Considering we have been in business since 2004 and have witnessed the transformation of moving labor from a tiny niche market into a much larger subsection of the moving industry, we'd like to think we've learned a few things. It is unfortunate that U-Haul has such a strong hold on DIY moving and rental trucks because they don't provide a high level of customer satisfaction.
Most will agree that U-Haul does an excellent job of marketing and branding. They advertise and create opportunities that other companies like Budget Truck Rental and Penske Truck Rental cannot, primarily because the word "U-Haul" has been generalized to the point that it is used when referencing any rented moving truck, not necessarily an actual U-Haul. But regardless of their unique ability to market and create success where others cannot, they are certainly not a beacon of perfection. We advise all of our customers to stay away from U-Haul at all costs, their business model is built on rental revenue, not on your safety or satisfaction.
U-Haul has been cited time and time again for failing to safely maintain their trucks which sometimes results in injury. How many times have you driven down the road and witnessed a stranded U-Haul? I guarantee you that if you haven't seen one it is likely because you haven't truly paid attention, I ask that the next time you take a trip down the highway you keep your eyes peeled, I'd be willing to bet you will find at least one broken down U-Haul. The issue with U-Haul is that they do not cycle their trucks through Phoenix (their headquarters) as required by law. A Los Angeles Times investigation in 2007 found that, "more than 200 U-Haul vehicles in parking lots, highway rest stops and other locations in California, six other states and the District of Columbia. Half of the trucks and more than 80% of the trailers were overdue for inspection, based on a U-Haul policy requiring most vehicles to be thoroughly checked at least every 30 days. Some had not been inspected for a year or more, according to maintenance stickers affixed to the vehicle's."
It is apparent to us that U-Haul plays on the popularity of their name, many consumers simply don't realize that other truck rental companies (like Penske and Budget) exist. This allows U-Haul to not follow through with their customer service or maintenance requirements because customers feel as though U-Haul is their only option.
To sum up our feelings on U-Haul, we simply advise you to stay away. There are numerous other options for truck rentals, not to mention alternative transportation like freight trailers and portable storage containers.
For more information about U-Haul and why we have issued this advisory you can view the following websites:
- BBB Report
- Pissed Consumer
- Consumer Affairs
- U-Haul Safety Alert
- The Consumerist
- U-Haul Class Action Suit - Trailers
- U-Haul Settles 2 Million Dollar Lawsuit - California
U-Haul is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc.