Renting a truck and getting moving help from friends is a great way to save money. That’s the strategy that Brandon Lo took for his recent move. Brandon budgeted that he would save about $800 over the cost of hiring professional movers, his costs ended up above and beyond what he had originally budgeted. Although he still saved a few bucks, Brandon graciously shared some of his tips, based on the lessons he learned.

Getting the right size of truck

The number one mistake of renting a truck is underestimating how much stuff we have. In Brandon’s case, he surveyed his 1-bedroom condo, but forgot to include the bikes, skis and other stuff he had stored in his locker. With the truck too small for his stuff, Brandon had to make two trips, racking up costs for extra fuel, mileage and elevator booking fees.

Advice: Always go for the next size up truck. It is always better to have a little empty space on the truck than not enough space. The costs of a larger truck are usually pretty negligible compared to the hassle you’ll save.

Get insurance

While some insurance companies will cover you when you rent a truck, some just won’t. With the replacement costs of cube vans and cargo trucks reaching up to $80,000, you’d always rather be safe than sorry. To determine whether you need any additional insurance, first check your current auto and home insurance policies. They may offer coverage for damage to the truck and/or its cargo in case of an accident. If not, you would need to purchase supplemental insurance from the rental agency. Given that you likely don’t drive a large truck every day, the insurance premiums are money well-spent.

Budget all costs

Gas, taxes and tolls will be your main expenditure other than the cost of rent. Some companies charge a fee for mileage and you may also want to purchase additional insurance. Ask the rental company what’s included in the price. You should also budget some money for the costs of renting or buying some equipment such as a dolly, hand truck and padding materials.

Insurance Coverage for Your Helpers

If you have friends or family helping, it is always a good idea to check if your home insurance covers any claims when it comes to moving. Claims can range from damage to property (yours or others’) and even cover injuries sustained as a result of your move.

Patience and Pizza

DIY moving can be a fun experience as long as you make it such. Remember to keep a fun environment, take frequent breaks, put on some great tunes and celebrate when you’re done unloading.