Where can I rent a cargo VAN for a ONE WAY move?
April 29, 2009 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Where can I rent a cargo van (not truck) for a one-way move?

We're moving from southwest Florida to New York City. We'd like to rent a cargo van (not a truck) as we have two bunnies in separate cages, and it will be late June (they require a/c = can't go in the back of a truck).

Currently we have a Nissan Altima which we are planning to sell. One option is to keep the Altima and drive it up to NY, and ship the other stuff (eek, $$$). How hard would it be to sell the Altima once we get to NY? I've heard parking is atrocious, so I don't really favor this option as we'd have to park it until it sells.

We've thought about buying a van, driving it up, then selling. Again, eek to the selling and parking.

Can we do a Carmax transfer for them? Buy a van here, then return it up there? That feels shady, but if they needed a transfer done... maybe?

We're headed up there so I can go to grad school. Which means we're going to be broke soon, so money is a factor. Thanks in advance for your creativity!
posted by orangemiles to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total)
A quick google search of "rent cargo van" shows that major car rental companies also rent out cargo vans. Is there some other criteria that you have which would prevent you from renting from Avis, Enterprise, U-Haul, etc.?
posted by puritycontrol at 1:44 PM on April 29, 2009

U-Haul has cargo vans to rent.
So does Budget.
... and Enterprise.

Seems to me, it'd be easier to sell the car in Florida.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 1:45 PM on April 29, 2009

Upon closer inspection, U-Haul only does in-town for vans...
posted by puritycontrol at 1:45 PM on April 29, 2009

You know that major companies like U-HAUL do have vans as well as trucks, and do do one-way moves, right?
posted by Perplexity at 1:46 PM on April 29, 2009

Wow, I'm not just wrong, I'm slow. Sigh.
posted by Perplexity at 1:47 PM on April 29, 2009

When I moved from Portland, OR to Los Angeles last June I rented a mini-van from National Car rental that cost me 120 bucks a day (so I made sure to drive it in less than 24 hours) to pickup at PDX and return it at LAX. I believe most other car rental companies were around the same price if not more.

They had those white cargo vans for rent as well but they get reserved early so I was stuck with the mini-van.

I priced out U Haul and they charge around $700 minimum for renting anything of theirs.
posted by wcfields at 1:47 PM on April 29, 2009

I looked into renting a Uhaul cargo van for a move from B.C. to Newfoundland (all the way across Canada). Uhaul, all the car rental places, etc. I don't think I could have managed to pay less than $3k (pre-gasoline), generally more than that. I shipped my stuff (2000 pounds or so) for $1900 or so.

I would strongly suggest not renting a cargo van from a chain rental, one-way.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:48 PM on April 29, 2009

Response by poster: Sorry, I neglected to mention that all of the national moving-van-rental places (Uhaul, Ryder, Budget, Penske, etc.) do not rent vans for one-way moves. Vans are for in-town moves only. That would have been helpful to say in the beginning. Sorry about that.
posted by orangemiles at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2009

I've rented a nice big Chevy van from Enterprise twice. They charge extra for one-way but it might/should be doable.
posted by mrt at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2009

If your Altima has a V6 engine, you could get a simple receiver hitch installed and rent a small trailer from U-haul. This is a lot cheaper than renting a vehicle. Put the bunnies in the back seat, and the rest of the stuff in the trailer (you may want to leave your trunk empty so your car's rear shocks are used solely to support the trailer tongue weight -- the rest of the weight will be on the trailer wheels).

This is what I did when I moved from Atlanta, GA to Burlington, VT with my V6 Dodge Intrepid. Worked great, just don't expect to pass anyone or go above the speed limit.

Receiver hitches cost ~$200 (or less), and renting a 4'x8' Uhaul trailer for FL to NY is ~$170.
posted by bengarland at 2:14 PM on April 29, 2009

PS: Last time I checked, renting a one-way van or minivan costs at least $500 due to the $300+ "one way fee" that most places charge. This was to drive across Texas. I'd imagine that FL to NY would be much more.
posted by bengarland at 2:20 PM on April 29, 2009

Are you not able to fit the bunnies in the vehicle with you? When we moved from TX to CT we had 2 dogs fit in the space between the driver and passenger seats in a uhaul truck. Is that not an option?
posted by doorsfan at 2:30 PM on April 29, 2009

Please do not do business with Uhaul. They are an evil company whose trucks may actually kill you.
posted by wfrgms at 2:39 PM on April 29, 2009

I did a similar move without pets. I rented a Budget truck (not van) with a very spacious cab. If you get some soft crates made for cats or small dogs, you should be able to fit the rabbits in the cab with you. Sell the pet carriers on craigslist when you get to NYC. I have seen many people in NYC carrying their pets in these carriers.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 3:32 PM on April 29, 2009

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