U-Haul’s U-Box Moving Container Review 2022

We researched thousands of reviews and analyzed hundreds of quotes over three years to identify U-Box as the nation’s fifth-best moving container company.
uhaul
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
  • pro
    Low prices
  • pro
    Nationwide availability
  • con
    Poor customer service
U-Box average price
Industry average price
Learn more
$3,700$3,870
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
May 11, 2022
8 min read

Bottom line: U-Haul makes our list of the best moving container companies because it’s affordable and widely available. On the downside, U-Haul ranks dead last in customer service, and the U-Box won’t fit items much larger than a king size mattress.

pro
Pros
pro Nationwide availability
pro Low prices
pro Local and long-distance options
pro Free furniture pads
con
Cons
con Terrible customer service
con Only one container size
con Hidden delivery fee

U-Haul U-Box is available at thousands of locations across all 50 states.


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U-Haul U-Box pricing

The average cost to move with a U-Haul U-Box is approximately $3,700. Prices vary depending on your home size and moving distance. For example, you can move a studio apartment 100 miles for around $1,200, while a cross-country trip for a large home costs more than $7,000. U-Haul also charges a $99 per U-Box container fee that isn’t usually on your invoice.

U-Haul U-Box moving container prices

Home size
100 miles
1,000 miles
2,000 miles
Learn more

1 room

$1,170$3,000$2,570

2 rooms

$1,450$4,420$3,740

3 rooms

$1,780$5,030$4,850

5 rooms

$2,530$6,780$7,480

Data as of March 2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

U-Haul U-Box fees

U-Haul charges a fee of approximately $100 per U-Box container. However, that initial quote can be misleading. Your final cost is higher because of what goes into your final bill:

  • U-Box container. U-Box charges a monthly rental fee of about $100 per container (the average customer needs about four U-Boxes).
  • This is the cost to get your belongings from Point A to Point B (U-Haul calls it a gentle ride shipping fee). Our analysis suggests that the average U-Box transportation fee is around $3,200.
  • Delivery fee. U-Haul charges a $99 delivery fee for every U-Box. It sets the average customer back about $400 (but can be as high as $700–$800 for large homes).
  • Moving supplies. U-Haul includes 24 free furniture pads with your order. Any other supplies you order during checkout get added to your tab (like moving boxes, packing tape, and bubble wrap).
  • Moving Help®. U-Haul can connect you with workers to help with things like packing and heavy lifting. At around $45 per hour, U-Haul Moving Help is cheaper than most moving labor companies, but its workers aren’t licensed or insured.
  • Coverage. You can purchase coverage for your belongings if you plan to keep them at a U-Box storage facility. There’s an average monthly fee of around $20 based on the declared value of your personal items.
  • The average customer pays about $3,700 (not including coverage, moving supplies, or moving labor). U-Haul’s initial checkout screens suggest a much lower amount than you actually pay, so be prepared for sticker shock.

As an example, we wanted to calculate the estimate to transport two U-Box containers for a one-bedroom apartment from Laramie, Wyoming to Elko, Nevada. Cost includes one month container use, two dozen furniture pads, gentle ride shipping, and one-way transit fuel cost for a total of $2,977.90.

U-Haul U-Box coverage

U-Haul offers Safestor® protection coverage for monthly U-Box storage at its company warehouses.1 Costs range from $7.95 to $35.95 per month, depending on the selected coverage amount (up to $15,000). Just be aware that it doesn’t apply to items like antiques, artwork, documents, furs, jewelry, money, motorized vehicles, bills, art, property deeds, credit cards, or securities.

What’s covered?

  • Fire
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Wind
  • Vandalism
  • Vermin
  • Lightning
  • Earthquake
  • Hail
  • Building collapse
  • Explosion
  • Leaking water
  • Burglary
  • Smoke

What’s not covered?

  • Theft 
  • “Mysterious disappearance”
  • War
  • Flood (ground or surface water)
  • Climatic conditions (such as rust or mildew)

What to know about U-Haul U-Box

Nationwide availability

No moving container company is more widely available than U-Haul. You can use the U-Box to move to thousands of locations across all 50 states. That matters a lot. The reality is that there are companies more affordable than U-Haul. And there are those with better customer service. But it doesn’t matter if you can’t find a nearby location. That’s where U-Haul comes in: it’s sometimes the only option on the table.

Affordable rates

U-Haul is known for low rates across all of its moving services, and moving containers are no exception. The container service can save you about $170 for the average move. Those numbers get even more impressive if you have a small home. Our analysis of more than 300 quotes found that the U-Box is $300 cheaper than the industry average for one and two-bedroom living spaces.

Looking to save money on a moving container?

Low-quality moving container

U-Haul U-Box’s moving container quality isn’t as good as what you get with other companies. In particular, the U-Box is small, flimsy, and comes in only one size. Those aren’t necessarily dealbreakers. But you may want to double-check a few details if you have especially large or valuable items:

  • The U-Box is the smallest moving container on the market. Will all of your belongings fit inside a storage space that’s about seven feet long, five feet wide, and seven feet tall?
  • U-Haul constructs its U-Box containers with plywood and weatherproof covers. Keep in mind that this container falls short of the steel models by other companies use.
  • You’ll probably need several containers since the U-Box comes in only one small size. Do you have enough space at your home? Can you remember which containers you used for kitchen items and toiletries—and which one has the clothes and bedding? Can you afford an extra $99 delivery fee for each U-Box (the average customer needs about four of them)?
Play Video

This video demonstrates the unloading process of one container that was filled to capacity. Each U-Box container fits about a room and a half.

Poor customer experience

U-Haul’s biggest strength is its biggest weakness too. The company’s industry-leading size means you can almost always find a nearby location. But that also means you deal with the hiccups inherent in enormous companies.

Our analysis of nearly 2,000 U-Haul reviews reveals a few things that can lead to a stressful moving experience:

  • Long waits. You can expect to consistently wait 30 minutes to speak with a U-Haul customer service representative. Need a supervisor? Add another half hour.
  • Frustrating service. U-Haul customer service representatives are rarely rude. The problem is that they often can’t answer your questions. We’ve spoken with U-Haul reps countless times over the years and are surprised by how little they know about their own products and services.
  • Hidden fees. U-Haul charges a $99 per container delivery fee that doesn’t always show up on your initial invoice. That’s an extra $400 for the average customer.

U-Haul U-Box compared to other companies

Company
Avg. price
Avg. customer review score (out of 5)
# of states
Learn more
$3700
2.3 out of 5 stars
2.3
50
$3810
3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1
46
$3850
2.4 out of 5 stars
2.4
30
$3480
2.4 out of 5 stars
2.4
23
$4500
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
50

Data as of March 2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing moving costs for four home sizes across six distances.

U-Haul is more widely available than any other container company. U-Box rates are also about $170 more affordable than the competition. At the same time, U-Haul racks up rotten customer reviews faster than any company we’ve seen (partly due to hidden fees). Companies like U-Pack get rave reviews, which means that you may have a better moving experience on the customer side.

It’s rare to find a company with such a unique combo of strengths and weaknesses. In some ways, U-Haul U-Box is your best option (like if you need to find a location anywhere in the US). And in others, it’s your worst.

For a more thorough breakdown of moving container comparisons, like container size, storage options, container quality, and price, check out our guide on the best moving and storage containers.


Features and services

  • Local moving
  • Long-distance moving
  • International moving
  • At-home portable storage
  • Company facility portable storage
  • Moving supplies
  • Moving labor

U-Haul U-Box at a glance

DescriptionU-Haul U-Box information
Average price
$3700
At-home storage
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Facility storage
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Container materialsPlywood
# of containers1
# of states50
Average customer review score (out of 5)
2.3 out of 5 stars
2.3

U-Haul U-Box international services

U-Haul has some of the best international moving container services in the country. The company offers U-Box moving and storage services to nearly every global port. It also provides fast quotes for moves to and from the United States and Canada. Plus, U-Haul gives you a customs guide for your destination country. All in all, it’s an impressive setup for a moving container company that specializes in low-cost domestic moving and storage.

However, we recommend using a professional international moving company for overseas relocations. The U-Box’s shoddy plywood construction and sketchy customer service pose an abnormally high risk for a weeks-long trip across the ocean.


U-Haul U-Box long-term review

We’ve carefully researched U-Haul U-Box for the last three years. Our analysis of thousands of reviews, hundreds of quotes, and countless hours of research yielded three notable trends:

  1. Prices went up. U-Haul U-Box costs went up 30% from 2020 to 2022. While that’s in line with the industry average, it falls short of container companies like Zippy Shell, which kept price hikes under 10%.
  2. Customer satisfaction went down. An analysis of over 16,000 customer reviews shows that U-Haul ranked last place in customer satisfaction in 2020. The outlook hasn’t improved. While U-Haul U-Box still trails every other moving container company, its average review score dropped from 2.8 to 2.3 stars (out of 5).
  3. Availability stayed the same. U-Haul U-Box remains the largest moving container company in the industry. The company couldn’t tell us how many locations it has. However, our research suggests it could be in the tens of thousands—even more than U-Pack, the only other container company with 50-state availability.

What will U-Haul U-Box be like in the future?

We anticipate that U-Haul U-Box will raise prices at or near the industry average in the years to come. Similarly, we expect U-Haul to continue leading the pack for availability and trailing in customer service.


Our recommendation

U-Haul U-Box is one of our best moving container companies because it's widely available. The container service has thousands of U-Box locations in all 50 states, so it’s easy to find one. U-Haul also has affordable rates. But there are drawbacks. The customer service is rough, and your price tag is always higher than expected. Plus, U-Haul’s single small container size won’t fit belongings much larger than a couch.

Ultimately, we recommend U-Haul U-Box if:

  • You can find one nearby.
  • You like the price.
  • You have moderately-sized items.
  • You’re willing to roll the dice on having a bad experience.

U-Haul U-Box has more locations than any other company


Moving container FAQ

Can you fit a mattress in a U-Box container?

The U-box is seven feet long, five feet wide, and seven feet tall. That’s large enough to fit a queen mattress or king mattress.

How much does a loaded container weigh?

You can fit up to 2,000 pounds of household goods in a U-Box container. U-Haul recommends spreading out heavy items between several containers.

How big is U-Haul’s cargo van?

U-Haul’s cargo van is 114 inches long, 67 inches wide, and 56 inches tall. It has a maximum load capacity of 4,030 pounds and can fit belongings from a studio apartment (including a queen-sized mattress with a box spring).

How many trailers does U-Haul have?

U-Haul has three cargo trailers and five utility trailers. Cargo trailers are ideal for home improvement projects, and utility trailers help with odd-shaped items like furniture and construction materials.


Methodology

Move.org follows a six-step process to identify the nation’s best moving container companies:

  1. Compare quotes. We obtained and analyzed nearly 300 quotes from 7 of the nation’s largest moving container companies over 3 years.
  2. Mystery shopping. We do a top-to-bottom analysis of each company’s website and even call posing as customers. It helps us get a feel for what real-life customers experience.
  3. Analyze reviews. We read dozens of reviews for each company to see what most impresses (and turns off) customers. We also conducted a meta-analysis of more than 16,000 reviews to calculate an industry customer review average.
  4. Pay real-life customers for honest feedback. Move.org routinely gives away $500 moving grants in exchange for candid feedback about using moving container companies.
  5. Site visits. We invite industry experts and company executives to visit our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. We grill them on everything from pricing and customer reviews to insurance coverage and the latest industry trends.
  6. Annual review. Every year, we repeat the process to ensure that our list of the best moving container companies stays current. That means our top recommendations and industry prices may change each year.

Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.