So you are thinking of moving and would like to rent a moving truck to transport your goods. Good choice – renting a truck is much cheaper than hiring movers to do the job. But are you wondering how to go about it? We will show you how in 10 simple steps.
1. Determine the size of the truck
It is most important to estimate the size of your truck – you don’t want it to be too small or too big. Small trucks may make you end up making more trips and cost you more. Your truck size should cater for about 10 to 15 % more space than you require. On an estimate, a two-room worth of belongings will require a 10-foot truck while three to four room’s worth will require a 16-footer.
Take the help of rental companies if you are not sure of estimating your requirements. You can use online tools to help you out from sites like Penske and 123Movers.com
2. Determine your mileage
This is very important if you want to keep a control on your budget while moving. Some rental agencies charge a flat rate for a certain number of miles with additional charges for extra miles, whereas others may charge an all inclusive rent for the number of days of rental. Again charges will be different if you return the truck at point of origin or want it picked up.
3. Get estimates
After determining the size of truck and the mileages involved, check rates with at least 5 rental agencies to get the best deal. Ask for discounts. Ask for a price breakdown. If it is an off-peak season in which you are moving, ask for further discounts. Bargain; you may be surprised at what you can save by it!
4. Plan and book early
Booking early will ensure a truck when you need it. You may not be able to book one at the last minute during peak periods like the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The end of the month is also a very busy period for trucking. Book early, typically two to three weeks in advance, and avoid disappointment.
5. Documents required
You will require some documents before you can rent the moving truck:
- A valid and current driving license
- A major credit card (you’ll have to pay the deposit)
- Valid insurance cover – check if you are adequately covered by your credit card, auto, or home insurance
6. Get insured if not already covered
In case you do not have insurance or have inadequate insurance, the rental agency can provide you one. The auto rental insurance generally covers the following:
- Damage waivers to protect you against damage or theft of the moving truck.
- Supplemental liability insurance against property damage and bodily injury claims filed against you.
- Personal and cargo policies protect your property while it’s inside the rental truck.
- Auto tow protection covers damage to or theft of your personal vehicle if you’re towing it on a trailer.
7. Check for tools
It’s a good idea to look around the rental agency for any additional tools you may require helping you handle your belongings and packing your truck. Hand pallets, hand trucks, straps, pads, blankets, can all be hired for an extra charge. They help reduce the strain of lugging around your belongings and help to secure them during the move.
8. Pay the deposit
Once you have reached an agreement and have all the papers in order, you have to pay the deposit. Generally it is half the rental amount. The other half, along with any additional charges, is paid after the rental truck is returned. Some rentals do not ask for a deposit but take your credit card details for reference.
9. Inspect the truck
Before taking over the truck from the rental agency, inspect it thoroughly. Note down and report all damages, scratches, wear and tear on the interior and exterior of the truck. Record the mileage, gas level, and odometer readings. Remember to fill up gas to the recorded level to avoid paying extra charges.
10. Secure documents
Before leaving, check that all documents are in order and secure them safely. These include the agreement, the inspection sheet, trip sheets, and insurance papers. These documents are vital if you are stopped by the highway patrol or when passing through check posts. Take copies of them when you return the vehicle.
Keep documents as proof of your move, along with receipts of all expenses incurred. This may be required for tax deductions or for writing off your move.