Top 3 Cheapest Rental Truck Companies of 2021

Best local prices
budget
Budget Truck Rental
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lowest local prices
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lowest overall prices
  • Icon Cons  Light
    High fuel costs
Best one-way prices
penske
Penske Truck Rental
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lowest one-way prices
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Most accurate quotes
  • Icon Cons  Light
    High local move prices
Best insurance prices
uhaul
U-Haul
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lowest insurance prices
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lowest prices for short and long moves
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Inaccurate quotes
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on December 18, 2020
6 min read

Rental trucks are often your cheapest DIY move option because you do most of the work (like packing, loading, and driving) instead of hiring a professional mover.

But that doesn’t mean all moving truck rental companies are created equal.

They aren’t.

Some companies offer low quotes but have high final prices. Others have low rates for local moves but are more expensive for one-way trips. And so on.

We researched truck rental companies to find your cheapest options. We collected 116 quotes from five of the biggest moving truck rental companies to find out which moving truck company is the cheapest.

We identified the three best cheap truck rental companies:

  1. Budget Truck Rental
  2. Penske Truck Rental
  3. U-Haul

We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each truck rental company and help you find the cheapest option for your move.

Check out where these companies rank on our list of the best truck rental companies.


The cheapest moving truck rental companies

  • Budget Truck Rental—Best prices on local moves
  • Penske Truck Rental—Best prices on one-way moves
  • U-Haul—Cheapest insurance
Bullhorn
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Budget Truck Rental—Best prices on local moves

Budget Truck Rental has the lowest overall prices and is especially affordable for local moves. The moving company also has several discounts, including an automatic discount of about 9% for one-way reservations booked online. Although it has high fuel costs and insurance prices, it’s still one of the best budget truck rental companies.

Budget Truck Rental costs

Budget Truck Rental
Our top truck rental companies

Average cost

$1,520

$1,550

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing rental costs plus fuel for four home sizes across seven distances.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lowest local prices
Pro Bullet Lowest overall prices
Pro Bullet Instant online discounts
Pro Bullet Includes mileage in quotes
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High fuel costs
Con Bullet High insurance costs

What sets Budget Truck Rental apart?

Budget Truck Rental has the lowest overall prices

The average cost to move with Budget Truck Rental is $1,520—or $30 less than the average of the other companies on our list.

Even better? Budget Truck Rental is $60 more affordable on average than its highest-priced competitor, U-Haul.

Budget Truck Rental is your cheapest in-town truck rental option

Budget Truck Rental scores off the affordability charts for local moves. The average cost for a local move with a Budget rental truck is $80—or $70 less than the average.

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Budget Truck Rental costs for local moves

Budget Truck Rental
Penske Truck Rental
U-Haul
Average cost

$80

$110

$260

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing rental costs plus fuel for four home sizes for a local move of 50 miles in which the moving truck is returned to the same location.

Want a cheap moving truck for an in-town move?

Money
Save 10% on a budget truck rental reservation

You receive an automatic discount of about 10% if you reserve a truck online with Budget Truck Rental.

Learn more in our Budget Truck Rental Review.


Penske Truck Rental—Best prices on one-way moves

Penske has the most accurate quotes of any company we researched (meaning your quote will be basically the same as your final price). It also has the lowest prices for one-way moves and larger trucks for moving big homes.

While it has high prices for local moves and smaller trucks (for smaller homes), its overall rates are lower than average. Its trucks also get the best gas mileage of any company in the business.

Penske Truck Rental costs

Penske Truck Rental
Our top truck rental companies

Average cost

$1,540

$1,550

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing rental costs plus fuel for four home sizes across seven distances.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lowest one-way prices
Pro Bullet Most accurate quotes
Pro Bullet Lowest prices for big homes
Pro Bullet Best gas mileage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High prices for local moves
Con Bullet High prices for small homes

What sets Penske Truck Rental apart?

Penske Truck Rental has the lowest one-way prices

The average cost of a one-way move with Penske Truck Rental is $1,750—or about $30 less than average. If you’re moving to another city, it’s tough to beat Penske Rental Truck’s prices.

Penske Truck Rental one-way prices

Penske Truck Rental
Our top truck rental companies

Average cost

$1,750

$1,780

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing rental costs plus fuel for four home sizes across seven distances.

Penske Truck Rental has the most accurate prices

At first glance, Penske Truck Rental looks like it’s hundreds of dollars more expensive than other companies. In reality, the company is just more up-front with customers about final costs.

Here’s why:

The cost to rent a moving truck is almost always higher than what you see in your initial quote. Many companies don’t include fees, deposits, or taxes in your estimate—and those can amount to hundreds of dollars.

We like Penske Truck Rental because it has the most straightforward pricing. Its quotes are nearly 100% accurate: the only cost not included is fuel.

By comparison, the average company charges about 40% more than your quote.

Truck rental quotes compared to final prices

Initial quote
Final cost
Amount above quote
Penske Truck Rental

$1,360

$1,540

$180

Budget Truck Rental

$1,170

$1,520

$350

U-Haul

$1,180

$1,580

$400

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing initial quotes and final prices (including fuel costs) for four home sizes across seven distances.

Want a quote that matches your final price?

Penske Truck Rental has the best gas mileage in the business

Don’t forget that you’ll need to fill up your truck’s gas tank when you move. That’s not a big deal if you’re moving only a short distance.

But the costs add up if you're traveling across the country. Different moving truck sizes get different gas mileage rates—which also vary from company to company.

We found that Penske Truck Rental can save you up to $60 in fuel costs compared to competitors.

Penske Truck Rental fuel costs

Penske Truck Rental
Our top truck rental companies

100 miles

$20

$20

1,050 miles

$180

$200

2,050 miles

$350

$410

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing rental costs plus fuel for four home sizes across seven distances.

Learn more in our Penske Truck Rental Review.

Heads Up
Another option for local moves

Enterprise Truck Rental didn’t make our list because it offers only local moves, but we like the company’s 14 different moving truck sizes (including a pickup truck and a cargo van). Learn more in our Enterprise Truck Rental Review.


U-Haul—Best insurance prices

U-Haul is probably the most well-known moving truck rental company. It has low prices for moves of 100 and 1,000 miles and the cheapest insurance.

On the other hand, U-Haul’s overall costs are typically high, and its quotes aren’t very accurate: an average move with U-Haul costs about $400 more than what the company quotes you.

U-Haul costs

U-Haul
Our top truck rental companies

Average cost

$1,580

$1,550

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing rental costs plus fuel for four home sizes across seven distances.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lowest insurance prices
Pro Bullet Low prices for moves of 100 miles
Pro Bullet Low prices for moves of 1,000 miles
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Inaccurate quotes
Con Bullet Highest overall prices

What sets U-Haul apart?

U-Haul has low prices for moves of 100 and 1,050 miles

U-Haul often gives the lowest quotes but has the highest final prices. However, there are two instances in which U-Haul has the cheapest rates:

  1. Moves of 100 miles. U-Haul’s price of $210 is $30 cheaper than the average.
  2. Moves of 1,050 miles. U-Haul’s price of $2,310 is $260 cheaper than the average.

Want to save more than $200 on a move of 1,000 miles?

Megaphone
Choices, choices!

U-Haul has six different trucks to choose from, including a cargo van and a pickup truck for smaller moves. You can also rent equipment, like hand trucks and furniture pads. Learn more in our U-Haul Review.

U-Haul has the lowest insurance prices

Truck rental companies allow you to purchase insurance to cover costs due to accidents, injuries, and even roadside assistance annoyances like flat tires. While each company has slightly different offerings, U-Haul’s average insurance rates are about $50 lower than the competition.

U-Haul insurance costs

U-Haul
Our top truck rental companies

Average cost

$70

$130

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing rental costs plus fuel for four home sizes across seven distances.

U-Haul has very inaccurate quotes

U-Haul has attractive quotes, but your quote does not equal your final price. U-Haul quotes include the cost of a moving truck rental and an environmental fee, but they don’t include other expenses:

  • Taxes
  • Fuel costs
  • Mileage fees on local moves
Pin
U-Box: A U-Haul moving container

U-Haul has a moving container called a U-Box. Like with its moving trucks, final U-Box costs are much higher than initial quotes. But there are times when the U-Box has the lowest rates compared to other moving container companies.

The result is that your final U-Haul price is about 60% more expensive than your initial quote. For local moves, your final price is about 240% higher, while one-way moves set you back an extra 30%.

That means an average move with U-Haul will cost $400 more than your quote.

U-Haul quotes vs. final prices

Initial quotes
Final prices
Differences

Local moves

$30

$110

$80 ↑

One-way movess

$1,370

$1,830

$460 ↑

Averages

$1,180

$1,580

$400 ↑

Data current as of 6/19/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost calculated by comparing initial quotes and final prices (including fuel costs) for four home sizes across seven distances.

Learn more in our U-Haul Review.


Recapping our three best cheap truck rental companies

  • Budget Truck Rental—Best prices on local moves
  • Penske Truck Rental—Best prices on one-way moves
  • U-Haul—Best insurance prices

What is the cheapest moving truck rental company?

Budget Truck Rental has the best overall prices and really shines for local moves while Penske Truck Rental has the cheapest rates for one-way moves. U-Haul is your go-to company for low insurance costs.

Other cost-saving resources

Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.