Home > Moving > The Cheapest Moving Truck Rental Companies (2022 Review)

The Cheapest Moving Truck Rental Companies (2022 Review)

Updated Nov 11, 2022

Updated Nov 11, 2022

Home > Moving > The Cheapest Moving Truck Rental Companies (2022 Review)

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DIY moving is a fairly popular choice among people with smaller or mid-sized homes. As a budget-conscious mover, you’re likely looking for the most cost-effective option for a truck or van rental. Here, we’ve outlined the best truck rental companies with the best rates on the market. Whether you’re looking for a cargo van for a multi-bedroom move or a pickup truck to remove some debris from your property, you should be able to find a viable option here. Read on to learn more about our top cost-effective rental truck providers.

Compare the Cheapest Rental Truck Providers

Here, we’ve put together a quick comparison of our top moving truck rental companies. Each will be differently suited to local moves and long-distance or one-way moves, so doing your research before booking is a must.

CompanySuperlative50-Mile Move Cost*500-Mile Move CostTruck Sizes Offered
Safeway Moving SystemsBest overall moving brokerCall for priceCall for priceSize depends on location
Budget Truck RentalBest for local moves$100 – $200$800 – $1,00012’, 16’, 26’
Penske Truck RentalBest for long-distance moves$250 – $500$1,000 – $1,20012’, 16, 22’, 26’
U-HaulBest moving supplies$120 – $150$900 – $1,20010’, 15’, 20’, 26’
Enterprise Truck RentalMost moving truck sizes$200 and upCall for quote**15’, 16’, 24’, 26’

*Costs above reflect 26-foot truck rentals and current average market rates. Depending on your location or truck size, your rates could vary greatly. We recommend getting quotes from all providers in your area before booking.

**Enterprise doesn’t offer one-way rentals for trucks, so you may want to consider another option.

Safeway Moving Systems: Best Overall Moving Broker

Best Flat Rate Pricing
Safeway
  • Diverse service offerings
  • Flat rate for all moves
  • 30 days free storage

Safeway Moving Systems gets our recommendation for the best overall moving broker. If you elect to ditch your DIY move and moving truck rental and go with a professional mover, then this provider may be worth your consideration. They partner with carriers across all 50 states to provide some of the best and most reliable services available in the industry.

Why We Recommend Safeway

If you’ve decided on a full-service move rather than renting a moving truck and doing things yourself, Safeway isn’t your cheapest option. However, the customer service it provides is among the best available. Customer reviews show that this broker’s attention to detail and care throughout the entire moving process are consistently excellent.

Aside from the overall quality of customer service, Safeway offers flat rate pricing for all of its moves. No matter your moving needs, you’ll be given a bottom-line estimate with no ambiguity. This flat rate includes 30 days of free storage, should you need it, as well as a guarantee that a portion of your move bill will go to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Pros & Cons of Safeway Moving Systems

Pros

  • Offers flat rates for all moves provided
  • Provides a range of specialized and basic moving services via a nationwide partner network
  • 30 days of free storage (at destination) offered with each move
  • Excellent customer satisfaction ratings

Cons

  • Website is somewhat lacking in information
  • Pricing information is tough to come by without getting an estimate

Services Offered

Safeway offers the following services to clients within its service area. Exact offerings are sure to vary by partner carrier. However, if you’re opting for a full-service move over a moving truck rental, then you’ll have access to many of the following services from most Safeway companies:

  • Long-distance relocations
  • Packing
  • Unpacking
  • Packing materials (as a retailer)
  • Short and long-term storage
  • Piano moving
  • Car shipping
  • Commercial relocations
  • Liability insurance
  • Full valuation coverage
  • And more

How Much Does Safeway Cost?

You can expect the following averages from Safeway’s flat rates for moves of varying size and distance. While any full-service mover is far more expensive than renting a truck and doing the job on your own, hiring a carrier through Safeway can help ensure your move’s safety and efficiency.

250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,000 – $5,000$2,100 – $5,100$2,200 – $5,200$2,700 – $5,700
4 BR$3,200 – $6,200$4,700 – $6,700$5,500 – $7,500$7,800 – $10,800

State Availability: 50 states

Learn More: Read our full review to learn more about booking and moving with Safeway Moving Systems.

Budget Truck Rental

Budget Truck Rental is another leading name in the DIY moving industry. They rent out trucks for a range of moving needs but are best for shorter, local moves. With more than 2,800 branches across the lower 48 states, finding a location near you won’t be difficult. They offer a standard range of services, which directly competes with U-Haul, Penske, and Enterprise and surpasses them in some areas.

Why We Recommend Budget

Budget is typical when compared to other players in the industry. They offer multiple truck sizes and add-on labor through their partner, Hire-A-Helper. That said, this provider’s local move costs are among the best in the business. Even with their low rates, they offer plenty of discounts for students, AAA members, military personnel, and more. If you’re staging a move across town or within your county, this may be your most cost-effective choice.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lowest rates for local moves
  • Discounts available – inquire at your local branch about these

Cons

  • Relatively few truck sizes (three available)
  • No guaranteed bookings

Services Offered

Budget offers a standard cargo van, as well as the following truck sizes:

  • 12-foot truck
  • 16-foot truck
  • 26-foot truck

They also offer moving labor assistance, as well as a more limited range of moving supplies. However, this will depend on the exact location you go to.

Budget Cost

Budget truck rentals for local moves are incredibly affordable. With a base cost of around $40 for their largest truck (26-foot) and a mileage rate of $0.47 per mile, you won’t find a better deal.

Long-distance moving is a different story. While costs are around industry averages, you’ll see a sharp increase after 100 miles. A 500-mile move with a 26-foot Budget truck will come to around $1,000, while a 2,000-mile move will cost around $3,000.

State Availability: All lower 48 states.

Penske Truck Rental

Penske is one of the more prominent names in moving truck rentals today. While they may not have the name recognition of U-Haul or Enterprise, they can provide plenty of truck size options to help customers in most states. With 3,200 locations throughout the country, you’re sure to be in range of a Penske Truck Rental office.

Why We Recommend Penske

Penske provides far better options for customers staging more lengthy DIY moves. Their trucks have larger interior storage space, with some featuring lift gates. This functionality means that loading larger items or heavier boxes is far easier for the average DIY mover.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unlimited miles available for certain rentals
  • Larger trucks than many competitors
  • Far more reliable reservations

Cons

  • Slightly higher costs for local moves
  • Fewer truck size options than U-Haul

Services Offered

Along with tow dollies for cars, Penske offers rentals for the following truck sizes:

  • 11-foot cargo van (most studio apartments or single rooms)
  • 12-foot moving truck (studio or small one-bedroom apartment)
  • 16-foot truck (one-bedroom apartment)
  • 22-foot truck (two-bedroom apartment or medium-sized house)
  • 26-foot truck (three-bedroom homes and up)

Penske also acts as a vendor for moving supplies and furniture blankets in some locations. However, this availability may depend on your exact area.

Penske Cost

Though local moving costs can be high, Penske offers some of the best rates for long-distance moves. You can expect to pay around $2,000 to $2,200 for a 1,000-mile move with a 26-foot truck. This fee includes truck fees, taxes, unlimited mileage, liability coverage for your truck, and associated (potential) damages.

Local or shorter moves will cost around $175 and up per day, with mileage fees tacked on after that. A $100 fee will be charged to your credit card for canceling within 48 hours of your moving date.

State Availability: 49 states, including Hawaii. Penske is currently unavailable in Alaska.

U-Haul

U-Haul occupies a rare seat in the moving industry. Much like PODS has in the moving container side of the business, U-Haul has become synonymous with moving truck rentals. Since 1945, it has served DIY moving needs for customers across the United States and Canada. It offers a full array of packing supplies and self-storage options across most locations.

Why We Recommend U-Haul

U-Haul’s rates are a bit higher than some of its competitors, but the range of DIY moving services it offers is nearly unmatched. This includes a range of truck sizes, tow dollies, and other moving equipment. They provide some of the best moving boxes in the business at all locations, which will protect your goods as well as any other brand can.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Varied U-Haul truck sizes can accommodate nearly any move
  • Excellent moving supplies and other services offered
  • One of the most widely-available moving brands in the industry, through 21,000-plus locations

Cons

  • Reservations are not guaranteed
  • Customer reviews report hidden fees

Services Offered

U-Haul provides a range of truck sizes for one-way rentals and same-location drop-offs, including:

  • 8-foot pickup truck
  • 9-foot cargo van (studio apartments and student moves)
  • 10-foot moving truck (studio or one-bedroom apartment)
  • 15-foot moving truck (one to two-bedroom apartment)
  • 20-foot moving truck (two-bedroom house or three-bedroom apartment)
  • 26-foot moving truck (three or four-bedroom home)

Other options include:

  • Moving supplies, including ratchet straps, furniture pads, packing supplies, and more
  • Mobile and on-location storage units
  • Third-party moving help through Hire-A-Helper

U-Haul Cost

U-Haul advertises costs of $19.95, $29.95, and $39.95 per day for its moving trucks. However, these daily rental fees do not include taxes, mileage fees, SafeMove insurance, or fuel costs. U-Haul trucks get around 10 miles miles-per-gallon when fully loaded, so you’ll be paying to fill up your truck at the end of your move.

  • SafeMove: This coverage can include damage waivers for any damage to the truck box or front end when you have it. Without this coverage, you’ll be liable for all incurred costs to fix your truck. On average, this costs between $70 and $80.
  • Mileage: Currently, mileage fees come to $0.79 to $1.29 per mile in most U-Haul locations.

State Availability: U-Haul’s 21,000 locations service clients in all 50 states.

Enterprise Truck Rental

Due to its prominence in the car rental industry, Enterprise is one of the biggest names in renting vehicles for both commercial and private use. It provides a range of truck sizes that is largely unmatched. That said, you will only be able to rent these for local moves. One-way rentals are not a service this renter features.

Why We Recommend Enterprise

If you’re planning a local move, and are in the market for a truck or van to rent, then Enterprise Truck Rental is one of your best options. That said, with only 430 locations, it has limited availability compared to its competition. If you’re lucky enough to be in the range of an Enterprise location, you should consider them for your upcoming move.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Numerous truck sizes are available
  • Tiered insurance offered for all rentals

Cons

  • No one-way rentals
  • Relatively few locations

Services Offered

Enterprise offers the following for residential moves:

  • Truck rentals, including 15, 16, 24, and 26-foot moving vans
  • Moving supplies, including boxes and tape

Enterprise Cost

Enterprise’s rates for local moves are a bit higher than some of its competitors, but its mileage fees are highly competitive. Daily costs for renting its trucks range from $89 to around $230, with pickup trucks costing the least and 26-foot trucks being the most expensive option. Mileage rates average around $.40 per mile, which beats industry norms. You’ll also need to budget money for insurance, which typically averages $30 per day.

State Availability: 48 states, with no locations in Vermont and Wyoming.

Why Trust House Method

  • 24 key factors analyzed
  • 1,000+ relocation services parsed
  • 1,000+ customer reviews analyzed

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 25 critical data points across multiple companies to identify what makes a great moving company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 40 moving providers for services provided, relocation costs, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their next move.

What to look for when renting a moving truck

Whether you’re planning to move a studio apartment or a four-bedroom home, the list of criteria you will use to evaluate different truck rental companies will remain pretty similar. With most providers nowadays, online booking has become the norm. You won’t be forced to sit on the phone while on hold to book your reservation. Before you book your DIY move to a new home, look into the following:

  • Truck size: There is an enormous difference in capacity between a 10-foot truck and a 26-foot truck. The former can fit most studio apartments, while the latter can fit a typical three-bedroom home. Your moving truck size will be dictated by your actual home size, parking availability, and truck rental options in your area.
  • Insurance: Renters are always afforded the option of purchasing additional insurance. Different policies will offer different levels of coverage. For example, most insurance policies that you purchase will protect against collisions only. The actual box containing your belongings will have a separate policy if any.
  • Rental costs: Different firms will have slightly different rental rates. This can mean varied per-mile or per-diem charges (or both), as well as varied policies on refueling. If you’re lucky enough to have different options for rental services in your area, then you should evaluate each that is available.
  • Customer reviews: Reviews will typically tell you all that you need to know about a given local rental office. Even for nationwide rental truck providers with largely positive reviews, there are sure to be a few subpar locations in the mix. Customer reviews will tell you how reliable different locations are when providing guarantees on equipment availability, roadside assistance, and more.

What costs are involved with renting a moving truck?

Budgeting is a huge part of any moving process. Here are a few costs that will factor into any rental truck move. DIY relocations are still the cheapest way to move by a wide margin, but rising fuel costs have increased moving price points across the industry.

  • Daily rental fee: Most truck rental locations will have a base rental fee for all trucks rented. U-Haul’s advertised $19.99 or $29.99 rates are exactly this: a daily rate that only makes up a fraction of your total cost.
  • Insurance: Insurance is typically offered and recommended but not required. Most rental companies will not have compulsory insurance, but you should consider the added fee if you’re driving along tight roads or don’t have much experience.
  • Fuel costs: One thing that is just as true for a truck rental as for a car rental is that you’ll have to fill up your truck to its original level upon completing your move. Of course, this is aside from other fill-ups that you may or may not need during your move. Worth noting is that fully-loaded 26-foot trucks get between 8-13 miles to the gallon.
  • Mileage: You’ll also have to pay-per-mile fees with most truck rental companies. These can range between $0.79 and $1.29 per mile and will be calculated using your truck odometer.

Final Thoughts

The planning phase of any move should begin around eight weeks prior to moving day. This is true regardless of pickup location, move size or distance, or the season during which you’re moving.

Begin your moving process by making a thorough inventory list for all goods you’re taking with you. Once you do this, you’ll be prepared to book your truck rental with a defined pickup date. Any add-ons like packing or other services will have to be arranged separately with other moving companies.

DIY Moving FAQ

What can’t I pack in a rental truck?

If you’ve moved before, the list of banned items should be familiar to you. You can’t, under any circumstances, load the following into a moving truck, whether you’re responsible for it or your movers are:

  • Flammable chemicals
  • Toxic or caustic chemicals (cleaning products)
  • Batteries
  • Fertilizer or live plants
  • Perishable foods
  • Guns or ammunition
  • Pesticides
  • Paint cans
  • Aerosols

Do I need a special driver’s license to operate a moving truck?

Moving truck rental companies make every effort to cater to the broadest possible range of potential clients. So, in most cases, you’ll need a standard driver’s license to rent a moving truck. You will have to exercise far more caution when driving a moving truck of any size and avoid low-clearance bridges and parkways, but you’ll be allowed to drive them with a standard license.

Do I have to purchase insurance coverage with a moving truck rental?

Most box truck rental locations will not require this. That said, it may be something to consider if you’re inexperienced in driving such large vehicles. If you opt for additional insurance, you should look into what your temporary policy covers.

How much does moving labor cost?

Depending on your location, you can expect to pay between $35 and $50 per hour per mover. You’ll typically want to hire at least two, so they can easily handle any large items and work more efficiently.

What are minimum charges?

Minimum charges are imposed by most full-service moving companies and moving labor brokers. Typically, your minimum charge will be for two to four hours of work, no matter how little you need your movers to do.

Does auto insurance cover moving truck rental?

No, your personal auto insurance is unlikely to cover you when driving a moving truck. Moving trucks are usually classified as commercial vehicles, which means that they are not covered under personal auto insurance. However, truck rental companies are legally required to provide you with at least your state’s minimum level of liability insurance when you rent the vehicle.

Are moving trucks difficult to drive?

Moving trucks can be difficult to drive because they cannot stop as quickly as more compact vehicles and they take more time to maneuver around corners safely. When driving a moving truck, always err on the side of caution — drive defensively, leave yourself with plenty of time to stop, and maintain a safe distance between you and any vehicles in front of you.

What should you not pack in a moving truck?

You should not pack any items that might pose a health and safety hazard to your moving team, especially in the event of a collision. Some examples of items that could be deadly in a crash include scuba tanks, aerosol cans, lighter fluid, and nail polish remover. Ask your moving company for a complete list of items that they will not carry to be sure that you aren’t accidentally packing a dangerous item.

Should I hire a professional mover to pack my moving truck?

You may want to hire a professional mover to pack your moving truck if you have a large number of fragile or heavy items to load. Professional movers receive specialized training on the best way to pack and load each item, which means that you’re less likely to arrive at your new home with damaged things.

House Method Rating Methodology

At House Method, our primary goals are to be a reliable source of information and to be totally transparent to our readers. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following formula to render objective ratings – on a scale of 10 points – for the moving companies we review.

  • Transparency (3.0): Communication and being fully straightforward regarding company policies and licensing are incredibly important. A given mover’s willingness to display these, to supply quick quotes, and to provide clearly-worded moving contracts all factor into the three points within this single rating criteria.
  • Cost (2.5): A mover’s cost relative to industry averages, as well as accessibility to cost data play a role in the customer experience as much as anything else. We know that being sure of what you’re paying – and being confident that you’re not overpaying – will ultimately make for a positive move. We’ve weighted cost factors accordingly in our ratings.
  • Customer Service (2.0): Establishing an easy line of contact with your movers during the booking process or during the move itself is a huge asset for any moving client. The stress of moving, in general, can be greatly eased by knowing you can talk to a licensed professional whenever you need to, which is why we’ve listed this as a key rating category. This is where customer reviews come into play; since the majority of complaints stem from poor customer service, feedback from BBB, Yelp, Google, and other review platforms factor into this criteria.
  • Services Offered (1.5): This rates lower on our priority list than many would think, simply due to the fact that many movers provide a similar line of services. However, breadth of service offerings does still vary to a degree.
  • Customization Options (1.0): Having the autonomy to fully customize your move should rate highly on any moving checklist. Here, we’ve taken moving package customization ability, as well as pricing for more involved add-ons. Steep pricing for such services can provide something of a soft barrier for clients looking to add to their move, and we’ve taken this into consideration.

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