After comparing moving containers on a variety of factors, including price, speed and availability, we determined that U-Haul is the best option for moving containers. U-Haul is most well-known for its moving trucks, but it also offers containers, which are called U-Boxes.
We received U-Haul quotes for three different moves. Our test move scenario was for a one-bedroom apartment, which required us to use two U-Boxes, so our prices reflect the cost of two containers. We looked at the cost of a move within the same city, a move of a couple hundred miles and one of more than a thousand miles. All our scenarios were in the Seattle area; prices might be different where you live.
U-Haul was consistently the least expensive service. Our quotes saved anywhere from $50 to $1,000 over the average price, much lower than competitors like U-Pack. The prices we list include a fee for U-Haul to transport the containers to your location. You can shave another $100 or so off the price if you transport the container yourself, but you’ll need a vehicle that can tow 3,000 pounds.
This is also one of the easier companies to get a quote from. You can use the website to see how much it will cost and adjust the number of containers or the shipping method. Some companies require you to call for a quote, so if you’d rather book online U-Haul is a good choice.
This company gives you several options for insuring your belongings. First, you can elect to use your homeowners or renter’s insurance or pay for U-Haul’s coverage. You can get between $1,000 to $20,000 worth of coverage for $24 to $80.
The rental charge includes 30 days of storage. One advantage of a U-Box over other moving trucks is that you can store your things in them indefinitely. If you’ve bought a new house and want to remodel before moving in, you can keep your belongings in the container, either at a U-Haul warehouse or at your home, until you’re ready to unload. U-Haul’s monthly storage fee of $90 is the lowest we saw.
U-Boxes only come in one size, 8 x 5 x 7 feet, which is large enough to fit a king size bed. A studio apartment would only require one U-Box, and a one-bedroom apartment takes about two. There are advantages to smaller containers. They fit in a parking space, so if you don’t have a lot of room – especially if you don’t have a driveway – renting a few containers may be easier than renting a single larger container.
If you transport the containers yourself, you have complete control of the transit time for a local move. This can also save you the headache of waiting for your containers to show up. For longer moves, we got shipping estimates of about 12 days, which makes U-Haul one of the slower services.
As one of the largest moving companies in the country, U-Haul has numerous locations. Other companies we contacted only served certain areas, but U-Haul is very widespread. If you need help loading or unloading, U-Haul’s website has options. It connects you with local third parties and even provides quotes for the help.