How Much Does It Cost To Rent a U-Haul Truck?

Moving To a New Home

How Much Does It Cost To Rent a U-Haul Truck?

March 9, 2022

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U-Haul is a moving and storage rental company that has facilities all over America. Many people have and will turn to U-haul to store possessions and to rent vehicles when moving into a new home.

U-Haul is known for its guarantee for renters to pay $19.95 at minimum when renting a truck. You may recognize this from the green sticker that is frequently seen on the side of U-Haul trucks. However, is that guarantee accurate or a marketing tactic?

In this blog post, we go through the general cost of renting a U-Haul truck as well as provide tips to make renting a moving truck easier.

Read More: How Long After Closing on a House Can You Move In?

Things To Consider Before Renting a U-Haul Moving Truck

Renting a U-Haul Truck
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Choosing The Right U-Haul Truck

Choosing the right type of moving truck is an important step to make the moving process much easier. If it’s too small, the truck may not be able to fit all of your items and if it’s too large, then you could be paying for more than you need.

U-Haul offers 7 types of trucks with different dimensions: pickup trucks, cargo vans, 10′ trucks, 15′ trucks, 17′ trucks, 20′ trucks, and 26′ trucks.

Each of the vehicles have different purposes. Pickup trucks and cargo vans in particular can only be used for local moves. You can figure out what truck you need by estimating how much space is available or you can choose a truck based on the number of bedrooms in the residence. The U-Haul website provides a helpful guide on how each truck compares based on the number of bedrooms.

  • Cargo Vans and 10′ Truck: Studio Apartment
  • 15′ Truck: 1 bedroom home or 2 bedroom apartment
  • 17′ Truck: 2 bedroom home
  • 20′ Truck: 2 bedroom home to 3 bedroom apartment
  • 26′ Truck: 3 Bedroom Home to 4 Bedroom Home


How Much Does It Cost To Rent a U-Haul Truck?

The cost of a U-Haul truck is determined largely by the dimensions of the rented truck and the length of time it’s being rented. There are other expenses that play a factor in the total cost as well. Such as…

  • Taxes
  • Mileage Fees
  • Environmental Fees
  • Insurance Fees
  • Availability of Trucks
  • Booking and Moving Day


The $19.95 Advertisement is a Little Misleading

Despite what many people believe, the $19.95 guarantee is only under specific circumstances. $19.95 is the base rate for pickup trucks, cargo vans, and 10′ trucks.

The base rate for 15′ trucks is $29.95 and 17′, 20′, 26′ trucks start at $39.95. These rates only apply for local moves. For longer distances or one-way rentals, U-Haul takes the start and ending location along with the miles traveled into account for renting a truck.

There are also fuel expenses for local moves that range from $0.59 to $0.99 per mile and a hefty fee if the truck is returned with the gas lower than when you first rented it.

One-Way Rentals 

One-way rentals are another way of saying long-distance rental. Instead of returning the truck to the original U-Haul outlet, you will instead be returning the U-haul at another one. One-way rentals provide users with a flat rate that is determined by the type of truck, origin, drop-off location, and the date of the move.

U-Haul estimates the number of days the trip will take and the distance you will most likely travel in miles and includes that fee at a flat rate. If you go over the estimated amount of days or mileage, then you will have to pay additional fees. You can add more days to the estimation for $40 per day and more miles for $0.40 per mile.

As an example: For a trip from Cleveland to New York City, U-Haul provides truck rental rates starting from $550 for up to 3 days of use and 545 miles.

Truck Share 24/7

U-Haul’s Truck Share service allows users to reserve a moving truck through a mobile device at any time during the day or night. Through their mobile app, U-Haul trucks are available for self-pickup and self-returns.


SafeMove and SafeMove Plus Insurance

U-Haul provides insurance for their customers since most of them won’t have insurance to cover the moving truck they rent. There are two types of insurance U-Haul provides for renting trucks: SafeMove and SafeMove Plus. These two insurance packages, however, do not cover pickup trucks and cargo vans.

What Does SafeMove Cover?

Safemove insures the renter for any damage that could’ve happened to the truck because of an accident. Your items being transported in the rental truck are also protected at up to $15,000 for local moves and $25,000 for long-distance. However, each claim you submit is subject to a $100 deductible fee. Safemove also insures renters for up to $1,000 in medical costs.

Not all types of accidents are covered though. For example, destroying your tires or having an accident with overhead obstructions are not covered. If the vehicle is stolen from the renter, they must prove that they are not to blame, such as by having left the keys in the engine. 

SafeMove insurance costs vary based on location but range from $14 to $16 a day.

What Does SafeMove Plus Cover?

Each of the above advantages is included in a Safemove Plus package, as well as protection from tire degradation and overhead impacts. Whenever a renter files a claim, there are no deductibles with SafeMove Plus, and it covers the items you are transporting at up to $1,000,000. If you damage someone else in a crash, you will also be protected from litigation. 

SafeMove Plus insurance costs vary based on location but are usually around $30 per day.

Insurance For Cargo Van and Pickup Trucks

U-Haul does not offer full coverage for cargo vans and pickup trucks since they are only traveling local distances. But, they do offer a collision damage waiver which features a $150 deductible for most damages in an accident.

Check out the full list of insurance options on U-Haul’s website.


4 Tips To Make Your U-Haul Rental Smooth

U-Haul is the most widely available moving truck service in America. It’s very likely that at some point you’ll consider using their services for either an in-town or long-distance move. However, there are always nuances to renting equipment and tips that can make the process much easier. Here are 4 tips for renting a U-Haul truck.

1. Reservations For Equipment Is Never a 100% Guarantee

One of the benefits of U-Haul is that on one-way moves, renters can drop off the rented truck at another U-Haul facility in the area. The downside to this is that it can be hard to predict where renters will drop off their trucks. Not to mention there are renters that return their vehicle later than they are supposed to.

This is part of the reason U-Haul offers a $50 reservation guarantee which states that U-Haul has the right to change the vehicle or the pickup location of your reservation and if the changes are not agreeable to the customer then they will offer you a $50 payment.

Each U-Haul facility has a limited supply of trucks and can’t offer a 100% guarantee of any rental. Even if you’ve made reservations months in advance, U-Haul won’t actually reserve the equipment until days before and will make sure to notify you of this fact through email, text, or phone call.

2. Avoid Making Reservations At The End of the Week or Month

As U-Haul takes the rental day into account when determining the fee for their moving trucks, you will likely see better rates if you avoid making a reservation on the weekend or at the end of the month. Try to find a day in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month for your rental. It’s also best to try to avoid holidays.

3. There Are Age Restrictions

Not everyone can drive a U-Haul truck. U-Haul, of course, requires a driver’s license to operate their vehicles but they also require the driver to be 18 years old or older. However, 16yr olds can rent trailers.

4. Keep Your Receipts

Like with most service businesses, it’s always best to keep any receipts or documentation you have that can prove the amount you are supposed to be billed. Try to keep documentation for any guarantees offered to you through customer service, the distance traveled, the amount of gas used, etc. That way if there is a mix-up when it comes to the final billing, you have proof to back up your estimated costs.


Final Words on U-Haul Truck Rentals

U-Haul may be the most widespread truck rental service in America but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will always be the best option for your situation. Make sure to explore your options and have a backup plan in case anything unexpected happens like your pickup location being moved to a city 50 miles away or U-Haul informing you last minute that they ran out of trucks. Both are possible and it will only benefit you to be prepared for anything


Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash