U Haul Cargo Van Rates

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So buying a last-minute flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Orlando (MCO) at the end of April to watch an annual hang gliding competition in Groveland, Florida, a trip the paraglider pilot planned to take with friends who also fly. . it was nothing out of the ordinary. What was unusual, however, was the car rental rates Salamone found when he searched online for prices for his three-night trip.

U Haul Cargo Van Rates

He immediately called a friend with a talent for solving travel bugs for advice, but he fell short. However, he came up with a solution when he went for a walk.

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Salamone told TPG that he found a cargo van at a U-Haul pickup site near the Orlando airport for $19.95 per day, plus an additional $10 in mileage charges over the course of his trip.

The entire rental cost him less than $100 and saved him much more, as he was able to forego a hotel and sleep in the van during the event thanks to friends in Florida who had an air mattress and pillows to spare. Salamone said he even bought him a magnetic screen from ACE Hardware to keep mosquitoes at bay.

A delayed flight meant that Salamone landed late at night at the Orlando airport, so no one was working in the U-Haul office offsite when he arrived. Also, the U-Haul app was not working for her to pick up the truck.

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

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

With travel picking up for many domestic and even some international destinations, shrinking rental car inventory and rising prices are making it difficult and expensive to find a rental car right now. Travelers everywhere have started calling the current situation Carmagedon (among other… more creative terms).

A late April search on Orbitz for car rentals in the Florida cities of Tampa and Key West showed prices around $500 per week for the May dates. In Honolulu, car rentals were priced at more than $1,000 a week during the same dates. CNN recently reported that car rental rates in Maui run to an obscene $722 per day.

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While not all parts of the country are dealing with this problem (for example, car rentals in Aspen, Colorado were priced around $250 a week on Orbitz for the same week in early May), travelers They should note that renting a car now might come with a sticker, if you can get a vehicle at all.

Moving With A Cargo Van

Travel Pro Show’s Andrew Lock says he, too, decided to rent a U-Haul when he found that car rentals in Las Vegas skyrocketed for his mid-April trip from London. Lock, who rents a car about once a month on his trips and typically books directly through Hertz, told TPG that he has a good handle on typical car rental prices in Las Vegas. .

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

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

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

Lorry Rental Photos

He chose a cargo van, one of U-Haul’s smaller rental options. According to Lock, the U-Haul truck was comparable to driving a large SUV, including parking. But Lock warned fellow travelers to confirm what they get with U-Haul when they book so they don’t risk being upgraded to something much larger if there’s no inventory.

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

With inventory in every market in the US, Canada, and the UK, the Turo app acts as an online marketplace where car owners can rent their personal cars to people in need. Prices are usually much cheaper than what you’ll find through a car rental company: A recent search showed rates of $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 susceptible to inventory shortages, which is what happened to Cindy Rich of Orem, Utah, during an April trip to Orlando.

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She and her husband changed their flights at the last minute to arrive a day early. They went to rebook the car they had booked weeks before with Thrifty, but there was no availability. They turned to Turo as their backup plan, but Rich said there were no cars available through the app either.

“My husband had the brilliant idea to rent a truck from Home Depot,” Rich said, adding that he had done it on a previous trip to Colorado. The couple had a ride 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 young daughter was with us. Home Depot trucks are not compatible with car seats.”

Commuters lined up to rent cars 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 car rental and find prices too high for your budget, here are some tips and tricks to help you find an alternative:

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

2. If you see high rates for specific rental dates, try extending your booking window for a longer trip to see if it lowers the daily price, Lock advised. Often car rental companies will allow you to return a car earlier than you booked without penalty, and in some cases may even refund days not rented.

3. Be sure to also check car rental rates closer to your trip, as they may drop as your actual travel dates get closer.

Cargo Van Rental Photos

4. For travel between Florida and the Washington, D.C. area, check out Amtrak’s Auto Train to see if bringing your own vehicle with you might be a better deal. Daily service runs nearly 900 miles (17.5 hours) along the eastern seaboard between the Washington, D.C. and New York areas. and Orlando.

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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 could be cheaper than traditional rental companies at the moment.

6. Finally, look for deals at aggregators like Costco and AutoSlash. Be sure to take advantage of their AAA and AARP memberships as well.

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

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Editorial Note: The views expressed herein 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 endorsed by any of these entities. If you’re looking to rent a truck for an upcoming move, you’ve probably already considered U-Haul. But U-Haul is far from your only option and some competitors may be better suited for your move.

None of these are makeshift organizations, and you’ve probably heard of some, if not all. So let’s dive in with the best and

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