The Comprehensive Guide to U Haul: Everything You Need to Know


What is U Haul?

U Haul is a leading American company specializing in moving and storage solutions. Founded in 1945, U-Haul offers a wide range of rental vehicles, including trucks, vans, and trailers, as well as storage units and moving supplies. The brand is synonymous with DIY moving, providing customers with the tools and services necessary to handle their relocation independently.

History of U Haul

U-Haul was established by Leonard Shoen in Ridgefield, Washington. Shoen’s innovative idea was to create a nationwide network of rental trailers, which would be accessible and affordable for the average American family. This concept revolutionized the moving industry, enabling people to move goods across long distances without the need for professional movers. Over the decades, U-Haul has expanded its services and fleet, becoming a household name in the United States and Canada.

Importance of U-Haul in Moving and Storage

U-Haul plays a critical role in the moving and storage industry. By offering affordable and flexible rental options, U-Haul empowers individuals and families to manage their moves without the high costs associated with traditional moving companies. Additionally, U-Haul’s extensive network of locations and variety of services, including storage units and moving supplies, makes it a one-stop-shop for all moving needs.

Types of U-Haul Vehicles

Moving Trucks

U-Haul’s fleet includes a variety of moving trucks designed to cater to different moving needs. These trucks range from the 10-foot truck, ideal for small moves and apartments, to the 26-foot truck, suitable for larger homes and long-distance relocations. Each truck is equipped with features such as air conditioning, automatic transmission, and fuel-efficient engines to ensure a comfortable and cost-effective move.

Cargo Vans

Cargo vans are perfect for smaller moves, such as studio apartments or single-room relocations. They offer a compact yet spacious option, allowing for easy maneuverability in urban environments. U-Haul’s cargo vans come with features like rear and side cargo doors, making loading and unloading convenient.

Pickup Trucks

U-Haul’s pickup trucks are versatile and useful for a variety of tasks, from moving small loads to home improvement projects. These trucks are designed with durable cargo beds and powerful engines, providing the capability to handle heavy items and rugged terrain.


U-Haul offers several types of trailers, including utility trailers, cargo trailers, and car haulers. Each trailer type is designed for specific purposes, such as transporting goods, moving motorcycles, or towing cars. Trailers provide a flexible option for those who already own a vehicle capable of towing.

U-Haul Services

Moving and Storage

U-Haul’s core service is providing moving and storage solutions. Customers can rent vehicles for local or long-distance moves and take advantage of various storage options. U-Haul storage units are available in multiple sizes, ensuring that customers can find the right fit for their needs.

U-Box Containers

U-Box containers offer a convenient and flexible moving and storage solution. These portable storage containers can be delivered to the customer’s location, packed at their convenience, and then either stored at a U-Haul facility or shipped to a new destination. U-Box containers are ideal for those needing temporary storage or moving long distances without the hassle of driving a truck.

Moving Help

Through the Moving Help Marketplace, U-Haul connects customers with local moving labor. This service includes loading and unloading assistance, packing, unpacking, and even cleaning services. Moving Help is an excellent option for those who need extra hands but want to manage the transportation themselves.

Storage Units

U-Haul offers secure and affordable storage units at various locations. These units come in different sizes and are designed to accommodate a wide range of storage needs, from a few boxes to the contents of an entire house. U-Haul’s storage facilities are equipped with security features such as 24-hour surveillance and individually alarmed units.

U-Haul Truck Specifications

Size Options

U-Haul provides a range of truck sizes to suit different moving needs:

  • 10-foot truck: Best for studio apartments or small one-bedroom moves.
  • 15-foot truck: Suitable for one to two-bedroom homes.
  • 20-foot truck: Ideal for two to three-bedroom homes.
  • 26-foot truck: Perfect for larger homes and long-distance moves.

Features and Amenities

U-Haul trucks come equipped with various features to ensure a smooth and comfortable moving experience. These include automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering, and spacious cargo areas. Some trucks also feature a Mom’s Attic, a small compartment above the cab for storing fragile items separately.

Fuel Efficiency

U-Haul trucks are designed with fuel efficiency in mind. The company’s fleet includes vehicles with lower fuel consumption rates, helping customers save money on long-distance moves. Additionally, U-Haul provides fuel-saving tips to customers, such as maintaining steady speeds and minimizing idling time.

Weight Capacities

Each trailer type comes with different weight capacities. For example, utility trailers can handle loads ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 pounds, while cargo trailers can carry up to 2,500 pounds. Car haulers are capable of towing vehicles weighing up to 5,290 pounds.

Hitch Requirements

To use a U-Haul trailer, customers need a vehicle equipped with the appropriate hitch. U-Haul provides hitch installation services and offers guidance on selecting the right hitch for the customer’s vehicle. It’s crucial to ensure the towing vehicle meets the weight capacity requirements for safe and efficient towing.

U-Haul Rental Process

How to Reserve

Reserving a U-Haul vehicle is a straightforward process. Customers can make reservations online, over the phone, or at a U-Haul location. The reservation system allows customers to choose the type of vehicle, pick-up and drop-off locations, and rental dates.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Procedures

On the day of the rental, customers need to present a valid driver’s license and a credit or debit card. U-Haul provides a detailed walkthrough of the vehicle, explaining its features and ensuring the customer is comfortable with its operation. Drop-off is equally simple, with clear instructions provided for returning the vehicle and reporting any issues.

Payment Methods

U-Haul accepts various payment methods, including major credit cards, debit cards, and U-Haul gift cards. Payment is typically processed at the time of pick-up, and additional charges, such as mileage fees and fuel costs, are settled upon return.

Costs and Pricing

Rental Rates

U-Haul’s rental rates vary based on the type of vehicle, rental duration, and distance traveled. The company offers competitive pricing, with options for both local and long-distance moves. Customers can get an instant quote on the U-Haul website by entering their move details.

Mileage Fees

In addition to the base rental rate, U-Haul charges mileage fees for long-distance moves. These fees are calculated based on the distance driven and vary depending on the type of vehicle. Local rentals typically include a certain number of miles, with additional mileage charged separately.

Additional Costs

Customers should be aware of potential additional costs, such as fuel charges, tolls, and optional insurance. U-Haul also offers various add-ons, including moving supplies, dollies, and furniture pads, which can increase the total cost.

U-Haul Insurance Options


SafeMove is U-Haul’s basic insurance option, covering damage to the rental vehicle, cargo protection, and medical/life coverage. This insurance is recommended for those who want basic protection during their move.

SafeMove Plus

SafeMove Plus offers enhanced coverage, including all the benefits of SafeMove, plus additional damage waiver coverage, roadside assistance, and cargo coverage. This option is ideal for those looking for comprehensive protection.

Cargo Coverage

Cargo coverage specifically protects the items being transported in the U-Haul vehicle. This insurance is particularly important for those moving valuable or fragile items.

Tips for a Smooth Move with U-Haul

Planning Your Move

Effective planning is crucial for a successful move. Start by creating a moving checklist and timeline, ensuring all tasks are completed on schedule. Book your U Haul rental well in advance to secure the desired vehicle and avoid last-minute issues.

Packing Tips

Proper packing can save time and prevent damage to your belongings. Use high-quality packing materials, label all boxes clearly, and pack heavier items at the bottom with lighter items on top. Consider using U-Haul’s moving supplies, such as boxes and packing kits, to streamline the process.

Driving a U-Haul

Driving a U Haul vehicle requires some adjustment, especially if you’re not used to driving larger vehicles. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s controls, mirrors, and blind spots. Drive at a moderate speed, maintain a safe following distance, and use caution when turning or backing up.

Safety and Maintenance

Safety Features

U-Haul vehicles are equipped with numerous safety features, including airbags, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. These features help ensure a safe driving experience for customers.

Regular Maintenance Checks

U-Haul conducts regular maintenance checks on all its vehicles to ensure they are in good working condition. This includes checking the brakes, tires, and fluid levels. Customers are also advised to perform a basic inspection of the vehicle before starting their journey.

Emergency Assistance

In the event of an emergency, U Haul offers roadside assistance to help customers with issues such as flat tires, mechanical problems, or accidents. This service is available 24/7 and can be accessed by calling the U-Haul customer service hotline.

Customer Reviews and Experiences

Positive Experiences

Many customers praise U-Haul for its convenient and affordable services. Positive reviews often highlight the ease of the rental process, the helpfulness of U-Haul staff, and the reliability of the vehicles.

Common Complaints

Common complaints about U-Haul include issues with vehicle availability, unexpected fees, and occasional maintenance problems. While these issues can be frustrating, U-Haul has systems in place to address and resolve customer concerns promptly.

How U-Haul Addresses Issues

U-Haul is committed to customer satisfaction and takes feedback seriously. The company offers a customer service hotline and online support to address any issues. Additionally, U-Haul provides compensation or refunds in cases where service falls short of expectations.

U-Haul vs. Competitors

U-Haul vs. Budget Truck Rental

U-Haul and Budget Truck Rental are two of the most popular moving truck rental companies. While both offer similar services, U Haul has a more extensive network of locations and a wider range of vehicle options. Budget, on the other hand, is often praised for its competitive pricing and promotional discounts.

U-Haul vs. Penske

Penske is known for its well-maintained fleet and excellent customer service. U Haul, however, offers more flexibility with one-way rentals and a broader selection of trucks and trailers. Penske’s pricing tends to be higher, but customers often feel it’s justified by the quality of the service.

U-Haul vs. Ryder

Ryder primarily serves commercial customers but also offers truck rentals for personal use. U Haul has a stronger presence in the consumer market and offers a wider range of moving and storage solutions. Ryder’s trucks are known for their durability and reliability, making them a good choice for heavy-duty moves.

U-Haul’s Environmental Initiatives

Fuel-Efficient Fleet

U-Haul is committed to reducing its environmental impact by maintaining a fuel-efficient fleet. The company continually invests in newer, more efficient vehicles and encourages customers to adopt fuel-saving practices.

Recycling Programs

U-Haul promotes recycling through various programs, such as reusing moving boxes and offering recycling bins at its locations. These efforts help reduce waste and promote sustainable moving practices.

Sustainable Practices

U-Haul incorporates sustainable practices into its operations, including energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly building materials, and water conservation measures. These initiatives contribute to the company’s overall commitment to environmental responsibility.

Future of U Haul

Technological Advancements

U-Haul is exploring various technological advancements to improve its services, such as enhanced online booking systems, GPS tracking for rental vehicles, and mobile apps for better customer interaction. These technologies aim to streamline the rental process and provide a more user-friendly experience.

Expansion Plans

U-Haul continues to expand its network of locations, both in the United States and internationally. This growth allows the company to serve more customers and offer even greater convenience and accessibility.

Market Trends

The moving and storage industry is evolving, with trends such as increased demand for flexible storage solutions and the growing popularity of portable moving containers. U-Haul is adapting to these trends by expanding its product offerings and improving its services to meet changing customer needs.


Summary of Key Points

U-Haul offers a comprehensive range of moving and storage solutions, making it a go-to choice for many individuals and families. With a variety of rental vehicles, storage options, and additional services, U-Haul provides the flexibility and convenience needed for a successful move.

Final Thoughts on Using U-Haul

Using U-Haul for your moving and storage needs can simplify the process and reduce the stress associated with relocation. By planning ahead, taking advantage of U-Haul’s resources, and following safety guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and efficient move. Whether you’re moving locally or across the country, U Haul has the tools and services to help you every step of the way.

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