Buying vs. Renting a Trailer

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner, which means it is time to start checking tasks off your never ending to-do list. Whether you are packing up for a move, heading on a camping trip, or doing landscaping work, a handy dandy trailer is essential to haul materials and items. You may be thinking what makes the most sense when it comes to buying or renting a trailer? To answer this question, you have to consider some key points– points that will bring clarity and confidence on buying or renting a trailer.


Which type of trailer do you need?

Buying vs. Renting a TrailerIt’s helpful to know that there is a trailer for just about any job you need to complete. There is an endless possibility of what could be loaded onto your trailer. For example, there are enclosed cargo trailers for possessions that need to be protected from weather or secured from theft. There are also open utility trailers for tall furniture and landscaping equipment. The sizing and capacity needed may differ from task to task, so it is important to keep flexibility in mind. When you buy a trailer, you are committing to one type no matter what the job calls for. Why buy a trailer and settle for one basic option when you can rent any type you need? When you rent a trailer, you get all of the advantages of owning different kinds of trailers without having to buy a whole fleet of different types.

How much will it cost?

Buying vs. Renting a Trailer

It is important to keep cost in mind when deciding whether to buy or rent a trailer. Purchasing a trailer is not only the initial buying cost, but the cost of ownership as well– so be sure to price all the expenses. Owned trailers require registration and many states base the price off of weight. During registration, an inspection for safety must take place for a fee. You must also provide proof of insurance to register your trailer. The cost of insurance depends on the length and width, how often you use it, and more. Don’t forget about maintenance and upkeep!

With U-Haul trailers, the rental price includes registration, maintenance, inspections, insurance and other added costs. Renting simplifies the process tremendously because you can tow knowing everything is up to date and protected.

How many times will you use?Buying vs. Renting a Trailer

No matter what type of errands you have to do, a trailer is a useful accessory that is versatile. Despite its many uses, it is important to determine how many times you will use the trailer. Create a list of all the tasks you need to complete that require this tool, and add them up. Many people who use a trailer as frequently as once a week have determined that renting is still the most cost friendly way to get the job done.

Where will you store?

Buying vs. Renting a Trailer

After considering how often you use a trailer and the cost of ownership, it is time to think where you will store it. This question is one that is often overlooked but equally important. When not in use, you can store on your residence or a storage lot, depending on the size. If your home is not large enough to accommodate, keep in mind that a storage lot or unit comes with an added fee per month or year.

Renting does not require any storage costs because you can reserve and pick up a trailer whenever you need. Simply return your trailer to your local U-Haul once complete. Online reservations make it easier to guarantee whichever type of trailer you need for the specific task.

Peace of Mind

When renting a U-Haul trailer, you are backed up by 20,000+ U-Haul locations across the U.S. and Canada. Should there be a mechanical issue or flat tire, U-Haul provides 24 hour Roadside Assistance to help you. Another advantage to renting is that if the trailer has trouble or you get in an accident, it can be switched out with one of the other 100,000+ trailers in the rental fleet to keep you on task. If you choose to buy, you will have full responsibility if anything goes wrong.

Ultimately it’s your decision, but by choosing to rent first, you may learn exactly what works best for you. In-town rentals at U-Haul range from $14.95 to $34.95 per rental period. With rates that affordable, renting is a great way to try out different types of trailers before making your buying decision.

Do you have any helpful tips when deciding whether to buy or rent a trailer? Tell us in the comments below!