standard shipping on all orders over $100 or pick up your supplies using the free in-store pickup option.

U-Haul Box Exchange

Use the U-Haul Customer Connect to get free U-Haul boxes with the U-Haul Box Exchange. It’s an online option helping its customers either sell, give away or find boxes and moving supplies.

Plastic Moving Boxes

A space-saving U-Haul Ready-To-Go Box is an environmentally friendly way to move or store your valuables. Rent these reusable plastic moving boxes you pick up and return to the same local U-Haul location with no minimum rental period or box quantity. Prices start at $18 for 12 Ready-To-Go boxes.


7. Check for U-Haul Deals

Self-storage Move-in Special

If you’re renting a U-Haul truck or trailer for one-way moves, then you can get one month of storage free offer at participating locations.

U-Haul Corporate Relocation Program

For corporate and employee relocations, U-Haul offers a cost-efficient service for your business where you can save as much as 75% on relocating costs.

U-Haul Military Program

While there’s no set military discount, U-Haul also offers discounts individually if you’re in the military or if they simply want to retain you as a customer. U-Haul is a proud supporter of all branches of the military. Through the U-Haul Armed Forces Connection, U-Haul supports soldiers and their families by helping them save money through ride shares and storage rooms when soldiers deploy or return home.

U-Haul Student Program

The U-Haul College Connection helps students move to or from college. The online platform connects students to each other to share rides, rent trucks or storage rooms. 

U-Haul Hotel Discount

U-Haul partners with specific hotels to offer its customers better rates than they might receive otherwise. At Choice Hotels, you get a 15% discount and 10% at Wyndham Hotels.

Free Hitch and Towing Inspection

U-Haul offers a free towing inspection of your vehicle at the U-Haul location. Plus, you can have your hitch installed at any U-Haul location and get a $5 lifetime unlimited warranty.

Long Distance Rental Rates

U-Haul offers additional days and extended miles at a special rate for long-distance use of their pickup trucks and cargo vans. Check with your local U-Haul store to find out more.

RetailMeNot U-Haul Discount Codes

At RetailMeNot, we have plenty of U-Haul coupons and discounts to help you save as much as possible on your DIY move. Check them out before renting a truck or buying moving boxes.


8. More Useful U-Haul Savings Tips

Book early (at least one to two months, if possible), do your research and ask for any applicable discounts. You’re well on your way to a smooth (and wallet-friendly) move!

Return Your Rental From Where You Picked It Up

Even if you just need a one-way move, bring the truck back to its original location for the best savings. The best way to save is to rent a small 9-foot cargo van, or a pickup truck with an 8-foot bed, and return to its original location. The cargo van or pickup truck has a daily rate of $20 plus 59 cents per mile during the week, and 69 cents per mile on Friday and Saturday. 

“If you happen to go over 100 miles during the week, the rate changes to $79 for the day with 100 miles included, and any additional 100 miles is only 29 cents per mile,” explains Lupoli. “There is also a weekly rate, which is $295 with 750 miles included, and a monthly rate. On both the weekly and monthly rates, the overage on miles is 29 cents per mile,” he adds. Returning to its original location could save you hundreds of dollars.

Return Your Rental On Time

Return your rental on time to avoid late fees. Instead, try calling and extending the rental time. Also, refuel it to the fuel level it was when you got it, to avoid costly fuel charges. Most U-Haul trucks take unleaded gas instead of diesel, which is a more cost-effective option. 

Refuel Your Truck Before Returning It

Most U-Haul vehicles use unleaded gasoline, so before returning your rental, refill the tank to the fuel level it had when you left the lot. Otherwise, you may (and most likely will) be charged for the cost of the gas and labor to refuel the vehicle. It’s an easy way to save.

Inspect Your U-Haul Before Driving Off the Lot

Something you might not think of that can save you hundreds of dollars is to make sure you don’t end up paying for damages that someone else caused. Be sure to inspect the truck thoroughly before you drive off the lot. Scratches, dents and dings and even small things like a chip in the paint all have to be reported prior to leaving the lot with your rental, or you’re liable to be charged for it when you return it. 

It’s also a smart idea to purchase insurance through U-Haul, which relieves you of financial responsibility for any damages.

There are several options: 

  • U-Haul Safemove: The basic plan that covers damage to the truck, cargo and medical coverage for the driver.
  • U-Haul Safemove Plus: Offers exclusion-free coverage for accidental damage, including overhead collision protection. It offers the same coverage as basic insurance.
  • U-Haul Safestor Mobile Storage: Low-cost storage insurance for your belongings while they’re stored at a U-Haul Self-Storage facility.
  • U-Haul Safetrip: Provides supplemental Roadside Protection for a flat rate, including jump-starts, lockout services, lost keys, fuel service, help if your vehicle gets stuck in mud/snow and problems with trailer hookups.
  • U-Haul Safetow: This option covers damage to a rented trailer, tow dolly or auto transport.

The post How To Save at U-Haul for Every DIY Move appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.



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