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Best Moving Truck Rental Companies

Paying for a truck makes moving so much easier.

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BYChris Teague/ LAST UPDATED ON August 3, 2022
Best Moving Truck Rental Companies
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When you’re young, moving is as easy as plying a few friends with beer and pizza and borrowing somebody’s pickup truck. Getting older complicates the whole process. Having more stuff, a larger family, fewer friends, and less energy, along with more fragile bones, makes moving a real pain, so the trusty pickup truck might not be the best option for your needs. That’s where moving companies come in. 

The Drive’s editors have moved a few times in their lives, and have rented a variety of trucks across the country. And while renting a moving truck is far from the most exciting thing you can do, having the space and power to move all of your junk is worth the effort. 

In order to help you figure out which company deserves your hard-earned cash, we’ve gathered a list of our favorite moving truck rental companies with an eye on experience, selection, and convenience. Let’s get rolling.

Our Methodology

The Drive’s editors combine years of experience renting trucks with deep research to find the truck rental companies that provide the best service with the most convenience and value. We chose to avoid smaller regional rental companies in favor of those that we can feel confident recommending. This roundup is based on customer reviews, a company’s rental options, and pricing. 

Though cost is certainly important, our selections don’t focus entirely on price. The rental experience and auxiliary services are important, so the best rental company isn’t necessarily the cheapest option. Head to The Drive’s Gear About page for more information

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Penske

Penske is a large national moving truck provider. The company operates locations in all 50 states and Canada, and offers one-way rentals with unlimited mileage limits. Might not work if you’re moving to Hawaii but it’s worth a shot. While its fleet isn’t as expansive as U-Haul’s Penske promises that its trucks are the newest in the business, so you’ll have a nice clean ride to your destination. Penske’s truck sizes include:

  • Cargo van
  • 12-foot truck
  • 16-foot truck
  • 22-foot truck
  • 26-foot truck

In addition to generous rental policies for one-way trips, Penske offers several discount programs, including a AAA discount, military discount, and college student pricing.

Takeaways

  • Trucks: Five sizes
  • Largest Truck: 1,700 cubic feet
  • Price Level: Expensive

Pros

  • Best value for larger trucks
  • Multiple discounts available
  • One-way rentals offer unlimited mileage

Cons

  • Truck selection is not as broad as others
  • Not as many locations as some competitors
  • Some rentals are far pricier than the competition

U-Haul

U-Haul is the most recognizable name in moving trucks, and for good reason. The company’s overdone paint work and low advertised pricing make it impossible to ignore. There’s also no missing U-Haul’s physical footprint, as the company operates stores in all states, and many include self-storage services, trailer rentals, and retail operations with moving supplies. U-Haul says it works with truck manufacturers to design load floors and other components that cater to residential moving rather than commercial purposes. 

Truck sizes include:

  • Pickup truck
  • Cargo van
  • 10-foot truck
  • 15-foot truck
  • 17-foot truck
  • 20-foot truck
  • 26-foot truck

U-Haul does not offer as many discount programs as others, but the company’s massive vehicle fleets mean that it’s less susceptible to demand-related price changes. It’s also important to note that more selection means there’s more chance you’ll find the truck you need.

Takeaways

  • Trucks: Seven sizes
  • Largest Truck: 1,682 cubic feet
  • Price Level: Value

Pros

  • There are U-Haul locations literally everywhere
  • Large selection of truck prices
  • Great local prices
  • Stores are one-stop shops for moving supplies
  • One-way rentals available

Cons

  • Plenty of negative customer reviews 
  • Not as many discounts available
  • Confusing reservation process

Budget

You may know Budget as a car rental company at the airport but it also offers moving trucks from its extensive network of locations across the country. Budget’s per-mile pricing can be as much as half or more of the cost of its competitors, making it one of the best values and an excellent choice for local moves. That said, the math doesn’t stay as compelling for longer trips. 

Budget’s rental fleet includes:

  • Cargo van
  • 12-foot truck
  • 16-foot truck
  • 26-foot truck

Budget’s list of available discounts is long and includes price reductions for police and first responders, students, military, AARP members, and more. 

Takeaways

  • Trucks: Four sizes
  • Largest Truck: 1,698 cubic feet
  • Price Level: Mid-range

Pros

  • Plenty of discounts
  • Seasonal rates
  • Cost-effective for local or shorter moves
  • Full-size pickups available
  • One-way rentals available

Cons

  • Smaller fleet than rivals
  • Not many physical locations
  • Mixed customer service reviews

Home Depot

Yes, Home Depot rents moving trucks, though your rental may end up coming from Penske. The home improvement giant partners with the truck rental company to provide services for longer moves, which can be helpful if your local area doesn’t have many other options. Home Depot’s in-house fleet includes a pickup truck, a flatbed, and cargo vans, and the smaller vehicles can be great for cheap, quick in-town moves. 

Home Depot’s rental choices include:

  • Full-size pickup (F-250 or similar)
  • Flatbed truck with 10-foot bed
  • Cargo vans
  • 12-foot truck (Penske)
  • 16-foot truck (Penske)
  • 22-foot truck (Penske)

Takeaways

  • Trucks: Eight sizes
  • Largest Truck: 1,698 cubic feet
  • Price Level: Budget

Pros

  • Local moves can be super cheap
  • Three smaller truck sizes
  • Convenient locations
  • One-way rentals available through Penske

Cons

  • Trucks come from Penske
  • Not as many sizes or additional services offered
  • Some moves can be much more expensive than the competition

Two Men and a Truck 

Two Men and a Truck is not a rental service, as the company provides full-service moves, home staging, and plenty of other related services. However, if you’re looking to move and have any doubts about your ability to get the job done yourself with a few beer- and pizza-motivated friends, a company like Two Men and a Truck can be your lifesaver. If you need storage and other services, Two Men locations offer solutions. We chose the company because of its popularity and widespread availability, but you may find a local moving company with better rates and more agreeable service. 

Though it’s nice having someone do the moving for you, it’s important to remember that costs can add up quickly. If you need boxes, fragile items moved, or other specialty services, the bill you see at the end of your move may be shocking. Of course, convenience is an upgrade many people are willing to pay for. 

Takeaways

  • Trucks: Varies
  • Largest Truck: Whole-home moves available
  • Price Level: Expensive

Pros

  • Have someone else do the hard work
  • Quotes and reservation process very simple
  • Plenty of additional services available
  • Operates in 46 states

Cons

  • Gets expensive fast
  • No locations in four states
  • Reviews shift from location to location

Our Verdict on Moving Truck Rental Companies

Renting a moving truck certainly isn’t the most fun thing to spend money on, but some companies make it easier than others. Penske and U-Haul are the two biggest names in the business because they make the process easy and they’re large enough to fix problems when they go wrong. That said, the fine print is where things can go sideways and all rental companies have plenty of it. 

What to Consider When Buying Moving Truck Rental Companies

Renting a car is one thing but renting a large truck can be a shocking experience if you’re not used to piloting such a vehicle. If this is your first experience behind the wheel of a large truck, make sure you’re able to take the time you need to understand how it reacts to inputs and handles on the road. 

Here are a few other considerations you should think about before you sign on the dotted line.

How Do I Avoid Truck Rental Scams?

While there seem to be more scams involving moving companies than there are with truck rentals, it’s still important to be vigilant when getting ready to move. 

  • Make sure you are using a reputable company for rentals and try to avoid shady discount sites or programs
  • Carefully read your paperwork and understand the terms
  • Use a credit card with fraud protection instead of a debit card or cash

What is Considered Peak Truck Rental Season?

Some people are lucky enough to live in a place with relatively comfortable weather year-round, but for everyone else, there are seasons to contend with. That makes summer the most popular moving season and peak truck rental season, with as much as 70 percent of annual moves taking place during the warmer months. 

What is the Difference Between In-Town and Long-Distance Truck Rental?

In-town truck rentals involve short trips between locations and a return to the same rental location. These moves can be quite cheap, as some rental companies charge a small per-mile fee on top of a rental charge. At the end of the move, the truck is returned to the same location. 

Long-distance rentals usually involve one-way trucks that are rented in one location and returned at the destination. Many rental companies set flat-rate prices for these trips instead of charging by the mile.

Moving Truck Rental Companies Pricing 

Local moves are generally more affordable than longer trips and can cost as little as $100 or so, depending on the truck and location. Longer moves can cost up to $2,000 or more, especially if you have an assisted move or if you’ve added services to your rental. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: When should I rent my moving truck?

A: The best time to rent a truck is as soon as you have your date set and know what you’ll be moving. Give yourself as much lead time as possible to avoid missing out on the truck you need and paying more.

Q: How old do I have to be to rent a moving truck?

A: Companies generally require drivers to be 18 years old to rent a truck, though some offer other rentals to younger drivers. U-Haul, for example, offers trailer rentals to people as young as 16 years old.

Q: How can I save money on my truck rental?

A: Save money on your truck rental by paying attention to any available discount programs. Ask which you’re eligible for and find out if they can be combined. You may also be able to save money using credit card promotional rates, and some insurance companies offer moving benefits, so it pays to know what’s available to you.

Q: Do I refuel the moving truck myself?

A: Yes, in most cases, you’re on the hook to refuel the truck at the end of your trip. Just like car rental companies, the truck provider will refuel and charge your card a set per-gallon amount. Though fuel prices are crazy right now, rental companies’ prices are almost always more expensive than the price at the pump.

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