Truck Rental Guide

Is a rental truck the cheapest way to move? Well, that's a tough question. Many "do-it-yourselfers" swear by the rental truck, but newer options like moving containers and freight trailers are giving the good ole rental a run for it's money.

moveBuddha is all about comparison. Use our moving cost calculator and this truck rental guide to make sure you make the best choice and get the best deal.

What is included with a moving truck rental?

Every moving company generally offers the same set of services for a basic full service move. Keep in mind, there can be small differences between movers that add up to big costs. When getting quotes, ask every mover the same set of questions and be sure to write down their answers on the estimate paperwork.

You should work with your move coordinator to make sure you know exactly what you're responsible for to avoid surprises on moving day. This list should give you a head start on understanding what comes with a full service move.

  • Rental truck
  • Set amount of allowable miles (some companies offer unlimited)
  • Set number of rental days
  • Loading ramp (on trucks larger than 10ft)
  • Fuel and tolls
  • Help loading or unloading (Hire Moving Labor)
  • Tailgate door lock
  • Pads, straps, or blankets
  • Dolly or hand-truck (sometimes available to rent)
  • Insurance (available for purchase)
  • Parking permits (if necessary)
  • Packing supplies such as boxes, bubble, wrap, etc.
  • Storage

Compare rental truck companies

Which truck rental company is the best? Penske®, UHaul® and Budget® are the three largest, national truck rental companies. As with most things moving, "the best" depends on what you need. Each company has its strengths and weaknesses.

U-Haul Budget Rental Trucks Penske
Customer Service
National Coverage
Discounts Free storage, box buy-back Military, AARP, Student & More Internet, AAA, Military, Student
U-Haul Budget Rental Trucks Penske
Truck Sizes 10', 14', 17', 20', 24', 26' 12', 16', 24' 12', 16', 22', 26'
Car Tow Car Dolly, Car Carrier Car Dolly, Car Carrier Car Dolly, Car Carrier
Trailers Open and enclosed tow trailers None None
U-Haul Budget Rental Trucks Penske
Mileage $.40/mile beyond alotted mileage $.70/mile beyond alotted mileage, $.85/mile if not requested before move Unlimited
Extra Rental Day Fee $40/day if requested before pickup $70/day $50/day if requested before pickup
Late Return Fee $50/day $80/day $100/day if requested after pickup
Truck Cleaning Fee $25 Ask dealer Assessed at return
Additional Driver None $10/day or $29 for 8+ days $10/driver (Family is free)
Gas Return Fee $30 + $5/gallon Ask dealer $8/gallon
U-Haul Budget Rental Trucks Penske
Payment Types Credit card, cash Credit card, cash, check Credit card, cash, check
Deposit No deposit w/ credit card, $100 deposit if cash Refundable deposit required at pickup, amount varies No deposit w/ credit card, $100 deposit if cash/check
U-Haul Budget Rental Trucks Penske
Pick Up Location Subject to change Subject to change Guaranteed
Locations 15,000+ (Corporate + Franchises) 2,800+ (Corporate + Dealers) 2,000+ (Corporate + Partners)
Average Truck Age Truck age can vary greatly 30 Months 24 Months
Rental Requirements Valid Drivers License, 18+ Varies by location, $25 fee for drivers under 23 Valid Drivers License, 18+
Same Day Rental Yes Yes Yes

Top 10 Rental Truck Tips

Take notes, these rental truck tips could save you time and money

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Get online quotes first

Start your search by getting quotes online. Rental rates are typically quoted lower online than over the phone.

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Get multiple quotes

Rates can fluctuate based on demand so get quotes from all 3 companies.

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Take advantage of price matching

Most of the time companies will beat or match their competitor's quote to earn your business

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Understand fees

Truck clean out fee, mileage fees, equipment use fees, return fuel fee, etc. Check out our fees section for more info.

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Avoid peak moving times

Avoid renting on weekends, holidays and at the beginning/end of the month if possible. Prices tend to be lower mid-week and mid-month when demand is lower.

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Location reviews

Budget® & UHaul® both have partner networks. Rental policies and overall customer service can vary by location so make sure to check reviews on specific locations.

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Call day before

You should book 2 weeks in advance, but make sure to call the day before to ensure your truck is still available.

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Newest truck

Make sure to ask for the newest truck on the lot. Newer trucks are less likely to have maintenance issues and get the best gas mileage.

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Get insurance

It's unlikely that your regular auto insurance will cover rental truck accidents. All companies offer affordable and decent insurance options.

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Plan for the worst

Your reservation may get canceled at the last minute or the truck could break down mid-move. Have a plan and emergency funds set asisde ahead of time just in case something unexpected happens.

Instantly compare rental truck prices!

Just like major travel sites, we compare moving rates and services to help you move.

  • Get instant pricing for your move
  • Discover alternative options for moving long distance
  • Get connected with the best companies for your move