What to know about U-Haul
Now that we’ve talked about U-Haul’s pricing and services in broad strokes, let’s focus a little more on a few of the company’s more unique features.
U-Haul is the most widely available moving truck company
Like we said earlier, U-Haul has over 21,000 locations across the United States and Canada. This doesn’t just make U-Haul the most widely available truck rental company, it makes it several times more available than its competition.
For perspective, Penske has over 3,200 locations worldwide4 and Budget has around 1,600 in the continental United States.5
This wide availability can benefit you as a customer in two important ways: it can save you money, and it can make your move more convenient.
How U-Haul’s availability can save you money
Like we explained earlier, moving truck rental prices are ruled by supply and demand. Because of this, a moving truck company with more locations and trucks in a given area can offer better rates in that area.
This trend really showed up in our pricing research. If you’ll remember, U-Haul’s prices weren’t the lowest; Budget has better average prices for local moves and Penske has better prices for long-distance moves. However, U-Haul’s prices were among the lowest, and they were always far cheaper than industry averages.
Additionally, U-Haul’s availability means you’re likely to have a rental location near your old home and your new one. Because of this, you can save some money on mileage you’ll use picking up and dropping off your truck if you’re moving locally.
How U-Haul’s availability can make your move more convenient
On top of saving you money, having U-Haul locations near your old and new home is obviously more convenient. Whether you’re moving locally or long distance, you probably don’t want to drive any more than you have to. U-Haul’s immense number of locations all but guarantees that you don’t need to drive too far to pick up or drop off your moving truck.
Planning a moving road trip?
If you’re driving a moving truck long distance, then you need a solid road trip plan to keep you and your family safe and entertained during the long hours on the road. We can help with that. Read our guide to planning your moving road trip for fun ideas, budget-saving tips, and safety recommendations.
U-Haul has the most services of any moving truck company
Between its huge selection of trucks, diverse assortment of dollies and trailers, and add-on services like storage and moving labor, U-Haul provides far more services than any competitor.
Some of these services, like U-Box, might be unnecessary for your move. However, by giving customers access to all these different add-ons and features, U-Haul brings one-stop shopping convenience to DIY moving.
Whatever you need for your move, whether it's a truck and a trailer, a storage unit, or just a few moving boxes, you can find it at U-Haul.
U-Haul has terrible customer reviews
Unfortunately, low prices, wide availability, and an impressive menu of services can’t make up for bad customer service. In reviews across websites like Yelp and Google Reviews, U-Haul customers report being cheated and mistreated by the company in frightening numbers.
U-Haul’s unreliable reservations
One of the most common customer complaints is that U-Haul doesn’t honor its reservations. Some customers report having to make do with different trucks U-Haul had available instead of the trucks they reserved, while others have to pick up their trucks at different locations than planned.
In extreme cases, a few customers even report being left truckless on moving day or having their reservations cancelled by U-Haul.
In place of an actual reservation guarantee, U-Haul pays $50 to customers whose reservations it can’t fulfill as planned. However, some customers even report being stiffed their $50.
To be fair to U-Haul, we do sometimes see this type of disappointing behavior from other moving truck companies. Additionally, moving truck supply often depends on customers returning trucks on time, so it isn’t always the company’s fault if your truck isn’t available.
However, the sheer volume of U-Haul customers with unfulfilled reservations is concerning, and it’s something to be aware of before deciding to rent from U-Haul.
Other customer service issues
In addition to reservation complaints, U-Haul customers also report that they were charged unfairly, they couldn’t get ahold of the company’s customer service when they needed help, and their trucks were in bad shape at time of pickup.
These complaints are also common for other moving truck rental companies. In general, you should always take customer reviews with a grain of salt since people are more likely to write bad reviews than good ones.6
That said, the number of U-Haul customers reporting negative experiences is far higher than the negative reviews for most other truck rental companies. Does this mean that you should forego U-Haul completely? Not necessarily. But if a better-reviewed company like Penske is available in your area, it's probably a safer bet.
How does U-Haul compare to its competitors?
In terms of availability, U-Haul is usually the best moving truck rental company around. However, two of its biggest competitors, Penske and Budget, offer better prices in some circumstances. If you want to see how these companies compare to U-Haul, check out these guides: