Understanding Hidden Fees in Your U-Haul Bill

If U-Haul is hiding fees in your bill, you may have legal options.

Did you get a recent bill from U-Haul with extra charges that were unexpected? 

Whenever you use a service like U-Haul it is important to go over every line item in your statement. When you sign a contract for a one-time service you should receive a copy of the statement before you sign it. Don’t just sign it without looking, check the fine print so that you are not surprised by unexpected, hidden fees in your U-Haul bill.

Hidden U-Haul Fees

When you rent from U-Haul the cost of your rental is based on the point of origin as well as your destination. People moving from one city to another will typically select the one way move where they pick up a U-Haul at one location and drop it off at another. People who are moving within the same city can use an in-town move where the vehicle is both picked up and dropped off at the same location.

Mileage fees

Customers with U-Haul complaints voice issues over the advertised prices being far from what is actually paid for a service. 

For example: You might have seen a U-Haul drive by you with $19.95 painted on the van. So you think it is only $20 to rent that van and move yourself. 

However, the low advertised rate is for the smallest truck, which is usually only enough to cover moving from a studio apartment to another studio apartment on the same street. 

  • For a move under 50 miles, the average cost for the truck rental alone is $130. 
  • For a move between 50 miles and 250 miles, the average cost for the truck rental alone is $300.
  • For a move over 250 miles, the average cost for the truck rental alone is over $1,000. 

Note: There are no guarantees that the vehicle you want is available. If it is not, then you have to pay more for a different car. 

The U-Haul hidden fees you pay are based on the type of service you choose. There are taxes, gas, insurance, mileage fees, equipment and supply rentals, and potentially more. 

One way moves

If you select a one-way move, the fee structure is based on the trip. Every trip comes with a specific amount of mileage in the basic package you choose and if you go over the mileage that is included, then you have to pay an extra hidden fee for every mile.

In-town moves

If you select an in-town move, the fee structure is a flat rate for the rental which also includes local mileage.


When you use U-Haul they give you a quote based on things like:

  1. a) total distance (mileage)
  2. b) rental period (in days)
  3. c) seasonality (when is the best time to move?)

However, you might decide on extra trips, the weather might add time to your travel and a lot of mileage for stopping and getting gas. The total mileage might even be different simply because of construction or other delays. All of these things can result in unexpected and hidden U-Haul fees. 


If you don’t have materials like moving supplies, dollies, or furniture pads, you might have to rent them at the time you pick up your U-Haul vehicle. This can be an unexpected hidden U-Haul fee for many customers who don’t realize that certain equipment is required.


U-Haul might also add the cost of insurance. This hidden U-Haul fee might be something you don’t expect. 


Finally, there is the hidden cost of gas. This is something you have to pay for and obviously it goes up depending on how far you are traveling. The cost of refilling the gas tank on a large U-Haul van or truck is very likely a little bit higher than what it takes to refill your small city vehicle.

Renting a trailer

One way the company recommends avoiding hidden U-Haul fees is to rent a trailer. Technically trailers don’t have any mileage fees associated with them so if you just need something slightly bigger than the vehicle you are renting you can add a trailer and then avoid the extra fees of multiple trips or going over the given mileage.

However, there are still costs associated with renting a trailer that you might not know about if you pick this alternative. Trailers need a hitch and a hitch ball mount. If your vehicle doesn’t have one, U-Haul has to install one on your vehicle at an additional cost. 

What other details do I need to consider when looking for hidden fees in my U-Haul bill?

U-Haul customers get billed based on the type of move and that type of move includes a specific amount of mileage. If you live in a large city you are trying to save money by picking a smaller vehicle for rent, this might result in multiple trips and the larger your city, the more miles you will incur going back and forth during those multiple trips. It is best to use a mileage calculator to estimate how far you’re going to travel and then select a larger vehicle where appropriate to cut down on the number of trips you have to make.

What can I do if I was incorrectly charged a fee?

If you were incorrectly charged a fee, start by refuting it with U-Haul customer service. If they won’t respond, you still have two options:

  1. You can go to small claims court and file a claim against U-Haul. Small claims court has restrictions on what cases qualify and how much compensation you can get depending on your state.
  2. You can also use a faster and easier option: consumer arbitration. With consumer arbitration you have more flexibility, can usually get a faster resolution, and what’s more, we can help.

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