Overall Opinion: Both U-Haul and Home Depot are viable options for moving vehicle rental. U-Haul offers some moving and storage options that Home Depot doesn’t such as self-storage and U-Box mobile storage containers. Home Depot does offer a very helpful “quick move” program known as Load ‘N Go where the customer can immediately rent a pickup or cargo van for a local move, such as for only $19.95 for 75 minutes.
Compare U-Haul and Home Depot to the rental companies on our list of top U-Haul Competitors.
U-Haul: Pros and Cons
What we love: Very competitive pricing and other moving-related services
U-Haul offers low base rates for truck rentals that are affordable enough for most do-it-yourself movers. They offer a host of additional services including trailers for towing your vehicle behind the truck, U-Box mobile storage containers, secured self-storage units, and moving boxes and supplies.
What we don’t love: The quality of their customer service staff is inconsistent and unprofessional at times
In looking at customer reviews, it is apparent that U-Haul locations tend to be understaffed and sometimes operated by poorly trained employees. Groups of customers are often left waiting for 30 minutes or more for their reservations to be processed and grow impatient. During busy times, staff members are answering phones, leaving the desk area to handle propane refills, and the result is tremendous inefficiency and feelings of frustration being expressed by customers and employees.
- U-Box program: This is U-Haul’s version of the programs offered by PODS, SMARTBOX, and others who provide mobile on-site storage containers. U-Haul’s containers are rented by the month and are delivered to a home or business location. The monthly rental cost typically ranges between $59 and $79; however, these units are offered in only one size that can hold roughly belongings that equates to a one-bedroom apartment. A large home would require multiple units and quickly increase costs.
- All trucks are equipped with good standard features including EZ-Load ramps, air conditioning, seating for 2-3 individuals, and roadside assistance.
- Their tremendous coverage area with more than 20,000 U.S. locations makes U-Haul a convenient option for most customers.
- The company has traditionally been criticized for failing to guarantee truck rental reservations. In recent years, they began offering a $50 “reservation guarantee.” This policy states that if U-Haul fails to satisfy the “time, place, and equipment” contained in the reservation, they will pay $50 to the customer. The organization was the subject of a class-action lawsuit for failing to honor this guarantee.
- When making a reservation, a deposit amount is charged to the customer’s debit or credit card as a “hold.” If the reservation is canceled, the deposit amount often takes several days to be credited back to the card account, which limits available funds in the meantime.
- Customers who incur parking tickets using a rental vehicle are charged an extra administrative fee of $30 and an extra $1.00 for toll-roads.
Home Depot: Pros and Cons
What we love: The Load ‘N Go Vehicle Rental Program
They offer a unique and affordable program that allows customers to rent the Home Depot flatbed trucks and cargo vans for $19.95 for the first 75 minutes with no additional mileage fees. This is helpful for quick-moving projects such as one sofa or a few smaller furniture items. They also offer 24-hour and weekly rental packages with unlimited mileage.
What we don’t love: No Advanced Reservation Option For Local Home Depot Vehicle Rentals
One drawback to the Home Depot program is that the rentals are generally “first-come, first-serve” and advanced reservations are not permitted. (Note: This does not apply to their Penske truck rental option)
- The tool-rental program is extensive and provides access to anything a customer might need for completing most moving-related projects
- The website has a moving calculator tool that is useful and extremely easy to use for determining the size of the truck and moving supplies necessary to complete your specific move. (see image below)
- One-way rentals are typically not available on the Home Depot truck or cargo van models and require the customer to return the vehicle to the same location where it was rented.
- Automobile towing is not available with the Home Depot truck or cargo van models. (does not apply to Penske rentals)
- A $150 deposit is required for most rentals that must be charged to a credit card.
U-Haul vs Home Depot: Vehicle Options
Our opinion: Even. Although they have some slight variations in size in the 10 – 22-foot range of moving trucks, both offer a complete fleet of pickup, cargo van, and various truck sizes.
U-Haul vs Home Depot: Service (Coverage) Area Comparison
Our opinion: U-Haul has the edge here. It is important to recognize that truck rentals are U-Haul’s primary offerings and they have more than 20,000 locations. Home Depot is primarily in the retail hardware and improvement business and there are fewer locations in most markets.
U-Haul vs Home Depot: Pricing Comparison
|Cargo Van||Dallas, TX||$19.95 + .59 mile||$19 for 75 mins or $129 per day (unlimited miles)|
|26’ Truck||Dallas, TX||$39.95 + .79 mile||$199 per day + .99 mile|
|Cargo Van||Chicago, IL||$19.95 + .59 mile||$19 for 75 mins or $129 per day (unlimited miles)|
|26’ Truck||Chicago, IL||$39.95 + .79 mile||$299 per day + 1.29 mile|
|Cargo Van||Boston, MA||$19.95 + .89 mile||$19 for 75 mins or $129 per day (unlimited miles)|
|26’ Truck||Boston, MA||$39.95 + 1.09 mile||$299 per day + 1.29 mile|
Our opinion: Even. Both organizations offer competitive pricing, but costs are calculated differently. Cargo vans from Home Depot are preferred if you can complete the project within 75 minutes or if you will be traveling 20 miles or more. U-Haul is the better option for the moving trucks unless you want to keep the truck overnight and return the next day, which is included in the Home Depot prices.
U-Haul vs Home Depot: Available Discounts Comparison
They are currently offering one month of free self-storage with a truck rental. Free shipping is available on moving boxes and supplies with a minimum order of $50. Customers may also qualify for discounted rates at Choice Hotels for 15% and Wyndham for 10%
Discounts are available on Penske truck rentals for military (10%), college students (10%), and AAA members are eligible for 12% off of truck rentals and supply purchases.
Our opinion: Edge to Home Depot (Penske). U-Haul’s discounts generally apply to purchases with companies that they partner with. Home Depot more clearly promotes their discount offers.
Home Depot is an excellent option for small, local, and same-day moving projects that can be completed with a flatbed truck or cargo van. All of their large 12 to 26’ moving trucks are provided exclusively through Penske. U-Haul has more than 20,000 U.S. locations and is a good option for long-distance one-way rentals. Both companies are competitively priced; however, they structure their prices differently and customers are encouraged to compare the two to determine which provides them a better value.
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