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
U-Haul is often one of the first things that people mention whenever nationwide moving and relocations are discussed. But the question is, is it really worth using? Is it better than hiring full service movers?
But before anything else, let's define it first.
U-Haul is a moving equipment and storage rental company that's based in Phoenix, Arizona. The company started operations in 1945 as a trailer rental system, serving do-it-yourself movers and their households.
Today, U-Haul offers rental trucks, trailers and towing services, U-Box pods (pods), storage services, as well as boxes and packing supplies.
So basically, the target customers of U-Haul are people who prefer doing relocations by themselves. Those who don't want to hire professional movers who will do the work for them.
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U-Haul claims that on average, a do-it-yourself move can be accomplished for less than the cost of a van-line (or full service) move.
A lot of people with tight budgets turn to U-Haul in the hopes of getting significant savings for their relocation. They often argue that they're willing to exert a bit of extra effort if the effect is saving money and doing their relocation at a cheaper cost.
Our goal today is to find out if this claim is true.
Let's say that you want to move the contents of your 2-bedroom apartment from Chicago, Illinois to Baltimore, Maryland. That's about 782 miles apart.
Upon initial inquiry, the original price you'll see in U-Haul's website is $805. This looks really cheap right? Very enticing indeed.
But in reality, it doesn't end there. This price covers only the cost of getting the truck. You will also be charged based on the mileage which is about 0.79-0.99 cents depending on the day you rent the truck. Oh, there's also the $15 insurance cost, plus costs for dollies, moving pads, packing supplies, tolls, gas and so on.
Once you add all that up, you'll get a total of about $1,600-1,700 or so. Take note that we didn't even include here the price for your meals and stopovers.
And let's not forget the fact that the stress and fatigue you'll get which of course cannot be computed in terms of monetary amounts.
Now on the other hand, let's look at the price of doing the same relocation should you hire a full service moving company. At an estimate, the price of the total package should cost you about $1800-2,000 depending on what company you hire. This involves the usual services of loading, transport, unloading, transport, etc. Some companies even include free packing supplies and assistance as part of their package.
So really, if you think about it, there's little to almost no difference when it comes to the cost of getting U-Haul rentals versus hiring the services of a professional, full service moving company.
All things considered, the answer here is NO. Shaving off a few dollars from your moving budget is not worth all the pain and stress that you'll undergo with a self-move (DIY move). Just think about all the time that you would be wasting. That's time that you could have used instead on your business, and other more profitable activities.
If the cost argument still isn't enough for you, let's look at the other benefits of hiring full service movers:
Unless you're living with an athletic, all-male ensemble, all the lifting, pushing and pulling, will take its toll on your body. Full service moving companies will send you people whose job is to do everything for you. You don't have to break a sweat.
When you're doing a DIY move, there's nobody there to ask if you have any pressing questions. Hiring professional movers means leaving your precious things in the hands of experts. People who move things everyday for a living.
Again, let's stress all of the time you'll be saving by letting professional movers do the work for you. That can go anywhere from a couple of hours to about a day or two. For sure, you probably have other more pressing matters to attend to. When you're doing a relocation, every second counts so make the most of it.
So in conclusion, while U-Haul does offer a cheaper alternative to some degree, after weighing in all the pros and cons, our recommendation is that you'll be better off hiring full-service movers instead.
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