Everything You Need to Know About Trailer Rentals
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If you’re planning to move, you aren’t alone — over 11 percent of the U.S. population, the U.S. Census Bureau¹ reports, move every year. Roughly 35.5 million people moved in 2016 alone, and those millions of people all had to find a way to pack and haul their belongings.
Preparing to move is a real hassle, but renting a trailer can make the process far easier. By renting a trailer, you can make your move a little smoother and haul all your belongings in a single trip at one affordable price.
Should You Rent or Own a Trailer?
A trailer seems like a smart investment. It’s similar to a pickup truck: it can carry a lot of stuff, makes moving large items a breeze, and comes in handy when you or your friends are moving to new neighborhoods. However, before you buy a trailer, it’s important to decide whether buying or renting is best for you.
Purchasing a trailer is a big expense. As CostHelper² reports, a cargo trailer costs approximately $4,000 if you want a roll-up door and a loading ramp. If you’d like an enclosed trailer, you should expect to pay between $6,000 and $20,000. If you’re thinking about buying a trailer, there are several important things that you should keep in mind — in addition to the cost of your purchase, owning a trailer will also require you to pay annual registration fees based on the trailer’s weight. You may also have to pay for an inspection each time you register, and you’ll need to pay for insurance every year.
An important consideration to make if you’re thinking about whether to buy or rent a trailer is how often you’ll use it. If you frequently need to transport big items, like lawn tractors, purchasing a trailer might make sense. However, if you only need to use a trailer infrequently, such as when you move once every 5 years or more, renting a trailer makes more sense.
How to Choose the Right Trailer
There are several different types of trailers you can choose for moving, hauling, or even storage. The type of trailer that’s best for you depends on what you’re planning to transport. The following are a few different options:
Available in multiple sizes, cargo trailers are enclosed and can be used to haul furniture and other belongings while protecting them from the elements. These trailers hook to the back of your truck on your trailer hitch.
Flatbed Car-Hauling Trailer
If you plan to tow or move a vehicle, a flatbed car-hauling trailer is an option. These trailers tilt so you can drive your vehicle onto them and are durable enough to support the weight of your car.
Equipment trailers are another type of flatbed trailer with rails around the exterior to help to prevent your items from sliding off. These trailers are good for in- or across-town moves only. You’ll need to tie down your belongings to keep them securely in place.
If you’re planning to move an entire household, a freight trailer might be the right option for you. These trailers are much larger and are carried by semi-trucks. If you don’t have a commercial driver's license, you can hire a moving company to move you with their freight trailers.
Alternatively, you can also choose to hire a company that allows you to load and unload your trailer while the company's drivers drive it to your new home. This might be a good option for you if you plan to move a long distance or have many belongings.
What Do Trailer Rentals Cost?
Renting a trailer is a cost-conscious, affordable choice for any kind of move. The price you can expect to pay for a trailer rental depends on the type of trailer you need and the distance of your move.
Small equipment trailers that you can move yourself by attaching the unit to your car or truck start at around $14.95 per day from a rental company like U-Haul³. You can expect to pay more if you need a larger trailer. Freight trailers, according to CostHelper⁴, can cost anywhere from $1,900 to $3,000 for a typical three-bedroom home. You may also be charged mileage on top of the rental cost.
You can save money on the cost of renting your moving trailer by opting for a company that allows you to load and unload your belongings in your trailer while the company does the driving. Additionally, if you choose to drive or haul the trailer yourself, your costs will be far less since you’re performing the hardest part of the job.
How to Find Trailer Rental Deals
The hassles of moving are minimized, if not eliminated, when you rent a trailer. Renting a trailer makes hauling your belongings – including vehicles and big pieces of furniture – a breeze. And it doesn’t have to cost you very much at all.
There are plenty of affordable, cheap options for renting a trailer. Check out local rental companies in your area and compare their offers to find the best price for what you need. You should also take the time to search online, where you’ll find plenty of rental companies offering trailers are different price points. If you’re moving nearby or can complete your move in a single day, you may be able to score a special deal or discount. You can also look into renting a trailer and hiring movers; combination service packages can, if you do your homework, save you even more on your entire move.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.