11 Key Things to Know When Renting a U-Haul Truck or Trailer (2023)

Categories Truck Rental | Posted on 06/20/202105/20/2022 | 11 Key Things to Know When Renting a U-Haul Truck or Trailer (1)By: Marian WhiteTags: moving truck, rental truck, reputable truck rental, truck rental, U-Haul

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11 Key Things to Know When Renting a U-Haul Truck or Trailer (2)

Preparing for a DIY move? If so, you’re going to need a rental truck to haul all of your belongings. For many, this means renting a trusted U-Haul moving truck. Thankfully, with thousands of locations nationwide, it’s easy to find a U-Haul franchise near you. The go-to rental truck company offers plenty of trucks, trailers and services to meet your moving needs. Here are 11 important things to know about renting from U-Haul as well as more tips for a successful DIY move.

(Video) U-Haul Trucks - Everything you Need to Know

  1. Some U-Haul equipment is only available for local moves

    Those setting off on a long distance move won’t be able to rent just anything. U-Haul’s cargo van, pickup truck and open trailer are reserved forlocalmoves only.

  2. You can purchase additional days or mileage for a one-way move

    If you find yourself needing more time to finish the move, you’re in luck! Customers are charged $0.40 per mile, if they exceed the allowed amount. If you need extra days to move, make sure to plan this with the U-Haul employees at your local pickup location. According to U-Haul, the fees are: an additional $40 per day for U-Haul trucks; an additional $20 per day for U-Haul trailers; and an additional $20 per day for U-Haul towing devices.

  3. Most of U-Haul’s moving trucks can seat three passengers

    While most U-Haul moving trucks can seat up to three passengers, not all of them will. According to U-Haul, the company’s 10 ft. moving truck and cargo van are equipped with only two seats for passengers.

  4. You can rent more than just moving trucks

    In addition to the typical moving truck, U-Haul offers cargo vans, pickup trucks, U-Box containers and trailers for towing.

  5. Rental moving trucks don’t have great gas mileage

    Be aware that U-Haul’s rental trucks don’t offer great gas mileage. This is especially true for the company’s larger trucks. For instance, U-Haul’s 26 ft. moving truck only gets 10 miles per gallon. The company’s 10 ft. moving truck gets 12 miles per gallon – albeit with a smaller fuel tank capacity of 31 gallons. If you’re planning a local move, this may not be such a big deal. However, those moving long distance or across the country should be aware that the fuel costs of renting a U-Haul moving truck do add up quickly.

  6. You probably won’t need to stop at a weigh station (but you might!)

    You most likely will not need to stop at a weigh station when driving a U-Haul moving truck. According to U-Haul, customers are normally not required to stop because it is not considered a commercial move. However, a few states do require non-commercial trucks that exceed a certain weight (usually 10,000 pounds) to stop in at the weigh stations. To find out more about a state’s weigh station requirements, check the state’s local Department of Transportation for details.

  7. U-Haul’s rental trucks come in a variety of sizes

    Choosing the right size rental truck is absolutely crucial. Trust me – you do not want to spend hours loading up the truck, only to realize that there’s not enough room for your last set of boxes. To avoid this, make sure to refer to U-Haul’s size guide online. For instance, U-Haul recommends renting an 8 ft., 9 ft. or 10 ft. moving truck for small moves. For a medium to large move, U-Haul recommends looking into their 15 ft., 20 ft. and 26 ft. moving trucks. These trucks are capable of transporting large loads. U-Haul’s largest moving truck is its 26 ft. rental truck, which can hold up to 7,400 pounds and also comes with the ability to tow a trailer.

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  8. You can also purchase your moving supplies from U-Haul

    Whatever you need for moving, U-Haul has it. The rental truck company offers customers a wide assortment of moving supplies and add-on services. These include moving labor, moving boxes, covers and bags, packing supplies, rope and tie downs, storage options, hitches, bike racks, wheelchair carriers, hitch accessories, RV and boat accessories, wiring and lights, grilling supplies, motorcycle towing and much more. Customers can choose their add-ons when making a rental truck reservation.

  9. U-Haul has age restrictions

    Not just anyone can rent a U-Haul moving truck or trailer. The rental truck company requires that customers be 16 years of age to rent a trailer and 18 years of age to rent a moving truck. To rent either option, customers must have a valid driver’s license.

  10. Loading a U-Haul truck correctly will save you room (and money)

    Loading a U-Haul moving truck correctly will save you time, money and aggravation. Here are several loading tips to follow next time you move.

    • Disassemble all furniture.
    • Place the heaviest or largest items on the truck first.
    • Heavier items should go in the front of the truck towards the cab.
    • Small moving boxes should be the last thing you load onto the rental truck.
    • Make sure your couches and mattresses are arranged vertically.
    • Use padding to protect items from breaking during transport.
    • To prevent your belongings from shifting during transport, make sure to use packing straps or tie downs. Strap down tiers of items separately.
    • U-Haulclaimsthat “packing for a tight, evenly distributed load is key to ensuring that all belongings arrive undamaged.”
    • Read more about our expert tips for loading a moving truck,here.
  11. There are other truck rental options

    U-Haul isn’t the only truck rental company available. In fact, there are multiple other moving truck rental companies to choose from when planning your next relocation. You’ll want to make sure you choose the one that best fits your budget and needs. We recommend choosing a truck rental company that is conveniently located near your current and new home. For more information and discounts on various rental truck companies, such as Penske, Enterprise and Budget, check out Moving.com’struck rentalcenter.

More tips for making your DIY move successful

Renting a moving truck and/or trailer that meets your budget and needs is just one important component to a successful DIY move. From enlisting help and using quality moving supplies to budgeting appropriately and purging a home of clutter, here are 10 more helpful tips for moving yourself without the help of professional movers.

  1. Make sure you have help

    The most important thing to have for a DIY move (besides the rental truck) is help. No one should move large furniture and heavy boxes by themselves –especially if stairs are involved in your move. Not only is this physically dangerous to do, but it’s also the opposite of efficient. The more help you have on moving day, the faster and easier your move will be. If you’re looking to save money, try asking friends or family if they’re able to help. If you’re willing to spend money on moving labor, consider hiring labor-only movers to assist the heavy lifting on moving day. These types of movers do not pack or transport your belongings. They simply help with loading and unloading the rental truck. To find moving labor, check out HireAHelper, which connects customers with movers who specialize in load and unload services.

  2. Use quality moving supplies

    By not hiring a full-service moving company, you’re sure to save plenty of money on your upcoming move. We recommend putting some of this extra cash towards quality moving supplies. After all, moving with used, damaged boxes isn’t the best idea. Invest in sturdy cardboard boxes, plastic bins, strong packing tape and some sort of protective wrap or covering, such as bubble cushioning and foam pouches. Using specialty boxes, such as wardrobe boxes and picture/mirror boxes, will also go a long way in making the packing process more efficient. For help purchasing necessary moving boxes and packing supplies at great prices, check out ourbox center.

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  3. Consider whether or not you need a storage unit

    Will you need a place to temporarily or permanently store belongings? If you’re downsizing, you might. To move and store belongings, we suggest using a moving container instead of a truck rental. A moving container can be used to transport your belongings from one house to another. It can also double as a storage container. If you wish to use a moving container for storage, the company will pick up your container and bring it to the storage unit for you. Moving containers are typically more expensive than truck rentals, but save customers the hassle of having to move items to storage. For more information on moving with a moving container, check here.

  4. Pack an overnight bag to bring with you on moving day

    Don’t forget to pack a separate overnight essentials bag to bring with you on moving day. Keep this suitcase with you at all times, so that you have all of your necessities and basics when you move in. Not sure what to put in your essentials bag? We recommend packing pajamas, extra clothes, toiletries, medications, phone chargers, a first aid kit and your wallet. You may also want to pack household essentials to use the first night in your new home. Cleaning supplies, trash bags, batteries, bath towels, lightbulbs, can openers, toilet paper rolls, paper towels, plastic cups and plates are all items to bring.

  5. Strategize your packing process

    DIY moves are made so much easier when you have a strategy for packing both household belongings and the rental truck itself. When packing up your home, we recommend starting with all non-essentials first. These are items that you won’t need in the days and weeks leading up to the move. For instance, books, decor, knick-knacks, wall mirrors, seasonal clothing and even rugs can be packed ahead of time. Save necessary kitchen items, bedroom items and closets for last. When packing the rental truck, be sure to follow these tips for a smooth move.

  6. Rent moving equipment ahead of time

    Even if you have friends helping you load and unload the truck, you’re going to need moving equipment to assist with certain items. For instance, loading a large appliance or heavy piece of furniture up a moving truck ramp is best done using a dolly or hand truck. This will make loading and unloading the truck much faster and more efficient come moving day. Here’s where to rent moving equipment and supplies.

  7. Pick a convenient time to move

    One of the advantages to moving yourself is that you get to choose when exactly to move. Make sure to choose a date and time that is convenient for you. Remember: if you’re able to move during a weekday and/or non-holiday, you’ll likely get better rates on moving trucks and equipment rentals than moving on a weekend. We recommend starting your move early, so that you aren’t unloading your truck in the dark. Here are our tips for choosing the best time to move.

  8. Purge your home of clutter

    The more belongings you purge, the less you’ll have to pack and move. Moving less stuff doesn’t just save you time. It could end up saving you money as well. After all, the less you stuff you move, the smaller the truck rental you need – and the less expensive your move will be. So, make decluttering a high priority before packing up your household. Easy ideas for decluttering a home include donating furniture and clothing to charities (think: Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army), selling gently-used items on one of the many online marketplaces, and hosting a yard sale. For tips on how to complete a pre-move purge, check here.

  9. Plan for the unexpected

    The longer the move takes, the more expensive the move will be with a truck rental. So, before moving with a rental truck, be sure to plan out your route ahead of time – especially if you’re moving a far distance. The last thing you want is to run into unexpected detours or (god forbid) get lost. We recommend checking the weather as well, so you can plan for any harsh weather conditions. For instance, if the weather forecast calls for ice and snow, plan to have proper winter wear and gear readily available. If the weather forecast calls for extreme heat, be prepared with plenty of water and ice packs.

    (Video) Safe Trailering Demonstration | U-Haul | How To Properly Load A Trailer

  10. Budget appropriately

    Finally, make sure you budget appropriately when planning a DIY move. By moving with a truck rental and not a full-service moving company, you should be able to save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on moving expenses. However, other moving costs can add up quickly. Factor in the cost of gas (check your truck rental’s gas mileage), equipment rentals, moving supplies, truck rental rates, any additional insurance needed, labor costs for moving assistance and storage costs. For tips on budgeting for a move, check here.

Prefer to hire a professional moving company?

Whether you’re relocating across the country or across the street, Moving.com has you covered. To find the bestmoving companyto handle your upcoming move, check our extensive network of reputable and reliablemovers.All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Good luck and happy moving!

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  • What Is the Largest Moving Truck I Can Rent?
  • What You Need To Know About Rental Truck Insurance
  • What Is the Gas Mileage of a U-Haul Truck Rental?
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11 Key Things to Know When Renting a U-Haul Truck or Trailer (3)

Author: Marian White

If anyone knows how to move, it’s Marian White. The South Carolina native spent the last decade living and working in Washington, DC, New York City, Boston and Palm Beach. With every move, she mastered the art of folding bankers boxes, repurposing bubble wrap and unabashedly asking for directions. Before writing for Moving.com, Marian authored “Moving to Palm Beach County: The Un-Tourist Guide,” a relocation guide for moving to the Palm Beaches. Marian has an M.A. in Global Marketing Communications from Emerson College and a B.A. from Furman University.View all posts by Marian White

(Video) The Moving Day using U-Haul Rental 15' Truck | Yana & Lois


What should I bring first to U-Haul? ›

Load Heavy Items in the Front: Place your heaviest items towards the front of the van. Refrigerators, washers, dryers and other heavy furniture work best packed closest to the cab. Keep the weigh balanced from one side to another. Continue loading boxes and other items in tiers on top of the appliances.

Do U-Haul's have backup cameras? ›

Almost all U-Haul trucks now come with the convenience of a backup camera for extra safety. Older models of the 10-foot trucks did not have backup cameras, but they are slowly being replaced. Backup cameras work great in U-Haul trucks because you need as much view as you can when driving.

Does U-Haul hook up the trailer for you? ›

(Note: U-Haul will inspect your vehicle for towing and connect the trailer for you before you hit the road, but it is always a good idea to know how to connect the trailer yourself.)

How does U-Haul work? ›

You pick up your equipment from a rental location near your starting point, then drop it off at a different rental location near your destination. In-Town truck, trailer and/or towing rentals are for local moves or one-time deliveries. You pick up and drop off your equipment at the same rental location.

How do you pack a Uhaul trailer? ›

U‑Haul recommends loading 60 percent of your cargo's weight in the front half of the trailer (near your vehicle) and 40 percent in the back half. This will help to keep your trailer stable and reduce the likelihood of swaying during your drive. Place big furniture items, such as dressers, in the trailer first.

How do you pack a trailer? ›

Moving in a Trailer - YouTube

Do U-Haul trucks have GPS trackers on them? ›

Some U-Haul trucks and equipment use a GPS tracking device, while others do not. This depends on the location of the U-Haul center or branch. In most cases, you'll find that the U-Haul truck does not have a GPS tracking device installed. When the device is installed, it allows the company to track the vehicle.

Is it hard to drive a U-Haul? ›

Driving a U-Haul truck isn't too different from driving a regular vehicle. Our trucks are designed to make moving and driving a simple experience that any DIY mover can accomplish.

Are U-Haul trucks automatic or manual? ›

All of the trucks are automatic, so no shifting or clutch. Acceleration (loaded) can be minimul, so you have to allow a lot of room. Merging into heavy traffic can be challenging. Long uphill runs (into the mountains) means you will be in the slow lane most of the time.

Can you drive faster than 55 with a U-Haul trailer? ›

The maximum recommended speed is 55 mph when towing a U-Haul trailer. Do not exceed any posted speed limit.

How fast can you go with a 5x8 U-Haul trailer? ›

Speed Limit for Uhaul Trailers

The maximum speed limit for towing Uhaul trailers is 55 mph, irrespective of size or whether you're towing with a Uhaul truck or your vehicle.

How do you secure a U-Haul trailer overnight? ›

Do this by installing a padlock through two safety chains. This added security feature will prevent someone without the key to disconnect the trailer from the tow vehicle.

How much does U-Haul charge per mile? ›

How much does U-Haul charge per mile? For local moves, U-Haul charges $0.99 per mile. For long-distance moves, we've calculated that U-Haul's rates average out to about $1.60 per mile.

Does U-Haul refund unused miles? ›

Unused days or mileage are not refunded. Additional days and additional miles are charged at the pre-agreed rate on the contract. Upon check-in fuel, vehicle damage and vehicle condition will be verified. With U-Haul, you can even check the truck in yourself with your smartphone if you choose to self-return your truck.

Why do all u hauls have Arizona plates? ›

Some companies keep track of miles manually while others use GPS systems. So U-Haul, which has been based in Phoenix since 1967, registers all of its rental trucks in Arizona and the state then distributes those license plate fees to other states where the rental trucks travel.

What furniture will fit in a 6x12 U Haul trailer? ›

cargo trailer: Holds a small apartment worth of items: a queen-sized bed, a couch, chairs, boxes, electronics, and square dining room tables. 6 ft. x 12 ft. cargo trailer: Holds up to 2,500 pounds and several rooms of furniture, including L-shaped couches, pianos, and more bulky items.

Where should the load be on a trailer? ›

How to Properly Load a Trailer - CURT - YouTube

How much stuff can fit in a 6x12 U Haul trailer? ›

Our 6x12 enclosed trailers have the capacity to load nearly 2,500 lbs with almost 400 total cubic feet of storage!

How do I keep my trailer from swaying? ›

Checklist for Preventing Trailer Sway:
  1. Load your trailer with 60% of the cargo weight in the front half of the trailer box.
  2. Don't overload your tow vehicle.
  3. Don't exceed your trailer's maximum gross weight.
  4. Only load cargo on the inside of the trailer. ...
  5. Maintain a speed of 55 miles per hour or less.

How do you load furniture on a trailer? ›

Load Largest and Heaviest Items First

This includes items such as refrigerators, washer/dryer, couches, dressers, and coffee tables. You also want to make sure that your heavier items are on the bottom so they do not crush boxes or other items. You also want to keep the weight balanced from one side to the other.

Will a king size bed fit in a 5x8 U Haul trailer? ›

Queen – Cargo Van, 10′ and up moving trucks, and 5'x8′ cargo trailers and up. King – 10′ and up moving trucks, and a 6'x12′ cargo trailer.

Do U Haul trucks have AUX jacks? ›

If your moving truck does not have a button labeled “AUX,” look for a button or dial labeled “input” or “function.” These buttons or dials may have to be pushed or turned more than once to reach the appropriate auxiliary function. The truck's radio display should read either “AUX” or “AUXILIARY.”

How do I disable the GPS on my car? ›

How to Block Vehicle GPS Tracking
  1. 1 Use a plug-in GPS blocker.
  2. 2 Carry a handheld GPS blocker.
  3. 3 Wrap the GPS device in aluminum foil.
  4. 4 Remove the GPS tracker's battery.
  5. 5 Disable location tracking on your cell phone.
  6. 6 Search the exterior of your vehicle.
  7. 7 Examine the interior of your vehicle.

Do Budget trucks have GPS tracking? ›

Budget Truck introduces where2® Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation devices with guidance by Garmin®, making it the first consumer truck rental company to offer GPS devices.

How do you pack a moving cargo trailer? ›

How to Pack 101 - YouTube

How do you pack a utility trailer? ›

Lighter items should be placed near the top and in the rear of the trailer. Your cargo should be packed closely and firmly, and tied down to secure it. Similarly, open trailers should be loaded heavier in the front of the box – up to 60% of the cargo weight.

How do you load au haul? ›

How to Load Your Moving Truck - YouTube

How do you back up a trailer? ›

How To Back A Trailer - YouTube


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