I have moved many times, and at one point at the end of college/beginning of my career I was averaging one move every 9 months! Needless to say, I have rented quite a few moving trucks and getting good deal is easier than you may think. Last time I moved, I took the following steps to find a moving truck and ended up saving $120 off of a $700 rental (17% off).
There are 4 national moving truck rental companies for those movers who wish to move themselves, U-Haul, Budget, Penske, and Ryder. Of course there might also be local or regional companies in your area for local moves, which I also recommend you consider as they maybe able to make you a better offer than the national chains. Simply follow these steps to get the best deal possible on your next moving truck rental.
3 Steps to Getting a Deal on a Moving Truck
- Go to the following websites and quote your rental online: U-Haul, Budget, Penske, and Ryder. Be sure to align all of the options as closely as possible to obtain comparable quotes (same size truck, same amount of moving pads, hand trucks, etc.). Print out (or save) your quotes.
- Most likely U-Haul will be the cheapest but you’ll have to decide whether to seriously consider using them (see below). Take the Budget and Penske quotes, and call the customer service department of the lower quote and ask if they can offer you a better deal.
- Call the customer service department of the higher of Penske and Budget quotes, explain to them that you have a lower quote from the other company, and ask if they can beat the deal. From my experience they will usually at lease match the quote and then you will have your choice of either Penske or Budget at a considerable discount from the originally quoted price.
Penske and Budget
Penske and Budget truck rentals are quite comparable in service, truck quality, and other factors. Penske and Budget do not take U-Haul quotes into consideration because they offer a higher quality product than U-Haul does, so do not even ask either of them to beat a U-Haul quote.
The only “problem” I have ever had with Penske was on my last rental I had reserved a hand truck for moving large heavy items, and when I arrived they were all out of hand trucks. But they immediately took care of the situation by offering to reduce my rental by $25 so that I could go and purchase my own. I was completely satisfied at how they handled the situation, and now I have my own hand truck.
Also, AAA members save 10% on Penske truck rentals. In my case the 10% savings more than paid for my AAA membership, so I signed up just for the Penske discount.
I found Ryder rental quotes to be higher than the others, so I have never dealt with Ryder (besides getting a quote) and as such I haven’t really discussed them in this article. That being said, I still suggest getting quote from Ryder, if for nothing other than comparison purposes. For my upcoming move, I will again consider them along with Penske and Budget and see what they quote me this time.
U-Haul trucks are notorious for being not being properly maintained and not meeting safety standards. The last time I rented a U-Haul truck, I thought it was going to break down on my way to return it (fortunately the truck made it back). Since then I will only consider U-Haul for trailer rentals (when I’m able to borrow someone’s reliable truck to pull a trailer), but considering whether or not you want to take your chances with U-Haul is a decision you will have to make.
Moving Expenses Deduction
Don’t forget to save your receipts, because you can deduct all of your moving expenses from your federal income taxes (as long as you were not reimbursed for them). Read more about deducting your moving expenses.