Pros: Offers various sizes of trucks and trailers; auto transporter and auto dollies for long distance
Cons: Do not use central reservations or online reservations
Due to the recent inflow of negative reviews on Epinions of consumers reserving their rentals through the 800 number or online reservations - I am strongly suggesting that you read my review and only use your local dealer for reservations.
Latest experience with U-Haul is at the bottom of this review.
Last month (January) was our third recent experience in renting from U-Haul.
We won a classic car from E-Bay and had to pick it up ourselves. I made a mistake and called central reservations to inquire about an auto transporter to tow with our Tahoe. I was told our Tahoe was not heavy enough to tow a car. After I got over from my uncontrollable laughter, I explained to them that the Tahoe is a large SUV that we have towed cars before with them using their auto transporter and their auto dolly.
Their response was still negative that the Tahoe is rated as not being capable of towing a car. Getting nowhere with them, I decided to visit a few of our local dealers where none of them had any problems with renting us an auto transporter.
In the meantime, we decided to just take our Pathfinder and try to drive the car back home since it was suppose to be driveable.
To make a long story short, the car did not start. After several hours of installing various auto parts, we went to the local U-Haul dealer to rent a truck and auto transporter and was given a price of $312, however they did not have one available so we would have to drive another 1/2 hour down the road to rent one.
My husband wanted to try and save the money so we declined and we spent all night installing various parts to get the car to start and finally 14 hours after our arrival the car started and off we went.
Ten miles down the freeway, the front wheel started to fly off and the car died.
With a snow storm fast approaching, we called the U-Haul at the town where the car died and the price was $100 more to rent a 14' truck and auto transporter. Very strange to get 10 miles closer to home and the price goes up!
I was given a number to State Reservations and explained our circumstance and the State Reservations called and told the dealer to give us the last town's pricing of $312 as they could not explain as to why the price was so different.
Arriving at U-Haul, the dealer was extremely friendly, helpful, and the equipment was clean.
I was even informed to try calling our insurance company to see if we would be covered for their equipment should an incident occur. I called our insurance company on their phone long distance at their expense and we were covered so we declined their insurance.
We had no problems with the equipment on our 8 hour drive home. We were fighting snow all the way home and when we reached our driveway the whole rig got stuck!
Oh well, at least we made it home and spent the next day getting it out but this isn't U-Haul's fault.
Other Recent Experiences
We moved from one side of the state to the other in 2000. After receiving quotes from the big boys, we decided to move ourselves and save some money.
We rented an auto dolly during one of our trips to the another side to transport another classic car. Although renting an auto dolly to tow your vehicle is a bit cheaper (around $70), it was also more hassle as you have to put wiring and lights from your vehicle to the back of your vehicle that is being towed. Also, when the dolly is empty, it jumps around behind you since there is no weight.
I never called central reservations and always called the local dealers and dealt directly with them for pricing, reservations, and hookup.
We had no problems.
Our big moving day, we rented the largest truck they had, I believe it was a 27' and the largest trailer they offered.
Again, we dealt with the local dealer and had no reservation problem.
U-Haul offers furniture pads, appliance dollies, and platform dollies to rent. We rented all.
U-Haul also offers boxes and packaging materials. We saved the money on that and went to stores and grabbed their boxes.
The trip was successful with no breakdowns. The trucks do like to sniff out gas stations though!
What Did I Learn?
1) Do not call central reservations (the main 800 U-Haul number).
2) Call around all your local dealers to as far away as you are willing to drive to pick up your vehicle to see if there are any price differences.
3) Dealers will give you a phone number for central reservations in your state who can locate a vehicle that is available for you.
4) Check with your insurance company to see if you will be covered before you purchase their hefty price tag insurance.
5) Your truck rental may not be full of gas, in fact, it could be next to empty. The rules are to return it where the indicator was and marked on your paperwork. If you return it with more gas in it that when you picked it up, you will not get any credit for it.
Latest Renting Experience
We had another need to rent an auto transporter. Knowing not to call the 800 number, I called a dealer that was the closest to where we needed to pick up another classic car. The dealer was an "independent" dealer meaning he has another business besides U-Haul. You see these dealers at gas stations or storage rental places.
The dealer reserved the auto transporter for us overnite with no credit card needed. This is another advantage of using your local independent dealer. Their reputation is on the line here.
Something new I found out was "local" means bringing it back to the same place and not a few miles away. "Local" charges for the auto transporter was $49.95. Dropping it off at a different location other than your pick up point would be $88.00.
We at first chose one-way until we discovered that we did not have enough room for all the car parts that were taken off the car.
The dealer was kind enough to credit us and revert us back to the "local" rental fee since we also had to rent a 6 x 12 trailer to finish collecting the car parts.
The 6 x 12 trailer has tandem wheels and I highly suggest if you need to rent a trailer to try to rent a tandem wheel trailer. These are easier to tow and safer as they don't wobble around like single axles.
The trailer was clean and we had no problems again with the dealer reserving it for us overnite.
This time we took the one-way rental. The one way rental price was $58.00 and was a 2 day rental.
So once again another 2 successful rentals using local dealers.