Moving One Way: Options, Tips, and Tricks

Moving one way can be teh adventure of your lifetime.More about Ethan Greenfield

When moving house, you’re leaving your current home behind (oftentimes – your current city and state, as well) and heading into the unknown, ready to face whatever challenges may come along. You’re moving forward in your life and you’re not turning back, no matter what. Hopefully, you’re going in the right direction, but even if you’re not, you’re highly unlikely to return to the place where you started – either physically or metaphorically. So, it’s a one-way move, right?

Wrong. Yours may or may not be a one way move, even if your items are making just one trip and you’re never coming back to point zero. The term “one way” does not refer to the direction of your move – it’s a completely different thing. What does it mean then? And how does it affect your relocation plans and preparations?

Understanding the difference between a “one-way move” and “in-town move” will help you choose the most beneficial moving option for you, better organize your relocation, and get the best possible rates. Here is everything you need to know about one way moving:

What is a one way move?

One-way moving refers to the locations where the equipment you use to move your items (moving van, shipping containers, dollies, furniture pads, etc.) is picked up from and returned to:

  • When moving one way, you pick up the necessary equipment (one way rental moving truck and the auxiliary tools and supplies you need for your move) or have it delivered to you (by your chosen movers) from a location near your old home. When your move is over, the equipment is returned to a different location – near your new address. This is the typical long distance moving scenario;
  • When moving in town, you pick up and drop off rented moving equipment at the same location or your hired movers transport your items across town – either way, the moving equipment stays in town. This is a local move and it is much easier to organize and perform than a cross-country move – and much cheaper, of course.

So, if you’re moving out of state (or to a far-away city in the same state), yours will be a one way move and you will likely want to take advantage of a convenient one-way moving option. There are several possibilities you can choose from, depending on your specific relocation needs and requirements (and available budget).

One way moving options

When using professional moving services, you get your items delivered to your new home and wave the movers good-bye – it’s not your concern where they’re going to take the moving van and the moving equipment (the costs for driving the empty vehicle to another location may be included in the final price of the move; the movers may have secured another moving job in your destination city and need the moving truck and moving equipment to pick another customer’s shipment; the company may have an office in the area; etc.).

When moving by yourself, however, you have to return the rented moving equipment. In this case, you’re going to need one way moving truck rental, portable moving containers, or some other efficient one way moving solution, as you won’t be able to drop off the moving van and the rest of your rented moving supplies at the same location where you’ve picked them up.

You can choose from several convenient one way moving options:

One way moving van rental

Renting a one way moving truck is the most common DIY moving scenario – you pick up the moving vehicle from a location near your old home, load your items, drive the truck to your new address, and leave the empty vehicle at another location near your final destination.

To rent a moving van one way you need to find truck rental companies that have offices both in your point of origin and your destination city, check their legitimacy and reputation, ask three or four of them that seem to best suit your requirements for free quotes, discuss the details of your move (pickup and drop-off locations, pickup date, space concerns, required auxiliary moving equipment, special conditions, etc.) with them, compare the offers, choose the best one way moving truck rental company for you, and book an appropriate size moving vehicle as early as possible.

Keep in mind though that even if renting a one way moving van seems to be your cheapest moving option, you’ll also have to pay for the fuel, vehicle insurance, road tolls, parking fees, meals and lodgings on the way, etc., so your move may not turn out to be as cost-effective as you thought. (See also: How much does a self-move cost) Besides, you’ll have to do all the work – packing and loading your belongings, driving the moving truck, unloading and unpacking your items – by yourself and will increase the risk of damage to your possessions. (See also: The major risks of moving by yourself)

You pack, we drive – rental trailers for moving one way

Self-service moving is gaining more and more popularity as a convenient and affordable one way moving solution: you pack and load your belongings into a moving trailer, but your chosen one way moving company handles the transportation and picks up the vehicle when your move is over.

With this option, a moving truck of the right size is delivered to your home at a pre-agreed day and time, you load your already packed items onto the waiting vehicle, then have your shipment transported to your new home by an experienced and properly licensed driver. This moving method is slightly more expensive than renting a moving truck, but you don’t need to drive a large and heavy moving truck for hours (or days!) on end across the country. You still have to pack, load, and unload your items by yourself though (you can pay for additional one way moving services, like packing, loading and unloading help, or even temporary storage, if you want to).

You pack, we drive – portable moving containers

If you decide to use mobile storage containers (also known as pods) for your one way move, you will have a storage cube delivered in front of your home and left at your disposal for a couple of days (or even a couple of weeks), so that you can pack and arrange your items inside. When the moving container is loaded, it will be picked up and transported to your new address by the one way moving company you have rented it from. You will have several days to unload your goods before the company comes to retrieve the container. This is a safe and easy way of moving house, but it is more expensive than renting a moving truck and you still need to do all the work (except the actual transportation) by yourself.

All things considered, full-service moving remains your safest and easiest one way moving option – the pros will take care of your move from start to finish, will work with maximum speed, safety, and efficiency, and will assume the liability if anything happens to your items while in their custody. The cost, however, will be much higher and may not agree with your budget.

If you’re looking for cheap one way moving services, make sure you take a closer look at the insightful tips below.

How to save money when moving one way

When moving one way, you will typically get a flat-rate quote based on the date of your move, the distance to your new home, and the weight of your shipment (when hiring professional one way moving companies) or the size of your rented moving truck and the time for which you will have it (when using one way moving van rental). Therefore, in order to cut down the moving costs, you need to:

  • Pare down your possessions so that you have fewer items to move – this means a lighter shipment and a smaller moving truck;
  • Hire cheap one way movers – research your options and get multiple moving quotes to find trustworthy one way moving companies that offer quality services at affordable prices;
  • Find cheap one way moving truck rental – One-way rental is more expensive than a local rental as it covers greater mileage, more days, and the equipment being taken to a different location. Yet, you can find cheap one way moving trucks as long as you know what to do – get price estimations from several reputable one way moving truck rental companies, compare their rates and conditions, ask for discounts, and look for special one way moving truck rental deals (such as unlimited mileage, for example). Do not forget to check the rental companies’ reputation before making your final choice though (research the BBB database, read moving reviews, ask for references and recommendations, etc.) to make sure you’re dealing with trustworthy professionals;
  • Choose the right size one way moving truck – When moving long distance, you can’t make several trips between your pickup and delivery locations, so you need a moving vehicle that is big enough to fit all your belongings. Calculating how much space your items will take, however, is quite tricky, so it is generally considered a good idea to rent a bigger truck – to be sure you won’t run out of space. But bigger trucks are more expensive – and if you rent too big a truck, you’ll be paying for space you don’t actually need. It is, therefore, very important to get a moving truck with the right capacity for your relocation needs;
  • Avoid peak moving times – One way moving truck rental prices tend to be higher during the summer months, on weekends, and around national holidays when most house moves take place. You can find cheaper truck rental for moving one way in the off-peak season (from October to April) or on weekdays;
  • Book your one way moving truck in advance – The earlier you book a one way moving van, the better deal you’re going to get (and the greater choice you’re going to have);
  • Avoid penalties and extra fees – The flat rate you get when renting a one way moving truck includes both the miles you are allotted and the days you’re allowed to keep the vehicle. If you exceed the given mileage, you’ll be charged an extra fee. If you exceed the timeframe for which you’ve booked the truck, you’ll have to pay for each additional day. Your one way truck rental company can also overcharge you for returning the truck dirty or with less fuel in the tank than necessary, etc. To avoid such extra expenses, make sure you abide by your one way moving truck rental contract.

Now that you know all of the above, your one way move is certain to go in the right direction. Happy relocation!

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