Moving is always a stressful situation. Especially if you're on a time crunch and need to move out asap.
I notice a trend where uHaul customers just walk in during the weekend without any prior reservations, hoping to take out a truck for an urgent move. However, our trucks and I would assume, every other dealer's trucks, have all been taken out by customers with the foresight to schedule a rental truck days in advance.
Walk-in customers have to either; settle for whatever vehicle is available on our lot, drive to another location, usually a uHaul center a few miles aways, or somehow reschedule their moving date.
For customers who end up rescheduling their moves for a later date, they ask what day they should call us to schedule a rental to make sure they secure a truck and our response is to call a minimum of 2 Days in advance.
Why 2 Days Minimum?
So I recommend call at least 2 days ahead of your move for these reasons below:
Too many times have customers walked in, renting a uHaul vehicle for the first time, not because they themselves are moving, but only because their friend, or someone they really want to help out is forcefully being relocated and is "going through a rough time and needs someone to count on."
I've had customers who come in to rent vehicles for their parents, children, potential lovers, in the hopes of proving their worth or out of some sort of obligation to help. In most cases, it was someone trying to impress a crush. Drama!!
These terrible people need someone else to help them because:
A) "I never bothered to get my driver's license updated"
B) "My license got revoked because of poor driving history or I got so drunk my car exploded"
C) "I have no money to put a deposit on this truck, or no money in general"
D) "I'm trying to get my life on track, but I need someone to help me" (Always blaming someone else for all their issues)
And every time I've seen this happen, the results are always the same. The good friend puts their name on the line, and when given the opportunity, the person getting the help takes the vehicle, drives away for an errand and "will be right back", abuses the vehicle, and abandons the truck. And it gets worse.
Even after the police report has been filed against your friend, the contract with uHaul is still active, so the rental period is still accruing days that the vehicle is out until it is returned to the dealer/center. In some cases, the vehicle is found abandoned on the street, full of parking tickets, it's then towed to an impound lot, the property left inside is seized, usually junk, and these expenses are aimed at you as well to add insult to injury.
For example, I had a female customer (let's call her "Sally") walk in with a male, either he was her friend or possible boyfriend (let's call him "Harry"). Anyway, they were looking to rent out a 10 foot truck for about 2 days. During the check out process, they were required to provide two forms of ID for me to complete the contract, however, Sally only had her driver's license and Harry refused to provide any form of ID to help Sally with a second ID.
Eventually Harry gave me a phone number, but since I was suspicious of why he refused to show me any ID and hesitated to give me his phone number, I needed to call the number he provided to me to make sure it worked. Of course, Harry wasn't too pleased that I was making sure that the number he gave me was verified. Lo and behold it was a dud number. During this whole time, he kept his head down and avoided eye contact, so of course, I have a right to deny service to this couple because of Harry's behavior.
Sally, however was really insistent that she needed to get a truck. Eventually, Sally was able to produce a second form of ID and complete the check out. After signing the paperwork, Sally gave the keys to Harry and they drove off with the truck.
After 2 days have gone by, the rental was overdue and the debit card they used to pay for this rental was decline, I had no choice but to let the uHaul recovery team step in and send out the demand notice to Sally. After a few more days passed, I kept track on the update of the truck and it was reported to have been found abandoned on a street corner and towed to the the nearest uHaul center. Sally ended up calling in about a day after the report to inquire why she received a demand letter from uHaul. After explaining to her that she was sent a letter from uHaul because her truck had accumulated about 7 days and about 200 miles on the truck and the contract is still outstanding.
Much to her shock, Sally, explained that Harry had taken the truck off her hands and told her that he returned the truck days ago. However, he ended up driving the truck around town, doing God knows what and just ditched the truck on the side of the road.
Even though Harry used and abused the truck, Sally was on the hook to pay the towing fees and to pay the bill on the uHaul contract (estimated around $500+) to avoid any uHaul from pursuing any further legal action all because she provided her credentials and payment information for Harry to use the truck!
DO NOT ever rent the vehicle out under your name and expect them to pay you back. Any damage to vehicle, parking tickets, toll fees, contract rental fees, legal actions, etc will be directed at whoever name's on the rental contract, namely, YOU.
If you still feel pressured to help out, or insist that your friend is reliable and will not take advantage of you, the most you should do is to have your friend rent the truck out themselves and that should PROVIDE THEIR OWN CREDENTIALS, and all you do is reimburse them some money to help with the rental fee. Just so that you are off the hook with uHaul and law enforcement if/when things go bad.
Whenever I hear that someone is unable rent out a uHaul truck because they no longer have a valid driver's license or any money to pay for the rental, that is a tell-tale sign of they type of person they are because they won't even follow through with maintaining something a important as a legal document, so don't let them bother you either. ;)