Moving can be stressful enough, with all the decisions to be made on what to do with your belongings, selling or buying a house, and the logistics of getting to your new home. Should you rent a moving truck or trailer and do it yourself, or is hiring professional movers the better choice for your relocation?

When comparing renting a U-Haul to hiring a full service moving company, there are lots of factors to consider—budget, timing, physical capabilities, and the amount of belongings there are to move, to name a few.

Here’s our breakdown on what circumstances are best for each option—renting a U-Haul or using moving companies—and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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When Should You Rent A U-Haul?

There’s no way around it—moving is expensive. To save costs, many people will opt for a DIY move. Since the initial upfront cost of renting a U-Haul is almost always cheaper than hiring a professional moving company, it stands to reason that this is widely seen as the more affordable option.

Renting a U-Haul is a good option if you have the time and knowledge to pack up and load all of your belongings, have the physical capability to do so, are able to drive the rental van or trailer, and don’t mind putting in all the work required of the moving process.

Moving Nothing Fragile

If you aren’t moving anything especially fragile, it might be more cost-effective to pack and load things yourself. Packing services are convenient, but might not be in the budget, or suitable to the objects you’re in need of moving. 

Small House

Because U-Haul rentals come in several different sizes, this might be the best option if you’re moving between condos or small houses. You and a partner or friend can realistically handle a smaller amount of belongings, whereas handling the move of a 3 bedroom house with just a couple people might be far too much work and effort.

A moving company often has a minimum load requirement or charges a flat rate regardless of the size of your move. A large moving van might be overkill if all of your belongings would fit into a small tow trailer, so why pay for the extra room if you don’t need it?

Time Sensitive

With a U-Haul, you have more control over your schedule. You can pick up and return the truck at your own convenience, rather than having to fit into the schedule and availability of the moving company. This is especially good if your move is time-sensitive and you have concerns about when you need to be out of your current home (or into your new home) by a certain date.

When Should You Hire Movers?

Moving is daunting enough, but if you’re also trying to do it yourself and take responsibility for every aspect of the moving process, it can quickly become overwhelming. Unload the stress of the day by hiring movers to handle the loading and unloading, packing, and transportation of all your belongings.

It’s a good idea to hire professional movers when you have lots of large, bulky furniture, don’t feel comfortable driving an unwieldy moving truck, or if you’re in need of additional services (such as professional packing services) for your moving process.

Need Fragile Items Safe

Professional movers have moved all types of items, often hundreds or thousands of times. They have the know-how (and the supplies) to handle any object, no matter how fragile, breakable, or cumbersome it may be. Packing delicate items in a way that will keep them safe during transport is an area where any additional costs you might encounter will be offset by the value of protecting your assets and knowing they’ll be kept safe during the move.

Large House

If you’re moving from a large home that has plenty of rooms and furniture, moving companies are your best bet. Moving companies know how to maneuver tight spaces or multiple floors, and can safely handle special items like pianos or antiques.

U-Haul vs. Movers – Pros & Cons

In general, a U-Haul is going to be less expensive, more flexible, and gives you full control over your move. However, while you might save money on a do it yourself move, it will require far more effort, time, and responsibility, and comes with a higher risk of damage or injury.

On the other hand, moving companies will be efficient, professional, safer, and often faster, and will come with comprehensive insurance options. The drawback to hiring a mover is the higher cost (though it might be less than you think, factoring in everything), less flexibility on timing, and less control over the process.

There’s no clear answer on whether you should hire a U-Haul moving truck or a full service moving company, but here are some considerations to take into account so you’re able to make the best decision for your upcoming move.



  • Pros: Generally cheaper since you’re only paying for renting the truck, fuel, and any equipment you might need. You avoid labor costs of the movers themselves, and only pay for the time and cargo area you need.
  • Cons: Costs can add up if you need extra equipment or if you underestimate the size of the truck and need multiple trips.


  • Pros: All-inclusive packages can sometimes be cost-effective, especially for long-distance moves. You also get packing materials included in many cases.
  • Cons: Higher upfront costs due to labor, transportation, and additional services can add hundreds of dollars to your move. There’s also a potential for hidden fees if the company isn’t upfront or transparent about their pricing structure.



  • Pros: High level of flexibility in scheduling. You can move at your own pace, pick up and drop off the truck when it suits you.
  • Cons: You need to handle all logistics yourself, including timing and route planning.


  • Pros: They provide a fixed schedule and handle logistics, reducing the planning you need to do.
  • Cons: Less flexibility in scheduling; you need to work within their availability. Changing plans might incur fees.



  • Pros: Suitable for DIY enthusiasts who prefer to manage their own move. You don’t need professional experience for a basic move.
  • Cons: Lack of professional moving experience might lead to inefficient packing and increased risk of damage.


  • Pros: Professional movers have the experience and skills to pack and move items efficiently and safely.
  • Cons: You might not have control over how items are packed or handled.



  • Pros: You control the pace of the move, which can be as fast or as slow as you prefer.
  • Cons: It might take longer than professional movers, especially if you have a small team or are moving alone.


  • Pros: Professional teams can complete moves quickly and efficiently due to their experience and manpower.
  • Cons: You’re bound to their schedule, which might not align perfectly with your preferred timeline.



  • Pros: You have control over how items are handled and can take extra care with particularly delicate personal belongings, such as computers or artwork.
  • Cons: Increased risk of injury from lifting heavy items without proper technique or equipment. Potential for damaging items due to inexperience.


  • Pros: Professionals are trained to handle heavy and delicate items safely, reducing the risk of injury and damage.
  • Cons: Despite their training, there is still a small risk of items being damaged, though it’s typically lower than DIY moves.



  • Pros: U-Haul offers optional rental insurance, but it might not cover all types of damage.
  • Cons: You need to understand the coverage options and may need to purchase additional insurance.


  • Pros: Moving companies typically offer insurance options that cover a wide range of potential damages, providing peace of mind.
  • Cons: The cost of insurance is often included in the overall price, making the service more expensive.

If you’re thinking about hiring a moving company, Cassidy’s can provide you with a free moving estimate so you’ll have a better understanding of exactly how much your move will cost. 

Need movers? Get a no obligation quote today.