Date added: June 23

If you're reading this article, congratulations, you've successfully taken the first step towards hiring a moving truck – researching. Preferably on the Internet. With the entirety of human knowledge and understanding literally at your fingertips, and libraries subsequently increasingly obsolete, why would you look anywhere else? In fact, as long as you can plug in somewhere, why would you even bother moving house? Or doing anything at all really… Anyway, that's a topic for another day, another platform, and an altogether more informed and sensible person. I'm here to give you some helpful hints for getting the best deal and the least stress when you're looking to hire a moving truck.

First up, you need to decide how big the truck needs to be. This involves making an estimate of how much stuff you’re going to move (hopefully when you come to doing the actual packing you'll be ruthless enough to discard some unnecessary items), and looking for trucks that will fit approximately 10% more than this – presumably if you're reading this you're going it alone in the moving process rather than hiring professionals, which means you're unlikely to be a packing expert and will therefore fill up the truck a lot faster. Or you might be a packing savant, capable of fitting whole cathedrals into mini-coopers, who am I to say what you can or can't do? By the way, if you can fit cathedrals into coopers, maybe talk to the Guinness book of records, or at least consider a career change.

You’ll also need to know how far you're moving – some companies charge a flat daily rate for hire (up to a certain number of kilometres), while others charge on a per kilometre basis. Hire companies also charge premium prices for one-way moves in order to cover the cost of picking up the truck, particularly if it's miles away, so you’ll save some dough if you can incorporate returning the truck into your moving schedule.

Okay, now you're ready to start calling companies. Call a bunch of them for quotes, and make sure you check what's included in the price – you don't want to get the bill and find it’s three times more than you expected because you had to pay extra to feed the receptionists cat for a week. When you've decided on the company that's right for you, call or email and reserve the truck for the dates you need it – do this as soon as possible, particularly if your move is happening during high season (I have no idea when this is because I have no idea where you're reading this – hopefully somewhere nice). In the call or email, or personal visit, if you're old fashioned like my Mum, you should also reserve any extra equipment you'll need, such as a trolley (or dolly, depending on your linguistic leanings, but it's the two-wheeled Doo-hickey that lets you wheel multiple boxes around at once without several disfiguring your spine), which is a vital instrument for self-moving.

Some companies will also offer you insurance, for a fee of course – this fee might be reasonable, or it might be exorbitant, so research beforehand about purchasing insurance separately, both car and contents insurance. Check with your home insurance company if they cover your move – this will likely depend on how far you're going and whether you've got many priceless artworks, crystal chandeliers or spaceships. Depending on the size of the truck you're hiring, you might also need to borrow a friend who's experienced in driving large vehicles; you don't want to get caught in a real-life episode of Ice Road Truckers if your normal runaround is a Fiat.

Finally, when you go to pick up the truck, make sure all signs of wear and tear are noted on the inspection sheet before you pay the deposit, and get a receipt for said deposit. Nobody likes fighting with the receptionist about whether it was his boots or your piano that put that dirty great scratch along the inside of the door.

Now you’ve got yourself a truck, all you need to do is pack it and move! Find some tips on that somewhere else, I'm not giving them to you. Good luck!