Hiring movers is always going to make the moving process a lot easier both mentally and physically. However, if you simply can’t squeeze the expense of movers into your budget or if you are dying for an extreme workout for the day then truck rentals are your next best option. You definitely do not want to rely on a couple of buddies with pickup trucks. This will take several trips back and forth, and you are almost guaranteed to get caught in at least one passing shower, according to Murphy’s Law.

So let’s look at the 5 most important things when renting a truck for your local move:

If you are taking the self-move approach, there are a few rental truck tips and tricks that will help ensure the day goes smoothly, and you don’t spend more than you need to.


When you start comparing rental trucks between different companies you should have a good idea of how many miles you will be traveling. It is important to look at the big picture. One quote may look much more attractive than others, but it could come with a huge mileage charge. If you are only moving across town, maybe this is not a big deal, but if you are traveling a significant distance this option could have you paying more than the others. The average cost per mile is $.40, so opting for a rental truck that costs more but includes unlimited miles may be in your best interest.

If you do decide to go with a rental truck that charges by the mile plan your route thoughtfully. You want to travel the shortest distance. Does the company have a location in your new area where you can drop your truck off so you don’t have to cover the roundtrip miles? This will save you money, too. Maybe you have someone who can drive your car and follow the rental truck. Then, you simply have to drive them home later.

Return Time

Some people book a moving truck only for a couple of hours, assuming they will have plenty of time to get done and return their rental truck. These moves rarely go smoothly. This will be the time when your friends arrive late to help you, you get stuck in traffic, and your landlord forgets he’s supposed to meet you with the keys. Give yourself plenty of time.
Some rental truck companies advertise 24 hours, but this does not necessarily mean 24 hours from the time you pick the rental truck up. In many cases, there is one specific time all rental trucks need to be returned, regardless of what time it was when you picked the rental truck up. Make sure you know when the rental truck needs to be returned to avoid a charge.


Some companies give discounts to students, seniors, and/or military personnel. If the company you are interested in offers discounts, but you don’t qualify see if someone you know who does qualify will book the rental truck for you. In many cases, you can be the relative of someone who qualifies. For example, if your grandpa will use his credit card to book the rental truck, but he can’t physically get to the facility to sign the papers, then the manager may let you just sign everything. It really depends on if you are dealing with a local company or a chain.

Reserve Early

Booking a rental truck last minute is almost always guaranteed to cost you more than if you reserve in advance. Reserve your rental truck as far ahead as possible. Weekends are typically more expensive, as are early morning appointments.


Different rental truck companies have unique insurance offerings regarding deductibles and damage covered. Unfortunately, some damage is not covered, which often includes that which happens to the roof. So, if you hit a low-hanging branch or overhang you could end up being liable for the repairs. Make sure you know what you are responsible for if there is damage or an accident.