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.