Best Truck Rentals of 2019 - Budget, Penske, U-Haul, Enterprise and Ryder
We spent more than 30 hours researching the best national truck rental services. As we evaluated them, we considered available truck sizes, rental locations, and extra equipment and service offerings. Based on what we found, we recommend U-Haul as the best moving truck rental service because it has the best truck selection and all the extra equipment we looked for, including hand trucks, car carriers and furniture pads. The website makes it easy to find a location, and this is the only company we reviewed that has locations in all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces.
U-Haul has more than 20,000 rental locations in North America, and it sells all the packing supplies and additional services you need to safely transport your valuables.
Budget Truck Rental
Budget Truck Rental matches its competitors’ prices and offers a variety of coupons and discounts. You can also rent a hand truck, furniture pads and a car carrier.
Enterprise Truck Rental
Enterprise has a great selection of small- and medium-size vehicles. It also has the cheapest mileage fees and doesn’t charge per mile for moves under 300 miles.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Pricing||Additional Equipment||Services||Moving Features||Small Truck - Base Rate/Per Mile||Medium Truck - Base Rate/Per Mile||Large Truck - Base Rate/Per Mile||Hand Trucks||Furniture Pads||Car Carrier||Boxes||Loading & Unloading Assistance||Protection Plan||Moving Trailer Rental||Pickup Truck Rental||Locations||One-Way Move||Truck Sizes (feet)|
|U-Haul||View Deal||5/5||10||10||10||10||$19.95/$0.79||$29.95/$0.79||$39.95/$0.79||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||21,000+||✓||10, 15, 17, 20, 26|
|Budget Truck Rental||View Deal||4/5||6.8||10||7.5||7.8||$19.99/$0.99||$29.99/$0.99||$79.99/$0.99||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||✓||1,187||✓||12, 16, 26|
|Penske||View Deal||4/5||9.5||10||2.5||8.5||$29.99/$0.79||$29.99/$0.79||$69.99/$0.79||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||-||-||2,309||✓||12, 16, 22, 26|
|Enterprise Truck Rental||View Deal||3/5||8.8||5||5||4.3||$74.99/Free||$79.99/$0.49||$94.99/$0.49||✓||✓||-||-||-||✓||-||✓||366||-||15, 16, 24, 26|
|Ryder||View Deal||1.5/5||7.3||0||0||3.8||$35.00/$0.89||$39.00/$0.89||$89.95/$0.89||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||400||-||16, 26|
U-Haul has five moving truck sizes as well as pickup trucks and cargo vans. The trucks are specifically for household moves and are designed to save on fuel costs and make the process of loading and unloading as easy as possible.
In addition to its fleet of moving trucks, U-Haul rents out moving trailers and car carriers you can use with your own truck or SUV. Even the company’s smallest, 10-foot truck can tow a car dolly or car carrier, and all the trucks feature an overhead storage compartment called Mom’s Attic where you can separate fragile items from the rest of your load.
U-Haul has the largest network of rental locations. You can rent trucks in all 50 states as well as all 10 Canadian provinces. The company also sells boxes and packing materials and rents hand trucks and furniture pads. When you reserve a truck, your reservation is guaranteed. If the company doesn’t give you the right truck at the right time, you get a $50 refund. Also, if you find a cheaper rate with a competitor, your local U-Haul dealer might match it. The company can help you find laborers to load or unload the truck. Payment for the labor service is handled by U-Haul, but read through customer reviews to make sure the laborers it hires are trustworthy.
Budget Truck Rental works with you to match competitors’ prices, and it frequently offers promotions and coupons.
According to our research, you get the best prices if you book as far in advance as possible and reserve a truck between a Sunday and a Thursday. Budget also offers discounts to military personnel, students and seniors.
This company offers three truck sizes: 12 feet, 16 feet and 24 feet. U-Haul, our top pick, has a wider selection of moving truck sizes. Also, only Budget’s 16- and 24-foot trucks can tow dollies or car carriers. The company also offers pickup truck rental for small loads.
You can rent hand trucks and furniture pads to help make loading go smoothly. Budget also partners with MoveLift to offer loading and unloading assistance. MoveLift puts you in touch with trusted laborers in your area who have been reviewed by other customers.
One shortcoming worth noting is Budget doesn’t guarantee its online reservations. If there’s a scheduling conflict, you may have to work with your local franchise’s manager to get a different truck than the one you reserved.
Best for Local Moves
Enterprise rents out trucks, vans and pickups that accommodate a variety of moving situations. Its daily rates are a bit higher than those at other services we reviewed. However, the company doesn’t charge mileage rates for its smaller vehicles if you drive fewer than 300 miles.
You can also rent larger box trucks, but Enterprise doesn’t have the infrastructure to support one-way moves. There are more than 350 locations in 44 states, and the company’s website has a complete list of locations broken down by state.
You can make reservations for most vehicles on Enterprise’s website, but larger box trucks must be reserved by phone. The representative we contacted at a location near our office was helpful and knowledgeable and took the time to ask questions about our move – they even suggested a smaller truck to save us money.
Enterprise rents furniture pads and hand trucks but doesn’t rent car carriers or sell boxes. You can purchase additional protection if you’re nervous about driving a large vehicle full of valuables, but Enterprise doesn’t offer loading or unloading assistance.
This is a great truck rental service if you need a small- or medium-size vehicle for a quick move, but consider a different service for one-way and long-distance moves.
Best for Cross-Country Moves
Penske has more than 2,000 pickup and drop-off locations, including select Home Depot stores.
It is one of three truck rental services we reviewed that accommodate one-way moves, and your reservation is guaranteed if you reserve at least 48 hours before the pickup time. There are four truck sizes to choose from: 12 feet, 16 feet, 22 feet and 26 feet. If you plan to tow a car, you need to rent at least the 16-foot truck because the 12-foot one can’t tow. Penske doesn’t rent trailers or let you tow your own trailer with its trucks. However, you can rent a car dolly.
You don’t have to worry about mileage fees for one-way rentals, and the daily rate runs from $200 to $400, depending on truck size. Penske partners with Simple Moving Labor to offer packing and unpacking assistance.
Best for Specialty Trucks
Ryder is the only national truck rental service that rents refrigerated trucks and stake trucks.
As such, if you need to transport temperature-sensitive items or materials for a landscaping project, Ryder is your best option. It has more than 500 locations in the continental U.S. and Canada, though it doesn’t offer one-way rentals. In addition to its specialty trucks, Ryder rents out 16-foot box trucks and 26-foot moving trucks. The company doesn’t sell or rent out the extra equipment the best truck rental services offer, and you can only rent hand trucks and furniture pads in select locations.
Also, its daily rates are a bit more expensive than those at other services we reviewed. Ryder doesn’t rent trucks in 24-hour periods like every other service we reviewed – if you pick up a truck at 9 a.m. on Monday and return it at 9 a.m. the following day, you are charged for two days.
Why Trust Us
Top Ten Reviews has reviewed truck rental companies for more than eight years. We researched both national and local truck companies; however, we ultimately chose to focus on national companies that offer local, and in most cases one-way, service.
We talked to Michael Keaton, senior director of communications for the American Moving & Storage Association, to learn about all the newest developments in the truck rental industry. One important bit of information we gathered from that conversation is that moving expenses are no longer tax deductible after Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017, “which suspended qualified moving expense deductions along with the exclusion of employer reimbursements as taxable income through 2025.”
We also asked Keaton about the important services and additional equipment to consider adding to a truck rental reservation, and he suggested adding a full-value protection plan. He said, “You can opt for the minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound for an interstate move, which is not recommended. Your 20-pound T.V. is surely worth more than $12 if it is broken.” As you choose additional coverage, it's important to consider that as a DIY mover, you have little experience packing and stacking boxes, and comprehensive coverage can cover a silly mishap.
How We Tested
We obtained quotes from each company, either through its website or by phone, for a small, medium and large box truck. We then compared the prices for a 200-mile, in-town move and a 2,000-mile, one-way move, considering both the daily base rate and the mileage charge for each size vehicle. We also took note of the additional equipment the company offers, including hand trucks, furniture pads and car carriers, because it’s convenient when you can get everything you need to make your move safe and easy in one place.
Further, we compared the number of rental locations each company has in the U.S. and Canada. Some don’t rent trucks in Alaska and Hawaii, and companies like Penske have only a few locations in Canadian provinces. The best companies rent trucks in more states and provinces than lower-rated services.
We also reviewed each company’s terms and services. Some don’t offer one-way truck rentals, and others don’t guarantee reservations. We also compared the prices of and features included in the different supplemental insurance programs. Supplemental insurance and damage waivers cover damage to the truck, your belongings and even yourself. We awarded higher scores to services that can put you in contact with local laborers to help you load and unload your truck.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Moving Truck?
The cost of renting a truck depends heavily on demand and seasonality. Because summer is the most popular moving time, demand for trucks goes up and so does the price. College students often move home in the summer, and families tend to move when children are out of school, so if you can schedule your move in the fall, spring or winter, you could save money.
Rental truck prices include a set number of days of use and mileage. Truck availability, size and return location also affect how much you pay for your rental.
According to the American Moving & Storage Association, in-state moves cost an average of $1,170 and out-of-state moves can cost over $5,000. Daily rates range from $19 to $74, and mileage rates range between 49 cents and 99 cents per mile. Many companies offer coupons, but try to get bids from multiple places – then ask your preferred moving company if they can beat the lowest offer.
Truck rental companies often sell boxes and other packing materials. While gathering your own boxes is a good way to save money, those you purchase from a rental company are usually stronger and all uniform in size, which is helpful as you pack and load the truck.
You can also rent hand trucks and furniture pads to help you load the truck and secure breakable furniture. Furniture pads usually cost $10 to $12 for a dozen, and hand trucks cost around $10 to rent.
Best Moving Containers
If you’re moving your belongings and don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving and parking a large vehicle, a moving container is a better option. We spent several days researching prices, shipping times and other considerations, like packing assistance. Here are our favorite moving-container services:
This service has the lowest prices, an easy-to-use online request form and 30 days of storage included with the rental charge. U-Boxes come in only one size: 8 by 5 by 7 feet, which is large enough to fit the contents of a studio apartment. However, if there’s limited space at the drop-off location, it’s easier to pack multiple small boxes instead of one large container, especially if you are moving to a location without a driveway. You can avoid delivery fees by bringing your belongings to one of thousands of U-Haul locations across the country, where you pack them into the container and have it shipped to your final destination.
PODS has a wide variety of moving-container sizes and serves more than 20,000 cities in the United States and select cities in Canada and Australia. For short-distance moves and smaller containers, this moving-container service offers low prices compared with other companies we evaluated, but for large containers, the prices were a bit above average. (Storage fees start at $130 per month for small containers.) PODS also offers 7-, 12- and 16-foot storage containers for people who are remodeling or changing their living arrangements.