You’re moving, and you’re looking at your list of things to do and buy. It can add up quickly. You know you will need a dolly, but you have to decide whether you should rent or purchase it from U-Haul.
A dolly is a platform on wheels, which helps you move heavy objects safely. Dollies come in all shapes and sizes and are generally affordable to rent from U-Haul, depending on your circumstances.
U-Haul is arguably the most familiar moving company. They are easy to find, book, and have 24-hour scheduling and drop-off. If you are already renting a moving truck from U-Haul, buying boxes, or using another one of their services, you do not need to go out of your way to rent a dolly from them.
While U-Haul dolly rentals start at $7, costs can add up quickly if you need multiple dollies or need the dolly for many days.
Let’s break down some of the benefits and risks in renting from U-Haul to decide whether renting a dolly is the right choice for you.
Do you need a dolly?
If you want to save time, energy, and your back, the short answer is yes, you need one. Here is why.
- Weight. A dolly can reduce the amount of weight you are carrying. Even if you think you do not have any heavy items, a dolly is useful for lifting boxes full of books or awkwardly shaped items.
- People. Without a dolly, you will need multiple people to move furniture and appliances. With a dolly, you can theoretically do it all by yourself or with minimal help.
- Time. Perhaps you live in a small apartment and are not taking any appliances or heavy pieces of furniture. You can still use a dolly to stack boxes and move in and out as efficiently as possible with the least amount of loads.
Different Types of Dollies
Deciding whether or not to rent a dolly from U-Haul gets complicated fast when you look at all the dolly options.
It can be challenging to decide what dolly you need and renting all three from U-Haul will add up. Here is an overview of the most common dollies available at U-Haul and what you can use them for.
Utility Dolly/Hand truck
This is an all-purpose L-shaped device that can lift up to 600 pounds. Use it for moving stacked boxes or light furniture and appliances. It can be used on stairs and works well on ramps.
Utility dollies cost $7/day from U-Haul. They cost $40 new.
Pros: Cheap, multi-purpose, can be used on stairs.
Cons: Lower weight capacity, two wheeles.
A furniture dolly is a flat dolly on four wheels that is perfect for moving furniture. It has a weight capacity of 1000 pounds for your heavier pieces of furniture and appliances. The furniture dolly does not have a handle, so it cannot be used on stairs. It works well in elevators and can be used on ramps.
Furniture dollies cost $7/day from U-Haul. They cost $20 new.
Pros: Cheap to buy new, high weight capacity, four wheels.
Cons: Can’t be used on stairs, no handles, need another person to help load.
Appliance dollies are similar in design to hand trucks but have greater weight capacity (up to 700 pounds) and nylon straps to secure appliances. Appliance dollies are a great choice for moving refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, and other heavy appliances that are otherwise difficult to move. Appliance dollies can also be used on stairs.
Appliance dollies cost $10/day from U-Haul. They cost $155 new.
Pros: High weight capacity, includes straps, made to lift heavy bulky items safely.
Cons: Expensive, only needed for appliances.
How to choose whether you should rent a dolly from U-Haul.
- Make a list of the heavy pieces of furniture, appliances, and boxes that you have. How much do your heaviest pieces weigh? If everything is under 600 pounds, you can probably get away with just a utility dolly.
- Plan your budget. How much money do you have to spend on a dolly? How many people were you originally going to hire to help you? Will a dolly help cut down on the number of people you need to hire? Can you afford to rent all three dollies ($24/day)? Can you afford to purchase some of them?
- Determine your environment. Does your current or future house have stairs or an elevator? If there are a lot of stairs, a furniture dolly might not be worth it.
- Estimate how many days you will need the dolly or dollies for. How long of a drive is it to your destination? Will you need a dolly on the way?
- Decide how much extra time you have. Do you have time to drive back and forth from U-Haul to pick up and drop off the dolly, especially if you are not renting other moving supplies from U-Haul? What if you only rent the dolly in town? Do you have time to drive to U-Haul and back twice at your current house and twice at your future house if you rent the dolly?
- When do you need the dolly? Do you have time to wait for the delivery if you purchase it? Most U-Haul stores offer same-day delivery of hand trucks and furniture dollies. Appliance dollies need to be bought in advance.
- What are you going to do with a dolly after you have moved in if you purchased it? If you are downsizing, you might not want the hassle of having something extra.
Other pointers for deciding whether to rent a dolly from U-Haul:
- Plan on renting a utility dolly for a minimum of one day when you are moving out and one day when you are moving in.
- If you think you will need more time with your furniture or utility dolly, consider purchasing them as they are both quite affordable.
- An appliance dolly is almost always cheaper to rent unless you think you will use it for more than two weeks.
Ultimately, deciding whether or not you decide to rent a dolly from U-Haul comes down to individual preference. Your preference should be based on your ability to move heavy objects like appliances and furniture without one, how much help you have to move heavy items and how many items needing a dolly you have.
Here is the final thought I’ll leave you with though.
For the price of a dolly (usually around $10-$12 from U-Haul) I’ve never been upset at the end of a move that I spent the money on a dolly.
However, and this was the last time I didn’t rent a dolly – I had a move where I would have paid triple that amount of money to have had a dolly. If you think you even might want the dolly, get the dolly.
Good Luck with your move!