When looking for a moving truck, you’ll likely find a number of options – each with a different cost.
“Truck rental prices can vary greatly, based on a number of factors,” explains Judy Woodward Bates, The Bargainomics Lady.
These determining circumstances include timing, location, and size. Evaluating what’s available in your area and comparing quotes might lead to saving hundreds of dollars on your next rental.
The short answer?
The best time to rent a moving truck is on a Tuesday in the middle of the month during the winter.
For more money saving tips, follow the strategies below:
1. Check the Time.
Just like airline tickets, when there is a greater demand for moving trucks, the price will tend to increase.
“Summers are always going to be high season,” says Bates.
Kids are out of school and parents generally want to get settled in their new place before the end of August. College students are also on the move during the beginning and end of summer. Winter, naturally, will be a slower season, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.
Since leases and closings often occur at the end of the month, prices for moving trucks will rise during those times.
Weekends, and especially holiday weekends such as Memorial Day and Labor Day, will be more expensive as well.
If you can, “avoid Friday, Saturday and the end of the month,” says Bob Gordon, a realtor and blogger in Boulder, CO. “Fewer home closings take place early in the week – consider moving on a Tuesday and avoiding the crowd.”
The best deals will usually be found at the beginning of the month or mid-month, particularly on Mondays to Thursdays.
2. Look at Location.
One of the largest factors affecting the cost is based on where you pick up and drop off the vehicle, explains Kevin Godfrey, owner of Henry Laurent Estate Sales. If you get the truck and return it to the same location, the cost will be less than if you pick up the truck in one spot and drop it off at another.
This is because a truck returned to the same location doesn’t disrupt the inventory a company has at that particular place. With a one-way rental, the company will need to either return the truck to its original location, or reshuffle inventory to accommodate the change.
3. Check Different Companies.
“Pricing from one company to another can vary greatly, and to a degree, depends on how busy that particular location is,” says Bates.
Logically, if business is slow, you’re more likely to get a better deal.
Check on a number of websites and call around to compare quotes. If one location is busy at the time, you may find it harder to negotiate. On the other hand, if it isn’t busy, you may be offered a better quote.
Don’t forget, you can get a 15 percent discount on Penske trucks by booking through SpareFoot.
4. Know What You Need.
“When you’re renting a moving truck, it is wise to start with the size you actually need for all of your belongings,” says Oz Drewniak of CLV Group, a real estate company. If you try to cut costs and get a smaller moving truck, you might end up carrying out multiple trips between your old and new place. This can lead to more mileage, gas, and time spent on the move.
“The goal is to be able to do just one or two trips and move all of your things, then return the truck to pay the smallest amount possible,” says Drewniak.
Many moving companies and truck rental places will offer a guide to help you decide what size of truck you need. A 10-foot truck might be suggested for a studio apartment, while a 17-foot truck could work better for a two-bedroom home. A large 26-foot truck may be recommended for a home with four or more bedrooms. Call and ask a representative to help you determine the best fit.
5. Prepare Well.
For a more efficient move, box everything you can.
“This won’t decrease the cost of your truck, but it will speed up the process of the move,” says Gordon. “For services that charge by the hour, a faster loaded truck is far less expensive.”
Also get rid of items you don’t need before the move. Take filled trash bags out of the house so moving helpers don’t confuse them with household packages to transport.
Label each box to avoid confusion and wasted time on moving day.
6. Look for Bargains.
Search online for discount codes, using key phrases such as “rental truck discount code.” Add your town’s name to the search to find local deals.
“These codes are usually available for all rental companies,” says Godfrey.
If you find a deal for one company, call other options and ask if a better price is available. You may be able to save up to several hundred dollars by checking around.
Use SpareFoot to save 15 percent on Penske moving truck rentals—no promo code required.