If you’re looking at saving a considerable amount of money while moving homes, then renting a moving truck could be your knight in shining armor. This type of moving comes under the self-move or better known as do-it-yourself category. The low price of this approach will most probably get you to say ‘go on, I’m listening’.

After you hear the typical costs associated with truck rentals, you’ll basically have your foot in the door, which is not always the case with full-service movers. But before you go down this route, you have got to ask yourself if it would practically really be cost effective? And more importantly, whether it’s the right move to make.

To help you figure this out, we’ll give you the average costs you can expect and top truck rental companies you can consider. We’ll also share a few pointers on things you should be aware about before and after hiring a truck rental.

Costs Associated With Hiring A Moving Truck Rental

When you choose to rent a moving truck, you can expect costs to fall somewhere between $130 to $1,780. The lower average ($130) will be more fitting for short moves, while the higher average ($1780) applies for long moves. Costs could very well be below $100 if it is a local move which is roughly anything less than 10 miles or so. This would just be a ballpark estimate and the costs would largely depend on the type of move it is. You should also keep in mind that if it’s a one way trip, the quotes you would receive can be triple the amount you pay for a trip in which you return the truck.

Key Players: Miles And Rental Truck Size

Before you choose to go with truck rentals, jot down the exact miles of your move, from your current pincode to your future home pincode. The miles being covered directly affects the quote you will receive from the truck rental company. Besides miles, the size of the truck you wish to rent out is the next big driving factor in total costs. Which is why it’s best to take a glance at your inventory to know the truck size you should fixate on. This would of course depend on things like your house size and number of heavy items you’re taking along.

For instance, a 10 inch truck would be ideal for a studio or 1-bedroom apartment, and the base charge could be $19.95. But if you live in a 2 to 3 bedroom home, you’d rather stick to a 20 inch truck, where the base charge could round up to $29.95. If you select an even bigger truck, the costs could go upto $39.95. The average for day rentals can range from $20 to $60 and this varies from company to company.

There’s considerable difference in pricing due to truck sizes, but we suggest not to compromise and select the size as per the amount of things you have to take for the move. It is absolutely necessary to reevaluate the possessions you’re taking with you, so that you know which size truck will be best for you. Do note, these figures are just to rent the truck for a day. These base rates are usually advertised to entice customers like yourself. But then again, there are various other add ons that increase the quote gradually.

Takeaway: Miles and the size of the truck are the two primary factors to consider in the costs of hiring a moving truck. In comparison to costs associated with full service movers where the average is $1,200 to $4,800, the average for hiring a rental truck ($130 to $1780) is far more affordable.

See also: How Much Does it Cost to Move

Secondary Players: Mileage, Fuel, Insurance, Equipment And Supplies


One of the first add ons you have to consider is the cost of mileage. Most rental companies would charge less than a dollar per mile. So suppose you’re going to cover 50 miles, you could be charged anywhere from 0.59 to 0.99 cents per mile. You would be paying for the miles from the truck rental location to your old house, then the drive to your new house and even the drive back to return the truck to the place you got it from. We suggest trying to pick a moving branch that’s in close proximity to your new home.

For instance, companies like U-Haul have more than 20,000 locations, so you have the advantage of choosing where you want to drop the truck back. Make it a point to have this discussion before confirming the rental truck company. Another thing you should be double checking is the number of miles that are covered per gallon of fuel consumed. This way, you could roughly calculate the amount you’d spend to refill the tank. Also, do note that mileage costs only apply to short distance moves and not for long distance moves, where you won’t be returning the truck back to the original location.


When you hire a rental truck, you would be the one in charge of keeping track of the fuel levels and paying for it too. You have to bear the fuel costs and get a rough estimate of how much money you would be spending for fuel. We suggest having more information on miles covered per gallon. Once you have that, you can easily do the math by just gauging on how many times you’d need to refuel. Just a tip, older trucks might not give good mileage, so try reserving newer vehicles when you rent one out.

Also, keep in mind that once you rent the truck, there will be a certain amount of fuel in it so that you can drive it to your old home for loading. Ensure that you’re aware of the level of fuel that was in it previously, because when it’s time to return the truck, you’d need to fill it to that exact level. In case you don’t, you may need to pay a fine, so we suggest clarifying this at the beginning itself.


There would be certain insurance requirements you’d need to fulfil with the rental truck company, and there are different policies offered by different companies. Overall, you should be prepared to budget over $100 for insurance. This is a responsible choice to make in scenarios where the truck gets a slight bruise or dent when you drive it.

You could opt for damage coverage just for the truck or an insurance that covers for damages to other vehicles and passengers. It is necessary to make a responsible choice here and not make compromises based on costs. It’s advisable to read the fine print of these insurance policies and what it covers. You don’t want to be on the hook for any damages that happen to the truck since you’d be new to driving a large loaded truck.


Since you’d be handling this move without any professional help, you’re going to most likely need assistance to load the truck. It could physically be impossible to lift too many boxes or heavy items. This is when a dolly would be useful, since the truck will be on a height. You’d also need ropes to tie things down and prevent them from moving. There are various other handy accessories you can rent out to help you load the truck with ease. But you would be charged for each of these hires separately.

See also: How to Pack and Load a Moving Truck


There’s no debate here, packing your possessions would also be your responsibility. You have to take into account the amount of money you’d spend on packing supplies. But then again, the average costs for hiring a professional could be $25 to $40 for an hour (without supplies). This can add up to be pretty expensive in comparison to when you do it yourself.

You can expect to spend somewhere between $160 to $720 on packing supplies. There are several frugal ways in which you can keep the cost of supplies low. But on an average, you would be paying roughly:

  • $1 to $1.50 for Corrugated boxes
  • $12 for Tape dispensers
  • $10 to $15 for Packing paper
  • $10 to $25 for Bubble wrap

It’s necessary to set a budget or cap towards the amount you’d spend for supplies. Bigger the move, the bigger this amount will get.

Top 3 Rental Truck companies

1. Penske Truck Rental

Penske is among the most recognizable names in the moving industry. The company has a fleet of more than 50,000 vehicles and has demand from all over the nation, so it’s best to book their services at least 3 weeks in advance in order to get the truck size you want. You can choose from a 12, 16, 22 and 26 inch rental truck with Penske. Penske is ideal for long distance moves, since they offer unlimited mileage for a one-way move.

Perks Of Using Penske: They have monthly promotional discounts which you can take advantage of. You can also save considerable money if you’re a student or have an AAA membership.

Fees: You can expect to pay between $130 to $1200 a day for a truck at Penske. Do note that the number of trucks available in your area may drive up the costs.

See also: Penske Truck Rental Review

2. U-Haul

U-Haul is yet another company that falls in the top tier for rental truck companies in the US. You can find a U-Haul branch at more than 21,000 locations in the nation and that’s probably why it’s so easy to spot their trucks quite often. With so many options for drop off and pick-up, things could be feasible with U-Haul depending on where you would be moving. With U-Haul, you can pick from a 10, 15, 17, 20 and 26 inch rental truck. Ideal for those looking for affordability, since the insurance offered by U-Haul is among the lowest.

Perks Of Using U-Haul: Estimates aren’t ridiculously expensive and they have various locations which makes things easier when you need to return the truck. Also, the lower loading height of the truck makes it easier to load and unload.

Fees: To rent a 10 foot truck, you can expect to pay $19.95 for a day. But this is just the starting fare, there are various add ons such as insurance, taxes, environmental fees and mileage.

See also: U-Haul Review

3. Budget Truck Rental

If you request for a quote with Budget Truck Rental, you’ll most likely find that the quotes are pretty modestly priced. Like the name of this company goes, you’ll realise that they have no shortage of discounts or ongoing deals on their website to keep costs low. They have just 3 truck sizes to choose from, which is 12, 16 and 26 inch respectively. Budget Truck Rental could be ideal if you’re looking for an economical option.

Perks Of Using Budget Truck Rental: Discounts available for students, AAA members and more. Should come as a surprise, but Budget is also one of the cheapest options for rental trucks. Not a newbie in the moving industry so they do have a huge network too.

Fees: You can expect costs to be $30 to $70 cheaper than the quote you’d receive with U-Haul or Penske, since the mileage with Budget Truck Rental is at 0.79 per mile (approx).

See also: Budget Truck Rental Review

Things To Keep In Mind Before Hiring A Moving Truck Rental

  • Do a walk around of the rental truck and take pictures of damages like scratches before hiring the truck so that you’re not pinned for things that didn’t happen on your watch.
  • It is absolutely necessary to reserve the truck size you need in advance.
  • Don’t get pressured into buying more add ons than required. Stick to the budget you’ve set for yourself.
  • Do not mistake the advertised rates to be the cost you pay, but take into account the add ons such as mileage fees, insurance, tax, supplies, equipment and fuel costs to get a holistic picture of the expenses.
  • Find out more about the fines to be paid for delivering the truck late. This is one aspect that could send the bill through the roof.

Things To Keep In Mind After Hiring A Moving Truck Rental

  • Don’t lose sight of your rental truck when you take breaks for lunch or rest.
  • Ensure you’ve picked the locks for the truck yourself.
  • Keep an eye on the fuel levels and plan these stops in advance.
  • Do your homework on packing the truck efficiently so that your belongings are safe and you’ve made the best use of the space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which companies have the best rental truck rates?

U-Haul, Penske, Budget Truck Rental, The Home Depot and Enterprise are the top 5 companies that have good ratings and affordable prices for moving rental trucks.

Do moving truck rentals have unlimited mileage?

You could take advantage of unlimited mileage only if it is a long distance move. Otherwise, you can expect to pay roughly 0.59 to 0.99 per mile.

Do truck rental companies offer other services other than moving truck rentals?

A large percentage of truck rental companies offer services like towing equipment, storage options and even labor to help with the move. You can pick and choose what you like to customize your move. You can also hire a cargo van or a pickup truck depending on the amount of things you’re taking along.

Is it cheaper to rent a moving truck one-way or round trip?

One-way truck rental is usually cheaper than a round trip for longer moves.

What size moving truck Do I Need for a 2 bedroom house?

You’ll need a medium size moving truck for a 2 bedroom house. The total cubic footage of a two-bedroom home is about 500-750 cubic feet. This will require you to have a 12-22 ft long moving truck, with prices ranging from $300-$1,000 depending on the size of your truck and any additional packing services that may be needed if you’re unable to get rid of or pack up everything before the move.

Does Penske rent one way?

Penske offers free, unlimited miles one-way moves. This is ideal for long-distance movers who are looking to save money on their move.

Is it cheaper to hire movers or rent a truck?

Renting a moving truck is cheaper than hiring movers, but it might not be as cost-effective as you think.

Also Read: Truck Rental Deals and Discounts


Moving truck rentals can be a significantly inexpensive approach to take in comparison to full service movers. You just have to be careful and make sure you don’t fall for prices that are advertised. There’s always different layers to the base fare of moving truck rentals that can make the outstanding total a completely new amount.

This is why it is necessary to be aware of all the factors that contribute to the total you pay for a moving truck rental. Now that you know about the costs you have to bear, you can begin the process of shortlisting a truck rental company that fits your needs. If you’re wondering which company to choose, we sure can help you with some of the best in the business!

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