Three hundred fifty miles and a mule.
August 19, 2010 5:56 PM   Subscribe

What is the least expensive way to move one's belongings and furniture one-way, 340 miles in-state?

In a little less than a month, myself and one other person will be moving from Santa Barbara, CA to San Francisco. We won't need help with moving, loading, or packing -- just with transportation. The most obvious solution is renting a truck, but the cheapest option we've found runs about $400 in a best case scenario before taxes.

U-Haul: $309.00 before taxes and fees, estimated $112 in gas for 340 mi. at 10MPG.
Penske: $378.00 before taxes and fees, estimated $112 in gas for 340 mi. at 10MPG.
Budget: $273.70 before taxes and fees, estimated $112 in gas for 340 mi. at 10MPG.

Is this the best way to go about this? We'd only need the truck for about a day, but the three rental companies all seem to place a three day minimum on these trucks. We both have cars, but the furniture throws a wrench in the situation.

Any other advice is appreciated.

I did a search prior to posting but most results were about either cross-country moves or making long-distance relationships work.
posted by cgomez to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
You could try PODS or one of their competitors. Not sure what their pricing is like though.
posted by white_devil at 6:39 PM on August 19, 2010

Check Craig's list for people who could rent you their truck. But honestly I think the only way you will be able to pull off the actually rather agreeable prices mentioned is to enlist the services of friends or family and pay their gas and tolls and food. Besides that I'm uncertain of any less expensive alternatives that aren't dodgy. Good luck.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 6:44 PM on August 19, 2010

How much stuff do you have? I did a similar move a couple of years ago, and we rented a cargo van from Enterprise. We rented it in the target city, drove it to the source city empty, and then filled it up. It took some tetris-like skills to cram everything in, but we managed it.

If you have a ton of stuff, though, this is probably not going to be helpful. A friend of mine used PODS, and it worked out okay for her (or at least, she got all her stuff moved and didn't complain about them).
posted by Maximian at 7:56 PM on August 19, 2010

Don't forget that if either of you moves for work, you can claim it on taxes. How much stuff do you have? I know some home depots rent flat beds for less than $100 a day. You'd have to have everything packed up pretty tight and it would have to not be a whole lot of stuff as it would be a flatbed.
posted by TheBones at 7:58 PM on August 19, 2010

All the companies you have listed need trucks in the SF Bay area versus the Santa Barbara area.

Are these quotes from the web or the 800 numbers? If so call a local office directly and negotiate. You can also get discounts via AAA.

Pods and a similar outfit UPack might get you there for a little less.
posted by pianomover at 11:55 PM on August 19, 2010 allows truckers to bid on your shipment. If your dates are flexible you might get an amazing deal.
posted by ChrisHartley at 4:22 AM on August 20, 2010

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