The Pros and Cons of Getting Rental Trucks When Moving

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The Pros and Cons of Getting Rental Trucks When Moving Long Distance

It’s a difficult decision in deciding whether to pay movers to move your home or if you should hire a rental truck and do it yourself. This is especially tricky if you are moving across the country. Depending on your budget, paying someone to move you may seem like the least amount of trouble. However, if you need to save some money on the move, renting a truck and doing it yourself may be the better economical choice. Here are the pros and cons of renting a truck and doing it yourself.

rental trucks

Pros to Renting a Truck with Moving Yourself Long Distance

It’s Economical

When you rent a moving truck, you are only paying for the rental of the moving truck plus mileage and gas. There are no fees for paying someone to pack your things for you or put them in the truck. All of that is done by you and your family so you end up saving a lot of money in the long run. You can also decide which size truck you need as they come in a variety of sizes so you won’t end up getting more truck than your belongings need.

You are in Control

When you rent a moving truck, you are in control of the schedule, when you leave, how things are packed and when you arrive at your new home. You are not at the mercy of someone else’s schedule, wondering when they will arrive and also worrying about your belongings on the drive. You will know how everything is packed and exactly when everything will get there.


When you rent a truck, you can decide when you will pick it up and for how long. If you want to be very economical, you can schedule your moving to use the least amount of time as possible. So, you’re not paying for the truck when nothing is happening. When you hire movers, not only are you paying for the downtime of the truck but also the salaries of the movers. Also, if you have a strange schedule for moving and plan on moving your things in the evening or on a weekend, renting a truck is more flexible. With movers that would be an extra charge but with a moving truck, it’s just part of the rental.
Most companies have convenient locations that are close to your home. Some companies also rent cargo and vehicle trailers all across the country.

Strangers in your House

Movers coming into your home and packing your belongings can seem very odd to some people. When you have strangers in your home, you need to make sure they are bonded and the movers are safe for you family to be around. These aren’t worries you will have if you rent a truck and move yourself.

Pick Up and Drop Off in Different Cities

Rental trucks will also let you pick up a truck in one city and then return it in another. This is very convenient when you are moving across the country. And it you need the truck for a longer period of time, it’s easy to make the rental last longer.

Cons to Renting a Truck with Moving Yourself Long Distance

Unplanned Expenses

During any move there are unplanned expenses and extra costs that go along with renting a moving truck. These extra costs are easy to miss when you rent a truck and pay for your rental. The gas for a moving truck can get rather expensive since it is a much larger vehicle that will eat gas faster than you are used to. Also, if you need rental equipment like dollies and packing materials, they are not included in the rental of the truck and will be added to your rental costs.

Pressure to Return the Truck

When you have rented a truck for a few days or a few hours, you know you have a time limit and you feel rushed to complete the move so you can get the truck back on time. This can be stressful as there are often things that pop up during the move that take longer than you expected and there may be a penalty charge if the truck is not returned in time so make sure to watch the clock.

Pick Up and Drop Off

Picking up the rental truck can add time to your already stressful day of moving. You have to schedule time for picking up the truck into your day and, depending on the process at the office, there could be hiccups. Depending on the time of the week, a lot of people will be moving at the same time so it might be difficult to get a rental truck or you will have long lines to wait in.

Driving a Large Truck

Driving a large truck can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t done it before. You will need to know if the truck has an automatic transmission or if it has a manual transmission and then make sure you have someone that can drive it. Driving a large truck through traffic, parking it and backing it up into tight spaces all have a learning curve since the average person does not have this skill. If you are driving a long distance, you might encounter steep mountain grades, rough weather and other road hazards. This can be a challenging trip so be prepared for a stressful drive on your move.

Insurance and Other Unexpected Charges

There is no insurance on the truck, you driving it or on your belongings. To have insurance, you have to pay extra at the time of the rental. There may also be a cleaning clause that you need to be aware of in case the vehicle is not cleaned properly when it is returned and then you may be charged a cleaning fee. You also need to bring the truck back with the same amount of gas or you will be charged accordingly.

Bad Customer Service

Some rental companies are well known for their bad customer service experience and bad vehicle maintenance. If the truck breaks down, you can wait hours for someone to come along and fix it. It’s also common for some companies to double book their trucks so it’s possible that you might not get the truck that you reserved when you arrive.

Moving day is always stressful no matter which way you decide to move. However, with a little planning and knowing all the costs ahead of time, renting a truck can be a money saver which is always a good thing when you are moving.