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3 Questions to Ask Before You Rent Any Type of Commercial Truck or Vehicle

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Renting a commercial truck or other such vehicle can make a move easier or allow you to haul materials needed for a home improvement project or spring cleaning. Renting a commercial truck is not like renting a car when on vacation, so you might note a few questions to ask before you sign any contract. This will ensure you get the right truck and know what's involved in its use.

1. Is there an age or license requirement for the vehicle's use?

Even if a person has a standard driver's license, this doesn't always mean they can just drive a commercial vehicle. A rental agency has the right to determine if they will restrict the age of someone who drives their truck; you may need to be 18 or 21 to drive the vehicle, depending on what type of vehicle it is, its size, and so on.

This is also true for licenses. You may need to have a certain operator's license for certain commercial vehicles. Larger trucks with more than two axles may require a special license even if you're just renting it for short-term use. Always ask about these requirements or restrictions before you decide on a rental option for yourself.

2. Note restrictions if you need to have someone else pick up the equipment

Most commercial vehicle rental agencies allow you to reserve equipment online or over the phone, but you then need to sign a contract in person. If you pay with a credit card, the agency may not allow someone other than the cardholder to actually pick up the equipment itself. This ensures that nothing is being paid for with a stolen credit card, and ensures that they are getting a valid signature on their contract. Ask about this if you think you need someone else to pick up the equipment you're renting.

3. Who is responsible for an accident?

You may rent a truck or other vehicle and sign a contract but have a friend drive, and then wonder who is responsible if you were to get into an accident. Typically the person who signs the contract is the one responsible whether or not they're behind the wheel, but it's good to ask this of the rental agency if you might share the driving with someone else. This will ensure you know whose responsibility it will be to have proper insurance and who might be liable if there is actually an accident with a commercial vehicle.