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Last updated Mar 15, 2024

U-Haul vs. Hiring Movers: Costs, Benefits, and Prices

Is U-Haul the best option? For certain situations, it might be, but the costs can quickly add up when you are planning a move across the country or state.

U-Haul vs. Hiring Movers: Costs, Benefits, and Prices SVL

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Relocating to a new residence brings a mix of excitement and stress, and one of the most significant choices you'll face is determining the best method for moving your possessions.

Most people are concerned about the budget whenever there's a big move on the horizon. U-Haul is often the first choice for those who are planning a move but want to spend as little money as possible.

But is U-Haul the best option? For certain situations, it might be, but the costs can quickly add up when you are planning a move across the country or state. Professional movers or U-Haul: this article will tell you everything you need to know about making the best choice for your move.

The Cost of a U-Haul Rental Truck

The cost of renting a truck from U-Haul can vary significantly depending on your needs and the volume of goods and chattels you need to shift. Here's a quick rundown on what you will likely be paying according to different scenarios:

Size of the truck

U-Haul offers a range of truck sizes to accommodate different moving needs. Naturally, larger trucks come with higher rental fees. You will need to carefully consider the number of belongings you have and choose the appropriate truck size to avoid overspending.

Duration of rental

The cost of moving truck rental from U-Haul will vary depending on how long you need the truck. Some U-Haul rentals are charged by the day, while others offer a flat fee for a set number of days, with additional fees for extra days. You will need to plan your move carefully to minimize rental time and save money.

Distance of the move

U-Haul typically charges a base rate for local moves, with additional fees per mile. For long-distance moves, they may offer a flat rate based on the estimated mileage. Keep in mind that fuel costs are not included in the rental price, so don't forget to factor in fuel prices.

Additional equipment or services

U-Haul provides optional add-ons like dollies, furniture pads, and trailer hitches for an extra fee. While these items can make your move easier, they can also increase the overall cost. Determine which accessories are essential and which ones you can do without.

As you can see, it's difficult to provide an exact price range for U-Haul rentals due to these variables but expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $200 per day or more for a truck, with additional fees for mileage, equipment, and insurance. There's no doubt that U-Haul is a great option for certain situations. However, when moving across the country or miles across the state, U-Haul is rarely your best option.

Benefits of Hiring a Moving Company

While renting a U-Haul may initially seem like the more cost-effective option, it's important to consider the advantages of hiring a professional moving company. Here are just a few of the benefits you will enjoy when you work with expert movers:

Professional movers handle all the heavy lifting

With a moving company, you can focus on more important things while experienced movers load and unload your belongings. This can help prevent injuries and save time, especially for those with limited physical ability or large, heavy items.

Fast, efficient packing and unpacking services

Many moving companies offer packing services, ensuring your items are properly protected and organized for the move. This can help reduce the risk of damage and make the unpacking process easier and more efficient.

Insurance coverage

Good moving companies are fully insured to protect your goods against accidents, damage, or loss. When you have so much else to worry about, this peace of mind is invaluable.

Handling fragile and valuable items

Professional movers are trained to handle delicate items like antiques, artwork, and electronics, reducing the risk of damage during transport.

Time and stress savings

Hiring a moving company can save you both time and stress by handling the logistics and physical labor of your move, allowing you to focus on other important tasks like setting up your new home.

Comparing the Costs: U-Haul vs. Moving Company

To help you determine which option is best for you, let's compare the costs of a typical U-Haul rental with those of hiring a moving company for a similar move:

U-haul rental costs:

  1. Truck rental fee: $20 - $200 per day
  2. Mileage fee: $0.79 - $0.99 per mile
  3. Fuel costs: Varies based on distance and fuel efficiency
  4. Insurance: Optional, starting at $14 per day
  5. Additional Equipment: Varies based on needs

Moving company costs:

  1. Base rate: $400 - $2,000, depending on the distance and size of the move
  2. Labor costs: Varies based on the number of movers and hours required
  3. Packing and unpacking services: Optional, starting at around $25 - $50 per hour per mover
  4. Insurance: Typically included, with options for additional coverage
  5. Additional services or fees: Varies based on needs and company policies

While the costs of hiring a moving company can appear to be higher than renting a U-Haul, it's important to weigh the trade-offs between the two options. With a moving company, you're paying for convenience, expertise, and a more stress-free experience. On the other hand, a U-Haul rental may be more budget-friendly but requires more time, effort, and potential risks.

U-Haul understands that moving is difficult, which is why they have added a moving labor package to their list of products and services. These are not U-Haul employees. Instead, they are contracted moving services. Do you really want to hand over the care of your goods to strangers without vetting them yourself first?

The Challenges of Moving by Yourself with a U-Haul

Before deciding to rent a U-Haul for your move, consider the potential challenges and drawbacks of a DIY move.

Moving is physically demanding

Moving heavy furniture and boxes can be exhausting and put you at risk for injuries. Most DIY movers rely on friends or family to assist you, which can be a burden on everyone involved. And what happens if one of your family or friends is injured during the move? Can you afford their medical bills?

The stress of driving a large unfamiliar vehicle

Going from a regular car to a large truck is nerve-wracking at the best of times, but even more so when you've got your whole life loaded in the back. Driving a large, unfamiliar vehicle like a U-Haul truck can be stressful, particularly if you're navigating through tight spaces, busy streets, or long distances.

Potential for accidents or damage

Without the expertise of professional movers, you might inadvertently damage your belongings during the loading, transport, or unloading process. Additionally, accidents can occur while driving the truck, leading to costly repairs or replacements.

Diy moves can take a long time

Moving by yourself with a U-Haul can take longer than hiring a moving company, as you'll need to handle every aspect of the move, from packing to driving to unloading. Packing a truck may seem simple, but keeping all items safe is an art form that professional movers have developed over decades of experience. If you're on a tight schedule or need to start a new job shortly after your move, you'll feel a lot more relaxed about getting to your first day on time when using professional removalists.

Making the Right Decision for Your Move

When choosing between a U-Haul and a moving company, consider the following factors to determine which option best suits your needs:

  • Budget constraints: If you're on a tight budget, renting a U-Haul might be the more affordable choice, but don't forget to factor in the additional costs and potential risks.
  • Time availability: Consider the amount of time you have to dedicate to your move. If you're pressed for time, hiring a moving company can help streamline the process and reduce stress.
  • Level of assistance needed: If you have many large or fragile items, or if you need help with packing and unpacking, a moving company can provide the expertise and support you need for a smooth move.
  • Personal preferences: Ultimately, your choice will come down to your personal preferences and comfort level. Some people prefer the control and independence of a DIY move, but most people are more than happy to leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.

Make an informed decision by researching and comparing quotes from U-Haul and a [professional moving company. We guarantee you will be surprised about how little you are saving, especially when you weigh up the benefits of a done-for-you service versus doing all the heavy lifting yourself.

Moving can be a complex and challenging process, but understanding the costs and benefits of renting a U-Haul versus hiring a moving company can help you make the best decision for your unique circumstances. By considering factors such as budget, time constraints, and the level of assistance needed, you can choose the right solution for your move and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.

You can read more useful tips and articles on our blog.

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Daria Golovaneva


My job is to inform you about the status of your move. I will also be happy to answer any of your questions: the time of arrival of the team, payment methods, questions about the storage of your belongings, delivery time, and others. Feel free to contact me and I will help you with any question!