Budget Truck Rental Review: Pricing and Services (2024)

Here’s the bottom line: What Budget Truck Rental offers is all in the name. It’s a solid DIY option if you’re moving on, well, a budget.

Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.3 / 5

89% of users select this mover

Budget Truck Rental gives movers the most budget-friendly moving option available, offering bottom-dollar base rates combined with lots of discount programs. Its affordability is one of the reasons we named it to our list of the best rental trucks.

Budget provides the truck, but all of the work — like packing, loading, driving, unloading, and unpacking — is up to you.

Even among DIY moving companies, Budget strives to be one of the most affordable, so it’s a great choice if you’re really trying to keep costs down. Think Budget might be the right choice for your next move? Read on to find out!

Pros & cons of moving with Budget Truck Rental

  • DIY moves are generally more affordable than other moving options
  • One-way moves and round-trip rentals available
  • Unlimited mileage on long-distance moves
  • Discounts available for students, military, AAA members, AARP members, and more
  • 2,800+ locations throughout the U.S.
  • Add-ons are more expensive than other truck rental companies
  • Only three moving truck sizes available
  • Only available in the continental United States

Key Takeaways

  • Our take: we think Budget Truck Rental (US DOT#1092543) is an excellent and affordable moving option, especially for the lowest budgets, but we mostly recommend them for long-distance moves because of the unlimited mileage they offer.
  • Budget provides highly competitive pricing for moving truck rentals, though their optional services can add up quickly. To truly enjoy a “budget” experience, you’ll need to be prepared to do most of the work yourself.
  • You can easily make a reservation on their website, but there have been some customer reviews across multiple sites that note reservation mix-ups.

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How much does Budget Truck Rental cost?

Budget’s truck rental costs are among the lowest in the industry, starting at around $100 for a local move. For long-distance moves, you’ll probably pay at least $1,000, but moving across the country is possible for as low as $3,000. Because of their incredibly low prices, they’re one of our top picks for cheapest moving truck rentals.

Budget is known for its easy-to-use website, where movers can easily get a free estimate. We used their website to generate sample prices for the moves below.

Move distance 12-foot truck 16-foot truck 26-foot truck
Local, round-trip move (<50 miles) $19.99 per day, plus $0.99 per mile $29.99 per day, plus $0.99 per mile $39.99 per day, plus $0.99 per mile
Medium-distance move (~250 miles)* $996 with unlimited mileage $1,106 with unlimited mileage $2,990 with unlimited mileage
Cross-country move** $2,976 with unlimited mileage $3,289 with unlimited mileage $5,927 with unlimited mileage

*Estimate based on a move from Phoenix to Page, AZ

**Estimate based on a move from Los Angeles to Trenton, NJ

Here’s a look at how Budget’s 16-foot truck compares price-wise to two of its biggest competitors, Penske and U-Haul.

Move distance Budget Truck Rental (16-foot truck) Penske (16-foot truck) U-Haul (16-foot truck)
Local, round-trip move (<50 miles) $29.99 per day, plus $0.99 per mile $180.84 with unlimited mileage $39.99 per day plus $0.99 per mile
Medium-distance move (250 miles)* $1,106 with unlimited mileage $645.49 with unlimited mileage (4-day move) $829.56 + mileage rate, which varies ($0.59-$0.99)
Cross-country move** $3,289 with unlimited mileage $4,417.25 with unlimited mileage (10-day move) $3,032.49 + mileage rate, which varies ($0.59-$0.99)

With that said, there are some things to look out for to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

First, whether you get unlimited mileage or a per-mile rate in your quote can make a huge difference. Most long-distance moves (more than 400 miles) with Budget Truck Rental include unlimited mileage. If you’re moving a shorter distance, make sure to confirm what you’re getting so you don’t get stuck paying a hefty per-mile fee. Local moves generally charge a base rate plus a per-mile fee.

Additionally, moving truck rental companies can charge additional fees that might greatly increase your initial quote. Those fees will be in your rental agreement, so make sure to read all the fine print! Watch out for avoidable fees like late return fees or not returning the truck with the same amount of gas it had when you picked it up.

Purchasing supplemental liability insurance coverage could also increase your total price with Budget Truck Rental.

Don’t forget to also ask about discounts! Budget is known for offering several discounts to different groups (such as AAA members and military personnel), but they also offer additional discounts for picking the truck up at a certain location in your city, or choosing to move on a Tuesday instead of a weekend — so be sure to inquire before you book!

Our moving cost calculator can also help you compare your options. That way, you’ll know for sure you’re accurately comparing rental rates across the board.

Budget Truck Rental: Featured Reviews

“I was moving from Georgia to New York, and as a student and a single mother, I needed to do so as cheaply as possible. I received quotes from Two Men and a Truck, American Van Lines, and Budget Truck Rental, but the only one I really felt in my price range was Budget, with a quote of $868. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use Budget in the end because when I arrived on moving day, my truck wasn’t available. While this really messed up my moving plans, I was able to get a last-minute rental with another company.” Chandra J.

Budget Truck Rental offers a wide variety of services

Budget Truck Rental is best known for its competitive prices on moving truck rentals for both local and cross-country moves, making them a great option for budget-minded DIY movers.

However, you can get more from Budget Truck Rental than just a moving truck. Here are some of Budget’s other services:

  • Long-distance moves: Budget Truck Rental is available for local and long-distance moves throughout the continental United States. However, they do not service Hawaii or Alaska.
  • Vehicle towing: If you need help transporting your car as part of your move, you can also rent a car carrier or tow dolly from Budget Truck Rental. These services must be added to a moving truck rental (cannot be rented separately).
  • Cargo van and pickup truck rental: For smaller local moves, most Budget Truck Rental locations also offer cargo van and/or pickup truck rentals.
  • Moving supplies: While you can’t get moving boxes and other packing supplies from Budget Truck, you can rent accessories like furniture pads and hand trucks to make it easier to safely load your items into the truck and protect them while in transit.
  • Protection plans: Budget Truck Rental offers a variety of roadside assistance protection plans, including a physical damage waiver, supplemental liability insurance, and personal accident and cargo coverage. Auto tow protection is available if you use a car trailer to transport your vehicle.
  • Loading and unloading assistance: Budget Truck Rental partners with HireAHelper if you need professional loading, unloading, and packing assistance for your move. However, these helpers cannot drive the moving truck for you.

How Budget Truck Rental stacks up against the competition

Budget Truck Rental is hardly the only company available in the moving truck rental space, with brands like U-Haul and Penske — two of our other picks for best rental trucks — also proving popular with customers. While Budget Truck Rental is a great choice for customers on a budget, those preferring guaranteed reservations should choose Penske. You might want to consider U-Haul if you need storage as part of your move.

Company BBB score State availability Our score Offers guaranteed reservations
Budget Truck Rental A+ 48 (not in AK or HI) 4.3/5 No
U-Haul Truck Rental A+ 50 + Canada 4.15/5 No
Penske Truck Rental A+ 49 (not in AK) 4/5 Yes

Budget Truck Rental vs. U-Haul Truck Rental

U-Haul is often the first name people think of when it comes to moving truck rentals. A lot of this has to do with U-Haul’s wide availability in all 50 US states, with more than 21,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. That’s more than 10 times as many locations as Budget Truck Rental offers.

Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.15 / 5

89% of users select this mover

While Budget Truck Rental still has an impressive 2,800 locations nationwide, they are noticeably missing from Hawaii and Alaska. Despite the differences in availability, both U-Haul and Budget offer a wide variety of truck rental options, including add-ons like car towing trailers and moving supplies.

It is worth noting, however, that U-Haul has more truck sizes than Budget — five compared to Budget’s three — and offers moving container rentals called U-Haul U-Box.

Aside from this, Budget and U-Haul provide similar services overall. Budget’s prices tend to come out much cheaper due to the unlimited mileage they offer on long-distance moves. Budget also offers more discounts, which can help you lower your prices even further.

But, if you need storage in combination with your move, U-Haul is the better choice, as their moving container, U-Box, can be packed and then put directly into their storage facilities for whatever length of time you need.

Budget Truck Rental vs. Penske Truck Rental

Penske Truck Rental is another noteworthy competitor to Budget Truck Rental. Among our Better Moves customers, Penske stands out in terms of overall customer satisfaction, making it a solid option for a rental.

Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4 / 5

89% of users select this mover

Both companies have a similar service area, offering pickup and drop-off locations across the continental U.S. But while Penske is additionally available in Hawaii, Budget Truck Rental is not. Neither company services Alaska.

The two companies offer many of the same moving services, such as unlimited mileage on select rentals and a variety of discount programs, but Penske tends to be more expensive.

That being said, when Chandra from our moveBuddha move experiences showed up on moving day, Budget informed her that her rental truck was not available because Budget does not offer guaranteed reservations. Because this is their policy, there is a chance that the equipment you reserve won’t be available come moving day. Penske, on the other hand, offers guaranteed reservations. So, while working with Penske is usually pricier, if you are on a tight moving timeline, they may be the better choice.

moveBuddha icon
Katie's Move with Penske
In September of 2022, Katie, her husband, and their toddler moved from Chicago to Durham, North Carolina. Katie felt like she got a good bang for her buck renting a truck from Penske. In the end, Penske came through with a competitive and accurate quote, easy online communication, and a clean and reliable truck that averaged about 11.5 miles per gallon (which is pretty good for a rental truck).
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How moving with Budget Truck Rental works

Budget Truck Rental aims to provide an easy, stress-free moving truck rental process.

Getting a quote and booking your moving truck

You can book your moving truck rental and get a quote completely online — no need to make a phone call! To get your quote, you’ll just need to plug in your pickup and drop-off locations, as well as your preferred pickup date for your rental.

Based on this information, the company will let you know which truck rentals are available at Budget locations near you, as well as your total quote. These quotes indicate whether your rental comes with unlimited mileage or a base rate plus a per-mile fee. Your initial quote only covers the truck rental (which includes a loading ramp and cabin seating), but you can add on extras like car carriers and furniture pads.

Budget Truck Rental requires a $150 refundable deposit, which you can pay with your credit card. You can change or cancel your reservation in advance, but cancellations made within 48 hours of your scheduled pickup will result in a $75 cancellation fee.

Moving day

Moving day with Budget Truck Rental is also fairly straightforward. You’ll drive to your previously selected Budget location to pick up your truck, where you’ll provide your driver’s license and insurance information and sign a waiver and rental agreement.

Once you have your truck, you can take it home and load it up! You’ll be responsible for driving it all the way to your new home. After you unload everything, return it to a nearby Budget location, where it will be inspected for damage. Budget will charge you for any truck damages and return your initial deposit at this time.

Should you use Budget to move?

For DIY movers, few things are more important than saving money — and that’s where Budget Truck Rental really shines for both local moves and cross-country journeys.

With that in mind, however, Budget Truck Rental isn’t the right choice for all movers, and you’ll want to consider the exact parameters of your move before making your decision.

Use Budget Truck Rental if:

  • Keeping a low budget is the most critical aspect of your move
  • You don’t mind driving a moving truck and towing your own vehicle
  • You are able to do the heavy lifting yourself 

Don’t use Budget Truck Rental if:

  • You have a tight move timeline and need a guaranteed reservation
  • You prefer to have someone else packing, lifting, and loading your belongings

In these cases, you might be better served looking at a full-service mover, such as those on our picks for the best interstate moving companies and best long-distance moving companies.


Is Budget Truck Rental cheaper than U-Haul?

Budget Truck Rental is generally cheaper than U-Haul and U-Haul competitors like Penske, especially for local moves. Still, it doesn’t hurt to get quotes from multiple moving truck rental companies to better compare prices for your specific relocation needs.

What is the largest Budget rental truck?

The largest Budget rental truck is 26 feet. It is generally recommended for two- to three-bedroom homes and can hold up to 10,000 pounds. Budget also offers a 12-foot and 16-foot truck.

What is the gas mileage on a Budget truck?

The gas mileage on a Budget truck can vary based on the size of the truck and how fully loaded it is. Budget’s 12-foot truck typically gets eight to 14 miles per gallon (mpg), while the 16-foot truck gets six to 10 mpg. The 26-foot truck gets eight to 10 mpg because it uses diesel fuel instead of regular gasoline.

How much does it cost to rent a moving truck?

The price to rent a moving truck will vary based on the parameters of your move. Truck size, the distance of your move, and where you plan to pick up and return the truck all go into estimating the rental prices of moving trucks. T

hat being said, local moves with a rental truck usually start at $100, while long-distance moves start at $900. Keep in mind that one-way rentals are generally more expensive than picking up and returning the truck to the same location.

When should I rent my moving truck?

You should rent your moving truck as far in advance as possible, at least a few months before your move if you already have the dates. For those who don’t know the dates of their move until the last minute, renting a truck is still possible, but you may not have your first choice of truck size or pickup and drop-off locations. There is also a possibility that the company you wish to use won’t have any trucks left at all, especially for renters moving during the busy summer months.

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