Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Saving a Mint on Moving Trucks

Since 2000, I've done three moves. Below, I give you some tips and strategies to substantially cut the costs on moving trucks FOR ONE WAY RENTALS.

Moving truck rates are determined by supply and demand. If an area is a hot spot for moving to, then the rates you'll get on moving trucks leaving the area will be very good (because they want to clear out their building supply of moving trucks). Conversely, if an area is unpopular for moving to, then there will be a shortage of trucks if you want to leave. Rental companies will jack up their prices to discourage rental demand so that it falls in line with their actual supply of trucks.

You will be surprised that if you adjust the location where you pick up a moving truck by 100 or more miles you could likely find some much better deals (even after covering gas expense). Here's my extreme example of where I saved approximately $1,000.

I was moving from eastern Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast. The cost of a 25ft moving truck and car trailer would have cost close to $2k. I have family on the Gulf Coast so I visited them first and picked up the moving truck from a lot 60 miles away from where I planned on turning the truck in ultimately. I paid $250 plus an additional $150 for three extra rental days. This brought my total to about $500. The truck was then driven up to Pennsylvania loaded and brought back down. I specifically called the corporate office to first verify that the truck had unlimited mileage (used Penske truck). Yeah, I paid for extra gas going up but I still saved close to $1000.

If that tip is to extreme/crazy, recommend the following additional tip:
Call the place renting the moving truck prior to pick up and specifically request a diesel truck. I did this 2 days prior to our move to California and got a truck that was virtually brand new and a diesel (much better mpg). If you don't do this you'll be relying on simply what they give you. What they give you could be anything. My original truck rental place couldn't find an available diesel truck (they knew they wouldn't get the rental money, so they had no incentive to find one). Instead, I called PENSKE's 1-800 number had them find me one on another lot. I switched my reservations over the phone and got a diesel truck for the 2300 mile move.

My extreme example that netted the total $1000 savings was done in 2001. Doing this today could still save you money; however, you'll have to run the numbers prior to ensure that today's gas prices aren't prohibitive to your specific situation. As an alternative, you can still look to other rental lots in an expanding search around your location, you'll could ultimately end up with a much better deal (even after additional gas expense).

...Ok, I might be setting myself up for complaints about today's gas prices... bring it on... I still stick to this strategy, I know that it could help around 50% or more of those people doing one way trips (if you put up w/ the added inconvenience).

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