Product review: another rental truck

by Rocket Finance

Earlier this spring, I reviewed our experience with a Penske rental truck during our cross-country move. Last week we moved again – just across town. We spent a month and a half in a temporary apartment while we checked out the area and looked for a suitable place to stay long term.

This particular move was only three miles away and so I decided to rent a 10′ truck from Uhaul. They are currently advertising a deal where you can rent a truck for $19.95 a day, plus gasoline, plus $.69 per mile. Our entire move cost less than $100. The truck required five trips to get all of our belongings to our new location.

I would like to compare our experiences with the two companies, keeping in mind that  we used Penske for a large load over a long distance and our U-haul truck was for several short trips with small loads. Furthermore, the review is based on one rental from one location for each company.

Online: Both sites were laid out well and navigation was intuitive. Penske offered more discounts for booking online and many of the landing pages on the U-haul site had pre-selected add-ons. Things like extra blankets, boxes and hand-trucks had to be “de-selected” to keep them off of the tab. The first time I submitted my order, the total price came up as over $300 because I had left some boxes checked – for items that I didn’t need.

Advantage: Penske

Price: Since I used the trucks for two different purposes, the prices cannot be compared. However, I seem to remember that Penske was cheaper for our long trip.

Advantage: ?

Pick-up: The Penske representative was a little unsure of the procedure for checking out the truck and the process was a little long. Furthermore, the truck had not been cleaned . . . more on that later. I made the Uhaul order online and a representative from the Uhaul called me right away to confirm the details. His attitude was positive and business-like. The truck was clean and ready as promised.

Advantage: U-haul

Cab: The U-haul was spotless. The Penske truck had a dog leash, dog bowl and the cab was covered with dog hair. Furthermore, the Penske truck’s single bench seat did not adjust. The U-haul had bucket seats. . . enough said.

Advantage: U-haul

Handling: Both trucks ran well. We had no truck problems with either company. A comparison here is unfair because we rented two different sized trucks. One was for a 1,000 mile trip on the freeway and the other was for short trips at low speeds. It seemed like the Penske truck was the better highway vehicle, but I never took the U-haul on the interstate.

Advantage: Wash

Customer service: The attitude of the Penske employees was adequate, businesslike – no problems. At the U-haul location that we used, the service manager and other employees had smiles on their faces and seemed to really enjoy their work. I had occasion to call the shop three times and each time the manager patiently answered my questions and did his best to accommodate. It sounds funny to say, but after spending a few minutes in their store, I wanted to fill out an application to work there.

Advantage: U-haul

If I ever move again, I am pretty confident that I will go back to U-haul. Customer service means a lot to me.

  1. One Response to “Product review: another rental truck”

  2. By Smartman on Jul 17, 2008 | Reply

    My experience with both companies, and like water and oil. U-Haul has many locations toserve me, Penske has lifts but while the lift goes down, I am almost at the half empty on a U-Haul with the wide ramps, also U-Haul decks are lower and easier to load. Penske are to high, and difficult to load from the floor, for smaller things.
    I went to a location on Fondren corner of Clarewood, in Houston, Texas, the clerk was very attentive, then the Manager started explaining me about the advantages of the U-Haul trucks, comparing with other companies. He was very helpful also about the staorages, I will recommend U-Haul to my friends, specially the location in Fondren, the employees and Manager are great people, they are always very busy, but they take care of me and others like proffesionals.
    Thank you to the U-Haul at the Fondren location.
    Smartman

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