America is on the move due to the coronavirus pandemic. A recent poll conducted by Pew Research Center found that 22% say they’ve moved or know somebody who has.
To save money, many people are renting trucks from companies like U-Haul, who say they are sanitizing every single truck to limit the spread of COVID-19. But one couple told Inside Edition that the truck they rented from the company was unsanitary.
Gina Avanzato and her boyfriend Alex recently rented a U-Haul when they moved from New Jersey to Colorado. The couple says the cargo area was filled with dirty syringes, drug paraphernalia, and cigarette butts.
"It was absolutely filthy. It was disgusting. Horrific, to say the very least," Gina said.
Gina and Alex are not alone. We found numerous complaints online criticizing U-Haul for renting out dirty trucks in the age of COVID-19.
“Disgustingly dirty,” wrote one customer.
“Mucus on the driver’s side window,” another said.
So, Inside Edition rented three U-Haul trucks in the New York City area to see for ourselves how clean they were.
In one of the trucks, the floor of the cargo area was covered with dirt. There was a dirty latex glove and several bugs. Inside the passenger compartment we found a dirty paper towel wedged between the seat.
And when we swabbed all the high-touch surfaces, there were extremely high levels of bacteria, according to our lab results. We even found E.coli on the steering wheel, door handle and horn.
The other two trucks we rented were clean.
In a statement to Inside Edition, U-Haul said, “U-Haul maintains a high standard for cleanliness and takes the condition of our equipment very seriously. As a rule, our equipment is sanitized and ready to rent. Visible trash or an unwiped surface in rented equipment is laziness and unacceptable. We have addressed this with our team.”