We researched truck rental companies to find the companies with the most territory, the most equipment and the best price. If a rental truck service isn’t on our list, it's because we chose not to include regional companies in our guide. Our comparison can help you ask the right questions and choose what's best for you.
If you'd rather not move your stuff by yourself, you can hire a moving container service as an affordable alternative. And in case you don't have a lot of belongings, you can look into renting a small truck or van from a car rental service. Read on to learn more about your options and how to save money on your move.
Best Overall: U-Haul
U-Haul is one of the most popular truck services we researched, and it offers more sizes of trucks and configurations than any other company. Its trucks range between 10 feet and 26 feet. In addition to a wide selection of trucks, U-Haul sells specialty boxes that help protect your items, such as wardrobe boxes that let you hang your clothes and segmented boxes made for dishes. You can also rent a hand truck, and furniture pads are usually available for rent to protect your belongings from the metal interior of the rental truck. This company operates in all 50 U.S. states and most provinces in Canada.
Best for Truck Variety
Best for Truck Variety: Ryder
Ryder offers the largest variety of truck types. If you need to rent a refrigerated truck or a stake or stake-bed truck, this is the only company we researched that has these options. You can also rent vans, 16-foot or 26-foot straight trucks. Ryder doesn’t offer as many size options as other companies we researched, and it doesn’t have as many rental locations as U-Haul or other companies. However, its website is easy to navigate, and if you rent trucks often, it has a rewards program that can get you deals on your rental.
Best Value: Budget Truck Rental
Budget Truck Rental is our pick for the best value because it offers lots of coupons and promotions to bring the cost of renting down. This company will also often match a competitor’s price. In our research, this company had the cheapest rates if you reserve between Sunday and Thursday. Budget also rents out furniture pads and hand trucks. However, this company doesn’t guarantee its reservations so there is a chance that the truck you want to rent won’t be ready. If that is the case, Budget will try to get you a different truck or a new pickup time.
Most Territory Options
Most Territory Options: Penske
Penske has more than 2,000 rental locations across the contiguous U.S. and in six Canadian provinces. This company rents for local and one-way trips. Local trips require you to return the truck to the same location you rented it, while one-way trips let you return the truck at your destination. Because this company rents in so many locations, it’s our pick for the most territory options.
What Size of Truck Do You Need?
Size matters when you rent a truck. First, you need to assess your stuff. How many rooms of furniture do you have? Are you going to pare down or keep everything? Do you have more in storage that you plan to take with you?
Cargo Van or Small Truck
If you're moving out of your parents' house for the first time, you likely haven't accumulated enough stuff to necessitate a full-sized moving truck. In this case, a cargo van may be enough. If your move is nearby, this could be a viable option.
10' to 12'
Studio apartment dwellers and those in one- or two-bedroom apartments who have minimal belongings can rent this popular size of truck for moving. It's one of the most cost-effective choices for cross-country moves.
15' to 16'
Most truck rental companies offer 16-foot trucks, but U-Haul breaks from the norm with its 15-footer. Both sizes are ideal for families in a two-bedroom apartment or a small house. The 15-foot truck is almost 8 feet wide and just over 7 feet tall. The cab seats three people.
17' to 22'
The next size up from U-Haul is a 17-foot truck, which is big enough for a two-bedroom house, larger apartments or an office relocation, according to the truck rental company. It includes seating for three adults, and its width and height are the same as the 15-footer, but it's 16 feet 9 inches long. Penske's next-largest size jumps up to 22 feet, which is more spacious and can handle a three-to-five-bedroom home.
24' to 26'
The largest trucks in these companies' fleets are 24 and 26 feet long. U-Haul is the only truck rental company to offer both of the larger sizes for a one-way trip, while Enterprise offers both sizes for local moves (the vehicle must be returned to the same location). Budget offers a 24-footer, and Penske has a 26-foot truck. One of these moving truck rentals can fit a large household's belongings in its large cargo interior — up to seven rooms' worth.
Towing Your Car
You have two options to tow your car with most national services, a tow dolly or a car carrier. The least expensive option is a two-wheel dolly that works for cars with front-wheel drive. You just drive your car up the ramp and secure it to the dolly.
If the vehicle you want to tow has all-wheel drive, you need to rent a car carrier. A carrier like this lifts your car entirely up off the ground and onto the trailer, which means your car suffers no wear and tear.
Do You Need to Purchase Insurance?
This is one of the most frequent questions customers have when they rent a truck for moving. If you have full coverage for your car, your insurance company may cover you and any vehicle you drive, but it's best that you double-check before making any decisions. Often the amount that an insurance company covers would not cover the cost of a rental truck if it were totaled. You can purchase additional insurance from your truck rental company to cover the truck, your cargo and any vehicles you’re towing.
How Much Does It Cost?
Ignore the prices you see on the sides of moving trucks, because $19.95 is a far cry from what you're actually going to pay. In fact, an in-state move costs $1,170 on average, according to the American Moving & Storage Association. If you're moving cross-country, you're potentially looking at spending more than $5,000.
Summer is the most popular moving time, and as demand for moving trucks go up, so does the cost. Many of the truck rental company clients are students who are either moving home after college or moving back to the dorm at the end of summer. So, if you can plan your move before or after the summer months, you're likely to get a better deal. Time of week is important too. Weekends are popular for big moves. If you can move during the week, you're more likely to get a good price.
It's easy to do a quick search online for any promotions that a company may be holding. A coupon code could save you a good chunk of money, so keep your eye out for them. You should also check prices often, even after you make a reservation, because as supply goes up, the cost goes down, and this can happen unexpectedly. Then drive safely!