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The Truth About Moving Truck Gas Mileage

July 30th, 2012 - 3:01 PM

It seems like as soon as gas prices lower just a smidge, they’re back up again. Most people consider rental trucks the cheapest way to move because it is completely DIY, but what they sometimes forget to consider is that the fluctuating price of gas has a significant impact on the cost of a long-distance move in a rental truck. Here’s the real truth about moving truck gas mileage:

Who pays for the fuel?
You do. Your truck rental quote doesn’t include fuel. It also doesn’t include sales tax, road tolls, or insurance.

Tank Size. Most truck rental companies boast about the large size of their fuel tanks. I’m here to remind you that even though the tank size can range from 30 to 60 gallons (depending on truck size), at a hypothetical $3.15/gallon, you’ll pay $94-$189 per fill up. If you’re moving long distance, you’ll fill up more than once. Use the online Rental Truck Fuel Calculator tool to check fuel prices for your specific move.

MPG. It’s a big deal these days. So when I tell you that rental trucks can get between 6-12 mpg (depending on truck size), you will need to think about how many times you will stop for gas along the way. Remember, more stops mean more time on the road, spending more money for meals, snacks, and hotel stays. 

Truck Weight. Most rental truck websites will show you the MPG each size truck gets. However, most are showing you the MPG for an empty truck. Who moves with an empty truck!? Once the truck is loaded, subtract 1-3 mpg (depending on how much you load) from the estimated mpg on the website. The lower the MPG means paying more to fill up.

Let’s recap the truth about moving truck gas mileage

  • You pay for the fuel plus the sales tax, insurance, and road tolls out of pocket.
  • Big tank size = big cost to fill up from empty to full.
  • Low MPG = more stops for gas, longer time on the road.
  • Empty truck = what’s shown on the website | Loaded truck = even lower MPG

Bottom line—truck rental is not cheap.

If not truck rental, what’s the cheapest way to move long distance?
Glad you asked. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a company whose prices are comparable to truck rental, but you don’t do the driving, and the FUEL, sales tax, liability, and road tolls are included in the moving quote? You must be thinking about U-Pack Moving! We’re a real moving service (we really exist!) that can move you (we drive!) long distance without you paying out of pocket for gas. Get a free moving quote from us and compare it to your truck rental quote!

Leave a comment below or give us a call at 800-413-4799 to talk about your moving quote or truck rental questions. We’ll gladly help! We drive. You save. ®