Renting a Moving TruckThis article has been written to teach you all you need to know to rent your own moving van, truck, or trailer.

As with any aspect of moving, it is best to answer a few basic questions before researching prices.  We suggest you start the exercise by asking yourself the following few questions:

Where are you going?

If you are only moving across town, most rental agencies will accommodate your needs.  However, if you are moving a greater distance, you are more than likely planning a one-way trip.  There are usually additional fees or conditions to accommodate a one-way move.

Also, you will want to know the approximate mileage of your move.  Some rental agencies charge a flat daily rate, including a determined amount of kilometers, while others charge an inclusive rate.

When do you need the truck and for how long?

It will help you to have a clear idea of when you need the truck and for how long.  You will likely find that rental prices vary at different times of the year based on the demand.

What size truck do I need?

Most rental agencies provide a size-guide. But as a very general guide, a 26-foot truck can accommodate a 4-plus bedroom house, while a ten foot van is probably a good size for a small apartment. The rental agencies will help you decide what size is right for you.

Remember, your truck should be large enough to accommodate 10-15% more than what you own. Too much room is better than too little. Trying to switch truck sizes at the last minute can cause delays and additional fees.

Now that you answered those basic questions, go ahead and call some truck rental companies for a few estimates – we recommend at least three to find the one that works for you.  Remember that the cheapest agency may not be the best one. 

How do I make a reservation?

Start by looking on-line to see what truck rental companies operate in your area.  Pick up the phone and call them with your details.  Ask the company what is included in the price – mileage, drop-off fee, insurance, additional equipment, etc…

If you’re having a hard time booking a truck, keep in mind that most people move at the beginning or end of a month.  Mid-month moves usually are less popular, so if you’re time is flexible, avoid month-ends and beginnings.

How are rates determined?

While each agency carries their own fee schedule, you can expect fees to vary based on a combination of truck size, point of origin, destination and the date of the move.  Some agencies will include mileage while some do not.  Be sure to ask those questions.

When do I make a reservation?

Once you select the company that best meets your needs, reserve your truck.  Depending on the time of the year, the trucks can go quickly.

Do I need a special license?

No but you will need a valid driver’s license for the areas you will be travelling to.

Do I need any other equipment?

Depending on the type of belongings you are moving (appliances, fragile items, boxes, etc…) you may need additional moving tools such as moving pads and blankets.

You should consider a moving dolly.  It will help you save time by being able to move several boxes at a time and will help with more awkward pieces. There are also straps that can help move large, heavy items that are unable to be taken apart.

These extra tools, can help you save time and help make the physical part of the move a lot easier.

Do I need to purchase vehicle insurance?

Rental agenciescan provide insurance for fee. Before agreeing to the additional coverage, call your credit card company to see if you are already covered.

Read the fine-print to make sure you understand all the details such as:  does it cover larger vehicles, will it protect you for collision, what is the deductible, does coverage extend outside of your home province, does it include property damage or theft?

Not only ask these questions of your credit card company, but also of the rental agent and make sure you’re fully protected.

Do I need insurance for my belongings?

Some rental agencies will offer damage and/or replacement insurance to replace your items should an accident or loss occur.

Again, carefully read and ask questions regarding this type of insurance to make sure you are choosing the right option for you.  If you are not moving far and don’t have any valuables, a general insurance may be enough.Also, check with your personal home insurance to see if they cover your move.  This may be enough coverage for your particular move.

Can I take a rental truck across the U.S./Canadian border?

Yes, you are permitted to cross the U.S./Canadian border during a move.  You will be subject to any laws and regulations governing the border.  Prior to your move, be sure to contact the Canada Border Services Agency or the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the latest laws and regulations.

What do I need to do on pick-up day?

When going to pick up the truck, bring your valid driver’s license, a major credit card, and proof of insurance coverage.

Before you sign-off on the rental agreement, make sure you thoroughly inspect the vehicle. Check for scratches, dents, bumps and anything on the interior that has been damaged. Make sure all signs of wear are listed on the inspection sheet. Check to ensure the odometer reading and gas levels are correct.

Before leaving, be sure you have all relevant documents with you – signed copies of the rental agreement, the inspection sheet, insurance coverage forms and trip reports.

Now you are all set to rent your truck and start your move!