How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Moving Truck?

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How much does it Cost to Rent a Moving Truck - Moving Feedback

Every smart person who is ready use do-it-yourself (move) usually wonders how much it costs to hire a moving truck. It is no more news that renting a moving truck to transport your belonging is one of the cheapest ways to move. Yeah! Do-it-yourself (DIY) move through moving truck rental has been found to be an excellent idea for both long and local distance moves.  

There are many reliable moving truck rental services out there that can make the job easier for you. For further info on reliable moving truck rental companies, you can choose for your move, read our post on “Best Moving Truck Rental Companies.”

While renting a moving truck is a cheaper option for your move, there are some issues about getting the actual cost of truck rental. There is no doubt the cost of renting a moving truck is relatively lower than hiring a professional moving company.

Obviously, when you do-it-yourself, you rent a moving truck, and as well as get your relatives or employees to help you in packing, loading, and unloading or even hire loaders if there is no one to help you out. However, there are some hidden costs associated with truck rental. If you are not aware about these costs, you may not accurately budget for your move.

To prevent such occurrence, it is essential to know how much it costs to rent a moving truck. Many factors contributed to the determinants of the moving truck rental pricing and costs. Your overall cost is based on a number of components as required by your move. For a start, first ask yourself the following questions:

Is my move a long or local distance?

Will I be able to drop off the moving truck rental at the initial location it was picked up?

What is the level of insurance policy required by my move?

Is my distance less than 300 miles or over?

These and many other questions as they are related to your move should be asked and answered to estimate the cost for your choice moving truck. At the end of this post, you would be able to determine the estimated cost of renting a moving truck. Moving Feedback tries to break it down for proper understanding of the processes involved. Let’s dive into it.

Typical Cost of Renting Moving Trucks Based on Size and Distance

Apart from other related costs, a rough guess for cost of renting a moving truck is based on size and distance. There are different sizes of trucks and it is expected that you rent one based on the volume of items to be moved. Renting 10” moving truck for a 3-bedroom apartment is no going area. Likewise, renting an over-size moving truck such as 26” moving truck for a small room apartment does not economically make sense.

Tabulated below are the typical costs of moving truck rental:

Truck SizeSuitable Apartment MovePrice Range Per DayPrice Range Per Mileage (Additional Charges)
10ft rental truckIt is suitable for 1-bedroom apartment moves$20 – $30 $0.69 – $1.10 per mile
14ft rental truckIt is suitable for 1-room residential moves – up to 10,000 pounds$30 – $40$0.69 – $1.10 per mile
17ft rental truckIt is suitable for 2-bedroom residential moves – up to 13,000 pounds$32 – $42$0.69 – $1.10 per mile
20ft rental truckIt is suitable for 3-bedroom residential moves$40 – $50$0.69 – $1.10 per mile
24ft rental truckIt is suitable for 4-bedroom residential moves$42 – $52

$0.69 – $1.10 per mile
26ft rental truckIt is suitable for 2-bedroom residential moves$45 – $55$0.69 – $1.10 per mile

However, this is just a typical cost, as it may vary based on each moving truck rental company. You have to confirm the actual cost per sizes from your chosen company.

In column 4, rental companies do charge a certain dollar for every mile covered with the truck but varies based on the individual rental company and as well as the day of the week the truck is hired. So, if you want to calculate your cost of renting a moving truck, it also depends on how far you move – which is referred to as mileage.

Besides the above-listed costs, there are other hidden costs associated with renting a moving truck for your move. This will be discussed next.

Hidden Costs of Renting a Moving Truck

When we talk about the hidden costs of renting a moving truck, we are relating to what it takes to drive your own car. I think you would need to fuel the car, cater for a breakdown if it happens, carry out other necessities on the vehicles such as insurance, and others.

Now, when it comes to moving your stuff with hired moving truck, you would need to care for your belonging in terms of handling to prevent damage and all sorts of that. There are some other things you may not even think of when you are renting moving truck for your move. They are as analyzed below:

Fueling Costs

One of the hidden costs of renting a moving truck is the cost of filling up the gas tank of the truck. Many moving truck renters usually think the company will fuel the truck for them; however, this is based on the agreement with the truck owners.

Typically, most moving truck companies allow the consumer to fuel the truck based on the distance of their moves. The companies usually specify on their profile pages the amount of gallon their trucks will consume per 10 miles.

The gas level of the truck will be first marked before the truck is taken away and you must leave the same gas level when you are returning it. It means you have to refill if you use it below the marked level; else, you would be charged a higher amount than what it supposed to be.

Insurance Costs

When you are renting a moving truck to move your belongings, and you are driving it yourself; two insurance packages are required – insurance policy to cover your stuff and as well as a truck insurance policy in case of an unforeseen incident on the road.

Most auto insurance policies are not enough to cover commercial vehicles like moving truck; hence, you would need to purchase truck insurance policy from the truck rental company. This varies based on the rental service you choose and as well as the mileage to be covered.

Most truck companies offer insurance as an option, but it is advisable to buy the companies’ insurance as they have been reviewed to be cheaper than buying from outside.

For example, U-Haul charges $29 daily for full coverage and $15 daily for liability insurance. However, typical insurance liability coverage for your move is at an average of $20 per day

Insurance Rider Cost

Another type of insurance cost you may incur by renting a moving truck is insurance rider cost. In the process of driving or maneuvering the truck in your compound or in the new home, if you damage a property, you will be liable to pay for such damage because you are the one that damage it by not preparing a free way to drive the truck.

To cater for such an incident, you would need to buy an insurance rider to be on a safer side.

Cost Related to Breakdown Issues

Some rental truck service providers cannot be trusted for regular maintenance of their trucks. In the case your truck develops a fault on the highway when you are conveying your belongings; it may take a few hours before the company sends a replacement.

In such a situation, you may spend an additional expense by moving and transferring your load to a new truck sent by the company.

Cost of Protecting Fragile Equipment

Fragile equipment would require additional packing pad to protect them from damaging in the truck during haulage. These materials are not expected to come with the moving truck; hence, you need to provide for padding materials as much as required for the number of fragile items among the items to be moved

Apart from the above, moving truck rental cost can as well take other ways. Now, let’s look at the cost of renting a moving truck in other dimensions.

One-Way Long-Distance Moving Truck Rentals

One-way truck rental is another way to get a great deal from moving truck rentals. In this method, you are expected to pick up the moving van or truck at a particular location, use, and return it at another location. It has been studied to be one of the most convenient systems for renting a truck.

However, it is also the most expensive compared to other ways. For instance, a one-way truck rental of 12”- to 16”-foot truck on a weekday, especially in October, may typically cost about $400 from New York City to Boston and $500 for a bigger size of 22”- to 26”-foot truck. This includes tax and other fees.

A Round-Trip Moving Truck Rental

On the other hand, a round-trip moving truck rental is another way to rent moving truck where you return the truck to the same point it was picked up. This method has been found to be more economical by saving cool cash on your truck rental. It is a great option for regional moves.

However, the cost varies based on the city and truck size you choose. For example, it costs around $70 – $80 per day for a round-trip moving truck rental with unlimited mileage. This price is applicable in Providence, Rhode Island. You can check your locality to know your match.

How much does it cost to rent a Truck for a Day?

If you are planning to rent a moving van or moving truck, this question always comes into play. The truck size determines the base rent of a moving truck rental prices. It cost a range of $20 to $35 to rent a truck that can hold up to a small one- or two-bedroom apartment daily. Mid-sized moves such as three-bedroom apartments, as well as two-bedroom homes, cost about $40 to $80 daily. 

Large moving trucks that can contain about three to five-bedroom homes costs from $80 to $100 daily. There is a difference between the rent per day rate and the total cost of your moving truck. For example, if a 15-ft. moving truck going for a trip of 75 miles local move costs $19.99, then there will not be gas fees, mileage, or other additional costs such as insurance and taxes in the cost. This is just for a basic – contact your moving truck rental possible price is the best way to go.

What is the Cost of a Rental Moving Truck for a Local Move?

Rental truck providers charge from $0.59 to $1 per mile for local moves on any base rental fee. Some rental companies, such as Budget, offer a mileage calculator in its quote tools so you can figure out how much your driving distance will affect your bill, and this makes Budget an excellent option.

Below is the breakdown of the costs factors that local moving truck rentals may include:  

  • Rental truck fee (i.e., base rate)
  • Fuel costs
  • Mileage fee
  • Deposit (mostly $100–$150)
  • Damage protection
  • Environmental fee (from $1to $8)
  • Taxes

Additional services (such as moving supplies, moving equipment, etc.)

Pro Tip

In case you don’t, you can return your rental moving truck to the exact pick-ups location or any of their nearby location if it is a local move. However, you will have to return your moving truck to another location on a 1-way trip, which may be hundreds or thousands of miles far from the original rental location. 

What is the Cost of a 1-Way Rental Moving Truck?

The base rental rate for a moving truck for a 1-way move starts from $40 to $100 daily based on your rental truck size. This rate doesn’t include extra services, taxes, or fees. 1-way moves will usually be more costly than smaller local moves.

Finally, rental truck companies risk more on a 1-way move because of mileage, wear and tear, and many other factors. Although rental truck companies’ charge is not based on mileage for 1-way moves, there is a specific number of miles you have to maintain before you get an additional fee for excess.

This presents you the opportunity to digress a bit from your move and visit a lovely tourist center. Also, prepare for an increased rate during peak moving season between April and September since that s when almost everyone is looking to get a rental truck as well.

Below is the breakdown of the factors that affect the cost of 1-way moving truck rentals:

  • Rental truck fee (per day)
  • Fuel costs
  • Damage protection
  • Environmental fee ($1–$8)
  • Taxes
  • Deposit (usually $100–$150)
  • Add-ons

Comparing the Cost of the Local Move against a 1-Way Move

You won’t spend above $100 to $300 on a local move, using a smaller moving truck from the cheaper rental company. A 1-way move, which involves dropping off your rental moving truck to a different location to where you picked it is more expensive since they involve more distance.

You can get ready to pay about $150 to $2,000. Also, the more items you are moving will determine how expensive your final bill will be; since your move will require a large-sized moving truck for a 1-way move, or just find yourself driving around town when you travel locally.

You may not need more than a rental moving van rather than a moving truck if you are just moving out of or into a studio or 1-bedroom apartment. Moving vans are small-sized vehicles which are very much ideal for hauling around town as moving trucks are bigger and larger and what the movers generally use to carry your belongings.

Renting moving vans is usually less expensive than moving trucks, but they contain lesser items as well. Some cannot even contain a queen size mattress. You may have to make more trips even if all your belongings could fit into a rental moving van. Let us consider the leading three rental truck services and their average cost for each trip for local and 1-way relocations.

Average rental rate*

Making a comparison of average truck rental prices by distance

Average Rental RateU-HaulBudgetPenske
Long-distance, one-way$1,419$1,625$1,038
Medium-distance, one-way$187$469$841
Local, one-day  move$83$122$349

When you view it, Penske’s rates seem to be insanely higher than that of U-Haul and Budget. But note that mileage fees, taxes, and other expenses are included in Penske’s estimates. You could end up paying the same amount to U-Haul or Budget, just that the estimate you received may mislead you at first.

For instance, insurance costs, base rate, additional services, and environmental fees are the only inclusions on U-Haul’s quotes. Other additional costs such as taxes, mileage fees, and so on are excluded but will be discussed below.

Mileage is included in Budget’s estimates, and we also know that the company is the cheapest of the three rental companies. You can also check Enterprise if your move is a local one, as the company is also part of our favorites on our list of best moving and truck rental companies

Pro Tip

In case you don’t know, Penske’s latest moving trucks are offered in the market, which implies high-level reliability and well-maintained moving trucks. Know more about Penske’s pricing by reading our Penske Review

What does it cost to rent a Moving Truck for each Trip?

Your final bill is impacted by the size of your move as well as the truck, so, thus, the distance of your move. Below is how you can prepare to pay for a rental moving truck based on a trip that includes all fees and taxes. Note that we included various distances in our averages. 

Home size

Truck size

No. of room

Average cost per trip

Large moves

20 ft., 22 ft., 26 ft.

3 and above

$600–$2,800

Mid-sized moves

15 ft., 16 ft., 17 ft.

2-3

$150–$600

Small moves

10 ft., 12 ft.

1-2

$80–$300

What you need to know about Rental Truck Discounts

Online booking can help you reduce your moving truck rental price by 10%. You can also get seasonal discounts from moving truck rental companies if you are relocating from and to certain states. U-Haul doesn’t offer many discounts compared to Penske and Budget.

They will deduct 10% for students, offer seasonal discounts, and reduce military moves. You may be qualifying for one of these discounts with U-Haul if your rental location offers any of it. However, Budget leads while others follow when it comes to giving discounts on moving truck rental. It starts from 20% to 40% for the following set of customers: 

  • US military personnel
  • Police, firefighters, and EMTs
  • Motor Club members
  • Bar Association members
  • AARP members
  • Students
  • Customers in certain states

Miscellaneous Information

There are some other pieces of information worthy of sharing regarding the cost of moving truck rentals. In summary, while a low-end moving truck rental is estimated at $48 – $74 with distance traveled of 40 miles, a high-end moving truck rental is estimated at $1,900 – $3,080 without limit to the mileage covered. Apart from the typical cost of renting moving truck as estimated above, you should also be aware of the following:

  • You need to procure the materials required to make your move smoother once the truck rental has been settled and ready for loading. Some of these moving supplies or materials include moving boxes, bubble tape, labels, packing tapes, rolling cart (can be rented as well), drop cloths, and as well as required tools to disassemble and reassemble of your pieces of furniture, if necessary.
  • Prepare a good driving and packing ways for the truck before arrival. There have been some cases whereby trucks damage driveway flowers of block work in the premises. To avoid such occurrences, prepare enough spaces for packing and driving that are perfect and save in both current and new apartments.
  • You may not accurately determine the hours or time it will take a moving truck to finish your job. However, this largely depends on the volume of your belongings and as well as total distance requires. Don’t forget there are unforeseen incidents on the road. Typically, a standard move should take a few hours or days if all things equal.
  • Don’t be surprised that many moving truck rental services may charge an extra fee for late returns or wrong returned location as against agreement signed with them. It is advisable to read the company’s terms and conditions before signing any agreement with them.
  • The price rates of a number of moving truck rental companies are lower during weekday compared to weekend or peak moving period.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of the long-distance truck rental?

Long-distance moves increase things a bit because many rental companies provide unlimited mileage. The average rental cost of a 16 ft. moving truck for an approximate 1,000-mile move costs $535 with gas and other charges. You will pay about $825 to rent a 26-ft. moving truck.  

What is the cost of truck rental insurance?

Adding a collision coverage and/or liability insurance to your truck rental will require an additional fee. Rental companies like U-Haul offer insurance options that start from a minimum of $100 up to $200. You will be responsible for about $100 for damage coverage as well as above $100 for liability protection from rental companies like Penske. 

What is the cost of loading help together with the truck rental?

Many truck rental providers can connect you with third-party relocation helpers if you require an additional hand to load your personal belongings onto the moving truck. Charges for most third-party companies are between $150 and $200 to assist you with loading and unloading a rental truck.

Just know that it doesn’t exceed loading and unloading. You will pay a two-time fee if you require help from both sides. You should prepare to pay another $200 or more for items that are especially big such as pianos, in order to get moving help. 

Pro Tip

You are better off hiring a full-service moving company if you know you will require moving help. They are expensive, but they face all the hard tasks so you can get your deserving relaxation. 

What size of the rental truck should I get?

Majority of rental truck companies over varieties of vehicles such as cargo vans to 26-ft. moving trucks. Cargo vans will forcefully contain the contents of a studio apartment, while 26-ft. moving trucks can contain a whole house worth of items. 

Sizes of Moving truck and capacities

Truck size

Room capacity

9-foot cargo van

1 room or studio

12-foot truck

1–2 rooms/apartment

16-foot truck

2–3 rooms/apartment

2o- or 22-foot truck

3–5 rooms/apartment

26-foot truck

5–7 rooms/apartment

Avoid overpaying for more than the truck size you need. Renting the right size of a moving truck will help reduce your moving costs and also prevent your items from sliding around and getting damaged in the excess truck space.

If you need the largest sizes of moving trucks, we suggest you try Penske, U-Haul, or Enterprise truck rental. Although Budget Truck Rental is generally the cheapest, it also doesn’t have much range of moving vehicles.

What is 1-way moving?

A 1-way move is basically not a move that involves traveling back and forth. It involves loading all of your belongings into a 1-way moving truck rental or having labor-only movers to load them for you and setting them up somewhere else.

Going back to the former home is not involved here. The 1-way move is usually a long-distance move. During an in-town move, your return miles are included in your moving costs. However, 1-way truck rental is not like that.

The cost of your truck rental is determined by the weight of your loaded rental truck and the distance involved in your travel. 

Why is an online rental quote not available with many rental companies?

Some truck sizes are used for local moves such as pick-up truck or cargo van. Your dates and locations are required by cargo trailer rental or long-distance movers before giving you a quote

Will the deposit be required before reserving my rental truck?

This depends on the company. A deposit is required by some truck rental companies such as Budget and U-Haul before you can get the moving truck you preferred. Other company like Penske doesn’t require a deposit when you make an online reservation or pay using a credit card. 

What are the hidden fees I should look out for on my bills? 

You will be charged environmental fees, rental fees, or sales tax by many 1-way moving truck rental providers. There are also additional but avoidable fees for things like not filling up the gas before you return the moving truck or nit cleaning the truck. Make sure you go through all of your options carefully to determine what fees you may or may not be charged.

Can I get a rental truck in one state and return it in another?

Most moving truck rental providers have service locations in or around almost every major city in the country, so you can return your rental truck to the nearest one to your new location. 

When is it right to reserve a truck earlier?

Normally, as soon as you know of your moving date, you should go online or call the rental company to book your preferred moving truck. Booking earlier will give you a better chance of getting the exact truck size you need. Waiting for the moving day before your book could cause another problem. 

What next if the rental truck breaks down?

Always endeavor to get the emergency contact number of your truck rental company in case the truck develops faults. There are different policies on this by each rental company, so it would be nice to ask your rental reps before you drive the moving truck away from the lot to understand what to do in the event of the moving truck malfunctions.  

What if I need to cancel my booking?

This also is determined by the rental company of your choice, but most of them request a minimum of 48 hours’ notice if you want to cancel the booking. You may also be charged by some company for cancellation.  

Is there any refund for the earlier return of the rental truck?

There is no refund for a truck used for a 1-way move even if returned early. The renter will only be made to pay for the number of days they use the moving truck on a local, round-trip relocations while getting a refund for the unused days. 

Does return the rental truck on time attracts a fine?

There shouldn’t be any charge on you if the rental truck remains in perfect condition as it was during a pick-up, and the fuel is also as filled as it was before you drive it away from the parking lot.

However, using any on-board equipment such as moving blankets or dolly or passing the agreed mileage will attract some charges. These charges are also based on the agreement of your rental.    

Is a credit card a rental requirement?

Yes. You will need a credit card to keep your bookings. You should also note that the same credit card details will be used to secure a deposit for the moving truck in the event of any damage. Cancellation can be made within 48-hours before your scheduled pick-up to avoid being penalized. 

How are rental costs evaluated?

The rental truck type, the rental duration, and the distance moving are all included in your rental quotes. No supplemental insurance, moving supplies, fuel costs, toll charges, or other similar fees are included. 

Are ramps available on the Budget’s moving truck?

As stated by Budget, the 26 ft. moving truck can take in about 12,000 pounds plus 500 medium moving boxes or 1 to 15 medium-sized furniture pieces. The large-sized moving trucks provide towing as well as capable of loading ramp to renters. 

Which one is cheaper, Penske or U-Haul?

Typically, Penske’s rental rates are a bit higher than U-Haul’s, but they can come cheaper in some areas. We suggest you get a rental quote from both rental companies if you are more interested in low prices.  

Which one is the best truck rental company?

  1. U-Haul: Generally the best. It is the most popular truck rental company because you can find it in every location and has varieties of moving truck sizes. 
  2. Penske: Best for long-distance relocations
  3. Enterprise Truck Rental is the best for local relocations
  4. Budget Truck rental is the best for renters on budget

Which Truck rental company is the cheapest?

Here are the five top cheapest truck rental companies you can pick:

  • HAUL is the number one on our list
  • BUDGET Truck Rental is one of the leading truck rental companies with the cheapest offers and high-quality assurance 
  • RYDER TRUCK RENTAL.

Which of the truck rental offer unlimited mileage?

Penske. It is the only moving truck rental company that offers unrestricted miles on 1-way moves. 

Bottom Line

There is no doubt that renting moving truck for your move is far cheaper than hiring a professional mover. However, many consumers are ignorant of the actual costs of renting a moving truck for their DIY move. Truly, this can be challenging due to many hidden costs associated with moving truck rental. This post has done justice to all these confusions and you can now settle down and estimate how much your DIY move will cost you. Stay tuned for more informative posts from this page!

David Cohen
David Cohen
He has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. David is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.
David Cohen
David Cohen
He has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. David is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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1 Comment

Taylor Bishop
August 6, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Thanks for these tips for renting a moving truck. I’m glad you mentioned that you should consider how much it could cost to fill up the gas tank of the truck. This seems especially important to keep in mind if you’re going to be moving a long distance. http://www.deans-towing.com/home/

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