Is U-Haul Actually Cheaper than Hiring a Mover?
The do-it-yourself option for many tasks in life is often one that can be affordable. If you don’t have the skillset or the right tools for the job though, you may find yourself dissatisfied at best — and risking injury at worst. This can be said about the moving process as well. Often, the upfront quote for rental vans that you drive and load yourself can be less expensive than hiring a full-service, reputable moving company.
However, it’s always key to consider all the factors at play when thinking about what moving option will be right for you. Knowing what you need up front and what your priorities are will help you inform your decision. Really taking time to think this through may save you more than just money in the long run.
Keep reading for more on the factors to consider when making an informed choice between renting a moving van versus working with a moving company.
If all you need is a moving truck and no other assistance, renting a moving van to drive, load, and unload on your own will be more cost effective in many cases. If you know you’ll need help moving a heavy sofa down several flights of stairs or have valuable antiques that need to be carefully handled, any moving assistance (in terms of hired help or moving equipment) will be an add-on cost with local moving services that are often listed on the site. Further, if you determine you need this type of support as you start your move, you may find that you didn’t budget for the extra help. Those unanticipated costs can add hundreds of dollars to your overall move costs.
What’s more, you’ll need to factor in fuel costs, food costs, and any on-the-road accommodations for overnight stops. All of these costs could be less predictable than working with a moving company as prices and availability for each can vary.
Here’s where it’s worth considering an upfront higher cost a bit further: A reputable moving company will provide a quote that has all costs included for the assistance you need. It’s possible that your initial quote will be more expensive than what it would be to just do it yourself, even for a short-distance move. But, a reliable company will be transparent with the cost for service and make assurances that there will be no surprise charges later on in your move.
As they say, time is money. If you need to make a move with short notice, on a quick timeline, or want the flexibility of calling the shots on how your move will go, renting a truck will allow you to set your own timeline once you secure the rental. That said, if you run into any unexpected issues, such as a flat tire, bad weather, or road conditions, this may result in a longer than anticipated timeline. If you can afford the time it could take to plan and execute a move on your own considering these variables, renting a moving van can certainly be an attractive option.
However, if you’re unable to take the steps to move in a timely manner for your needs, hiring professional movers won’t only save you time, but plenty of stress as well. Movers know that people need to relocate for a lot of reasons, different distances, and on both short- and longer timelines. They’ll work with you to determine what your needs are and how they can be met in the timeline you need them done. Movers can save you time and effort by offering support for everything from packing and unpacking, custom crating, furniture assembly, moving, and even storage of stuff you’re not ready to move just yet. It may cost more in your bottom line, but what you’ll gain is confidence that you’ll be able to make your move on your desired timeframe to get on to what you want/need to do when you get there.
Safety and security
If you’re renting a moving truck yourself, you’ll assume responsibility for the truck and for the items you place in it to move. That said, you can often purchase coverage for yourself, your belongings, and any potential damage to the truck at an additional fee.
This is where you’ll potentially save with hiring a moving company to handle your move. Fully licensed moving companies must include basic liability insurance (also called released value protection) for your belongings at no additional cost right off the bat. You can elect to pay for additional coverage if you wish.
When it comes to the actual loading/unloading of your moving truck, you’ll be on your own (or at the mercy of your pals’ goodwill to help out) to move any boxes and furniture into the cargo area. If you’re unsure of your physical ability or how to ensure that what you load into the truck will come back out in the same condition, consider whether the do-it-yourself approach is the right one for you. In terms of safety, you may be looking at injuries to yourself or damage to your most treasured belongings if your do-it-yourself move goes awry — both of which can cost significantly in terms of money, health, and time.
Working with skilled moving professionals, on the other hand, will ensure that your items get where they’re going safely and with proper insurance should anything happen to your stuff. They have the know-how to navigate tight or challenging situations (like getting furniture up and down fifth floor walk-up apartments or following specific city parking regulations to park the truck). Plus, they have all the tools at the ready to move your belongings with care, including carts, dolleys, straps, and moving blankets. Renting or buying this equipment will cost you extra with a rental moving truck.
When all is said and done, what you choose in terms of how you’ll plan your relocation comes down to your priorities. If keeping costs low is top of the list, renting a moving truck may be your first impulse. Depending on what support you need, your timeline, and your concerns around safety and security, you may find that doing it yourself may cost you in more ways than one. That said, you don’t need to be in the dark about upfront costs if you choose to work with professionals. A reputable moving company, like Piece of Cake Moving and Storage, will help you assess your needs, consider the complexity of your move, and give you a quote that won’t leave you questioning whether you’ll be paying more later. In fact, our flat fee formula factors these in to give you a no-surprise guarantee on the cost of your move before your move day. Valuing safety, as well as being licensed, credentialed, and prepared to move you 24/7/365 means you won’t lose money or sleep over your move.
Ready to make a move? Get in touch today for an obligation-free guaranteed flat price moving quote.