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Moving Trucks - Frequently Asked Questions

April 1st, 2016 - 9:02 AM

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Trucks

Well, at least almost everything! After over 18 years of moving household goods, we’ve answered a lot of questions about moving trucks – some unique, and some very common. We've compiled a list of those asked most frequently. And if you have a question we haven’t covered, leave us a comment at the bottom of this post — we’ll find an answer for you. 

moving trucks

Questions about Moving Trucks

How many miles per gallon do most trucks get?

It depends on the size of the truck. Here’s the average fuel mileage based on the size of the truck and the size of the tank:

  • 10 foot truck: 30-35 gallon tank, 6-12 mpg

  • 12 foot truck: 35 gallon tank, 6-10 mpg

  • 15 foot truck: 40 gallon tank, 10 mpg

  • 16 foot truck: 35-37 gallon tank, 6-10 mpg

  • 17 foot truck: 40 gallon tank, 10 mpg

  • 20 foot truck: 40 gallon tank, 10 mpg

  • 22 foot truck: 50 gallon tank, 8-12 mpg

  • 24 foot truck: 55-60 gallon tank, 8-10 mpg

  • 26 foot truck: 50-57 gallon tank, 8-12 mpg

Read more about the gas mileage of U-Haul trucks and Budget truck gas mileage.

How much will it cost to fuel a moving truck? 

A few factors go into the cost of fueling a truck, including the average miles per gallon, the distance you’re traveling, and the current price for a gallon of gas. Our rental truck fuel calculator is a great tool for estimating how much fuel you'll need in a rental truck.

How much do they weigh?

Based on U-Haul rental truck information,

  • 10 ft. truck weighs approximately 5,790 lbs. empty

  • 15 ft. truck weighs approximately 7,860 lbs. empty

  • 17 ft. truck weighs approximately 8,120 lbs. empty

  • 20 ft. truck weighs approximately 8,895 lbs. empty

  • 24 ft. truck weighs approximately 11,500 lbs. empty

  • 26 ft. truck weighs approximately 12,600 lbs. empty

I'm moving with a baby. Can you travel with a car seat in front?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the safest place for all children under 13 is in the back seat. Since a back seat is not available, our recommendation is to avoid traveling with infants and children in rental moving trucks. U-Pack is a great solution for families traveling with children on a truck rental budget. You still save money by loading and unloading, but U-Pack drives, so you can travel safely in your own vehicle. Read more about car seats in rental trucks.

How many people can fit into a moving truck's cab?

Most trucks have safety restraints available for up to three passengers – though some smaller 10, 12 and 16 foot trucks have only bucket seating for two. Rental trucks do not have back seats.

Can I put my dog or cat in a moving truck?

If you have an open seat, you could place your pet in a secured carrier or seatbelt adapter in the available seat. Do not place animals in the cargo area as they are not designed for proper ventilation, and placing pets in the back of your truck may violate your rental agreement. Read more tips for moving a cat long distance.

Do I have to stop at weigh stations?

In some states rental trucks carrying household goods are required to stop at weigh stations. If you know your route ahead of time, we recommend checking with the state's Department of Transportation before you begin your journey. You can often find this information online. If in doubt, stop. Read more about rental trucks at weigh stations.

How fast can you drive a moving truck?

Typically, the posted speed limit is recommended, but you should also take your comfort and experience into consideration. Read more about driving speed in a moving truck.

How fast can you drive on the interstate with an auto trailer attached?

For safety reasons, the maximum recommended speed for towing a vehicle behind a rental moving truck is 55 mph. If you determine that towing a vehicle is the best option for you, please make sure you are aware of the safety precautions you should take when towing a vehicle or trailer at high speeds. The California DMV offers helpful guidelines to reduce the chance of trailer sway.

Can someone else drive my moving truck rental?

In most cases, yes – but normally you'll be required to pay extra to add additional drivers. For instance, according to Penske's website, if you rent a Penske, you can add up to three additional drivers for $10 each (family members are no additional charge). Additional drivers normally have to meet a minimum age requirement and provide one or two forms of identification. Just remember that the person who signs the contract is usually the person responsible for the equipment. So if someone else is driving the moving truck and has an accident, you may be held financially responsible.

How much space will I need to park the moving truck?

Consider the length of the entire truck when you’re determining whether the truck will fit in your driveway. The truck length of 10 ft. or 15 ft. refers to the inside dimensions of the cargo area only, so you’ll need to consider the length of the entire truck including the truck, cargo area, deck and ramp length when determining parking space. Learn more about parking a U-Pack trailer.

How long are the loading ramps?

10 ft. U-Haul trucks do not have a ramp. 15 ft., 17 ft. and 20 ft. U-Haul trucks have 9.5’ long ramps. 24 ft. and 26 ft. U-Haul trucks have 8’ long ramps.

12 ft. Penske trucks do not have ramps. 16 ft. Penske trucks have 10’ long ramps. 22 ft. and 26 ft. Penske trucks have 14’ long ramps.

10 ft. Budget trucks do not have ramps.16 ft. Budget trucks have 10’ long ramps. 24 ft. Budget trucks have 13’ long ramps.

Is a Class C driver's license required to drive a Penske, Budget or U-Haul moving truck rental?

While you must be a licensed driver, a special license is not required because they are not considered commercial vehicles.

How old do you have to be to rent a moving truck?

With U-Haul and Penske you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license (Penske requires two forms of identification). With a few exceptions, most Budget locations require you to be at least 24 years old to rent. In some locations they will rent to customers 21-23 years old with two forms of ID (including a driver's license) and an $18 per day underage surcharge. (There are exceptions for military members with travel orders).

What is the biggest moving truck I can rent?

The 26-foot U-Haul truck is the largest that you can drive yourself. If you're searching for do-it-yourself moving solutions that involve someone else doing the driving, U-Pack offers a 28-foot commercial trailer – and customers love that the price is based on the space used in the trailer. If you don't need it all, you don't pay for it all! For comparison, a 28-foot trailer is similar in size to a 26-foot rental truck plus a 10-foot rental truck. So, whether you're moving a large home or a small home, U-Pack is a convenient way to move.

How do I know what size moving truck to use?

Great question! Use a moving space estimator to calculate what size you'll need. You may want to start with the Room-by-Room Space Estimator. Then, once you estimate the linear footage you need, simply use the Truck Rental Conversion tool to compare to a rental truck.

Do I have to buy insurance if I rent a moving truck to drive myself?

In most cases, purchasing insurance from the truck rental company is optional, but if you choose not to purchase it, it’s important to check with your auto insurance company and/or renters/homeowners insurance company to verify coverage. Note that most do not cover damage – even if the coverage extends to a rental car.

Are there alternatives to renting a truck and driving it myself?

Yes! If you like the idea of a low-cost move, but can’t afford a full-service mover, a “you pack, we drive” service is a great choice. With this type of service, you pack and load, but let professionals do the driving. U-Pack is an affordable “you pack, we drive” option.

What can I do if I need to rent a truck, but I can't drive, I'm not old enough or I don't have a driver's license?

This is where U-Pack becomes a great option! If you're moving long-distance the price is actually very similar to truck rental (when you add in fuel, taxes and insurance) – but you don't have to drive! Basically, we deliver a moving truck or moving container right to your door. You load. We drive it to your new home. You unload.

What are the perks of moving with U-Pack (compared to traditional moving trucks)?

  • The price is comparable to truck rental (get a free moving quote to see).

  • You don't have to drive. Your belongings are driven by experienced drivers.

  • Transit time averages 2-5 business days.

  • You pay only for the space you use.

  • You don't have to pay a down payment or deposit. 

Do I have to pay for fuel if I reserve a U-Pack moving truck?

No. Since U-Pack does the driving, fuel is included in your U-Pack quote.

After all these years, one thing we’ve learned is that no move is exactly the same. So, if you have questions about moving trucks that we haven’t answered, please ask, and our experts will get busy finding the answer. Call us at 800-413-4799 or leave a comment below. We’re happy to help!


U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Budget® is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC. Penske® is a registered trademark of Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.