Things to Consider When Renting a Moving Van

By Mike Jones, VP of Operations, USstoragesearch.com

So, you’ve decided to go the DIY route and are renting a moving van to help you do it. That’s awesome. If you’ve got the time, energy, and patience, go for it. When you’re renting that truck and begin loading it, you need to keep several things in mind—especially if you have to take it multiply places like your current residence, your storage unit, and then to your new place (with maybe a few fast food or home improvement store stops on the way).

First, make sure you’re old enough to actually rent a moving van before you show up on the big moving day to rent the van and they won’t give it to you. Most companies have a minimum age so make sure you are old enough to drive it. Also, before you get rolling into the process too far, make sure you have the proper driving documentation in order to rent a van. A valid driver’s license and proof of insurance is typically required.

If you're renting a moving van, be sure to go over your contract carefully with the rental company before signing anything. (Shutterstock.com/kurhan)

If you’re renting a moving van, be sure to go over your contract carefully with the rental company before signing anything. (Shutterstock.com/kurhan)

Next, ask yourself if you genuinely feel comfortable driving a moving van. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere because you didn’t know how to drive it.

Also, consider carefully how large of a vehicle you’ll need. Size usually greatly impacts the price of a rental. Sometimes people find it more economical to rent a smaller vehicle if they can make more than one trip to get their stuff.

When you’re packing, also start stocking up on bungee cords, blankets, straps, and other items that will help make securing your items in the van safer and easier. You’d be surprised at how many stretchy cords you can go through when trying to make furniture stay put in the back of a van.

Ask the rental company about mileage charges, gas fill-up fees, and any other charges that might be associated with your move. Share with them as much information as you have about your move (within reason) so they can get a clear picture of your situation and give you a more accurate estimate.

Lastly, just be safe! Going the DIY route for moving is great if you have a few buddies who can help you lift the heavier items and can take shifts in the driving if need be. Don’t over exert yourself and don’t get stuck paying more than you thought you might because you didn’t prepare enough before renting the moving van. Most rental companies should be happy to help you figure out which rental choice will be the best for you and your situation.

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