Want to Move Out of California? You’ll Pay Up for a U-Haul

U-Haul has long since used a version of surge pricing to set the price for renting a truck or trailer. In addition to the miles to be traveled or days to be used, it matters a lot as to the point of origin and destination.

The more people trying to leave a place compared to those moving in, the more it costs because U-Haul has to get the equipment back there for the next people trying to get out and not enough people are going the other direction.

For years this was a problem in Detroit, now it’s an issue in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Renting a 26′ truck to go from L.A. to Houston will set you back more than $4,000. To rent the same truck for the trip from Houston to L.A. would only cost $800, a savings of more than $3,000. But then you’d live in L.A.

The problem is the same if you’re trying to get from San Francisco to Dallas. A big box truck will set you back $4,200.

And the problem isn’t limited to U-Haul. If you check on Budget’s website, they’re simply sold out.

It’s almost as if people are trying to get out while they can.

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  1. Jonathan Jobe

    I lived in Houston in the ’70s and ’80s when the health of local economy was measured by the Hughes Tool Rig Count. When things started to go to hell during the Carter administration, the joke became that the health of of the local economy was measured by the U-Haul Trailer Count.

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