How to Make Extra Money by Renting U-Haul Trucks and Trailers

Written on October 1, 2015 by

u-haulIf your apartment community has onsite management, you really should evaluate U-Haul’s potential for side income.

It’s possible to have a small dealership with limited hours. You can run a weekend-only business if you’d like.

Of course you want to get the majority of your business from neighbors but your dealership can be a nice perk for your residents as well.

And, here’s something amazing that you might not know…  you can set up a dealership for free. That’s right! It cost $0 to become a dealer. Just place a phone call, work out the details, and receive your truck(s) or trailer(s).

What is a U-Haul Dealership?

U-Haul is a moving equipment rental company that has been in business since 1945. They completely dominate their industry with their breakeven pricing strategy. They don’t make money on the truck rental! They make their money on selling accessories. Their profits come from side income!

U-Haul advertises their trucks for $19.95 per day, and that’s their hook.  The real money comes from:

  1. Charging customers $1.09 per travel mile.
  2. Up selling boxes, packing tape, insurance, convenience fees and penalties, use of dollies, blankets, etc.

As the dealer, you get to keep 21% of the gross sales, so the more you up sell, the more you can make per transaction.

How Much Can You Make (Without Trying)

Say you house one U-Haul truck and it’s rented four times per week (16 times per month). Assume each customer travels 60 miles round trip and half of them bring back the truck without refueling it. Then your numbers would look like the following:

  • Base Rental Charges: $19.95 per day x 16 rentals/month = $319.20
  • Mileage Charges: $1.09 x 60 miles/rental x 16 rentals/month = $1,046.40
  • Refueling Charges: $4.75 per gallon x 7 gallons consumed/trip x 8 rentals/month = $266.00

The grand total comes to $1,631.60 and since you’re paid a 21% commission, you get to keep $342.63.

Breaking Down the U-Haul Rentals

Let’s drop this idea into a breakdown table.

U-Haul Dealership
What: Use part of the land on your rental property to operate a small U-Haul dealership
Difficulty:●●○○○
Time Commitment:●●○○○
Why:Your residents and non-residents are always moving. Your on-site staff, especially if they are under-utilized, can operate this profit center with minimal effort and little start-up costs.
Increase Net Income By:Collecting a 21% commission of gross sales
Basic Components:

  • A rental truck or trailer

  • U-Haul signage

The Extreme Version:Utilize your high traffic count in front of your rental to build up your business then buy and operate your own equipment and keep 100% of profits.
Possible New Income Streams:

  • Insurance products, box sales and packing supplies.

  • Affiliate relationship with mini-storage facilities.

  • Affiliate relationships with delivery companies.

Nontangible Benefits:

  • More eyes on your “for rent” signs.

  • Additional convenience for your residents.

  • A resource for neighbors.

Steps to Implement/Test:

  1. Visit the U-Haul Dealership website.

  2. Talk with local dealership representative.

  3. Take their training.

  4. Receive their equipment.

  5. Get listed on the U-Haul website. This maximizes your chance of success.

  6. Start collecting more income.

The Downside

Although U-Haul is a turnkey side business that encourages online self-service, it does take effort to check in customers, refuel and clean vehicles.

Final Thoughts

This is an example of how you can make side income serving people who don’t reside on your property. It’s also an example of how a company, in a competitive environment, makes money not with their main product but with side income.

Even if a U-Haul dealership isn’t a good fit for your property, two questions still need to be asked:

  1. Are you at least breaking even with your rental?
  2. Do you have a side income strategy to ensure your profitability?

If the answers are “no” then you’re leaving money on the table. It’s time to go get it!

Check out my other methods of making extra money from your rentals.

 

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34 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Lucas Hall

    Hi Al,

    This seems like a fairly sustainable side business if you already have on-site management. If I ever get a property big enough, I’ll give it a try.

    • Al Williamson

      Lucas,

      Good news, U-Haul has rental kiosks: http://www.uhaul.com/locations/popupkiosk.aspx
      You can run a self-checkout business for their trucks and trailers. Get hip!

      • Shon Adams

        You did say self check-out… Can you elaborated about Uhaul having its own Kiosks. How can you make money from doing that?

        • Al Williamson

          It dispenses keys like a vending machine after getting a copy of your Lic, finger print, and talking to a virtual assistant.

          • brady edmonds jr

            I am interested in kiosk setup

            • Oscar Ocon

              There are no kiosk for the U-Haul dealership. You must have a primary business that has unused parking space to take advantage of the program. You then get customers coming into your business and you rent them the equipment. Again there is the 24/7 Self Pick up option customers can use to pick up equipment before or after business hours, and even during open hours as long as you have the equipment set up for it. They just show you the phone with the equipment number and you hand them the keys, that’s it. Just let them know where to return it. They whole purpose is to sell your products and services to potential future customers of your shop. And of course make some extra income.

      • NEED MORE INFO. CAN YOU PROVIDE?

        we franchise a small sears home town store , and would like to add a uhall kiosks with in it .
        can you tell us how to go about doing it.
        thanks Henry Allen

  • Mohammed Ali

    Kindly send me your agency policy as I want to be your agent in Saudi Arabia.

    Best wishes

    Mohammed Ali Al-Harazi

  • REGI JOSEPH

    hai ,
    i wolud like to start my store u haul …..so what i do.///
    thanks…

  • steve maggie

    what do i have to do to start

  • steve maggie

    what do i have to do to start im very intersted you can contact me at 1734-576-3412 or Email me at beam1007@gmail.com

  • steve maggie

    like to get started

  • Ricky Anderson

    Hi my name is Ricky own a convenient store and I would like to start renting out u haul how would I go by doing that

  • Ken Brown

    Not sure where your numbers come from, but they are not accurate, at least by my experience.

  • justin Thyme

    Don’t believe what you read from uhaul. They do not provide trucks.. They use there dealers to build (mcp) local presidents location. They charge for there website phone charge. quite a gimmick. cost them for no rent, free cleaning,free gas filling, free secretarial and phone service. They want you there when they say. cut your full commissions anyway they can. Ive sent hours with customers that are moving setting them up going over all the details. Assuring them everything is set. To get a phone call from the upset customer because he received a call to pick up 20 miles away. uhaul blames dealers

  • Oscar Ocon

    http://www.uhauldealer.com is the site to fill out an application to become a U-Haul Dealer. There are no Kiosks to do rentals, that’s false. They just started the 24/7 Truck Share program where customer’s can pick up equipment after hours while the business is closed and you still get paid for not doing anything. I think that’s mainly for locations (dealers) closed on Sundays. No start up fees to become a dealer, only your time. There is a charge of $25 a month, for U-Haul phone number ($12-16) and access to website ($10). Phone number is owned by U-Haul, but if you quit the dealership, the number stays with U-Haul so you don’t continue getting calls since it’s forwarded to whatever # you assign it too.

  • Al W

    Oscar is correct. The kiosk is only for storage at this point:
    https://twitter.com/robinhilliard

  • Patricia Taime

    I scheduled an appointment to be contacted, but still no one has contacted me. Disappointed.

    • Oscar Ocon

      A scheduled appointment is at the agreed time you requested when making the appointment. Are they overdue for that visit?

  • Henry Allen

    we franchise a small sears hometown store , and would like to add a uhall kiosks within it .
    can you tell us how to go about doing it.
    thanks Henry Allen

    • Oscar Ocon

      There are no kiosk to rent U-Haul equipment. Just fill out an application online at uhauldealer.com and it’ll be in the top left menu and choose application or click on Become a Dealer to set up an meeting.

  • mary van winkle

    Hey, I was wondering how I could go about getting u- hauls to rent them out on my business property I have a storage facility and I think uhauls would bring in great business! Thanks in advance.

  • sherri brown

    I’m interested in starting a uhaul dealership.

  • Bull

    You do not get paid for all the time you put in to inspecting and checking in Uhaul equipment if you are a dead end you make nothing but you work for Uhaul for free U-Haul is greedy They need to pay their dealers for inspections as well as rentals

    • Oscar Ocon

      Sorry that you feel this way about the agreed terms and conditions of being a U-Haul Dealer. A dealer gets paid 18-20% for truck rentals, 25% for Auto Transports, Tow Dolly and one way trailer rentals and 35% for local trailer rentals. Inspections are quick and easy with customers help to do a walk around, and check for damages and working lights to make sure the next customer isn’t stuck with bad equipment, since they can stop the next rental. A dealer gets paid 30% of any damages caused by the customer if they collect at the time of return. If your a bigger location with more than a few pieces of equipment, it can be hectic. This is supplemental income, not your main source of income and they don’t want to impose on the primary business

  • HoraceSluck

    Test

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