U-Haul literally pioneered truck rental back in 1945 and has helped millions of families move ever since. With that kind of experience, you know they can handle whatever you need for your move.
But U-Haul is far from your only option and some competitors may actually be a better fit for your move.
Let’s take a look at three of U-Haul’s top competitors and see how they all compare.
The companies we’re going to compare here are:
None of these are fly-by-night organizations, and you’ve probably heard of some, if not all, of them. So let’s dive in with the best and worst features, plus pros and cons, of each of these U-Haul competitors.
But first, let’s look at U-Haul.
U-Haul Pros and Cons[Image: U-Haul 4 out of 5 stars]
What we love: U-Haul is the best-known of all these companies, because they’ve been in business the longest and have spread to have coverage just about everywhere. Think about it: When was the last time you took a trip on a highway and didn’t see an orange-and-white U-Haul truck? U-Haul has locations in all 50 states, and often multiple locations in the same area, which gives you tons of convenience and the high likelihood you can get the U-Haul truck you want, even if the closest location to you is sold out — just head to the location across town and check there.
What we don’t love: U-Haul has a reputation for being less-than-transparent with its pricing. User reviews slam the company for tacking on hidden fees, so its well-advertised base rates of $19.99-$24.99 are virtually never what the truck actually costs.
|U-Haul Pros||U-Haul Cons|
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Budget Pros and Cons[IMAGE: 4 out of 5 stars]
What we love: It’s all in the name. Budget makes a real effort to be the most affordable truck rental company out there, offering low base rates and a discount program that offers more savings for AARP members, military members, students, Motor Club members, and more.
What we don’t love: The savings are only for the basics. If you choose to purchase any add-ons for your move, like moving supplies, insurance, or loading/unloading help, they’ll cost more with Budget than with its competitors.
|Budget Pros||Budget Cons|
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Penske Pros and Cons[Image: Penske 4.5 out of 5 stars]
What we love: There’s a lot to love about Penske, but the thing that sets it apart from other companies is the work its doing to be a more sustainable business. Driving a moving truck is not easy on the environment, but Penske offers low-emissions trucks, fuel-efficient diesel engines, and trucks with maximum speeds so they’re a little better for the world.
What we don’t love: Penske doesn’t have a lot of downsides, but if we have to choose one, it’s that they’re only available in 48 states, so their coverage just isn’t as good as U-Haul’s.
|Penske Pros||Penske Cons|
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Enterprise Pros and Cons[IMAGE: 4 out of 5 stars]
What we love: Enterprise offers a lot of different types of trucks, from pickup trucks to cargo vans to 26-foot box trucks. There are 14 truck sizes to choose from, more than what’s offered by any other moving company in this article.
What we don’t love: Except in rare cases, Enterprise trucks have to be returned to the same location you picked them up from. That means, for long-distance moves, Enterprise probably won’t work for you. But for a local move, it’s still a great option.
|Enterprise Pros||Enterprise Cons|
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When you book your move with a DIY company like one of these, you get the most benefit if you do most of the work yourself. That means that each of these companies will hand you the keys to your chosen rental truck, and then it’ll be up to you to pack, load, drive, unload, unpack, and return the truck yourself.
However, they do offer some add-ons and customization. Here’s what you can expect to get from each of these U-Haul competitors.
|Local, round-trip moves||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Multiple truck sizes||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Moving and packing supplies||Available at an additional cost||Available at an additional cost||Available at an additional cost||Available at an additional cost|
|Packing and loading/unloading help||Available at an additional cost||Available at an additional cost||Available at an additional cost||Available at an additional cost|
|Roadside assistance||✔||✔||Available at an additional cost||Available at an additional cost|
|Vehicle shipping||Yes, towing and car trailer packages are available||Yes, you can tow your car behind several of their trucks||Yes, you can tow your car behind several of their trucks|
|Insurance Available to Purchase||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Free Cancelation or Modification||Up to 24 hours before your reservation||Up to 48 hours before your reservation||Up to 48 hours before your reservation||Only if you cancel more than 7 days before your reservation|
We do need to note that while these are generally the services available, things can vary by location. Online reviews particularly complain about U-Haul having inconsistent services depending on which location you use. Before you count on any services, you should check with your local branch of each rental company to make sure it’s among what they offer.
Here’s some good news: All of these companies have excellent North American coverage. Here’s where you can find branch locations for U-Haul and its competitors.
|Available in the U.S.?||In 48 states||All 50 states||In 48 states||In 46 states and Puerto Rico|
|Available in Canada?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
However, while there are locations in all those places, what can never be guaranteed is what kind of vehicle inventory each location will have. No matter which company you choose and where you live, you’ll have to do some local research and contact nearby locations to see what kinds of trucks and trailers are available to you.
While Enterprise has the widest variety of trucks available, Penske tends to have the newest fleet (average age for its trucks is just two years!). But each of these companies offers a variety of trucks to choose from, each with different capacities. Here’s what they have on offer.
U-Haul Truck Sizes and Fleet Information
U-Haul offers a pretty standard 7 truck sizes. Its fleet sees a lot of user turnover, which means wear and tear can be a problem. Make sure to carefully inspect a U-Haul truck and take it around the block to test it for any issues before heading off on your move.
Here’s what U-Haul offers.
|Pickup truck||Cargo van||10-foot truck||15-foot truck||17-foot truck||20-foot truck||26-foot truck|
|Best for||Single pieces of furniture||Studio apartments||1-2 rooms||2-3 rooms||3-5 rooms||4-6 rooms||5-7 rooms|
|Dimensions||7’10” x 5’2″ x 1’9″||9’6″ x 5’7″ x 4’8″||9’11” x 6’4” x 6’2”||15′ x 7’8″ x 7’2″||16’9” x 7’8” x 7’2”||19’6″ x 7’8″ x 7’2″||26’5″ x 7’8″ x 8’3″|
|Cubic footage available||76 cf||245 cf||402 cf||764 cf||865 cf||1,016 cf||1,611 cf|
|Weight limit||1,897 lbs.||3,880 lbs.||2,850 lbs.||6,385 lbs.||6,160 lbs.||5,700 lbs.||9,010 lbs.|
U-Haul is also the only company on this list that offers trailers for rent. Here are the types of trailers that are available.
|Cargo Trailers||Utility Trailers|
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Penske Truck Sizes and Fleet Information
Penske offers 5 different truck sizes, which is a pretty standard number for the industry.
What’s great about Penske’s fleet is that its largest trucks are outfitted with diesel engines, making them more fuel-efficient. Penske also trades its trucks out for new ones frequently, meaning its average fleet age is just two years. Overall, users find these trucks to be new, reliable, and in great shape.
Here’s what Penske offers.
|High-roof cargo van||12-foot truck||16-foot truck||22-foot truck||26-foot truck|
|Best for||Single pieces of furniture |
|1-2 rooms||2-3 rooms||3-5 rooms||5-7 rooms|
|Dimensions||11’11” x 4’6” x 6’9”||12’ x 6’6” x 6’1”||16’ x 7’7” x 6’6”||21’11 x 8’1” x 8’1”||25’11” x 8’1” x 8’1”|
|Cubic footage available||364.5 cf||468 cf||780 cf||1,408 cf||1,664 cf|
|Weight limit||3,500 lbs.||3,100 lbs.||4,300 lbs.||10,000 lbs.||10,000 lbs.|
Budget Truck Rental Sizes and Fleet Information
Budget only offers 3 truck sizes, the smallest number on this list. Their reliability appears to be pretty average — there are customer reviews that complain of some minor problems, but not too many. It might be worth shelling out a few extra bucks for their roadside assistance insurance, which isn’t included.
Here are the trucks Budget offers.
|12-foot truck||16-foot truck||26-foot truck|
|Best for||1-2 rooms||2-3 rooms||5-8 rooms|
|Dimensions||11’ 8” x 6’ 3” x 6’ 1”||16’ x 6’ 3” x 6’ 7”||26’ x 8’ 1” x 8’ 1”|
|Cubic footage available||443 cf||658 cf||1,698 cf|
|Weight limit||3,610 lbs.||4,460 lbs.||10,000 lbs.|
Enterprise Truck Rental Sizes and Fleet Information
Enterprise has the largest variety of trucks available — more than we’ve seen from any other company in the industry. To save some space, we’ll list everything Enterprise offers, but only include specs for some of its most popular types of trucks.
|15-foot van||16-foot truck||24-foot truck||26-foot truck|
|Best for||1-3 rooms||3-4 rooms||5+||5+ rooms|
|Dimensions||15′ x 8′ x 7′||16′ x 8′ x 7′6″||24′ x 8′6″ x 8′6″||26′ x 8′6″ x 8′6″|
|Cubic footage available||810 cf||920 cf||1,700 cf||1,800 cf|
|Weight limit||5,000 lbs.||7,500 lbs.||10,000 lbs.||10,000 lbs.|
Here are all the vehicle types Enterprise offers:
One of the factors that really helps you save money by renting a moving truck rather than hiring full-service movers is that you’re the one who will be doing the driving. Most of us aren’t experts at maneuvering and parking trucks of this size, so insurance is a must.
Each company offers different insurance options, so you’ll have to carefully consider them all — and read all the fine print — to decide what insurance you need. Here’s an overview of what each of these companies offers for coverage.
Note that prices for all of these plans will depend on the type and size of truck, the distance your traveling, what state you’re in, and other factors, so we can’t provide price estimates — you’ll have to ask about that when you get a rental quote.
U-Haul Insurance Options
U-Haul offers just two different insurance plans, fewer than the other companies here. Here’s what they include.
|SafeMove Insurance||SafeMove Plus Insurance|
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Penske Insurance Options
Penske has a wide variety of coverage options available.
|Limited Damage Waiver (LDW)||The most expensive insurance option (costs about 10 percent of the cost of your reservation) protects you against any damage caused to the truck from accidents, including dents and scratches. It doesn’t cover you if the damage is due to any mistakes you make while driving.|
|Liability (LIA)||This plan covers damage to other vehicles if you cause an accident, up to the minimum amount required by the state you’re in.|
|Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)||This is additional protection over the state minimum for any damages if you cause an accident.|
|Cargo Insurance (CAI)||This covers your belongings inside the truck in case of an accident or natural disaster. It does not cover damage caused during loading or unloading.|
|Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)||This covers medical costs for the driver and passenger of a Penske truck in case of an accident.|
|Towing Insurance (TWI)||This covers any vehicle you tow with your Penske truck, in case of an accident. It also covers damage done to the vehicle during loading and unloading.|
Budget Insurance Options
Budget also has a number of optional plans you can purchase when you reserve your rental.
|Damage Waivers (PDW & LDW)||This covers you for any damage done to the truck or other rental equipment due to vandalism or theft. It doesn’t cover damage due to your own mistakes or negligence.|
|Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)||This covers you for the cost of bodily harm or damage if you get sued for causing an accident.|
|Personal and Cargo (PAC)||The covers injury or damage to the driver, passengers, and cargo in the truck during the move.|
|Auto Tow Protection (ATP)||This covers damage sustained by a vehicle that you’re towing behind your rental truck in case of an accident.|
|Roadside SafetyNet (RSN)||This covers 24/7 roadside assistance should you need it during your move.|
Enterprise Insurance Options
If you rent a moving truck from Enterprise, you can choose from a number of added protection plans to add to your order.
|Damage Waiver (DW)||This reduces the driver’s responsibility for loss of or damage to the truck. This does not cover any damage caused by the driver.|
|Roadside Assistance Protection (RAP)||This provides the renter with 24/7 roadside assistance coverage, where available.|
|Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)||This provides the truck’s driver and any passengers with medical expense, accidental death, and ambulance transport benefits in the case of an accident.|
|Supplemental Liability Protection (SLP)||This covers you for the cost of bodily harm or damage if you get sued for causing an accident.|
We know cost can be a huge factor in which moving company you choose. If you’re looking for a DIY moving company, you’re probably conscious of the cost of your move and trying to stick to a budget. We get that.
What makes it tough to compare the costs of these companies here is all the factors that go into pricing a move — your starting and ending zip codes, the distance you’re moving, the day of the week and time of the year you move, how much gas costs at the time, whether you add insurance or any extra services, etc., etc. There are also extra fees that get added to DIY moves by some companies, and not by others, like per-mile fees, gas fees, environmental fees, late-return fees, and more.
When getting a quote from any moving company, make sure to read all the fine print and get everything they promise you in writing. That’s how you avoid getting hit with surprise charges. And if you want to compare U-Haul and its top competitors by price, you should get personalized quotes for each company so you can accurately compare them. Luckily, they all make it easy to get instant quotes on their websites, so you can have a baseline for price comparison in minutes.
Before booking a moving company, you should carefully consider all the options that are out there, from DIY companies to container companies to full service movers. If you want to get instant quotes from multiple moving companies you can trust, all in one place, moveBuddha is the place to start. Just make sure you gather as much information as possible so you can feel great about committing to the company you choose.