Renting Vs. Buying an Enclosed Trailer for Your Move

Save time and money on your move.  Our cost analysis has save people thousands of dollars and it will help you save money too.

A cost analysis of renting and buying an enclosed trailer for your next move

If you are moving out of California and don’t want to pay the enormous fees of a moving company or a moving rental truck, you are probably asking yourself: Do I rent a trailer for my move or buy a trailer and sell it after my move?  This is a logical question that many people face when they are moving out of California.

Fortunately, we have done the homework for you and have all the answers.  There are several factors to look at and we will briefly explain each one.

Cost and Time Investment of Buying an Enclosed Trailer

Purchase Price:  Let’s say you pay $18,000 for a new 24 cargo trailer.  Yes, you can get one cheaper, but you get what you pay for and you will typically sell it for less than you pay for it.  You may be able to buy a used trailer for 15% less, but you really don’t know the condition of the bearings, axles and suspension without taking things apart, and nobody does that.

Hidden Fees with Every Purchase

  • Sales Tax
  • Doc Prep-Tax
  • Title Fee
  • VIN Inspection  (Out of State Registration)
  • Registration Fee
  • Waste Tire Fee
  • Freight Fee
  • Battery Fee

Purchase Upgrades & Necessities

New trailers don’t come with all the extras you will need.  Here are a few of them:

  • E-track or d-ring tie down points
  • Spare Tire
  • Proper Size Ball
  • Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Paint the floor for easy cleaning
  • Buy locks for your doors
  • Anti-theft device
  • Upgrade the under-rated axles
  • Upgrade the under-rated leaf springs

Trailer Owner Responsibilities

As the owner of the trailer, you will need to know how to perform maintenance and prepare the trailer for a road trip.  If you have the right tools and parts, this will only take a couple hours.

  • Before you start on your trip, inflate all tires to the proper PSI specified on the tire.  Even though you just bought a new trailer, there is usually some variance in PSI.
  • Grease the coupler before you attach to the ball
  • Make sure your ball is adjusted to the right height for the trailer to be level
  • Change out the breakaway cable for a DOT approved spiral break away cable
  • Perform a brake test.  Some times brakes on new trailers are adjusted to tight on one or more wheels which can cause flat spots on tires.  In this case, you will need a professional to inspect and repair it.
  • Have a spotter help you perform a light and brake light check
  • Check your lug nuts after the first 50 miles
  • Grease your bearings as needed

Resale Value

The reality is that most people seldom use an enclosed cargo trailer again after their move.  If you are going to sell the trailer after your move, you have to consider current market value plus depreciation.

As you probably already know, the market value for trailers as with most things is much higher in California than most other states.  This means that a new or used enclosed trailer sold in California will be sold for much less in other states.

Current market value is approximately $1,000 less for a new trailer in this price range in states outside of California.  Depreciation is typically 10% – 15% between 0-12 months of purchase if the trailer is in like-new condition.

Renting A Cargo Trailer

If only there was a better way!  Actually, there is, and this is where we can help.  Why not rent an enclosed trailer for a fraction of the cost and not have any of the headaches, time, and money invested in a short term solution.

At Big Trailer Rentals, we do all the work for you and we save you money.  If an average enclosed moving trailer rental in Menifee cost is only about $700, you saved $2,755.00 renting from Big Trailer Rentals instead of buying a trailer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Renting and Buying an Enclosed Cargo Trailer

Advantages of Renting

  • Cost is 1/4 of the cost of owning
  • No Monthly Payments
  • No Preperation
  • No Maintenance
  • 2 spare tires
  • E-track is already installed
  • All accessories can be rented
  • Easy reservation process
  • No Registration
  • No storage fees
  • No Headaches
  • Save Time

Disadvantage of Renting

One-way trip is not an option

Advantage of Owning


Disadvantage of Owning

  • Huge Investment Cash/Finance
  • Payments / Finance Fees
  • Tax
  • Preparation for Use
  • Maintenance
  • VIN Inspection
  • Trip to the DMV for Registraion
  • Storage
  • Finding a Seller
  • Loss of Investment
  • Loss of Time

Buying A Cargo Trailer

If you do decide to buy an enclosed trailer, do your research and check reviews and feedback from other customers who have owned the same trailer you want to buy.  At Big Trailer Rentals, we only buy Pace manufactured by Look Trailers because the quality is excellent.  Not all trailers are created equally.  In fact, you can find trailers that appear to be identical to others for nearly half the price.  Stay clear of these deals because you really do get what you pay for when it comes to enclosed cargo trailers.  You don’t want to deal with screws coming out and panels falling off 3 weeks after you buy a new cargo trailer which is a typical problem with low cost trailers.

If you would like more information about renting an enclosed cargo trailer rental in Temecula or in Southern California, call us at 951-514-6980 or visit our online reservations page 24/7.

This article has been revised on October 16, 2023 to improve accuracy.


Disclaimer: The source of this information is provided entirely by Big Trailer Rentals, LLC in an effort to help consumers make an informed decision.  This information is based on real numbers the company has found to be accurate in California in recent months or years.  The information contained on this page may not be accurate in some regions within California or other states.  As a consumer, you should do your own research and not rely entirely on this information.