U-Haul U-Box® Rental Review

With the U-Haul® brand backing it and some versatile options, U-Box® is worth your consideration.

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U-Box®

Updated Monday, September 16th 2019

Reviews

3.61/5
Pros
  • Enduring reputation provides sense of security
  • More options than the competition for pickup and delivery of containers
  • Two dozen furniture pads are included with the rental of each container
Cons
  • Expensive for someone moving from a big home
  • Having only one size of container is limiting
  • Shipping options are not always available and depend on your location

U-Haul U-Box® Company Overview

U-Haul is essentially the inventor of the modern-day DIY move, popularizing the concept of renting your own moving vehicle all the way back in 1945. Now, with the advent of moving container companies such as PODS®, U-Haul has pushed itself into the storage transportation business. This is where "U-Box" comes in.

In general, moving containers are the more expensive choice for those with bigger homes (read: lots of stuff). And U-Box, especially with only one container size available, is no exception. On the plus side, anyone intimidated by driving one of those big moving trucks can avoid that hassle altogether; U-Box has professional drivers deliver the boxes, pick them up, then ship them to wherever you are moving. (If you're cool with hauling the boxes yourself, you can also go that route.)

Also, a nice U-Box perk is that you can order more boxes than you need and return the ones you didn't end up using, free of charge. The moving containers are made of treated plywood and delivered with a cover that promises to be sturdy and weatherproof, but it's up to you if you want to entrust your belongings to wood.

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U-Haul U-Box® Reviews and Pricing

U-Box®
Long Distance

250+ mi.

Average Cost

$2,755

18.1% cheaper than other companies
Average Review

3.69/5

21.1% lower than other companies
Average Cost Per Mile

$2.18

42.2% cheaper than other companies

Local Move

Under 50 mi.

U-Box®

Compared to Other Companies

Average Review

3.25/5

37.5% lower than other companies

Medium Distance

50-250 mi.

U-Box®

Compared to Other Companies

Average Cost Per Mile

$15.22

14.1% higher than other companies
Average Review

4.33/5

6.2% lower than other companies

Long Distance

250+ mi.

U-Box®

Compared to Other Companies

Average Cost

$2,755

18.1% cheaper than other companies
Average Cost Per Mile

$2.18

42.2% cheaper than other companies
Average Review

3.69/5

21.1% lower than other companies

U-Haul U-Box® Container Sizes

Options
Length
Width
Height
Capacity
U-Box Storage Container 7'11" 4'8" 6'11 ½" 257 cubic feet/one and a half rooms

Photos of U-Haul U-Box in the Wild

U-Haul U-Box® Services Offered

Services Legend

  • Available
  • Not Offered
Small Moving Container

Small Containers

Medium Moving Container

Medium Containers

Large Moving Container

Large Containers

Delivery Truck Crane

Delivery

Storage Container

Storage

Packing Supplies

Packing Supplies

Hand holding moving box

Local Movers

My move with U-Haul U-Box®

Author: Francesca Di Meglio

Updated: Monday, September 16th 2019

How does U-Haul U-Box work?

You book online, pick your specific delivery method along with any add-ons, then pay in installments. Here's how it breaks down.

To rent a U-Haul U-Box storage container, just head to their website. There, you can input where and when you plan to move. You will be prompted to describe whether you have an average amount of stuff, or lots of it. Then, you describe your home as being a studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom, etc. The tool conveniently spits out the suggested number of containers to rent.

The good news is you can rent more containers than you need because you only get charged for the number of containers you have anything inside of. But the bad news is that if you are moving a larger home, you will have only one size container from which to choose - and it's small. It fits the contents of about one and a half rooms in it. That means the price is likely to jump, and fast.

Pick your delivery

After you decide on the number of containers you need, you will be prompted to decide which of U-Box's specific delivery methods you want for your containers:

  • U-Box delivers containers to your door
  • Full-service delivery and load
  • Self-delivery (you pick up the container from a U-Haul location)
  • Bring your stuff to the container at a U-Haul location

For my specific, local move, here are what these options were quoted to me as:

  • We Deliver: as low as $978.95
  • Full-Service Delivery and Load: as low as $582.85
  • Self-Delivery: as low as $5.00
  • Access at a U-Haul Location: Free

How delivery works

As is the case with most portable storage containers, you will be paying for the rental of the container for one month. That buys you some flexibility with pick up and delivery times. This option always comes in handy if you're not 100% certain about when you will be able to move into your new place. (A lot of people use the service simply for storage during a renovation or just because they need space.)

You choose whether to keep the containers on your property or in a U-Haul storage facility. The price is the exact same for either option. But still, you will be charged a monthly rental fee. Also, as long as you provide the storage facility staff at least 24-hour advance notice, you will be able to access your container for free.

Your mileage will vary depending on what's available in your area (literally).

Each container has a latch that can fit a padlock. If you do not have a lock, you can purchase one from them for a few bucks, depending on your store. Only you keep the key or combination to ensure the safety of your stuff.

On the day of delivery (or pickup) of your containers, you can start loading contents into the U-Box, with or without movers. Again, you can keep it all at your place for one month without being charged extra. However, when you input a long-distance move into the website form, U-Haul will provide you with a date for pick-up of the loaded containers for transportation to the final destination. You can pick a later date, but you will not be able to pick anything sooner.

How billing works

You pay in installments, depending on the delivery service you pick. For full-service delivery, you may have to pay a large portion upfront, while with other delivery options you may end up paying a certain amount when you receive the U-Box, then the rest afterwards. Ask about your particular location's terms.

How does U-Haul U-Box work with local moves?

There are no major differences between planning a local or long-distance move with U-Box.

You still go to the website and fill out the same forms. In my case, I moved from Fort Lee, New Jersey to nearby Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, and I was unable to book a straight delivery. To have a U-Haul driver bring the container to my current home and final destination, the site urges you to hire professional movers through the company. This was nothing short of annoying. You can opt to have it delivered to your place and hire movers elsewhere, if you want to try and hack together a better price.

Also, choosing the option of delivery with pre-packaged help from U-Haul movers means you have to pay much of your bill upfront on the day you first schedule the rental. With all the other U-Box options, you pay nothing at first and simply provide your credit card as a placeholder until delivery or pickup of the storage container.

Obviously, the real difference between a local and long-distance move with these storage containers is the price. A big chunk of your budget will go toward paying for the delivery of the loaded containers, and the longer the distance, the more expensive the cost.

My local move estimate

I planned a move from Fort Lee, New Jersey to nearby Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, both of which are close to New York City. You travel about five miles to get from one town to the other.

My move was for a 3-bedroom home with an attic and basement. I took the advice of the estimator tool on the U-Box website and rented four (4) portable storage containers. The load, delivery, and unload would all happen in one day. I opted for the “Moving Help Delivery” option because it was the only way to have a professional driver haul everything and emulate moves I'd get with other storage container companies.

Having only one sized container that fits one and a half rooms apiece is prohibitive.

My local move, U-Box estimate came to $1,718.75. Because I ended up choosing the delivery option that came with professional movers, I had to pay $973.95 up front when I signed up for the service. I would pay the additional $744.80 for the containers and trailer rental and delivery on the day of my scheduled move.

When will you have to pay your U-Box bill? Customers should carefully read the payment information on the screen. It clearly delineates how much you are paying for various parts of the service provided and the dates on which you'll have to make payments. Also, be wary of what you see. The original payment document I saw on the screen said the first month of rental was free, a deal that was available for the local move only, and showed a much smaller subtotal. However, that was not the case when I arrived at checkout. Also, the first month was included in the price and I was expected to pay the more expensive total. (This might have to do with the fact that I opted for the “Moving Help™ Delivery,” which seems to change the payment process.)

How does U-Haul U-Box work with long-distance moves?

Again, there are no fundamental differences between planning a local or long-distance move with U-Box.

Your experience with U-Box - regardless of the kind of move you are making - begins at the website. You'll input your information and share details about your current address, size of home, and final destination to receive a customized estimate.

One important note is that for the long-distance move, I was able to pick a date for the delivery of the storage containers, aka the start of my move, but the date of drop-off of the loaded containers was automatically chosen for me. I could make it for a later date, but I could not get it any sooner. Of course, this is a result of needing the time to get my contents from northern New Jersey to central Florida. You'll have to work this timing into your planning.

Another difference is the fact that you will be dealing with two different U-Haul U-Box locations. The company has locations virtually everywhere, even out of country, so it won't present the same kinds of challenges as smaller competitors. But it could weigh into your decision about the delivery method. For instance, if the Orlando location is close to my new home, I might sign up to unload the containers at the storage facility and bring my stuff to my home myself. This option is free and could significantly bring down the total cost of my move. Afterall, flexibility with delivery is a big perk of U-Box.

My long-distance estimate

My move from a 3-bedroom home with an attic and basement from Fort Lee, New Jersey to Kissimmee, Florida cost a total of $5,405.75. Again, I selected “Moving Help Delivery,” which meant at the time of checkout, I owed a big chunk of the bill, $949.95 to be exact. Like the local move estimate, you will see a clear breakdown of costs and due dates for various payments.

How much does U-Haul U-Box cost?

Prices vary based on the number of storage containers, distance, and other factors, such as the delivery option and insurance coverage chosen.

Pay close attention to the website to see if there are any deals or offers to get a discount. Unlike other companies, I was not constantly barraged with opportunities to call or chat with a customer service representative. I'm sure there is a way to ask about discounts, but it was not as obvious as with Penske or Budget, for instance.

$1,718.75 for a local move - 3 bedrooms, 5 miles

My local move was on the pricey side. But I received no discount and I opted for the most expensive delivery option, which included professional help with the move. In addition, I am moving a big home, which requires renting four U-Box containers. The fact that U-Box containers come only in one size can be prohibitive for those with a larger home.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Rental of 4 U-Box containers with 2 dozen furniture pads each: $739.80
  • Moving Help™ Delivery option: $973.95
  • My own homeowner/renter insurance: $0
  • Trailer rental fee: $5 per day
    • Total: $1,718.75

$5,405.75 for a long-distance move - 3 bedrooms, 1,200 miles

Like the local move, my long-distance move of a 3 bedroom home, with a basement and an attic, from Fort Lee, New Jersey to Kissimmee, Florida, near Orlando, was expensive. Again, having to rent four storage containers and professionals to help with the move and drive your stuff a lengthy distance adds up. Here is the breakdown:

  • Rental of 4 U-Box containers with 2 dozen furniture pads and rental of trailer delivered to Fort Lee: $744.80
  • Moving Help™ Delivery option: $949.95
  • My own homeowner/renter insurance: $0
  • Gentle Ride Suspension Shipping (aka the long-distance drive): $3,592
  • Delivery in Kissimmee: $119
    • Total: $5,405.75

The loaded containers were guaranteed to be delivered to the Orlando U-Haul location no later than 11 days from my move. U-Haul U-Box promised to provide a $50 refund for every potential day the shipment is late. While I have to pay $949.95 at the time of booking, I would not have to make the final payment until the shipment arrived at my new home.

How does insurance with U-Haul U-Box work?

U-Box offers a number of options for coverage. Refreshingly, they point out that you can use your own homeowner's or renter's insurance at no additional cost. (This is what I chose.) If you go this route, you must call the insurance provider to explain the situation and see if you need to include a rider. After all, you will be responsible for all coverage if you choose this option.

...(F)lexibility with delivery is a big perk of U-Box.

The insurance costs the same for a local or long-distance move. U-Box insurance covers damage to your goods inside the U-Box container while it is in transit and in U-Box warehouses, according to the website. Here are the options:

  • $1,000 in U-Box insurance coverage for $48 per month
  • $5,000 in U-Box insurance coverage for $72 per month
  • $10,000 in U-Box insurance coverage for $100 per month
  • $15,000 in U-Box insurance coverage for $128 per month
  • $20,000 in U-Box insurance coverage for $160 per month
  • Use homeowner's/renter's insurance for $0

Downsides of using U-Haul U-Box

The price is just too high for someone moving from a larger home, especially if the move is long distance. Having only one sized container that fits one and a half rooms apiece is prohibitive.

Regional availability ended up being a con for my move. The inability to sign up for a professional U-Haul driver to bring the loaded containers to my preferred locations of either Ridgfield Park or Kissimmee was a drag. In order to have someone else do the driving, which I wanted, I had no choice but to sign up for Moving Help™ because the driver alone was not available in my area. This increased the price, even though I opted for the cheapest moving service offered to me in my starting area. Your mileage will vary depending on what's available in your area (literally).

The plywood material of each box is not as sturdy as some of their competition. This may or may not be a downside for you, but keep it in the back of your mind.

What I learned using U-Haul U-Box

You can order extra containers without the fear of being charged. The biggest U-Haul trucks can fit five moving containers on them at one time. So, if you do need them, you should be able to get them to your final destination without a hassle. But the best news is that if you don't need all the delivered containers, you will get a refund for each unused one. Nice.

Furniture pads are included with the rental of the storage container. Most moving rental companies have customers pay an extra fee to rent furniture pads, so this was a neat surprise.

Many options for delivery is a differentiator. Other portable container companies have professional drivers haul the containers away and there is no other option. U-Haul, however, provides professionals as well as self-delivery of the containers, and even the chance to pick up your stuff at a U-Haul storage facility. These options can significantly bring down the cost of your move!

Should you choose U-Haul U-Box over other container companies?

Those moving from a small place to a nearby location will get the most bang for their buck. This could include those in studio or one-bedroom apartments or dormitories. It is also a viable, practical option for those renovating or needing to store items temporarily. And if the other guys just don't have the locations you need, U-Box is the most likely of your potential options to come through.

If you prefer driving but want the convenience of portable storage containers, then this is the perfect fit. U-Box offers the opportunity to both lower the cost and get your drive on by allowing customers to haul the containers themselves. This is different than most, if not all, of the competition. While I wish I was not forced to hire professional movers to get a driver for my containers, I recognize this option will be a plus for many.

You might also consider it a perk to have 12 furniture pads included with the rental of each storage container. Most companies require customers to pay extra for this. It probably won't be a deciding factor, but it is a nice touch.

Some people might also prefer that U-Box containers are made of plywood, whereas competitors often provide metal containers. There are pros and cons to each, but some people think the wood allows for more breathing room and therefore fewer odors, especially to fabric items. On the other hand, some wonder if it is as durable as metal containers. It's a matter of preference.

Ultimately, the decision will come down to your budget and preference. For some, particularly those with a large home that they are moving a far distance - it will be far too costly. For others, knowing U-Haul is behind U-Box will provide comfort and flexibility - and that will be enough.

Francesca Di Meglio

Contributing Author: Francesca Di Meglio

Francesca Di Meglio is a writer, editor, and moving professional featured on Businessweek and About.com. As a wife and mother of two little ones, she is always on the move.

U-Haul U-Box® Reviews

Denise K
Rockford, MN
Wrote a review on 9/16/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

The people I worked with were great and available by phone and text. The website is a nightmare - but the people are great! Super customer service.

Distance: 2,000 mi
Cost: $3,300
Per. Mile: $1.65
SqFt. Moved: 2,100
Susan Y
Alamo, TX
Wrote a review on 9/16/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Very pleased with the quality of the UBoxes. Pickup and delivery was as promised and the drivers in both locations were very patient and cooperative with our needs.

Distance: 1,200 mi
Cost: $3,200
Per. Mile: $2.67
SqFt. Moved: 1,200
Gary E
Newburgh, IN
Wrote a review on 8/14/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

The boxes worked well for moving our furniture cross country, but I was disappointed that I had to shuttle the boxes from uhaul in Evansville to my new home in Newburgh, IN.

Distance: 1,800 mi
Cost: $6,000
Per. Mile: $3.33
SqFt. Moved: 3,200
Robert L
Columbia, TN
Wrote a review on 8/10/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

UHaul delivered the UBoxes as scheduled and actually were very flexible in moving the dates ahead to accomodate our needs. The pick up and delivery crews were friendly, personable, professional and efficient both in El Paso Texas and Hendersonville Tennessee The drivers

Distance:
Cost:
Per. Mile:
SqFt. Moved:
Diane G
Land O Lakes, FL
Wrote a review on 7/27/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

We loaded the unit. LOL movers unloaded the unit. All went very smoothly.

Distance: 3,000 mi
Cost: $1,400
Per. Mile: $0.47
SqFt. Moved: 1,600
Eric M
Saint Cloud, MN
Wrote a review on 7/24/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

Everything went well, only had limited days (9-6 times only) for delivering the boxes to the new location, then picking up the empty boxes.

Distance: 600 mi
Cost: $2,300
Per. Mile: $3.83
SqFt. Moved: 1,400
Virginia H
Manchester, NH
Wrote a review on 7/16/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Chosen because each ubox comes with 12 furniture pads. Pods does not provide any. The box is a little short if you have long rugs that will be stored for a length of time. Just make the movers aware.

Distance:
Cost:
Per. Mile:
SqFt. Moved:
Ashleigh M
Beverly, MA
Wrote a review on 7/3/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(1 out of 5 rating)

Shipped two uhaul Uboxes from two different states. Good: my stuff did eventually arrive, no damage, on the day I wanted. Bad: everything else. Complete incompetence from everyone at uhaul - National, regional, and local. Took literally over 40 phone calls (and being repeatedly ignored) to fix issues with my reservation (not caused by me) and find/deliver my stuff. Was overcharged, lied to, and made to feel like I was the problem. Problems seemed universal as I had them with multiple facilities and offices. Would NEVER recommend. Spend the extra money for Upack or PODS (previously used Upack with none of these issues). I’ve moved 10 times in 10 years and never felt this frustrated or helpless with moving services.

Distance: 3,000 mi
Cost: $1,500
Per. Mile: $0.50
SqFt. Moved: 800
Patricia R
Colorado Springs, CO
Wrote a review on 7/1/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(3 out of 5 rating)

First let me say that ALL of the UHaul employees I dealt with were courteous, helpful, and even seemed to care whether I got my freight. My reason for the average rating is that the carrier they gave this shipment to did was truly average. They didn't pick up the frieight until several days after they were originally scheduled, then when the driver finally did get on the road he ran out of hours and had to stop overnight. Typical BS, but it made a lot of extra work and stress for me having to continually re-schedule my unloading help, and wondering each time whether something else would go wrong. If you are on a strict timetable, I would not use this service, but if you're somewhat flexible it's fine. UHaul did refund us $300 for late arrival, which helps. UBoxes did not leave the original terminal on time. When they did leave, the driver wasn't able to make the trip in the time promised. What I didn't realize is that UHaul doesn't move this freight themselves, they

Distance: 1,300 mi
Cost: $3,300
Per. Mile: $2.54
SqFt. Moved: 2,500
William T
North Dartmouth, MA
Wrote a review on 4/30/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(3 out of 5 rating)

Had some trouble at the UHaul store getting the UBoxes. This has nothing to do with A1 Movers but rather UHaul. A1 Movers were excellent, UHaul not so much.

Distance: 5 mi
Cost: $500
Per. Mile: $100
SqFt. Moved: 2,400
Peter T
Jackson, TN
Wrote a review on 3/23/2019
Uhaul U-Box Review
(1 out of 5 rating)

U-Haul manager at the Old Hickory blvd facility in Jackson Tn. was totally worthless. Cost me 2 extra hours of movers time($280),and took his time like he had all day,but i didn't. His fork lift ran out of propane after moving only 1 box to the door. Took his man 2 hours to get another one there,leaving my movers standing around for the first 2 hours($380),they stayed another 2 hours to help at a cost of another $280 to me.($140 an hour after the first 2 hours). He was slow ,lazy,and argumentative. I'd give U-Haul another chance,but never through him.

Distance: 2,300 mi
Cost: $6,030
Per. Mile: $2.62
SqFt. Moved: 7,000
Thomas H
Bradenton, FL
Wrote a review on 10/11/2018
Uhaul U-Box Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

The communication was excellent. The pod was delivered within the time frame quoted and picked up in the same manner. We had to delay delivery and there was no problem in their accommodating our request. Then, due to Hurricane Michael, we asked for the earlist possible delivery, which was granted, and pick up was request a day earlier and they again met our request.

Distance: 1,200 mi
Cost: $2,500
Per. Mile: $2.08
SqFt. Moved: 1,200

The U-Haul® image above is used solely for identification purposes and serves as the primary means of visually identifying the subject of this article and provides an illustration of the entity that is represented.

U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. HireAHelper, LLC has no affiliation with U-Haul International, Inc. and U-Haul International, Inc. has not authorized the use of its trademarks.

Moving Help is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. HireAHelper, LLC has no affiliation with U-Haul International, Inc. and U-Haul International, Inc. has not authorized the use of its trademarks.

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