Moving can be chaotic – and costly, even when things go as you envisioned. After packing up your things, you may find that you’ve collected enough over the years to require a 26′ moving truck. This is where U-Haul comes in, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks that you could face when renting a vehicle.
Drivers who get into rented truck accidents could find that their things might be broken, but they might also be liable for paying for the rental truck repairs. Unfortunately, accidents can sometimes occur due to the extreme use that moving vehicles and trailers are put through on a daily basis. U-Haul renters have encountered dangerous issues such as wheels flying off, missing lug nuts and studs, and undersized tires.
“The renter is liable in a U-Haul accident and should either purchase liability insurance through the company or show proof that they’re covered with rental insurance under a personal policy,” explained John Foy, truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, “While your insurance policy may not cover rentals, it’s important to check because you might be surprised. The $20 liability coverage that U-Haul offers usually covers the deductible, but your private insurance probably won’t.”
A Los Angeles Times study of 200 U-Haul vehicles discovered that at least half should have been maintained and serviced over a year ago, and they had not been serviced at the time of the study. A separate report found that almost 20% of the 693 U-Haul vehicles that were studied had defects from not being serviced.
In the LA Times study, a former executive with the company did insist that safety is a primary concern for U-Haul, and explained that it’s more expensive to have vehicles and equipment that sometimes malfunction. However, he also drew attention to the fact that stores were usually rushed to get the vehicles to the renters, and divulged that there was likely equipment rented to a customer that should have first been repaired or replaced.
The company maintenance policy requires that each vehicle is checked once per month, and unfortunately, vehicles that are neglected or are not serviced properly increase the risk of a patron getting into an accident.
Of cause for concern is that U-Haul trucks and vans are not always aged out according to how many miles they have or how old they become over time. A high number of the U-Haul trucks are older with a lot of miles on them; there are over 4,500 trucks and vans in operation that have driven at least 200,000 miles.
Two of U-Haul’s primary competitors replace their trucks frequently. Budget Truck Rental has an average truck age of 2 to 2 ½ years. Penske Truck Leasing doesn’t have trucks older than 3 ½ years old, and they replace half of their fleet annually. U-Haul utilizes many independent locations in addition to their branded company rental locations, which is suspected to be contributing to service and maintenance issues.