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What To Know Before Renting a U-Haul (2024 Guide)

Default Author Icon Written by Shane Sentelle Updated 04/16/2024

Whether you’re planning a cross-country relocation or a quick cross-town move, renting a U-Haul truck gives you control over the cost and scheduling of your move. Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before renting a U-Haul, from truck sizes and pricing to late fees and additional services.


How Does U-Haul Work?

U-Haul offers a range of moving trucks, utility trailers, and equipment designed to get your belongings to your new home. U-Haul also provides towing equipment, packing supplies, self-storage facilities, and portable moving containers. The company has a large presence in the United States and Canada and ranks among the top truck rental companies.

You must be at least 18 and have a valid driver’s license plus one other form of identification (such as a credit or debit card) to rent a U-Haul truck. You can reserve a truck online, over the phone, or in person at your local U-Haul.

How Much Does U-Haul Moving Cost?

U-Haul has two different pricing models: one for in-town moves and another for long-distance, one-way moves. Pricing and availability vary by location, so it’s worth getting a custom moving quote through the U-Haul website.

The cost to rent a moving truck for one-way moves depends on the truck size, pickup location, destination, and move date. U-Haul prices often work out to about $0.90–$1.00 per mile, but you might pay more in cities with a higher cost of living. You may also pay a higher rate for Friday and Saturday rentals.

For local rates, our team pulled quotes for four cities across the United States and found that rates were fairly consistent. U-Haul charges a base rate starting at $19.95 plus a per-mile fee for local moves. This fee varies by location but often falls in the range of $0.59–$0.99 per mile. 

For long-distance rates, we pulled quotes for a move from Pittsburgh to Jacksonville, Florida, for a Wednesday in April. The rates for the trip included four days of use and roughly 1,000 miles. Note that pickup trucks and cargo vans are not available for long-distance moves. Here are some sample U-Haul truck rental rates for local and long-distance moves:

U-Haul Costs8-foot pickup9-foot cargo van10-foot box truck15-foot box truck17-foot box truck20-foot box truck26-foot box truck

Base rate

$19.95

$19.95

$19.95

$29.95

$39.95

$39.95

$39.95

Usage cost quote

Not available

Not available

$1,837

$1,933

Not available

$2,513

$3,093

*Cost data in this article was sourced from U-Haul.

Late Fees

U-Haul charges $40 a day for late trucks and $20 a day for late trailers and towing devices. U-Haul also charges an additional fee of $1 per mile for one-way moves if you exceed the mileage allowance.

The default for local moves is four hours of use, but U-Haul customers can adjust the rental length up to 24 hours. Some locations offer multi-day in-town rentals. Long-distance moves include four days of use. Make arrangements ahead of time if you think you will exceed the days or mileage included in your rental.


Is a U-Haul Reservation Guaranteed?

U-Haul considers a reservation “confirmed” if you book your reservation online at a location that features its $50 guarantee badge. If they do not have the size of truck you reserved at that location on your scheduled day, the company will pay you $50. If you select a location without the guarantee badge, U-Haul will contact you a day before your scheduled pickup to finalize the details. 


Does U-Haul Offer Moving Labor Services?

U-Haul is not a full-service mover and does not offer in-house moving services. Instead, it directs customers to Moving Help to find local professional movers who can help with packing, loading, cleaning, and other tasks. 


What Is the Best Way To Pack a U-Haul?

Place the heaviest items closest to the truck cab and along the sides when packing a moving truck. This provides a stable base and ensures even weight distribution. Disassemble furniture and stack items vertically when possible to maximize your space. Use tie-downs and straps to secure the load.

QUICK Tip
Load boxes after furnishings, starting with the heaviest ones on the bottom and lighter ones on top. Fill any gaps with small boxes or odd-shaped items. Keep fragile items closer to the top and use blankets or padding to prevent damage.

How Often Will I Have To Stop for Gas When Driving a U-Haul?

Multiply the tank size for your vehicle by its estimated gas mileage to determine how often you must stop for gas. A 15-foot box truck, for instance, has a 40-gallon tank and a maximum fuel efficiency of 10 mpg, which translates to a range of 400 miles on a single tank of gas. 

Below is the information for U-Haul’s most common box truck sizes. Remember that fuel efficiency may vary, and you may want to stop more often for safety reasons.

Rental Specifications10-foot truck15-foot truck20-foot truck26-foot truck

Tank size

31 gallons

40 gallons

40 gallons

60 gallons

Max fuel efficiency

12 mpg

10 mpg

10 mpg

10 mpg

Miles per tank

372 miles

400 miles

400 miles

600 miles


Can My Whole Family Fit in a U-Haul?

Your whole family will probably not be able to fit in a U-Haul. Pickup trucks and 15- to 26-foot box trucks have a bench seat that fits the driver and two passengers. Cargo vans and 10-foot box trucks have two bucket seats.

If you are traveling with more than three family members, or if your child is not old enough to sit in the front seat of a vehicle, U-Haul recommends renting U-Box containers instead of a truck. You fill these portable storage boxes onsite and the company’s drivers will deliver them to your new location.


Our Conclusion

U-Haul customers have a wide range of truck sizes and moving equipment to choose from. Browse the U-Haul website to determine the best moving truck rental for your needs and for more information on insurance and roadside assistance policies. We also recommend comparing its prices and services to those of its top competitors.


FAQ About Renting a U-Haul

Can you pick up and drop off U-Haul at different locations?

Yes, you can pick up and drop off a U-Haul at different locations. U-Haul refers to this arrangement as a one-way move, as opposed to an in-town move where you return the truck to the same U-Haul location where you picked it up.

Do I have to stop at a weigh station when driving a U-Haul?

You do not have to stop at a weigh station when driving a U-Haul in most cases because you are using it for personal rather than commercial purposes. However, some states require that all trucks stop at weigh stations, so it’s wise to research requirements beforehand.

How much does U-Haul hold on your credit card?

U-Haul will put a hold on your credit card for the estimated cost of your rental. The hold will be placed when you pick up your U-Haul equipment and should be released within 3–5 business days.

What kind of gas does a U-Haul take?

All U-Haul trucks take unleaded gasoline. Tank sizes range from 31 gallons for a 20-foot box truck to 60 gallons for a 26-foot box truck.

Does U-Haul charge for mileage?

U-Haul charges a flat rental fee plus a per-mile fee for in-town moves. One-way rental prices take into account the distance between your point of origin and your destination, with an additional fee of $1 per mile if you exceed the allowed mileage.

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