Which is Cheaper U-Haul or Hiring a Mover?

June 3, 2024

To find out which is less expensive, we analyzed dozens of quotations from U-Haul compare to other professional movers. U-Haul always came out on top, but less expensive doesn’t always imply better, and U-Hauls is consistently subpar.

Although leasing a U-Haul moving truck will save you $1,000 to $5,000 over hiring professional movers, it’s not as inexpensive as it seems (and it’s certainly not the cheapest).

Furthermore, DIY relocating has a number of drawbacks and risks that are avoided by employing professional movers. That is why, if you can afford it, we always suggest hiring full-service movers.

U-Haul vs. Full-Service movers

Service Comparison

Although U-Haul does offer moving services, renting a truck from them usually entails doing all of the work yourself. If you require assistance, the company will send packing and loading laborers, but these services will add hundreds of dollars to your ultimate cost. To truly save money on your DIY move, you must do the heavy lifting yourself and possibly seek the help of some trusted friends.

You won’t have to carry your heavy furniture down any stairs or drive an enormous moving truck hundreds of miles when you employ professional movers. Simply leave it to the qualified professionals to handle your belongings with care and transfer them to your new house, where they will unload everything.

Let’s face it: your furniture and boxes are far safer in the hands of professionals with access to the necessary equipment than they would be if you and your neighbors attempted the move on your own.

While cost is a consideration, if convenience and security are major objectives, hiring expert movers is well worth the investment.

U-Haul Comparison


500-mile Move – $875
1000-mile Move – $2907

Professional Movers

500-mile Move – $3396
1000-mile Move – $4011

You won’t pay more than $4,000 for a U-Haul truck rental for a move of fewer than 1,000 miles, and costs are normally significantly lower.

Hiring a professional moving company, on the other hand, will almost always set you back more than $1,000, even if the distance is only a few miles. And if you purchase every add-on service a moving company offers, the sky is pretty much the limit on how much professional movers can cost.

However, truck rental and moving costs vary significantly based on how far you’re moving, how many goods you’re relocating, and the time of year. The only way to know for sure how much your relocation will cost is to acquire an online estimate or, better yet, an in-home estimate.


When you reserve your truck rental, make sure to include coverage for your truck, yourself, and your goods in case you get into an accident or hit a bump too hard and destroy something in the cargo area.

U-Haul offers a variety of insurance alternatives, but the cheapest, Safemove, was frequently between $50 and $90 in the quotations we received.

In contrast, all properly certified full-service movers include basic liability insurance with your relocation for free. Liability coverage for the most part is just that: basic. It only protects your goods for $0.60 per pound, so it won’t cover their full market value, but it’s better than nothing. Full-service movers provide considerably better coverage as well, but they are never free.

Fuel Cost

The cost of fuel does not end with the moving truck. You should also have a backup vehicle, ideally your own car, following you on your journey in case the moving truck breaks down and you want assistance.

If gas costs $2.88 per gallon and your car get 25 miles per gallon on the highway, you’ll spend around $115 to drive 1,000 miles and $57 to drive 500 miles.

Food Cost

When planning a moving road trip, the next expense you should factor in is meals. We’ll budget for two persons in this example because there will be at least two individuals making this hypothetical travel (you and the driver of your backup vehicle).

The cost of food for an adult on a road trip might be around $40 a day.
Because you should never drive more than 500 miles in a single day, let’s say the 500-mile journey takes one day and the 1,000-mile trip takes two days. If this is the case, food should cost around $80 for a 500-mile journey and $160 for a 1,000-mile journey.

As previously said, you can drive 500 miles in a day safely, thus you won’t need to include a hotel in your budget for a 500-mile journey. You can simply get up early in your old home, drive your moving truck to your new home that day, and spend the night there.

However, for a 1,000-mile journey, you should budget for at least one night in a motel. A single night in a hotel room costs on average $180, though it can be significantly more at upscale hotels or in densely crowded areas. If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to stay, you might be able to find a better offer on Airbnb.

Final Thought

Renting a U-Haul moving truck is significantly less expensive than hiring a full-service moving firm, even with all the additional fees that come with a moving road trip. However, if you can afford it, the convenience and service provided by full-service movers are well worth the extra cost.