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What is the cheapest moving truck rental?

July 22nd, 2016 - 12:54 PM

Finding cheap moving trucks​

For local, in-state moves, U-Haul®, Budget® and Penske® have a variety of cheap rental trucks available. But, because rates change constantly (due to location, truck size and the time of year you’re moving), it’s difficult to determine which company offers the cheapest moving truck prices. And, if you’re moving one-way, truck rental may not be the cheapest option.

cheap moving trucks

Rental truck costs increase significantly for longer distances, especially during peak season (Memorial Day – Labor Day), so options you may have thought were more expensive are actually comparable (especially when you add the costs of gas). When you consider the disadvantages of cheap moving truck rentals and compare them to U-Pack®, a “you pack, we drive” moving service, you’ll often find that U-Pack is more convenient and affordable overall.

Disadvantages of cheap truck rental

While rental trucks seem useful and inexpensive upfront, think about the following factors and how they can considerably boost the price.  

The cost of fuel 

Most rental trucks get 6-10 miles per gallon (mpg). Let’s pretend you’re moving 2,000 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles and want to know how much you’ll spend on gas. We’ll use the current national fuel average of $2.25 (regular) or $2.41 (diesel).

  • Regular – 2,000 X 2.25 = 4,500 (divide the total by six and 10). For regular gas prices you’ll pay anywhere from $450 to $750 for fuel.
  • Diesel – 2,000 X 2.41 = 4,820 (divide the total by six and 10). For diesel gas prices you’ll pay anywhere from $482 to $803 for fuel.

Fuel is a separate fee from truck rental charges and can fluctuate depending on the size of truck and type of gas you use. See how much gasoline you’ll need to budget for with our rental truck fuel calculator. Just enter your locations for an estimated price. Add the cost of fuel to your rental truck quote (along with sales tax and damage coverage) and your initial cheap moving truck quote can start to become costly.  

Extra travel expenses

There are additional expenses not directly associated with the cost of rental trucks that you’ll encounter on your trip. Often referred to as “soft costs,” lodging, meals, snacks on the go, highway tolls, etc. all require money on top of what you’re spending for the truck.  

Longer travel times

The longer you’re on the road, the more costs add up. Scenic routes, slower driving speeds and traffic can all make a big difference in how much you pay at the pump. If you’re towing a vehicle, most rental truck companies recommend you drive 55 miles per hour or under. So, for the same 2,000-mile move (Chicago to Los Angeles), you can drive 600 miles a day at most (12 hours per day at 55 mph) compared to the 780 miles you could drive with an average speed of 65 mph. Longer driving times means more fuel and travel expenses.

Comparing U-Pack to cheap rental trucks

Wondering if U-Pack really is the better alternative to cheap moving trucks? Look at the following factors and see how U-Pack makes moving long distance easier and more affordable.  

Pay only for the space you use

With U-Pack, you pay based on the space you need in the moving trailer or by the number of ReloCubes® you use. Rental trucks aren’t quite as convenient in the way they charge you. If only the largest rental truck is available, you won’t get a discount if you only use half of it. Or, if you rent a smaller truck to save money, you might run out of room. With U-Pack, those scenarios won’t happen. Reserve as much space or as many CubesTM you think you’ll need, but only pay for what you use.

No hidden fees or charges

Your U-Pack quote already includes the driver, fuel, sales tax, road tolls and liability coverage. None of these charges are separate and you’ll never have any hidden fees.

Drive comfortably

Forget the hassle of driving a bulky rental truck long distance. When you move with U-Pack, we drive so that you can travel comfortably in your vehicle or make it a quick trip by plane.

Moving with children? Rental trucks don’t have back seats, so they can’t accommodate car seats.  Other benefits to driving your own vehicle include:

  • Fewer stops for fuel
  • Better handling on curves and uneven lanes
  • Not worrying about your belongings sitting in a hotel parking lot overnight

Get a quote

Check to see if U-Pack is the cheapest moving truck for your move by getting a free online quote or by calling a moving specialist at 800-413-4799. If you have any questions or need help finding ways to lower the cost of your move, let us know in the comments below!

More resources

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U-Pack vs. U-Haul


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.