What’s The Right Size of Moving Truck For Your Move?

Finding the size of a moving truck to get is one of the most difficult things when planning a do-it-yourself move. If you rent a small truck, you won’t be able to fit all your items for the move. If you rent an oversized moving truck, you probably will overpay your rental company.

That is what you sure want to avoid if you are moving on a tight budget, just as in the case of a most do-it-yourself move. You want to avoid a too small or too big moving truck for your move.

What’s The Right Size of Moving Truck For Your Move?

In this article

I’m sure, everyone wants a truck of the perfect size. But the process is not as easier said. So, the question is – how do you choose the right size of a moving truck? How do you determine the size of the truck that will perfectly fit all your household belongings without leaving any extra space?

From here, you can use several methods to calculate the size of the truck that will be perfect for your relocation. Continue reading to find out more.

Understanding the Sizes of Moving Trucks

The company you choose to rent from will determine the sizes of moving trucks available to you. There are different sizes and types of moving trucks available with all moving truck rental companies.

However, there are standard moving truck sizes offered generally in the moving truck rental industry. Just note that the sizes might vary by little feet of length and internal space.

Immediately you’ve chosen a company to rent a moving truck from, you can obtain a complete list of the moving truck sizes they offer from their website or through their customer service representative.

Below are common sizes of moving trucks:

1. Cargo Van

For those moving from a studio apartment that has a full-size or queen-sized bed, a cargo van is often enough. A Cargo van is also recommended as one of the highly fuel-efficient options for people moving a few items, particularly on a local move. Prepare for 245 cubic feet of space and about 4,000 pounds as the highest weight.

2. Pick-up Trucks

If you are moving just two items like a few boxes and a twin mattress, then you could be able to use a rental pick-up truck.

They are perfect for those who are moving from or to dorm rooms or who are moving to a small studio. Prepare for 76 cubic feet of space and about 2,000 pounds as the highest weight.

3. Small Moving Trucks

To move a larger studio or a 1-bedroom apartment, renting a small moving truck might be the best solution rather than a pickup or cargo van. The size of the smallest box trucks available for rent from moving truck rental companies is often around 10 to 12 ft. long.

They give more space compared to cargo vans and more protection than a pick-up truck. If you are moving to another state, this may be a better choice than renting a cargo van or pick-up truck, both of which are perfect for local moves.

Comparison of Small Box Truck Size

Parameters 10-ft. 12-ft.
Dimensions 9’11” by 6’4” by 6’2” 12’ by 6’6” by 6’1”
Capacity One room, studio apartment One to two rooms, one-bedroom apartment
Weight limit 2,810 lbs. 3,100 to 3,610 lbs.
Internal space 402 cu. ft. 443 to 450 cu. ft.
Miles per gallon 12 12
Companies that offer these truck sizes U-Haul Penske/Budget

4. Medium Moving Trucks

Medium-sized moving trucks of 14 – 17ft length are ideal for those relocating from apartments or small homes (1 or 2 bedrooms).

They are one of the common choices for do-it-yourself moves and can handle both short and long-distance means of transport. Prepare for 650 to 850 cubic feet of space and about 3,000 to 6,000 pounds as the highest weight.

Comparison of Medium Moving Truck Size

Parameters 15-ft. 16-ft. 17-ft.
Dimensions 15′ by 7’8″ by 7’2″ 16’ by 7’7” by 6’6” 16’9” by 7’8” by 7’2”
Capacity Two to three rooms, two-bedroom apartment Two to three rooms, two to three-bedroom apartment Three bedroom apartment or condo, two-bedroom house
Weight limit 6,385 lbs. 3,400–4,460 lbs. 5,930 lbs.
Internal space 764 cu. ft. 800 cu. ft. 865 cu. ft.
Miles per gallon 10 to 12 6 to 12 6 to 10
Companies that offer these truck sizes U-Haul Penske/Budget U-Haul

5. Large Moving Trucks

The size of the largest moving trucks for customer moves are about 20’ to 26’ ft. in length. They are all you need to rent if you are moving from a 3-bedroom house or larger or live in a 2-bedroom house with many belongings.

Prepare for 1,000 to 1,600 cubic feet of space and about 5,000 to 7,000 pounds as the highest weight. Note that truck sizes and capacities range from one rental provider to another.

When you ask about the moving truck’s size to get for your specific move, also remember to ask for specifics around available cubic feet of space and the highest shipment weight.

Spaces in some moving trucks, especially the smaller ones, may have been occupied by rear wheel wells or other truck components.

Comparison of Large Moving Truck Size

Parameters 20-ft. 22-ft. 26-ft.
Dimensions 19’6″ by 7’8″ by 7’2″ 21’11” by 8’1” by 8’1” 25’11” by 8’1” by 8’1”
Capacity Two or three bedrooms home Three to four-bedroom home Three to five-bedroom home
Weight limit 5,605 lbs. 10,000 lbs. 10,000 lbs.
Internal space 1,016 cu. ft. 1,200 cu. ft. 1,700 cu. ft.
Miles per gallon 10 10 10
Companies that offer these truck sizes U-Haul Penske U-Haul/Budget/Penske

How to pick the Right Size of the Truck for your Upcoming Move?

This is the toughest part; selecting one from the several truck sizes as your perfect size for the move. Generally, people often estimate moving truck sizes in two ways:

  • By a number of bedrooms: Calculating the number of bedrooms you have in your home is the easiest way to obtain a rough estimate for the right size of the moving truck. The rental company you choose for moving truck rental will probably provide a guide for the truck sizes to rent for each number of bedrooms.
  • Studio apartment: Rent a pick-up truck, cargo van, or small moving truck?
  • One to two bedrooms: 15ft moving truck
  • Two to three bedrooms: 20ft moving truck
  • Four or more bedrooms: 26ft moving truck.

Don’t forget that the sizes of each bedroom differ; even a bedroom is not really a standard unit of measurement. If you have large or small bedrooms in your home or have several furniture in your bedrooms, that could influence this estimate.

Use this guide below: 

1. By Cubic Feet:

The other popular way people calculate moving trucks’ sizes is by the cubic feet measurement of all available moving truck sizes.

This is most effective if you can obtain a rough estimate of the cubic feet of all your possessions (or your large belongings like appliances, beds, and couches).

You also have to note the general rule of thumb; leave 150 to 200 cubic feet of space of each totally furnished room in your home.

Also, don’t forget that the sizes of rooms vary, as well as the number of furniture in a completely furnished room, so this is yet another estimate.

2. Use Calculators:

The use of online calculators is another option that can help. There are several calculators and tools on the internet to help you figure out the right size of moving trucks to rent for your move.

There is every possibility that most truck rental providers you plan to choose to have such tools on their websites. Make use of many different calculators to obtain a good comparison of estimates.

If you find a truck size in the results from different calculators, there is a chance that the particular size is perfect for your move.

3. When unsure, pick the bigger size:

If at the end of everything, you estimate two separate moving truck sizes, we suggest you go for the bigger size. On your moving day, it pays to have additional space to load items rather than to try to squeeze your items into a moving truck that is not really spacious enough.

Choosing a Moving Truck Rental Company

If you are yet to, research moving truck rental providers now, as it is never too early before your moving date to know the options you have and begin to see the available ones.

It would also help if you were sure you want to rent a moving truck and do the move yourself. It would help if you looked into full-service long distance moving companies or moving container companies to assist you with this physical task.

Check Moving Feedback now to make a comparison between instant rental quotes from various movers, truck rental providers, storage container companies, and so on.


Prepare to find your perfect moving truck by checking our moving truck rental finder to instantly see rental providers nearest to you. Remember that you often need to be of at least 18 years of age to rent a truck, and a valid driver’s license is also required.

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