Improvement Renting A Cargo Van From Uhaul Top

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So, after purchasing a last-minute flight from LAX to Orlando (MCO) in late April to check out the annual hang-gliding competition in Groveland, Florida, the paraglider pilot planned to make the trip with friends who also fly. was not unusual. What was unusual, however, were the rental car prices that Salamone found when she browsed prices online for her three-night trip.

Improvement Renting A Cargo Van From Uhaul Top

She immediately called a friend who had a knack for solving travel problems for advice, but they were unsuccessful. However, the solution came to her when she went for a walk.

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Salamone told TPG that she found a cargo van from a U-Haul pickup location near the Orlando airport for $19.95 a day, plus an additional $10 mileage fee during her trip.

The entire rental cost her less than $100 — and she saved a lot more because she was able to forgo a hotel and sleep in a van during the event, thanks to friends in Florida who had a spare mattress and pillows. Salamone said they even bought her a magnetic screen from ACE Hardware to keep out mosquitoes.

A flight delay meant Salamone landed at the Orlando airport late at night, so no one was working at the U-Haul office when he arrived. Also, the U-Haul app wasn’t working for her to pick up the van.

But even though she didn’t get access to U-Haul until the next day, Salamone told TPG she still considers the experience a success.

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“It was clean and very comfortable,” she said of the van. “For less than $100, I had a hotel and a car for my trip.”

With the boom in travel to many domestic and even some international destinations, rental car inventory and rising prices are now making finding a rental car difficult and expensive. Travelers everywhere have taken to calling the current situation carmageddon (among other… more creative terms).

When Orbitz searched for car rentals in the Florida cities of Tampa and Key West in late April, prices for dates in May were around $500 per week. Car rentals in Honolulu were over $1,000 per week for the same dates. CNN recently reported car rental prices in Maui totaling $722 per day.

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While not all parts of the country struggle with this problem (for example, car rentals in Aspen, Colorado, in early May on Orbitz were around $250 per week), travelers should be aware that car rentals can already come with sticker shock—if you you can get a vehicle at all.

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Andrew Locke of the Travel Pro Show says he also didn’t rent a U-Haul when he discovered Las Vegas car rental prices were skyrocketing for his mid-April trip from London. Locke, who rents a car about once a month for his trips and usually books directly through Hertz, told TPG that he has a pretty good idea of ​​what Las Vegas’ rental car prices typically are.

“It’s usually around $40 a day, but I’ve seen rates around $150 a day, even on sites like AutoSlash and Costco,” he said, referring to aggregator sites known for good prices.

Faced with that high price, he turned to U-Haul, hoping it would be cheaper. Locke calculated how many miles he would need to drive around Las Vegas during his five-day business trip (about 100 miles) and also used U-Haul’s $40 insurance. He told TPG it was a no-brainer to rent a U-Haul instead of a traditional rental car.

“For what a day’s rental would have cost me, I got a U-Haul for the whole time.”

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He chose a cargo van, one of the smaller rental options from U-Haul. According to Lock, the U-Haul van was comparable to driving a large SUV, including parking. But Locke cautioned other travelers to confirm what you’re getting with U-Haul when you make your reservation, so you don’t risk being upgraded to something much larger if it’s out of stock.

Turo, a car-sharing service billed as the “Airbnb of rental cars,” is another alternative to traditional car rental companies that has become popular in the wake of recent car rental woes.

With inventory in every market in the US, as well as Canada and the UK, the Turo app acts as an online marketplace where car owners can rent out their personal cars to people who need them. Prices are often much cheaper than what you can find through a rental car company—a recent search showed $23 a day for a Fiat in Los Angeles and $30 a day for a Prius in Maui, Hawaii.

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However, Turo is also subject to stock shortages, which happened to Cindy Rich of Orem, Utah, during an April trip to Orlando.

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She and her husband changed flights at the last minute to arrive a day early. They went to rebook a car reservation they had made weeks earlier with Thrifty, but it wasn’t available. They turned to Turo as a backup plan, but Rich said there were no cars available on the app either.

“My husband had the great idea to rent a truck from Home Depot,” Rich said, adding that he did so on a previous trip to Colorado. The couple waited for a trip to the nearest Home Depot and got the last rental truck in stock — a Ford 250 flatbed utility truck — for $130 a day.

“But I can’t imagine what we would have done if my little daughter was with us. Home Depot trucks are not suitable for car seats.

Travelers were lined up for car rentals at MCO. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Rich for The Points Guy)

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If you’re planning an upcoming trip that requires a rental car and the prices are too high for your budget, here are some tips and tricks to help you find an alternative:

1. Home improvement companies like Home Depot and Lowes often rent pickup trucks, which may be a cheaper option than rental cars in some markets. Keep in mind, though, that these trucks may not be family-friendly if you’re traveling with small children who need car seats.

2. If you see high prices on certain rental dates, try extending your booking to a longer trip to see if that lowers the daily price, Lock suggested. Car rental companies often allow you to return the car earlier than you booked without penalty, and in some cases they may even give you a refund for the days not rented.

3. Also, be sure to check car rental prices closer to your trip, as they may drop closer to your actual travel dates.

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4. For trips between Florida and the Washington area, check out Amtrak’s Auto Train to see if it’s better to bring your own vehicle. The daily service travels nearly 900 miles (17.5 hours) along the East Coast between the Washington, DC and Orlando areas.

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5. Check out car dealers like Nissan and Toyota that offer ‘try before you buy’ weekends or car rental deals. This is another option that might be cheaper than traditional rental companies right now.

6. Finally, check out deals at aggregators like Costco and AutoSlash. Be sure to tap into your AAA and AARP memberships, too.

Terri Ward is a Florida-based freelance writer who travels the world with her two young children while contributing to The Points Guy Family and many other outlets. She has lived in France and New Zealand and has a particular passion for Norway.

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Editor’s note: The views expressed here are solely those of the author, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise approved by any of these entities. Besides being a great solution for small moves, cargo vans can be used for more than just moving! When it comes to business needs, cargo vans prove to be a cost-effective solution for many different applications. Creating a corporate account with some companies gives you the flexibility to rent cargo vans on a daily, weekly and even basis

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