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A question that almost every individual who is planning to move asks themselves is whether they should hire a local moving company or simply rent a moving truck. The answer to this question is sometimes predicated by finances but more often than not it is simply a matter of practicality. While it is undeniable that hiring a moving company makes any move tremendously easier, there are certain instances when renting a moving truck is more desirable to the individual that is moving. For instance, if you rent a moving truck you will have total control over your move. You will be able to choose the time and day that you start, and you will be able to spread the move out over the course of a few days if you see fit.

With all of that said and if you are on the fence about whether you should hire a moving company or rent a moving truck, take a look at the information below and see if this helps to guide your decision.

Why People Rent a Moving Truck

Beyond being able to control all aspects of your move there are really three instances where hiring a moving company may be overdoing it and just going out and renting a moving truck would suffice.

Small Apartment or Home Moves

For the most part, individuals who live in small homes or apartments will want to simply just rent a moving truck rather than pay the expense of hiring a moving company. There are exceptions to this case, like if you have a piano or other incredibly expensive and heavy furniture, but in general, those individuals who live in small homes and apartments will simply rent a moving truck in order to do their move.

Yes, renting a moving truck will mean that you will have to put forth a little more elbow grease and effort when it comes to your move but in instances like this, it could potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. If you know that you do not have that much stuff to move to your new place and you are able to gather together a small group of family or friends, then your best bet with a move like this is getting a moving truck and doing the move yourself.
Apartment Complex Moves

A move that oftentimes proves to be logistically difficult is any move where you are leaving or moving into an apartment complex. The most difficult part of these moves is usually not getting your stuff into the apartment (although going up flights of stairs is never fun) but often times it is scheduling your move within the parameters of the apartment complex’s rules. In cases like this, it is oftentimes easier to rent a moving truck and do the move yourself because you may only have a small time frame or particular days when you can move in and if you have to reserve the elevator then you don’t want to miss your appointment.

Local Moves

Probably the main reason that anyone would choose to rent a moving truck over hiring a moving company is if they are moving locally. If you know that your move is going to be within the same town or even within 25 miles of where you currently live then hiring a moving company may be overdoing it. In these particular cases renting a moving truck will be a lot cheaper and if necessary you can rent the truck on a number of different days, which would not be possible if you hired a moving company. It should also be noted that when you are moving locally you will be able to pack your car with smaller items and so you won’t need as large of a truck in order to complete your move.

What Size Rental Truck Do You Need?

The greatest benefit of renting a moving truck is the amount of money that you can save on your move. Depending on how large your move is and how far you are going, you can expect to spend between a few hundred or a few thousand dollars if you hire a moving company. However, renting a moving truck will only cost you around $20 to $30 plus the price of gas and mileage.

With that said before you rent a moving truck you want to make sure that you actually rent the correct size truck so that when the day of your big move comes you aren’t left scrambling trying to figure out how you are going to fit all of your stuff in the truck.

Below is a general breakdown of the size truck you should rent depending on the size of your home or apartment.

26 Foot Moving Truck

If you have a 3 or 4 bedroom home then it is suggested that you rent a 26’ truck for your move. This truck will have enough space so that you can fit all of your furniture as well as the boxes that you packed during your move. It is also the size truck that most professional moving companies use. The only issue with this truck is that it can take some getting used to in terms of driving but after a few miles you should feel comfortable enough behind the wheel.

20 Foot Moving Truck

If you have a 2 or 3 bedroom home or apartment then a 20’ truck should do the job for your move. However, if you aren’t sure that 20’ is going to be enough for you then you will want to upgrade to the 26’ truck. The price difference between the two is negligible so if you have any doubt at all it is better to err on the side of caution and go for the larger size.

17 Foot Moving Truck

If you live in a place that is 2 bedrooms or smaller than a 17’ truck will more than likely be enough for your move. However, once again if looking at the 17’ truck you doubt that you will be able to fit all of your stuff in it then it is best to go with a size up. It doesn’t seem like an extra 3 feet would really make a difference but it is a nice cushion to have on your moving day.

15 Foot Moving Truck

A 15’ move truck is recommended for 2 bedroom apartments. If you live in a 2 bedroom apartment then more than likely you have a decent amount of stuff, but it should be able to fit inside of a 15’ truck. These trucks are fairly easy to drive which makes them the more commonly rented moving trucks, and since they are inexpensive if you want to break up your move over the course of a few days that won’t be a problem.

10 Foot Moving Truck

If you are currently living in a one-bedroom apartment or a studio, a 10’ moving truck will be more than sufficient for your move. These trucks are very inexpensive to rent and they aren’t terrible on gas mileage so even if you have to move a little bit further it can still be cost-effective to use one of these over a moving company.