Renting a moving truck would be your most budget-friendly option whether you’re relocating your entire home office or transporting only a few pieces of furniture. Your savings would mostly come from cutting labor costs. However, it would also mean packing your stuff, hauling it into the vehicle, driving it over to your new place and unpacking it all by yourself.

best moving truck rental services

Here, we discuss the pros and cons of using a rental truck for moving and the best truck rental companies of 2021. Relocating is generally pricey, but detailed preparation and little creative tweaks here and there can help you reduce your moving expenses. If you’ve been thinking of relocating but want to do it inexpensively, you should consider moving your belongings by driving a rental truck. 

When Should You Use a Rental Truck for Moving?

Truck rentals have several advantages, but they are not for everyone. The following are the biggest reasons why people would consider renting a truck as their primary moving option:



Truck Rentals Save a Ton of Money

If you have a big family or network of friends willing to help you with your move, you can save huge on labor costs.

The hourly rate of one professional mover is $25-50 without tips, and it can go higher in metro cities. It typically takes 2-3 movers about 5 hours to move a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment. Their services include packing, loading and unloading items into and from a moving truck and unpacking.

Truck driver wages are calculated separately. In the US, the average hourly salary of a moving truck driver is around $17. However, moving companies can charge as high as $70 per hour for drivers’ services.

Meanwhile, friends and family can help you move your items for free or in exchange for a few freebies. You also don’t have to pay a truck driver if you feel good about driving large vehicles. Otherwise, you must find a professional moving truck driver on your own. Typical per-mile fees range from $0.65 to $0.99, though you may add extra for food, hotel costs, tips, etc. if you’re relocating at least 500 miles away.


Pay Only for the Time You Use

Renting a portable storage container is both convenient and cheaper than hiring a professional moving company. However, the extra payment you make for storage is something that you can skip if you don’t need the service. Meanwhile, truck rentals let you pay only for the time, gas and mileage you use.

If you’re sure of your moving dates and know that you can finish everything within the allotted period, renting a moving truck is the more economical choice.


You Retain Access to Your Belongings during Transport

Moving companies deny access to your belongings while they are in their keeping. With a rented truck, you can access your stuff anytime.


No Parking Permit is Necessary

In some places, you may need to apply for a permit from the local government, homeowners’ association or both so you can park a storage cube near your property. Rental trucks, however, are street-legal, so there is no need to apply for parking permits.

Rental Trucks

On the other hand, the following are the disadvantages of renting a moving truck:


Loading and Unloading Are Not That Easy

Most moving trucks are elevated 4 feet from the ground, higher than most storage containers. This increases their injury risk. A ramp can help, but it can still risk furniture and equipment damage if it is too narrow or frail.


Somebody Has to Drive It

You need to find your own driver if you opt for a truck rental over hiring a professional moving company or leasing portable storage. It will not be a big deal if you or a close contact can drive huge vehicles easily. Otherwise, you will need to make room for a driver’s services in your schedule and budget.


You Must Be Sure of Your Moving Dates

Truck rental reservations are generally made well in advance, especially during high-demand seasons when availabilities can run out quickly. Since extended storage is out of the question, you need to be sure of your moving dates before signing up for a truck rental. 

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You Can Be Charged Extra for Truck Damages

Professional movers and portable storage unit providers bear the risks and costs of truck damage. This is not the case when renting a moving truck, as the vehicle becomes your responsibility during the lease period. Any damage to it will appear on your final bill.

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You May Need to Get Extra Insurance

Aside from insuring your belongings, truck rental companies may require additional auto insurance covering the leased vehicle. Unless your existing policy extends to truck rentals, this is another item that you need to squeeze into your budget and task schedule. Without it, the company may refuse your request or stick you with a big bill if they notice any truck damage.

If you are willing to take on these responsibilities, you should go ahead and find the most suitable truck rental for your needs.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Truck Rental Company?

Truck rental companies have varying policies and customs. You must research each one thoroughly—even try to haggle—to get the most value for your money. Here are some things to consider when looking for a truck rental service:

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Truck Rental Company



Distance impacts costs and service types.

Some providers will offer a limited amount of time and mileage in your rental package. Others are more generous, offering unlimited mileage. The first one can be a very cheap option if you don’t expect to make many detours during your trip. But if you do, the latter can probably serve you better.

Also, not all companies offer interstate moves or one-way rentals, which do not require you to drive the vehicle back to where you got it from. You need to figure out which type of service can be both convenient and cost-effective for you.



Not every truck rental company has multiple branches in every town. Some even have only a few in some states.

Learn More:

If you were planning to get a one-way rental, it would be inconvenient to have to return the vehicle to a far-off town after a tiresome drive. Worse, the mileage may add to your expenses. So you might want to rent a truck from an establishment that has at least one branch close to your destination. Again, pick the kind of service that balances costs and convenience.


Truck Size

Like storage cubes, rental trucks also come in different sizes. The bigger the size, the higher are the daily rental and mileage fees. Rental truck capacities are usually posted on the company’s website or given by customer service.


Certainty of Moving Dates

Most truck rental services allow you to book ahead of your moving dates. Lucky for you if they happen to offer a seasonal discount when you make your reservation. However, establishments that offer hourly rentals do not take reservations and will need you to pick up the truck on-site only when you need it. Make sure to have all booking requirements if you choose this type of service.



Transport risks damage to your property and that of the company, so getting insurance will always be an issue at some point. Some providers include inexpensive insurance in their lease packages, while others make it optional. There are those that offer them for heftier sums, while the rest may require proof of third-party coverage instead.

Insurance benefits you in the end, no doubt, but know that you always have control over their costs.

Regardless of how each company advertises to you, the above criteria should help you decide independently about which moving service suits you the best.

What Are the Best Moving Truck Rental Companies of 2021?

Here, we discuss the best moving truck rental companies in each category and the reasons why they top that class.

U-Haul Truck Rental

Budget Truck Rental

Penske Truck Rental

The Home Depot Truck Rental

Most Widely Available Service: U-Haul Truck Rental

U-Haul Truck Rental Service

Remember when Dorothy Boyd almost drove a U-Haul truck cross-country, but Jerry Maguire stopped her and asked her to marry him instead?

Long before it started to offer portable storage container services, U-Haul has already established itself as a reliable name in moving truck rentals. It has been in operation since 1945. Currently, it has more than 21,000 locations in all 50 US states and 10 Canadian provinces. Its fleet consists of 176,000 trucks, 127,000 trailers, and 41,000 towing equipment, and the numbers continue to grow. 

In-town rentals start at $19.95 per day with an additional $0.99 per mile. Hundred-mile relocations can go for less than $150, though it can increase depending on your destination.

Moves greater than 500 miles exhibit bigger destination-dependent differences. For example, trips from San Diego, CA to St. Louis, MO cost $500 more than those from San Diego, CA to Colorado Springs, CO, even though the former is 800 miles farther.

U-Haul has five different size box trucks for moving: 10’, 15’, 17’, 20’ and 26’. Aside from these, it also has pickups and cargo vans for transporting odds and ends. It boasts of having low-deck vehicles to help customers load and unload their stuff easily. It also offers the lowest insurance fees.

U-Haul is known for giving the least expensive initial quotes that end up in much higher final tabs. The seemingly undeclared charges usually come from additional mileage, taxes, environmental fees, etc. When you get a U-Haul truck rental quote, expect a jump of 20-25% on your final bill.

Advantages of Renting U-Haul
  • Most widely available
  • Lowest insurance prices
  • Multiple truck sizes
  • Low-deck vehicles
  • Trucks come with load ramps
  • Has an optional moving labor service, Moving Help
  • Offers one-way rentals
  • Has 24/7 roadside assistance
  • User-friendly website, with easy online booking features
Disadvantages of Renting U-Haul
  • Does not offer unlimited mileage
  • Expect final bills to be much higher than initial quotes
  • Some reservations are not guaranteed, especially during peak seasons. Call one day before your move to confirm.

Best Value for Local Moves: Budget Truck Rental

Budget Truck Rental for Local Moves

Budget Truck Rental LLC is operated by another vehicle rental behemoth, Avis Budget Group, Inc. It has more than 2,800 branches all over the US. It also has four vehicle sizes: a cargo van, 12’, 16’ and 26’. Leases start at $39.99 a day with a $0.79 per-mile fee.

Budget Truck Rental’s initial rates may seem higher than U-Haul’s. However, it offers different discount types—seasonal, demographic-specific, loyalty reward offers, etc.—as well as price-matching. With all the price cuts combined, you will find yourself getting a cheaper local move quote than its biggest competitors.

Advantages of Using Budget Truck Rental
  • Nationwide availability
  • Discounts and price-matching significantly lower its price
  • Insurance options
  • Several vehicle sizes
  • Trucks have load ramps
  • Has one-way rentals
  • Offers 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Its user-friendly website has convenient online booking tools
Disadvantages of Using Budget Truck Rental
  • Does not offer unlimited mileage
  • Surcharges may also inflate initial quotes, but not to the same extent as in U-Haul
  • Add-ons may cost more than those offered by U-Haul

Best Value for Long-Distance Moves: Penske Truck Rental

Penske Truck Rental

Penske Truck Rental has over 2,500 branches in the US and Canada. It offers one-way rentals and has four different truck sizes: 12’, 16’, 22’ and 26’. Prices start at $59.99 per day and can go as high as $99.99 per day, depending on the truck size. Per-mile charges cost $0.79-0.99.

Penske is one of those truck rental companies offering unlimited mileage, and it is available for both local and long-distance one-way rentals. This is the more cost-effective choice for local moves where you need to make multiple detours and distant relocations.

Penske’s initial quotes may seem higher at first than its competitors, U-Haul and Budget Truck Rental, but the fewer additional charges make them much closer to the final bill.

Advantages of Renting Penske Trucks
  • Nationwide availability
  • Unlimited mileage for one-way rentals
  • Insurance options
  • Initial quotes are much closer to the final prices
  • Offers various discounts
  • Several truck sizes
  • Moving trucks come with load ramps
  • Partners up with Simple Moving Labor for optional moving assistance
  • Has 24/7 roadside help
  • Its website is user-friendly and has straightforward online booking tools
Disadvantages of Renting Penske Trucks
  • Higher local move rates
  • Higher rates for transporting small homes

Best Hourly Rental Service: The Home Depot Truck Rental

The Home Depot Truck Rental

The Home Depot is popularly known as a home improvement retailer brand, with over 2,200 branches nationwide. In recent years, it has also added home moves to its services through The Home Depot Truck Rental’s Load-n-Go vehicles. 

Load-n-Go trucks are used only for local moves. The Home Depot Truck Rental fleet is made of cargo vans and box trucks of multiple sizes. Cargo van rentals start at $19 for the first 75 minutes, with an additional $5 every 15 minutes after that. Box truck rentals start at $29 for the first 75 minutes, also increasing in $5 increments every 15 minutes.

Mileage is unlimited. One-way rentals are not available, so you have to return the vehicle to the same store where you got it from. Additionally, it must be returned during store hours only.

The Home Depot Truck Rental does not accept advance local move bookings. If you want to lease a Load-n-Go truck, you need to be on the site early to get one. Aside from a driver’s license, the company requires proof of third-party auto insurance before renting a vehicle.

For long-distance transport, The Home Depot has partnered up with Penske so that some of its retail store branches also serve as pickup sites for Penske rental trucks. You can reserve these vehicles through Penske’s website. The latter company’s rates also apply. After-hours returns are allowed for Penske trucks.

The Home Depot’s biggest competitor, Lowe’s, also offers truck rental services. However, it only has one vehicle size—the pickup truck—which is also restricted to local moves.

Advantages of Renting The Home Depot’s Load-n-Go Trucks
  • Nationwide availability
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Pay only for the time block you use
  • No hidden fees
  • Offers several truck sizes
  • Load-n-Go trucks come with load ramps
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Long-distance moves, including insurance, arranged via Penske
Disadvantages of Renting The Home Depot’s Load-n-Go Trucks
  • Not for local moves
  • Steep extra charges beyond the first 75 minutes
  • Proof of third-party auto insurance required
  • Loading assistance is available only if store employees are not busy
  • Does not accept advance local move bookings
  • Must be returned during store hours

You Complete Me: How Else Can You Reduce Your Moving Costs?

To further reduce your relocation expenses, you may also do the following:

If you can manage the risks of a small business, you can certainly manage those that come with a DIY move.


Truck rentals provide the most affordable means of transporting items from one home office to another. They let you save on professional movers’ and moving truck drivers’ fees if you are willing to step in for their jobs or outsource them. You also have to be sure of your moving dates to get your money’s worth. Different truck rental companies offer different perks, so you must study all your options before reserving a vehicle for your home office move.

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