protect your finances while opening a business

Save On A Truck Rental By Moving The Week Before Christmas

by Daniel Herrera

Moving around the holidays can be difficult, especially in Chicago's winter weather. Setting your move date for the week before Christmas could save you money, though -- and possibly a lot of it. Specifically, it could help you save on renting a moving truck, which is one of the largest costs associated with a move. Best of all, your landlord might even be okay with breaking your lease early. Here's why moving in the middle of December might be financially advantageous for both your landlord and you.

Landlords in College Areas Might Let You Leave in December

Not all landlords will go for this plan, but those who have properties in college areas may let you move-out in mid-December, even if your lease extends until February or March. As long as they can get another tenant, they shouldn't mind you leaving and ought to let you break the lease without penalty.

Throughout the Northern U.S., landlords often struggle to find tenants in January because no one wants to move in the cold and snow. Near Chicago's larger universities, though, many students move in during January. Undergraduates who spent the fall semester abroad and transfer students move in around their respective schools every January, and they need apartments to live in. If you live within walking distance of one of the area's colleges, your landlord may actually have an easier time filling their unit in January than they would if you moved out mid-semester.

You Can Save Money by Moving Mid-December

Moving right before Christmas may be inconvenient, but potentially saving hundreds on a moving truck could more than make up for the trouble. Truck rental companies use dynamic algorithms that consider many factors to set prices. In the week immediately before Christmas, three of these factors coincide so that rental rates are at one of their lowest points of the year.

First, winter is the best season to rent a moving truck, at least from a financial perspective. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about a third of all moves in the U.S. occur in the summer months, with June and August being slightly busier than July. December, conversely, is one of the slowest moving months of the year: Only 7 percent of moves occur in December. For moving companies, this translates into a slow season when they lower their rates.

Second, rental truck rates are generally at their lowest during the middle of each month. Most leases start on the first of the month and end on the last day of the month, creating a surge in demand for moving trucks at these times. The week before Christmas, however, falls during the slower part of the month when rates are lower. Check with companies like Elite Truck Rentals to see if they could offer you lower rates during this time frame.

Third, if your employer provides time off leading up to Christmas, or if you have vacation time that you can use, then you should be able to save a little more money by renting your truck during the week. People who can't afford to take time off of work must move on the weekend, which often leads to slightly higher rates for trucks over Saturday and Sunday, as SpareFoot Storage Finder notes. The difference between a Saturday rental and a Wednesday rental may not be as much as the difference in price from August to December, but you still could save a few dollars by moving while others are working.

If your lease is up in the first half of the year and you live near one of Chicago's colleges or universities, approach your landlord about breaking the lease in December. They may be able to find a new tenant, and you might be able to save a small fortune on a moving truck.