Truck rental services might seem like the best option available for you when you move. After all, who doesn’t want complete freedom when it comes to planning your own tasks? You surely must’ve searched for reputable truck rental companies, and quite possibly came across the names Penske and U-Haul Truck Rental.

You most likely know how U-Haul was one of the first companies that started helping people by providing them with moving services. U-Haul also introduced the moving and storage industry to moving containers. On the other hand, although Penske came into the market after U-Haul, it established firm control over the industry by offering great moving deals to its customers.

We would be very surprised if you didn’t face a dilemma when it came to choosing one of these companies. Let us help you by examining how these companies fare against each other.


What Services are Offered by Penske and U-Haul?

If you are planning a DIY truck rental move, you can rest assured that both Penske and U-Haul can help you out with that. You simply have to make a reservation. On the scheduled day, you would have to pick-up the truck from their facility, load it up and drive it to your new home by yourself. Once you reach your destination, unload your stuff and just return the truck to the nearest facility. Now, let us look at some specific services offered by both companies.

Penske Truck Rental:

Penske offers trucks for both local moves as well as one-way moves to all its customers. If you ever want to rent a truck from Penske, you can choose between the different sizes of trucks offered by them. In addition to this, Penske also provides you with several additional services by partnering up with different kinds of companies like Supply Side, U-Ship, Hire-a-Helper, etc. Through these partnerships, the company provides you with motorcycles and watercraft shipping, moving supplies, helpers, storing services, and task organizational services.

They make sure that the loading process is easier by providing you with hand trucks, dollies, and moving pads as well. The bigger Penske trucks can also be used to tow your vehicles while you move to a new place. The best part about Penske is that free roadside assistance is included in your reservation.

Get a Quote from Penske

U-Haul Truck Rental:

Like Penske, U-Haul offers rental trucks for both local and long-distance moves. U-Haul is known for offering a wide variety of sizes of trucks to all its customers. U-Haul does sell packaging supplies and provides you with additional services like storage services too. But, Penske provides more add-on services in comparison to U-Haul. You cannot forget that U-Haul will offer you something that you won’t find at Penske’s. We are talking about moving containers here. You can always change your mind and opt for moving containers instead of rental trucks when you choose U-Haul.

If that’s not enough, U-Haul also offers its customers moving trailers (cargo trailers) and utility trucks. This is something you won’t find at Penske facilities. You can also tow your vehicles with the towing equipment offered by U-Haul. Lastly, U-Haul does provide you with roadside assistance when you rent out their trucks. But you will have to pay a small fee to avail of this service.

As you may have noticed, there isn’t much difference in the services offered by both the companies. Both U-Haul and Penske offer some common services and some services that are unique to each one of them.

Also See: U-Haul Truck Rental Review

Get a Quote from U-Haul


Availability of Locations: Penske vs U-Haul

Penske Truck Rental:

Penske truck rental owns more than 2,500 locations and covers about 48 states of the USA. There is a possibility that you might not find a Penske location nearby your house. However, retailers like Home Depot also offer Penske trucks to their customers.

Get a Quote from Penske

U-Haul Truck Rental:

U-Haul has a wider outreach than Penske. U-Haul has opened up more than 21,000 locations across all 50 states and in Canada as well. Wide availability is the strength of U-Haul. Finding a U-haul location is quite easy and if the location near your house does not have the truck that you need, you can simply drive to another location!

Both the companies have locations spread across the nation, but U-Haul has upped its game by opening up thousands of locations. This does not mean that you will find the right size of a rental truck every time at all U-Haul locations. You need to call up both Penske and U-Haul locations to enquire about which trucks are available at the moment before booking.

Get a Quote from U-Haul


Sizes of Trucks Offered: Penske vs U-Haul

The range of sizes offered by U-Haul is bigger than that offered by Penske. Let us look at the different sizes of trucks and trailers offered by Penske and U-Haul.

Penske Truck Rental:

Penske offers 5 different sizes of trucks. You can rest assured that your stuff will reach your new place safely because their trucks are quite sturdy. In addition to this, Penske is an environmentally conscious company. That is why they use Diesel as fuel for their bigger trucks. As a result of this, their vehicles are very fuel-efficient in nature.

What makes Penske Truck stand out is that you get to use new trucks every time you rent out a truck from Penske. This is so because Penske changes its trucks every 2 years. You basically don’t have to worry about their trucks malfunctioning because they are all new. Additionally, they have installed non-slip wooden floors in their trucks. This ensures that your stuff doesn’t move around and break while the truck is in transit. Let us look at the different sizes of trucks offered by Penske Truck Rental.

See Also: Penske Truck Rental Review

Cargo Vans 12 Foot Truck 16 Foot Truck22 Foot Truck 26 Foot Truck
Dimensions11’11″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″
Space Available404 cu. ft.450 cu. ft.800 cu. ft.1200 cu. ft.1700 cu. ft.
Floor Space Available53 sq. ft. 78 sq. ft. 120 sq. ft. 164 sq. ft. 192 sq. ft.
Home size1 room1-2 rooms 2-3 rooms 3-5 rooms 5-7 rooms
Weight Limit3,500 lbs. 3,100 lbs. 4,300 lbs. 10,000 lbs. 10,000 lbs.
Fuel Tank Limit31 Gallons 33 Gallons 33 Gallons 50 Gallons50 Gallons
FuelGasoline Gasoline Gasoline Diesel Diesel
MPG12 mpg 12 mpg 12 mpg 13 mpg 13 mpg
Number of Seats22233
Ramp Not Available Not Available Available Available Available
Towing Not Available Not Available Available Available Available

Get a Quote from Penske

U-Haul Truck Rental:

U-Haul, give tough competition to Penske when it comes to truck sizes. They offer 7 sizes of trucks and 4-5 different sizes of cargo trailers and utility trucks. Their trucks have been engineered in a way to make your move super convenient. All their trucks have low decks which facilitate easy loading. In addition to this, the ramps provided by them are wider and sturdier. The best part about U-Haul is that all their trucks (smallest size of truck included) can be used to tow a vehicle.

One thing you need to be careful about when you rent a truck from U-Haul is that their trucks might malfunction. This is so because their trucks are always in high demand which leads to wear and tear of the vehicles. To avoid any inconvenience, you must check whether the truck works properly before renting it out. Let us now look at the specifics of rental trucks offered by U-Haul.

Get a Quote from U-Haul

Small Trucks for Smaller Moves

Pick-Up Truck Cargo Van
Dimensions7’10” x 5’2″ x 1’9″9’6″ x 5’7″ x 4’8″
Deck Height from Ground3’2’5″
Storage CapacityDepends on you,
it’s an open roofed truck.
245 cu. ft.
Weight Limit1,897 lbs. 3,880 lbs.
Home SizeSmall studio home/dorm roomSmall studio home/dorm room
Fuel Tank Limit34 Gallons 25 Gallons
FuelUnleaded Fuel (Gasoline) Unleaded Fuel (Gasoline)
MPGUp to 19 mpg Up to 18 mpg
Number of Seats3 2
TowingTowing Capacity Up to 6,000 lbs. Not Mentioned

Big Trucks for Heavier Loads

10-Foot Truck 15-Foot Truck 17-Foot Truck 20-Foot Truck 26 Foot Truck
Dimensions9’11” 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″ 26’2″ x 8’2″ x 8’3″

Mom’s Attic Dimensions
Does not have Mom’s Attic 2’6″ x 7’8″x 2’7″ 2’6″ x 7’8″ x 2’72’6″ x 7’8″ x 2’7″ 2’8″ x 8’2″ x 3’3″
Deck Height from Ground 2’5″ 2’10” 2’10” 2’11” 2′ 11″
Storage Capacity 402 cu. ft. 764 cu. ft. 865 cu. ft. 1,016 cu. ft. 1,682 cu. ft.
Weight Limit 2,850 lbs. 6,385 lbs. 6,160 lbs. 5,700 lbs. 9,010 lbs.
Home Size Studio/Small 1 Bedroom Apartment 1-2 Bedroom Apartment 2- Bedroom Home 2 Bedroom Home/3 Bedroom Apartment 3-4 Bedroom Home
Fuel Tank Limit 33 gallons 40 gallons 40 gallons 40 gallons 60 gallons
Fuel Unleaded Fuel (Gasoline) Unleaded Fuel (Gasoline) Unleaded Fuel (Gasoline) Unleaded Fuel (Gasoline) Unleaded Fuel (Gasoline)
MPG Up to 12 mpg Up to 10 mpg Up to 10 mpg Up to 10 mpg Up to 10 mpg
Number of Seats2 3333
Towing Capacity Up to 6,000 lbs. Up to 10,000 lbs. Up to 10,000 lbs. Up to 7,500 lbs. Up to 7,500 lbs.

Utility Truck and Cargo Trailers

Utility Truck SizesCargo Trailers
4 x 7 ft. 4 x 8 ft.
5 x 8 ft.5 x 8 ft.
5 x 9 ft. 5 x 10 ft.
6 x 12 ft.6 x 12 ft.
6 x 12 ft. (with a ramp)

How much do Rental Trucks Cost: Penske v/s U-Haul

Penske Truck Rental:

If you are going for a local move, Penske will charge you with a base rental rate and a per-mile rate. On the other hand, you will be charged a fixed amount that includes a certain number of days and unlimited mileage for your one-way moves. If in case you wish to keep the truck with you for some additional days, you will have to pay around $100 per day. However, keep in mind that this applies to only one-way moves.

Their rates might seem a little bit high in the beginning, but you must know that Penske Truck Rental follows a transparent pricing policy. Thus, you can rest assured that the quote you get is what you will have to pay in the end. You should know that Penske also charges you with a $9 environmental fee because they are determined to reduce their carbon footprint. Renting a truck from Penske can cost you anywhere between $80 – $2,800 on average. Your rental amount depends on the size of the truck you rented and the distance of your move.

You will be asked to pay a security deposit of $100. However, you have to pay a security deposit only if you are renting a truck for a local move. Security deposits are not to be paid when you book your one-way moves online and pay using your credit cards. Let us look at how Penske trucks are priced.

You can use a cargo van only for local moves. For this, you will have to pay around $199.99 along with a $1.29 per mile fee. If you are renting out their bigger trucks, you will have to pay anywhere between $29,99 – $49.99 along with a $0.79 per mile traveled by you. If your move is mid-sized (up to 250 miles), you can expect to pay anywhere between $289 – $312. For a cross-country move, you can expect to pay in the range of $810 – $1,063.80. Keep in mind that the rental price will include unlimited mileage for mid-sized and long-distance moves.

Get a Quote from Penske

U-Haul Truck Rental:

U-Haul advertises really low base rates for their rental trucks. However, you should know that these low prices do not include the various fees that are charged to you at the end of your move. The final cost of your move depends on a combination of factors that have been discussed below.

Your final cost will include the cost of renting out a truck. If you are going for a local move, you will have to pay a daily rate along with a per-mile rate. If you decide to go for one-way moves, you will be charged a fixed rate. If you decide to keep the truck with you for some additional days during your one-way moves, you will have to pay about $40 per additional day.

For a local move, you can expect to pay anywhere between $19.95 – $39. 95. Along with this, you will also be charged a per-mile rate which can range from $0.59 – $0.79. You can expect to pay in the range of $301 – $395 for a mid-sized move. Finally, you will have to pay anywhere between $950 – $1264 for a cross-country move.

You must remember that the fuel charges are not included in your rental price. Don’t forget to account for fuel charges whenever you create a budget for yourself. To give you a fair idea, you will have to spend $370 on average for a 1000-mile move. In addition to this, U-Haul will also charge you an environmental fee.

If you purchase insurance from U-Haul (you most probably will), you can expect to pay an average amount of $100 per day for it. Finally, at the end of your move, U-Haul will also charge you with certain taxes, so don’t forget to enquire about them before-hand.

Get a Quote from U-Haul

Which Truck Rental Service Is Cheaper?

The answer to this question isn’t that simple. The prices offered by each of the companies will also vary according to the seasonal demand and the availability of trucks. One thing you need to remember is that you don’t have to worry about your final bill being way higher than your quote when you are dealing with Penske. If you go with U-Haul, make sure that you enquire about each and every fee that will be charged to you. Ideally, you should take quotes from both the companies before your move and then decide on one of them.


Insurance Coverage Options: Penske v/s U-Haul

Before you decide to purchase insurance from either Penske or U-Haul, check whether your auto insurance will cover your move. Both Penske and U-Haul offer affordable insurance plans to their customers. Let us look at the coverage options you get when you rent Penske and U-Haul trucks.

Penske Truck Rental:

You have to be at least 21 years old to purchase insurance from Penske. Penske offers you five types of coverage options:

  1. Limited Damage Waiver: The cost of this coverage might account for 10% of your final bill. It will cover the truck and the company equipment if they are damaged due to accidents, thefts, and vandalism. Damages sustained due to your mistakes aren’t covered under it.
  2. Supplemental Liability Insurance: This will give you coverage of up to $1,000,000 for the damage and injury claims made by a third party that was involved in an accident with you.
  3. Personal Accident Insurance: This covers the medical bills of the truck driver and passengers in case of injuries or death during an accident.
  4. Cargo Insurance: This gives you coverage up to $15,000 if any of your stuff gets damaged due to accidents and natural disasters while the truck is in transit. Damages sustained during loading and unloading aren’t covered under this.
  5. Towing Insurance: This will cover all the damages sustained by your vehicle while it is being towed by the rental truck. Damages sustained during the loading and unloading of the vehicle are covered by this plan as well.

Get a Quote from Penske

U-Haul Truck Rental:

U-Haul uses Repwest, which is one of the most reliable and reputable insurance companies to provide its customers with insurance. The two main insurance coverage plans offered by U-Haul are Safemove® and Safemove Plus®.

Under Safemove®, you will get the following three coverage options:

1. Damage Waiver: Covers the damages sustained by the rental truck or the rental equipment. Does not cover damages caused due to busted tires or overhead collisions.

2. Cargo Protection: Covers the damages sustained by your stuff due to collisions, fires, windstorms, or overturning of the truck. In this, you will get up to $25,000 of coverage.

3. Medical and Life Coverage: You will get up to $25,000 of coverage in case of death and about $1000 of coverage for your medical bill if the driver and the passengers sustain any injuries during accidents.

Safemove Plus® is very similar to Safemove®. The main difference between both the plans is that the damage waiver will cover the damages sustained due to overhead collisions and busted tires in Safemove Plus®. Additionally, Safemove Plus® also offers Supplemental Liability Insurance which will give you coverage of up to $1,000,000.

Get a Quote from U-Haul


Things to Consider Before Choosing Penske or U-Haul Truck Rental

Penske Truck Rental U-Haul Truck Rental
Truck Decks The height of the deck offered is very similar to commercial trucks.
The ramp is a little bit wobbly because the deck height is higher.
Specially engineered to provide you with an easy loading experience.
The trucks have low decks. They are also equipped with wider EZ Load ramps.
Size Varieties Penske offers 5 different sizes of trucks to its customers.U-Haul offers 7 different sizes of trucks along with 4-5 different sizes of cargo trailers and utility trucks.
Towing Services The bigger Penske trucks i.e., the 16, 22, and 26-foot trucks can be used to tow your own vehicle. All U-Haul trucks including the smallest ones can be used to tow your own vehicle.
Discounts Offers 10% discount to all military members.
12% off to all members of the AAA.
10% off as a seasonal discount to all customers.
U-Haul offers discounts to all its customers. Check their website for the ongoing deals. They have partnered up with many hotels.
15% off on overnight stays while you move with U-Haul.
12% off on all rental deals for AAA members.
Guaranteed Reservations Yes. Even if the previous customers haven’t returned the trucks in time. Same-day reservations and pick-ups also offered. U-Haul does not offer guaranteed reservations. If the previous customers haven’t returned their trucks, there is a high possibility that you might not get your rental truck on the day of your reservation.
Cancellation Policies Can modify or cancel your reservations without charging any fees (i.e., for free). U-Haul has a flexible cancellation policy as well. You can cancel or modify your reservation for free till 24 hours before your reservation.
Customer Reviews Rarely gets bad customer reviews.
Negative reviews talk about the security deposit that is suddenly charged to the customers.
Quality of service varies from location to location.
U-Haul has received inconsistent (some positive, some negative) reviews from its customers.
Eco-Friendly Practices Parts of the trucks and moving supplies are recycled.
Their bigger trucks use diesel as a result of which their trucks are fuel-efficient.
Additionally, they also update their trucks and install new emission-control technologies regularly.
U-Haul trucks use unleaded fuel to be environmentally friendly. U-Haul also provides its customers with recycled and reusable moving supplies.

Which Company is Better: Penske or U-Haul?

If you ask us, we believe that both Penske and U-Haul are quite similar in what they offer. Each company has its pros and cons. What company is better actually depends on what you need. If you have a tight budget, you might want to go with U-Haul. However, you have to be vigilant about the extra fees that are charged by them. If you want a guaranteed reservation and you are stressed about your truck malfunctioning, you should probably go with Penske.

You must remember that the seasonal demand will also lead to changes in prices and availability of trucks in both companies. In conclusion, we suggest that you get a quote from both the companies whenever you plan to move. You may have your own unique needs and you need to examine which company will help you better. It would be unwise to not consult both of the companies, especially when you have both Penske and U-Haul locations around your house.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you rent a U-Haul with unlimited miles?

U-Haul does not offer unlimited mileage to its customers. Their one-way moves include a certain number of days and a mileage cap. However, this mileage cap is very high. Once that is exceeded, you will be charged with a $0.40 per mile rate.

Does Penske offer unlimited mileage?

Penske stands out in the moving industry because unlike other truck rental companies, Penske offers unlimited mileage for all one-way moves.

Is it cheaper to rent a U-Haul one way?

The rates offered by U-Haul for one-way moves are cheaper than their rates for local moves. This is so because you are charged a daily rate along with a per-mile rate for local moves. On the contrary, you have to pay a fixed amount for a one-way move and there is no per-mile rate charged to you. As a result of this, a long-distance move is much cheaper with a U-Haul rental truck as compared to a local move.

Also Read: List of Affordable Truck Rental Companies