Hiring movers to haul cargo, drive it across the country, and then bring the cargo into a new home is no longer a big hit. It costs too much and very often the movers won’t pay for any damaged or lost items. That’s why people are using their own vehicles or are renting moving trucks to do the job themselves.
Some people argue that using a car is better. Others argue that you can’t fit everything in a car which is they need to borrow a friend’s SUV or pickup truck. For one thing, you’d only have to worry about toll fees and gas.
On the other hand, some people argue that it’s cheaper to rent a moving truck. With one-way rental services becoming the new trend, you wouldn’t even have to return the truck to the office you got it from and instead can just drop it off at a branch close to your new home.
Rental moving trucks can fit everything in nice and safely so you’ll only have to travel once. The only issue is that you’d be paying rent for the truck.
The 200-Mile Fuel Test
If you’re just going to look at fuel efficiency, take some time to consider this 200-mile fuel test:
Assume that the distance you are travelling is 200 miles and that the cost of gas per gallon is $5.60 (most recent average). The average car has a highway fuel efficiency of 27 miles per gallon. That means travelling 200 miles would cost around $41.50.
Now at first glance that looks like a very low cost. However, a car is too small to carry a bed, dining table, refrigerator, computer and computer table, oven, microwave, and all the other large furniture and appliances found in the average American home.
That means you’d have to make several trips, back and forth. Even if you could deliver everything in just three deliveries – which makes six back and forth rides – you’d still be spending a total of $249. That’s just for the fuel.
You’ll still have to consider costs for toll fees and all your pit stops. You’ll need to stop for food, for rest, and more. At times you might even need to spend an extra $75 for a motel room.
Moving Truck Fuel Efficiency
A moving truck is a very large, heavy vehicle so you can expect its fuel economy to be pretty low. On average, a truck gets 13 miles per gallon. Travelling 200 miles would cost you around $86.15. That might seem twice the amount for one car travel but remember that the car is still going to make six back and forth trips.
The moving truck is only going to make one. An average sized moving truck has enough space inside to fit everything you need. One trip is all you’ll need so the $86.15 is all you’ll be spending for gas.
Since you’re only going to make one trip you’ll only have to stop once for eating, you’ll only have to pay toll fees once, and you most likely won’t have to spend the night at a motel.
Average Expenses – Car vs Moving Truck
In a recent study, people spend roughly $1,400 when they relocate using their private car. This can vary a little bit depending if they use a large pick-up truck, SUV, or van. $1,400 is a lot of money spent on numerous trips, gas, food, and accommodation. Toll fees also pile up pretty quickly, especially if you’re travelling a long way.
On average, the cost for renting a moving truck is $1,100. Add in the $86.15 for fuel and some cash for food, you’d still be saving $200. Most moving truck rentals already cover toll fee payments and they even include insurances for the rental truck, for your cargo, and can even cover your medical bills in case of an accident too.
The worst part about using a private car or even a pick-up truck is the fact you’ll be making more than one trip to get everything from Point A to Point B. Driving for so many hours in a row can be stressful and also make you more prone to accidents.
Moving Trucks – the Clear Winner
If you have a lot of things to move and you’re moving out of state then the obvious choice is to rent a moving truck. You’ll be saving a whole lot of money this way. With included insurance for you and your cargo, there is literally nothing at risk.
If you’re only moving things within your own town or city then yes, using your own private car or pick-up truck may be the more economic choice. City driving can cost more fuel but you won’t be stopping over for food and hotel stays and you won’t be spending $800 to rent a truck from Hertz, Lowe’s, or U-Haul.
However, the moment you need to move your things across the Interstate then renting a moving truck is without a doubt the more efficient choice. It is fuel efficient, it is easier, and you won’t feel so stressed since you’ll only need to drive over once.