PROS / U-Haul offers a great selection of services, good territory coverage and a nice selection of additional products you may need.
CONS / More expensive than their competitors and very few customer support features.
VERDICT / In many cases, U-Haul may be the only company that can suit your needs, but if they are not, try going somewhere else.
While Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner U-Haul is the best known of all the companies we reviewed, they fall short of being the best truck rental services company. While they cover an extensive territory, offer an excellent array of services and provide all the moving supplies you may need, they are somewhat expensive and do not offer the same level of customer service as many of their competitors.
U-Haul covers a variety of territories, including Canada and anywhere in the continental U.S. They also have over 15,000 locations, the most of any company reviewed, so you will have an easier time finding a rental location for their company than one of their competitors.
Of all the truck rental services companies we reviewed, U-Haul offers the most extensive array of services, which is the main thing that allowed them to rank so highly amongst the competition. When it comes to assistance in packing, unpacking, loading, unloading, even cleaning your house or driving your rental, they have what you need. They are able to provide these services because they have partnered with companies that provide all of these services for your convenience, allowing you to choose whether you want to do everything yourself or absolutely nothing.
Additionally, they have the greatest selection of moving vehicles, including pickup trucks, vans, trailers, auto-trailers and five different sizes of moving trucks that range from 10 to 26 feet long. This is particularly notable, because they are the only truck rental service we reviewed that offers trailer rentals and they offer a wide array of them, including covered cargo trailers and uncovered utility trailers in a range of sizes.
They are the only company reviewed that offers their own self-storage units and one of only two companies to offer storage pod moves, referred to here as “U-Box, We Haul,” where in you pack the box and they deliver it to your new home.
This truck rental services company also offers any additional equipment you may require to complete a move, including packing supplies, boxes and mattress/furniture covers. In your truck, they will always include tie downs, a dolly and furniture pads, which you are welcome to use for an additional fee. This is a nice feature because many people do not think they will need these items until they are in the middle of a move, when it is often too late to go get them.
Although the company has one of the lowest base prices we looked at, only $19.99 for a 10 foot truck, they make up for this by charging one of the most expensive fees per mile, $0.99 per mile. Insurance is also cheap through the company, as it costs around $15, but again, you need to consider the total cost of the rental after you drive it back and forth before you can truly evaluate which moving rental service is the best value.
When it comes to long distance moves, U-Haul is surprisingly expensive compared to the other truck rental service companies that perform one way rentals. In fact, it was more than twice the cost of our low-price leader, Elite, and around $700 more than either Penske or Budget. The company’s $2442 rate for a 3,000 mile trip from La Mesa, CA to Hinsdale, MA included 10 days of time with the truck and unlimited drivers, but no number of free additional drivers could make up for that massive increase in cost.
This is one area where this truck rental services company falls short of many of their competitors, while they offer roadside assistance and guarantee your equipment will be there when you come to pick it up, the company has an abysmal record for both safety and customer support in general. Although we did not review the companies for their safety because it would be difficult to find records on hazards to compare most companies, U-Haul’s numerous safety problems have been subject to national news coverage in the last few years. An Los Angeles Times piece uncovered shocking evidence regarding the company’s trailer rentals, including the fact that most of their small and mid-size trailers have no brakes, which is against the law in 14 states.
Additionally, the Times discovered that their aging fleet or trucks and trailers included a number of vehicles that were in poor condition and were not properly service in between each trip. In many cases, some vehicles had gone over a year without proper upkeep, including giving the vehicles new brakes and tires. Many of the trucks remain on the road after they have racked up over 200,000 miles. Although they continually buy new trucks and sell older models, the company has no policy as to when a vehicle needs to be retired from the fleet, so your reservation is a matter of luck to some extent. In comparison, Penske’s oldest trucks are no more than 3 ½ years old and the average age of Budget’s fleet is 2 ½ years.
Aside from the company’s poor safety record, their guarantee has proven to be fruitless to the point where a class action suit was actually filed against the company for repeatedly breaking their own reservations guarantee. That case resulted in a ruling that ordered U-Haul to provide its customers with $50 if the reservations were broken in any manner, but according to some consumers, even getting this compensation can be difficult.
For a truck rental services company this size, it seems strange that their website includes no moving tips, or even safety advice, which can be a life or death matter when it comes to the proper loading of a trailer. They also do not offer pick up service, but given their other customer service issues, this seems to be a null point.
Because U-Haul is the only one to offer trailer rentals and one of only two truck rental services companies to offer storage pod moving, you might have little choice but to go with U-Haul. If you do have the option though, you may want to consider one of their competitors that has a lower price and a higher customer service record.