Listening to Myself

Monday, August 29, 2005

California Exodus?

I read a short piece on Marginal Revolution about U-Haul Pricing, where they cite another blogger who is speculating about what U-Haul's pricing might be able to tell us about moving trends. He checks the price of a LA to Las Vegas rental (and vice versa) and finds that it costs about 3.5 times as much to go from LA to Las Vegas than the other direction!

I thought this was rather interesting, and decided to see what the cost would be to rent a truck from the Bay Area in California to Vancouver, WA. I found that to go from CA to WA the cost of their largest truck was almost $2200, but to go the other direction it was not quite $600. What a phenomenal price difference!

As I've started to talk about our potential move with friends and acquaintances, I'm struck by how many people are thinking of leaving California too - but this seems to only hold true for renters. Some people I talked to have even taken scouting trips and such, so I think it is more than just idle speculation on their part.

If this sort of pricing continues to hold true and we do decide to move, I think we're going to have to drastically increase our moving budget. I've never done a one way move of anywhere this distance, so this could definitely be interesting. I think I am really beginning to understand why people have moving sales!


  • Ooo- I don't know if it'll work for you, but when we were trying to get out of MD, we ran into the same things. We did discover that we could pick up a truck in VA for less, and they'd throw in extra miles for no charge! Handy. It's just expensive for them to deadhead trucks back to the site of the mass exodus. ;-)

    Also, if timing turns out to be an issue for you, beware U-Haul. They will accept reservations whether they will have a truck available or not. And then they have a couple of days to yank your chain before they have to either get you a truck or refund your money. When you are working on a deadline, though, that can be a nightmare. Budget has a better reputation on that type of thing.

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Dy, at 8:54 AM  

  • Matt even looked at the pricing and found that even with gas costs we could probably rent a truck for a round trip and have it be less than a one-way rental. That's a long ways to go to return the truck though! I really plan on using Budget or Ryder or something this time around - U-Haul has just been way too much of a pain to even contemplate using them again.

    By Blogger Amber, at 9:33 AM  

  • I moved from CA. in 2004 and after pricing all the one way rentals, running from $7000. just for the 24 ft. truck, plus $1,000. just for the gas,then there were hotels, food, and hiring someone to drive (my wife doesn't drive) an extra car with my family of 5, (who would not fit in the truck) I found ABF Fright Lines. They offer a home moving program. They put a 28' ft. trailor for up to week that I could load, with no weight restrictions. That was great because over 1000 LP's and 2,000 books weigh a lot. The ceilings are higher and it is wider than a rental truck. It held almost 50 -60% more cargo. They did the driving so I drove my family in the car and enjoyed our cross-country trip. I did not have to drive that truck and worry about splitting my family up. The price -- Only $3,000, complete. What a savings and what a relief!
    Everything was safe and arrived intack, because I did the packing. For me, this was the only way to go.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:36 PM  

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