When moving long distance there are many ways you can decide to tackle it. You can either do it yourself by renting a truck, loading and driving it yourself - or you can consider a full service move. You may think that a DIY move will always save you money and that's actually not the case.
With gas prices soaring to highs never seen before that affects all other aspects of moving including the prices of truck rentals. Right now if you're looking to rent a truck in the North East coming down the East Coast, you will be paying at a minimum of $2,000 just to rent the truck - not to mention paying $4.00+ a gallon for gas. Full service moving companies can be very competitive with those prices and can take a lot of stress away.
There are some things to consider before renting a truck and doing it yourself - such as, how much stuff will I be moving? What size truck would I need? How many miles per gallon does the truck get? How many tolls will I have to pay with the route I'm going for my trip? Am I capable of driving the truck safely? Will I have to stop at any weigh stations along the way?
If your move is on the smaller side and you could possibly fit everything into your car or a cargo van, that might be your best bet in some cases. If the size of your move exceeds that, you should at least consider a full service moving company for comparing purposes.
Another thing to consider would be, how fragile or valuable are my items? And do I know how to securely pack them into the truck? With a rental truck you don't have cargo insurance - just insurance on the actual truck not your belongings packed inside. With a full service moving company you have the peace of mind of having insurance to cover any damages or mishaps that may happen along the way.
Consider the fact that you may have to stop at weigh stations on the highway. It depends on the state but about half of the states you will drive through require you to stop at all weigh stations if your truck is 10,000lbs. or more. For reference, the average GVW (gross vehicle weight) for a 10-foot truck rental is around 8,600 pounds, while a 26-foot truck will be around 26,000 pounds. When you stop at these weigh stations you will also have to provide and itemized list of all the items that you are transporting - if not, law enforcement can make you completely offload the truck to make sure everything is in order. Also, you have to pay for the weigh stations which is another cost. You have to think about this ESPECIALLY if you are planning to tow a vehicle behind the moving truck.
Other things to consider that will add to the cost of your DIY move:
- Moving equipment: You’re going to want to use moving blankets, dollies, etc.. Sometimes they’re included with the truck, and other times you’re going to have to pay extra for them.
- Mileage and returning the truck: How many miles are covered by the rental fee? If you go over, you’re going to have to pay for each mile you drive over the limit. Returning the truck late or to another location (another state) will likely also result in a fee.
- Gas: You’re going to have to pay for gas on your trip, and trucks aren’t the most fuel-efficient vehicles, especially when loaded down with all your possessions, so budget for that. It's hard to predict the price of fuel these days which makes this even more important to consider. Also, make sure to fill up the truck before returning it – you can be charged for returning it low on fuel.
You need to look at all these costs, not just relying on the quote for the rental.
With all the uncertainty going on in the world right now, considering a full-service moving company for your upcoming move is not a bad idea. We can provide you with a binding not to exceed price that will not vary when gas prices spike. As previously stated, although you may think you will save money with your DIY move there are a lot of external factors that can make that not the case.
Going with a full-service moving company you will be able to foresee any additional costs ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly. When driving a rental truck 2,000 miles anything can happen.
Let us help you with your upcoming move and make it a good experience that works within your budget. We look forward to working with you!