Renting a moving truck for a long-distance move can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With these 7 tips and secrets for renting a moving truck, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your next move. Better yet, some of these secrets are done way ahead of time, so if you are planning on moving in the next year or two, these seven tips for renting a moving truck can help you save a lot of money.
7 Best Times To Rent A Moving Truck To Save Money
The worst times of the month are the beginning of the month and around the 15th of the month, because these are the times that people are moving the most, since most leases are the 1st or 15th of the month.
The worst times of the year are closer to summer, and the cheapest times of the year are the middle of winter. However, winter is a risk because of potential snow and ice, especially if you live up north or are traveling through northern or inland areas. Your moving truck probably does not have winter tires if you are going from Texas to North Dakota, for example. Although I am not sure why anyone would want to move from Texas to North Dakota!
The early fall can also be expensive since there are a lot of students moving to school and old people as well as rich people migrating south for the winter. Therefore the best time of the year with the lowest cost that is also safe enough would be after the winter storms are over and before June when the rates go up for the summer. However, keep in mind that April and May are storm season, so beware of hurricanes, tornadoes, and hail storms. Keep a close eye on the weather reports if you are traveling in April or May.
When I moved in May I actually rented a storage unit for my car in Texas while I was there since the place I was renting did not have a garage. I was not going to take the risk of hail damage. And guess what - it did hail. My car was safe because I kept a close eye on the weather reports and took extreme precautions.
So the best times to rent a moving truck is Monday through Thursday, at least a week from the first or the 15th of the month, in the spring. Just watch the weather to avoid Spring storms.
6 Ask For A New Moving Truck.
If you ask for a new truck, you might not get it due to availability, but at least you can get the best truck available. Additionally, sometimes if you ask way ahead of time, they might be able to make sure that you get a new truck reserved since you explicitly asked for a new moving truck but the other guy did not.
5 Don't Tell Them Who You Are When You Reserve The Moving Truck
So use a fake but real-sounding name, not John Doe for example or they will know you are lying and insist they need your real name to make the reservation. Also do not give them your phone number or real home address, and make a new email just to use for the quote. Mail.com is a free email, the email really sucks but unlike gmail and aol mail, mail.com doesn't require a phone number.
4 Ask For Extra Days For Free For Your Moving Truck
I really needed those extra 3 days too! If you try to cut it too close with a complicated plan, you could end up paying an extra $100 per day, and there is no negotiation on that - I tried. I wanted 8 days actually but they said $100 so I did it in 7 days. The reason I needed the extra days is because I picked it up from another state, losing 1 day, and I took extra long to load the truck, losing 2 days, so I could rest after a long journey only to do it again. So the longer you have the better.
Days available are also based on availability. So they might not be able to give you extra days, but if you call back in a week or month, they might have those extra days available.
Also be persistent. If they say, oh you can have 1 extra day, ask for 3. If they say 2 ask for 4. Of course, be reasonable. If you are going only 10 hours away, you don't need the truck for 7 days, and they won't give it to you. But they will probably give you a couple extra days than is standard if you ask for it.
3 Reserve The Moving Truck To Save Money
After you reserve the truck, you are locked into that rate, so you can change the move date as many times as you want and the rates won't change. So you are not locked into that moving time. Three times I changed it to a different month, and no problem.
2 Save Money On Your Moving Truck With Discounts
The second is an additional web discount. You have to explicitly ask for this, and some reps might say there isn't one until you insist. There is, trust me (with some of them, not all of them). It is usually around 10% to 15% off on top of the AAA discount. You can save a lot of money with these two discounts.
1 The Top Secret For Saving Money When Renting A Moving Truck
The best advice is to start out the conversation and let them know you are trying to find the lowest rate and are willing to travel to pick up the truck and also to drop it off. Ask them to search many cities within a few hundred miles. Usually big cities are more expensive, but not always. Sometimes small cities are more expensive. A good rep will help you find the lowest rate, knowing you are willing to travel.
It is cheaper from some cities because it also helps them, because otherwise they would have to pay an employee to relocate the truck to where there is more demand. The cities which everyone is leaving are often the most expensive, due to higher demand and less availability. If you live anywhere in California or New York, for example, you will have to pay 2 or 3 times the normal rate, unless you are willing to travel a considerable distance for savings.
Make sure you factor in gas costs - if you save $100 but have to drive 500 miles, the gas alone will cost more than your savings. Calculate based on 8 to 10 miles per gallon. For example, 500mi/10mpg = 50 gallons, 50 gallons x $2.50/gal = $125 in gas, plus your expense to travel to the city to pick up the truck.
Even if you only broke even (savings of $100, gas cost of $100), it would not be worth the additional hassle. So it's best to make sure your pick up and drop off are within a couple hundred miles, or make sure you save a lot of money - at least several hundred dollars.
Also make sure your truck is a one-way with unlimited miles. If you have to pay per mile, this would defeat the purpose. Never use a moving truck company who charges per mile on one-way moves, they are just trying to rip you off.
As a runner-up tip for saving money on your moving truck, I might suggest counter-intuitively to spend a little more on the damage insurance. It could cost $20 to $30 extra per day, but if you dinged the moving truck just once and it was minor, or brushed by a tree, it could still cost you thousands. Personally, I took a gamble and got lucky, but it is a big risk to take. Their damage insurance will fully release you from liability of any accidental damage.
I hope these 7 secrets for renting a moving truck helped you save a lot of money. What is your favorite tip for saving money when renting a moving truck?