As you get ready for your moving day, you might be more concerned with gathering people to help than you are about renting a moving truck. Instead of asking questions and going through contract policies, you might hurry through the rental process and ask where to sign. However, renting a moving truck in a hurry could cause problems. Here are three questions you should ask before renting a moving truck, and why you won't regret taking the time later:
1: "What is the gas mileage like?"
If you are like most people, you probably forgot to factor the price of gas into your moving truck rental. Unfortunately, without carefully calculating your fuel expenses, you might end up struggling to make ends meet during your journey.
One of the most important things to ask a moving truck representative before you drive away is how much gas your truck will consume. On average, small trucks under 14 feet long get about 8-10 miles per gallon, while trucks over 20 feet long get 4-6. However, your moving truck might be different, which is why it is important to discuss it with the rental company.
Try to get a basic idea of your truck's fuel economy so that you can calculate your estimated fuel expenses based on the current price of diesel. For example, if you are renting a small truck and you plan on travelling 2100 miles, you should expect to spend between $590 and $738 on gas if the current price of diesel is $2.81. Being able to accurately calculate your fuel mileage might help you to decide between truck sizes and budget for your trip.
2: "What is the damage policy?"
Moving rental companies take pride in offering safe, well-kept moving trucks for their customers. To incentivize their renters to take care of their investment, most rental companies inspect vehicles for damage before and after each rental. If you leave the cab covered in sticky soda or back into a tree, you might be on the hook to pay for damage.
Unfortunately, unless you carefully review the damage policy and document existing problems, you might be asked to pay for issues you didn't cause. Before you drive away with a truck, ask which types of issues you could be held liable for and how to avoid racking up charges. Walk around the vehicle and visually inspect it for problems. If you can, snap photos of any scratches, dents, or glass damage that you see. If you are worried about existing problems, ask for a different truck.
Being familiar with the damage policy and reviewing the current condition of the vehicle might help you to fend off surprise expenses.
3: "Could you demonstrate how to use the lift gate?"
To make your move a little easier, some rental companies offer moving trucks fitted with hydraulic lift gates. These nifty contraptions allow you to move furniture onto a foldout metal platform, and raise it into the truck with easy-to-use controls. Unfortunately, if you don't know how to use that lift gate, you might waste a lot of time on moving day or hurt yourself.
Because lift gates contain a moving metal platform that meets with the edge of your truck bed, things can be pinched between the gate and the bed if you aren't careful. If you don't understand how to operate the lift gate safely, you could damage furniture or pinch off your toes.
To fend off problems, ask for a lift gate tutorial before you leave the rental shop. An employee can show you how to fold out the platform, operate the controls, and safely lift heavy objects. To make sure you understand, use the lift gate before you leave. You might be surprised how helpful a lift gate can be when you know how to use it properly.
By asking your moving truck rental company the right questions, you might be able to budget accordingly, fend off liability, and make your move a little easier.
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