January 9, 2014

The Downside of Moving Van Rentals

The Downside of Moving Van Rentals

Moving can be stressful enough all by itself, without piling on the hassle and worry of moving van rentals. If you're still on the fence between moving rental trucks and portable moving containers, here are a few of the most common problems with moving vans. See if these make your decision easier.

  • Availability Issues. We've all heard the horror stories of someone who showed up at the rental place, reservation number in hand, only to be told that there were no trucks for them to rent (hopefully you've only heard this story, and not had to live through it yourself). Van rental offices, much like airlines, will sometimes overbook themselves during the busy season. This practice is becoming less common, after a few class-action lawsuits against some of the biggest companies, but even without overbooking, a company's hands are tied if a previous renter is late returning a truck that you've reserved.

  • Price Fluctuations. You don't have to look far and wide for in-town moving quotes — sometimes they're printed right on the sides of the vans themselves. The trouble is, the rates for discount moving van rentals rarely (if ever) include mileage charges or your personal cost for fueling these poor-mileage behemoths. For out-of-town moves, the cost can vary even more: during peak moving times (the beginning and end of each month, and the entire summer), moving van rentals simply cost more, since they're more in demand. And since apartment leases are generally a monthly cycle, you're practically guaranteed to need a moving truck during a peak time.

  • Hassles at the Worst Possible Time. In fact, it doesn't really matter what the problem is — a worthless reservation number, a jump in price, poor gas mileage, questionable safety, an unfamiliar vehicle to drive, etc., etc. These problems at any other time in your life might be much easier to deal with. But when you're moving, you're frazzled, tired, nervous and probably sweaty. Your emotional reserves are already dangerously low. A hiccup with the rental truck can be the straw that not only breaks the camel's back, but that sends the camel into a corner, hugging its knees to its chest and sobbing loudly.
When it comes to comparing 1-800-PACK-RAT with moving truck rentals, portable moving containers offer more flexibility, more straightforward price quotes and far fewer surprises than moving van rentals. And while there is probably no such thing as a completely stress-free move, portable containers can at least relieve you of the worry and hassle of dealing with a rental van company. That, by itself, could make all the difference in the world.