Use the U-Haul site to estimate what the move will cost you. Compare different scenarios with trailers, trucks, and multiple trips. Do you have a friend with a truck? Can your car pull a trailer (this is determined by your vehicle and the U-Haul site will tell you if it is not recommended)? Figure out the costs for various towns you are willing to move to. I have a notepad document in my financial folder for moving truck scenarios. This way I can refer back if my budget or other variables change. I used a 26 foot truck (the big one) and the furthest town in our school district for my estimate. I assumed it would take us two days, with two trips each day, since I know we have physical limitations that will slow us down, and I don’t know how much stuff I will end up with when I’m done purging. If it takes us less time then whoopee, I saved some money. If I’m lucky I can actually do it all with my friend’s truck and I just have to put back whatever gas I use (not an insignificant expense).
To get your estimate get your truck price from the site, add the mileage you estimate ($1ish/mile is their fee), and gas costs. To figure out gas costs most trucks only get 8 miles per gallon. When calculating mileage make sure you cover each round trip, plus the trip to return the truck, and round up. Divide the miles by your 8 miles per gallon to figure out how many gallons you need (round up so you don’t have to worry about going off-route in the quest for a quick potty stop). Use gasbuddy.com to figure out the highest gas price on your route, round that up, and multiply that by the gallons. If you have another driver who can help you need to calculate the gas for that vehicle as well.
Mileage = miles to travel x $1 =$
Gas costs = miles / 8mpg = gallons. Gallons x $ gas cost = $
Total mileage + gas = $
One year there was a Penske coupon in the phone book which would make them cheaper than U-Haul, and then when I called the associate knew of another discount that was even better for me. It pays to look around for discounts.