Choosing the best truck rental for moving can make all the difference between a smooth house move and one that’s not so slick. Regardless of how far you’re moving - long distance or local to where you live - your truck rental is integral to the success of the day.
Selecting the best truck rental for moving means you’ll arrange a truck that is just right for the amount of possessions that you have to transport. The choice usually ranges from a smaller pick-up or van, which might suffice if you’re moving between small apartments, right up to the largest trucks, which can be 26 foot long and capable of moving a large family house in one journey. Many truck rental services offer a choice of additional rentals and services too, including boxes, blankets and hand trucks - if you can’t manage the job by yourself, you’ll often be able to hire professionals to help with packing and loading at both ends as well.
When arranging your move, you’ll need to consider where and when you need to pick the truck up from and drop it off. This is particularly important if your move is long distance, in which case you’ll want a rental truck service that offers one way moves, meaning you can leave the truck close to where you’re moving to. How far you’re going, along with the size of truck you rent, will have a significant bearing on how much you can expect to pay. However, price differences are usually apparent between the top rated truck rental services, and there may be differences in the guarantees that they offer over truck reservations and in terms of the standard of customer service too.
With all this in mind, our rundown of the best truck rental for moving service includes a top truck rental choice overall, and a few more selections besides. This includes the truck rental service that we deem best if you’re sticking to a budget, another that stands out if you’re completing a local move, and one more if a long distance move is on the cards. And once your truck rental is arranged, you’ll definitely want to think about the best homeowners insurance too, just in case of any mishaps that could occur once you’re finally moved in.
1. U-Haul: Best truck rental for moving overall
U-Haul has all the truck sizes, pickups and cargo vans required to meet any type of house move. And with 20,000 locations around the US, no truck rental service is better-placed to get you into your new home, wherever it may be. In addition to the moving trucks, which are custom made to make moving as quick and easy as possible, U-Haul rents out trailers and car carriers that 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.
If you're not completely prepared for what a house move will entail, U-Haul also rents hand trucks and furniture pads, and sells special moving boxes and packing materials. The company can help you find laborers to load or unload the truck, or help with packing and cleaning, as well.
In terms of price, you can get a tailored quote on the website that will depend on the type of vehicle you want, how far you're going, and the additional services you might require. It's always worth ringing too, however, particularly if you've found a competitive quote elsewhere, as U-Haul is usually willing to negotiate to secure your custom.
- Read our U-Haul review
2. Budget: Best value truck rental for moving
Budget is where you should turn if keeping moving costs low is a particular priority. There are regular offers and promotions that everyone needs to make the most of, and set-in-stone discounts for particular groups, including AARP members, students, and military personnel. Budget will also work with you to match competitors’ prices, and tends to beat the competition when it comes to local moves.
While the truck selection is relatively limited compared with other truck rental services, the three sizes on offer should be enough to satisfy most. The wider rental options are more sparse too, although van hire is possible, and tow dollies and car carriers can be rented for use behind the two largest trucks. To aid your move, you can rent hand trucks and furniture pads too, and there's a partnership with the Hire A Helper scheme that could secure you the professional muscle you might need.
On the downside, Budget doesn’t guarantee its online reservations, and 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. Overall, however, Budget is as you might expect - a low cost truck rental service that rarely disappoints.
- Read our Budget review
3. Enterprise: Best truck rental for local moves
If your move is more local than long distance, Enterprise rents out a wide range of trucks, vans, and pickups that accommodate a variety of moving situations. The super clear website makes hiring a breeze, while the pricing structure is simple too - there's a daily rate plus mileage, although the costs do differ between locations. Some of its smaller rental options will see no mileage charged either if you're driving fewer than 300 miles.
Where Enterprise falls down is with long distance moves. With round trips the only hiring option, you'll need to return your truck to where you collected it from, and the 350 or so truck rental locations means it falls some way short of the location numbers offered by U-Haul and Budget. If you want help with your move, you're probably best looking at other truck rental services too. Furniture pads and hand trucks are available for hire, but there's no option to rent car carriers or tow dollies, and loading and packing services are not available.
- Read our Enterprise review
4. Penske: Best truck rental for long distance moves
Penske is a great choice for long distance moves, and offers more than 2,500 pickup and drop-off locations, including select Home Depot stores, for your truck rental convenience. What's more, it is one of the few truck rental services that accommodates one-way moves, and there's unlimited mileage on these hires too - all you pay is the day rate that you'll agree upfront.
Penske should also be saluted for guaranteeing reservations made at least 48 hours before you're due to pickup, and for the wide range of moving support that it offers through its website, from moving packs to driver hire. The truck choice may not be as wide as some other rental service, but there should be an option to suit every need. And while you're on the road to your new location, you'll also have the comfort of knowing Penske takes steps to protect the environment too.
- Read our Penske review
5. Ryder: Best for specialty truck rentals
Ryder makes our shortlist essentially for being one of the only national truck rental services that rents stake trucks and refrigerated trucks, although you'll need to have a business use to hire one. Standard rental trucks for moving are available too, but there's only two options on offer - 16-foot box trucks and 26-foot moving trucks - or a sprinter van for lighter loads. There's no tow dollies or car carriers on offer either, and you're probably in the wrong place if you want move support, as only a handful of locations rent hand trucks and furniture pads.
Ryder has more than 500 locations in the US and Canada, but with one-way rentals not an option, you'll need to return your truck to the place where you picked it up. Essentially, Ryder is your go-to truck rental company for the more unusual moving needs you might have, but if you're simply moving your home from A to B, there's far better options on offer elsewhere.
- Read our Ryder review
Expert advice on choosing a truck rental
To help you decide on the best truck rental for moving, we talked to Michael Keaton, senior director of communications for the American Moving & Storage Association, to learn about recent developments in the truck rental industry.
One important piece of information he shared 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. “You can opt for the minimum coverage of 60 cents per pound for an interstate move, which is not recommended," he said. "Your 20-pound TV is surely worth more than $12 if it is broken.”
When you choose additional coverage, it's important to consider that as a DIY mover, you have little experience packing and stacking boxes, and that comprehensive coverage can cover a mishap.
When is truck rental cheapest?
The cost of a rental truck will in the first instance depend on truck availability, size and return location, with prices usually including a set number of days of use and mileage. However, the price you will pay will also depend 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.
How we evaluated the truck rental services
To assess the various truck rental for moving services, we used their websites to assess the rental options available and to obtain quotes for different moving scenarios. We also made note of the additional equipment a company offers, including hand trucks, furniture pads and car carriers, as offering such extras for hire is the convenient way to aid a safer and swifter move. Whether packing, loading, and driving assistance was available, or could be arranged, was considered too.
Furthermore, we compared the number of rental locations each truck rental service has in the US and Canada, and reviewed each company’s terms and services. So some truck rental services fail to offer one-way truck rentals, and others will not guarantee reservations. We also noted the various supplemental insurance programs on offer that can protect you and your belongings financially should anything go wrong during a move.