Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
It’s no doubt that U-Haul has been making the rounds in the self-moving and self-storage space for a long time now. Its history tracks back to 1945 when founders L.S. “Sam” Shoen and his wife Anna Mary Carty Shoen decided to take the initiative of setting up a Do-It-Yourself moving venture. It was after World War II that the need for interstate and local moving equipment was required and that’s where U-Haul came in to fill in the gaps.
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They started small, borrowing trailers from welding shops and private owners. Now, they are one of the largest and most comprehensive renting equipment companies that cater to a variety of services. Their services extend to over 20,000 locations along with their impressive fleet of vehicles, it’s no wonder that people have chosen U-Haul to satisfy their self-moving or self-storage needs.
Before we get into U-Haul’s competitors, let us take a look at some of its services, pricing, and ultimately list out its pros and cons so that we can make better comparisons to its competitors.
We did mention how U-Haul aces the vehicle rentals game in the beginning. You will have the opportunity of using a moving truck without bearing the headache of owning one. They are ready to use and you can pick them from a wide selection of destinations in the U.S. – and even in Canada! Just pick up and drop the truck off at the same location after you complete your move.
If you are doing a small move, you have a selection among their 8’ pick-up trucks, 9’ cargo vans, or 10’ trucks. If your move is slightly larger, you have options for that as well. Choose among their 15’, 20’, or 26' truck rentals. These dimensions are perfect for local and long distance moves as well.
If you ever need to transport a car, U-Haul has a variety of car carriers to transport the vehicle to your desired location.
If you’re looking for temporary storage solutions, U-Haul has a wide variety of self-storage units spread across the country. They come in small, medium, and large sizes, so use them according to the strength of your move. But one thing is for sure, U-Haul’s self-storage units have that added level of security, owing to its brand. With several security cameras and alarms installed individually in each unit, you can be certain that your belongings are safe and in the right hands. To add to that, each customer is given a special access card through which they have sole access to their storage unit.
Say suppose you haven't decided on a place, but still need storage to store your articles, for the time being, you can make use of U-Haul’s storage containers. You can stuff a room and a half worth of items in one, and if you need more space, you can always order more containers. As far as security is concerned, these containers are stored in a special warehouse until you need them to be transported to your place. So, you don’t have to worry about your belongings getting swindled at any costs.
Rental rates differ according to the size of the move, the type of truck you choose, and the location and time of the move. All these factors contribute to influencing the costs and that’s why you need to have a thorough discussion with your mover about these things. You can go to U-Haul’s website to get a rough estimate, but based on some reviews, here are a couple of estimates we found.
Suppose you had to do a 932-mile move with a 10’ truck size, you would pay around $937. And the bigger the truck you use, the more you will have to spend. If you had to use a 20’ truck for that same distance, the cost would come to around $1,085. For a local move, say around 30 miles, you would spend around $125 if you use U-Haul’s 10’ truck. Their truck rentals for local moves start from $19.95, plus they offer special rates on Cargo Vans and Pickup Trucks if you need them for an extended period.
Penske might not be as old as U-Haul but does have its humble beginnings that goes back to 1969. However, Penske doesn’t provide any storage facilities of their own although they’re in partnership with third-party storage companies. Instead, they have solely focused on renting trucks, which have been their main source of revenue.
The head company of Penske is headquartered in Reading, PA where it’s overseen by the founding member of the company, Roger Penske, who is currently the chairman of this establishment. If you include their international base, Penske is home to over 60,000 employees around the globe.
Penske has a plethora of moving services and that’s why many choose them for their moving needs. They have 5 different types of trucks that can be picked up and dropped off at any one of their 2,500 locations spanning across the country.
Apart from that, they do provide moving labor, towing services, and packing supplies. But what makes Penske stand out from the rest is the wide array of discounts they offer; college student discounts, AAA discounts, military discounts, and one-way unlimited mileage on truck rentals. With such a variety of discounts, you’re surely going to see more money saved in your bank account.
Penske does provide quality moving services to its customers, but are its rates competitive? Through reviews from reputable forums, we came up with a couple of estimations of Penske’s rental truck rates. Using that information, we came to the conclusion that Penske’s long distance and large moves are much cheaper than their local trip moves in comparison with U-Haul’s rates.
If you were to do a local move with a cargo van, Penske would charge you around $198 plus an additional $1,29 per mile. On the other hand, U-Haul’s short distance rates are much cheaper since you’ll pay just $19.99, plus $0.59 per mile. This just proves to show that getting estimates from at least two companies is important.
For a long distance move, Penske’s 16’ truck will cost you approximately $811 including free mileage. On the other hand, U-Haul’s 15’ truck will cost you close to $1,100 plus limited free mileage. This is where Penske outshines U-Haul – in its long distance moving.
Apart from being one of America's largest retail stores that provide home appliances, furniture, and construction supplies, Home Depot has branched out into truck rentals as well. This venture specializes in local moves but can cater to long distance ones too since they are in partnership with Penske. However, these long distance moves are in selected locations only.
The genesis of this franchise dates back to 1979 when it was first set up in Atlanta, Georgia. Ever since then, this home improvement company has branched out and established many outlets across over 2,300 locations in America. You will find a couple of Home Depot outlets in some parts of Mexico, China, and Canada as well.
While long distance moving is in selected parts of the country due to its partnership with Penske, short distance moves are excelled here in the Home Depot. The pricings are transparent and upfront with no hidden fees, plus there is unlimited mileage on these local moves, which not many moving companies offer.
Home Depot Truck Rental has a pricing system that’s different from its competitors. Usually, you’d pay a flat base fee and an additional mileage fee, but Home Depot charges a flat base fee that includes 75 minutes of time spent on the move.
They have called this pricing module ‘Load ‘n Go’, and although it might seem like a pretty simple system to understand, it falls short. A local move doesn’t take a mere 75 minutes to complete because of factors such as traffic or distance of the move that pushes the time frame further. After your 75 minutes are up, Home Depot levies an extra charge of $15 for every 15 minutes of time you spend with the truck. In addition, you’ll have to pool in a $150 deposit at the beginning, but that is soon returned after you return the truck in proper condition. On the other hand, if you need to keep Home Depot’s truck for a longer period, you can rent them by the week, or by the day too.
If you have a small distance move and you’re on a tight budget, then try using Budget Truck Rentals. Their moving prices are among the best in the business in addition to the vast variety of services they offer. You can choose among their four truck sizes to complete your move, with the 16’ medium truck being the most used of the lot. If your move is even smaller, you can use their pickup trucks to transport the few items you have and complete your move.
In addition to this, they offer towing services that include car carriers, tow dollies, and even provide auto-tow protection plans just in case your vehicle suffers damage while in transit. They also offer loading and unloading services, a wide range of accessories, and a range of protection plans as well. Not to mention, the many deals they offer for students, military personnel, AARP members, and members of the police, fire & EMT force.
Budget Truck Rental's local move pricings are some of the finest in the moving industry. They’re even lower than what U-Haul offers. For a short distance move, you would pay around $21.14 plus $0.47 per mile if you’d choose a Budget 12’ truck rental. On the other hand, long distance moves are a whole other story when it comes to Budget’s pricing. You’ll spend close to $3,000 for a distance of 1,850 miles if you choose Budget’s 26’ truck rentals. And if you compare them with U-Haul’s rate, you’ll find a slight pinch in Budget’s rates. For a long distance move in a 26’ truck, U-Haul will charge you $1,264 for the move.
Now you know some of U-Haul’s top competitors. U-haul does have a lot to offer in terms of moving services and equipment, but there are other companies that offer the same with more competitive prices. That’s why it’s important to get estimates from at least three companies so that you can decide better. Till then, enjoy the process and happy selecting!
There are several alternatives to U-Haul. You can try using other truck rentals by Penske, Home Depot, and Budget Truck. These alternatives offer a wider range of services as well as better and more transparent pricing policies. Better research will always lead you to make better choices.
You will pay around $19.95 for a 10’ truck from U-Haul. They’re great for small distances and smaller movers.
Budget Truck Rental has a 26’ truck that happens to be their biggest one till now. Perfect for larger and longer moves.
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