Saturday, November 9, 2013

U-Haul's Hidden Fees, Don't Be Fooled By the $19.95 Rate

So last week I needed to rent a moving van. I decided to go with U-Haul because they have a nearby location and they advertise a reasonable $19.95 per day price. I only needed to move a bed from one part of the city to the other, so I only needed the van for 2 or 3 hours and $19.95 seemed like a fair price for such a quick move.

I returned the van after this short move and was stunned to find out that my rental was going to cost over $100. I frequently rent cars, so I knew there would be some additional fees and taxes involved, but the extra charges ended up costing me five times their $19.95 per day advertised price. I only had the van for about 3 hours and had driven about 35 miles. Unbelievable! Take a look at my receipt below. I was charged $1.79 per mile. You would think that gas might be covered with that rate, but no. I had to replace any gas used (not shown on the receipt), so that is another expense for this simple little move.

I've had a bad experience with U-Haul in the past, so I've avoided using them for many years. I only used them this time because of a lack of other options. My bad experiences and the many bad reviews online are enough evidence. I don't think I'll use them again.

Here is my takeaway from this extremely unpleasant experience.
  • U-haul's entire marketing plan is based on this $19.95 per day offer and it's simply not true, unless you rent a truck and simply just sit in their parking lot with it.
  • If you plan to move more than a few miles try to find other options before going to U-haul.
  • Always read the fine print and don't trust promotions that appear to good to be true.

U-Haul truck renter BEWARE!!

Here is a great Boston Globe article about other U-Haul tricks to empty your wallet.