Does a Credit Card Cover U-Haul?

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 03/18/24 •  5 min read

U-Haul is perhaps one of the most recognized truck, trailer, and self-service moving rental companies in the world. While U-Haul currently only works in the American market, the U-Haul model has become very popular around the world. People can hire and self-drive lighter-hauling vehicles and trailers as they need. 

This is immensely useful to private individuals, who rarely have a convenient way to move large items and personal belongings safely. If you are a South African who doesn’t have the famous ‘friend with a bakkie’ you can ask (or whose bakkie friend has finally decided there aren’t enough beers or dops in the world to keep moving everyone’s stuff around), knowing more about how the U-Haul model works can be very useful. Many rental companies for this niche work on the same model, even in South Africa. Maybe one day we will even see U-Haul working in SA, too!

Does a Credit Card Cover U-Haul?

When it comes to renting a U-Haul truck for your moving needs, you might be wondering if your credit card provides any coverage or benefits to help you. While some credit cards offer rental car insurance or other travel-related perks, coverage for U-Haul rentals can vary significantly. Your best bet is to check the terms and conditions of your credit card’s benefits very carefully to determine if it extends to U-Haul-style rentals.

Many credit cards offer rental car insurance as a standard benefit, typically covering damages or theft of rental vehicles. However, U-Haul trucks are not considered traditional rental vehicles like cars or vans, so the automatic coverage provided by your credit card may not apply.  Remember, you are effectively renting light delivery vehicles and other niche categories of vehicle, not a regular commuter car to hop around on your holiday. 

If you aren’t certain if you have coverage for this rent-a-bakkie style, we suggest you speak to your credit card company directly for more clarity. Before you rent the vehicle, of course!

Does U-Haul Put a Hold on Your Credit Card?

When renting a U-Haul truck the company will place a hold on your credit card as a security deposit. A hold like this means that the credit card company has reserved the cost of your rental from your credit card balance, but will not actually run it and hand the company your cash until a later date. They are acting as an escrow service of sorts. The credit card company is assured the money is there and cannot be used for other purposes. You know that the money is not yet released to them, so final adjustments can be made as needed.

Hold amounts will vary based on the vehicle class, coverage you take, and the duration of your rental. It is typical for companies like U-Haul to also reserve an additional amount that will cover them against potential damages to the vehicle or additional fees incurred during the rental period. So your hold amount will be higher than the actual payment. 

Make sure you have sufficient available credit to cover the balance before you book. While the hold is not an actual charge, it can temporarily reduce your available credit until it is released by U-Haul after returning the vehicle in good condition.

Is CDW Mandatory in South Africa?

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is a type of insurance that covers damages to the rental vehicle in the event of an accident or collision. In South Africa, CDW is not mandatory when renting a U-Haul-style truck, but it is highly recommended for added protection and peace of mind. Additionally, some rental companies may insist on it, while others will not.

While your personal auto insurance or credit card may provide some coverage for rental vehicles, CDW offers comprehensive protection without risking potential premium increases or deductibles associated with filing a claim. So, while CDW isn’t mandatory in South Africa, it is a good idea!

How Do I Find My U-Haul Access Code?

Here is a feature unique to the U-Haul model. Unlike traditional rentals, you won’t need to speak to a customer service person when you collect the truck. Your U-Haul access code is a unique alphanumeric code given to you when you make your reservation. This access code then lets you access the U-Haul truck or storage unit that you have rented. You will find your U-Haul code in the confirmation email or rental agreement sent to you after booking.

If you cannot locate your U-Haul access code or have misplaced your reservation details, you can contact U-Haul’s customer service directly to get help. Give them your reservation information or ID number, and they will be able to retrieve your access code or provide you with an alternative so you can access your rental.

There you have it! While U-Haul is not yet operational in South Africa, many of our local equivalent rental companies are using the U-Haul model, so understanding how it works does matter. After all, it is what has made them so successful!

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