Budget has been at the forefront of the best truck rental for moving (opens in new tab) services for more than 20 years. With operations that span a network of more than 1,600 corporate-owned and dealer locations throughout the US, Budget Truck Rental has a fleet of around 27,000 trucks ready to help Americans move home.
Budget is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Avis Budget Group, and as such also offers car rentals and sells affordable cars. Should you pick up one its cars for sale, remember to check out the best auto loans (opens in new tab) for a cheap finance deal.
Budget review: Truck options
Budget offers three different truck sizes: 12, 16 and 26-foot - the smallest is suitable for small apartment moves, while the largest should have the capacity to move people into or between four bedroom houses. While the selection is much smaller than that available through U-Haul, for instance, there should still be enough choice to cover the most common of moving situations.
Nearly all trucks have a range of driver-friendly features including automatic transmissions, power steering, power brakes, and walk ramps or lift-gates. However, only the 26-foot truck is equipped to seat three adults - the other two sizes can only take two people. For much smaller jobs, there is a cargo van for hire too.
Budget review: Additional rental options
Budget also allows you to rent a tow dolly for transporting front-wheel-drive cars behind trucks, or a car carrier, which is best for four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles. However, be aware that only its 16 and 26 foot trucks have a towing capability.
Budget also rents furniture pads and hand trucks to help you move heavy furniture and protect it from the metal interior, and the specialist boxes that should ensure your valuables don't end spilling out of the bottom of a weak box into the middle of the road. Loading and unloading help can also be arranged, although this will be via the Hire a Helper service that is separate from Budget, but linked to from its website.
Budget review: Price
As its name suggests, Budget prides itself on offering competitive trick rental prices, particularly if you're staying local. While Budget uses similar algorithms to those used by other truck rental companies to estimate rates, it is usually possible to take advantage of a promotion or coupon code that can save a significant percentage off your quote.
Prices are also often lower if you make a reservation as far in advance as you can, and if you reserve a truck between Sunday and Thursday because weekends are busier. Special discounts apply for senior citizens, military personnel, students and more, so ask about those discounts before you finalize your reservation. If you get a better quote from a local truck rental company, Budget can often match a competitor's price.
Budget review: Service
It's important to remember that Budget does not offer a guarantee on reservations for rental trucks. The company claims it doesn’t overbook, but overlapping is sometimes unavoidable. The truck you plan to rent may not be ready for you when you're ready for it, but the managers can work with you and offer a different size truck or a new pickup time. If you need to cancel your reservation, do so at least 48 hours before the pickup time to avoid a $50 fee.
Budget has several supplemental insurance options that covers you, your belongings and the truck in case of an accident. All the coverage options include roadside assistance and coverage for the truck, but the more comprehensive packages add coverage for bodily injury and your cargo.
Should you use Budget?
Budget is the truck rental service you should turn to first if you're looking to move - well, there's no other way to say it - on a budget. The frequent coupons and promotions, price matching, and ready made discounts for seniors, students and members of the military, all combine to make a rental company that will rarely be beaten on price. Admittedly, the truck selection is not as varied as other rental services, and the lack of guaranteed reservations may deter some. However, for a cost-effective truck rental for one-way or local moves, Budget is usually the best option.