Hiring a U-Haul is the best option if you want to save the cost of moving out by doing it on your own. Still, because of the unexpected delays in packing and unpacking, you may overestimate the time you’ll need a U-Haul. Should you return it early?
You can return your U-Haul early once you finish moving. While renting, you give the company the number of hours you’ll need the U-Haul to help them schedule in case another family needs it. If you had hired the U-Haul for an in-town round trip, you might get a refund for unused days or hours.
This post explores the procedure of returning your U-Haul, the time to return, and the place. You must understand the process to make an informed decision before renting.
Why It’s Okay To Return Your U-Haul Early
The American Community Survey data shows that 13% of Americans move from one place to another each year. This percentage amounts to over 40 million moves within the county, the state, or inter-state.
U-Haul trucks have become famous for people moving out because of their convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. So when you rent a U-Haul, another family is possibly booked after you to use it.
When you make your U-Haul reservation online, it’s never a guarantee you’ll get the truck you requested. The reason being someone else might not have returned it. In such a case, you’ll get another vehicle if you agree to the specifics such as size, date, and location.
Returning your U-Haul early is okay because it helps U-Haul representatives reserve it for another family with certainty. And because not every truck is ideal for everyone’s needs, it reduces delays as other hirers don’t have to wait for the vehicle to be available.
What Happens If You Don’t Return U-Haul On Time?
If you don’t return a U-Haul rental on time, you may be subject to late fees or even the loss of your security deposit.
According to an article from CGAA, the late fee for a U-Haul rental is $40 per day. If you return the U-Haul more than five days late, you will be charged an additional $200.
If you don’t return the U-Haul at all, you will be charged the full rental amount, plus a $150 missing equipment fee. Additionally, if you fail to return the truck, U-Haul may add extra fees and interest, and they can and will repossess the truck.
What Time Can You Return Your U-Haul?
You don’t have to worry if you want to return your U-Haul before or after working hours.
You can return your U-Haul any time. U-Haul offers a self-return service that allows you to return the rental truck or trailer during or after service hours without the help of customer representatives.
The process is simple. All you’ll need is a smartphone and the internet to upload photos and answer several questions about the nature of the truck. You will follow these steps:
- Open your U-Haul app or Uhaul.com and use your email and password to sign in to your account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll log in using your order number in the confirmation email.
- Once you log in, click the “Self Return” button, and a screen will show you where to park the truck at the U-Haul store.
- You’ll then share your location to ensure you’re in the right place. Once you share your location, another screen shows up asking you to answer questions about fuel level and mileage, performance, cleanliness, and your current parking spot. For most of these questions, you will need to take an image of the vehicle for proof that you report accurate information. For example, you will need to take a picture of the odometer.
- After answering the questions, you’ll receive your upstanding charges and select “Complete Truck Return” to finish the process.
- Remember to pick up all your stuff from the truck, lock it, and place the keys on the drop box.
Can You Get a Refund if You Return Your U-Haul Early?
U-Haul offers two types of rentals that determine whether you’ll receive a refund.
You can get a refund if you return your U-Haul early as long as you return the vehicle to the exact U-Haul location you rented it from. U-haul classifies these rentals as in-town.
- One-Way Rental
The one-way move involves picking the truck in one location and dropping it at another. It applies where the distance is long, for example, inter-state or inter-county moves. One-way moves don’t qualify for a refund.
U-Haul charges a flat rate which depends on:
- Miles allotted
- Truck size
- Days needed to complete your move
- Pick up and drop off location
You’ll need not rush to save time or get a refund.
- In-Town Rental
For in-town moves, you return the truck where you picked it up. You get charged per mile, and rates may vary depending on the day of the week and the state. The rates are always on Friday and Saturday compared to other days.
In-town rentals qualify for a refund if you return the truck early. When hiring the U-Haul, you deposit the estimated cost. Upon returning, you’ll pay for the mileage and rental fee, depending on the truck size you need.
For early returns, when it’s verified you have refueled the truck to the level it was before picking it up, the representatives will deduct your charges from your deposit and give you back the difference. But, you may incur further charges if you cause any damage to the truck.
Which Is Cheaper: One-Way Move or In-Town Move?
An in-town move is cheaper than a one-way move with a U-Haul rental since you can get a refund if you return the truck early. However, the best strategy for traveling above 40 miles would be a one-way rental.
Calculating charges for a long-distance trip per mileage would cost more than hiring the truck one way.
Besides, with more than 20,000 U-Haul stores available, you can find a convenient location to drop the truck in a one-way rental without worrying about exceeding the allocated time.
You may also be interested in these other articles I’ve written about U-Haul:
- How Long Can You Rent a U-Haul?
- Where Can I Park a U-Haul Overnight?
- Can I Leave My Car at a U-Haul Location?
- What Roads Can U-Haul Go On?
Tips for Getting the Best Experience With U-Haul
If you want the best experience renting a U-Haul, you may want to consider these tips:
- Book your reservation early to ensure you get your desired truck.
- Read the rental terms to avoid misunderstandings.
- Check the truck well before picking it up to prevent a breakdown in your journey.
- Take care of the truck to avoid further repair charges.
- Return the truck at the agreed time not to incur fines.
Returning your U-Haul early saves you from the risks associated with having it in your hands. It also makes it available for others, protecting them from delays or having to choose other alternatives. Also, if your U-Haul is an in-town rental, you can get a refund and save some money if you return it early.