Budget Truck Rental Review

Bottom line: Budget Truck Rental offers simple, reliable moving van rentals at no-frills prices. Give our Budget review a read to see if Budget is the right truck rental company for you.

Overall rating

2.9 / 5

What is Budget Truck Rental?

Just as its name suggests, Budget Truck Rental’s strength is its affordability. Budget speaks to self-movers on a mission to move without spending an arm and a leg. And with over 1,700 US locations and 30,000 trucks, Budget makes this happen for a whole bunch of people.

Read on to see why the company ranked so high on our Best Moving Truck Companies list.

Pros

  • Tons of discounts
  • Low one-way costs
  • Lots of locations

Cons

  • Only 3 truck sizes

Budget’s moving truck rentals

Budget rents three different sizes of moving trucks (i.e., vans) for three different types of moves: local, one-way, and business moves (a.k.a. office relocations).

We dug up the specs on each truck size so you can determine which is best for your move.

Budget moving van rental types

Truck sizes12-foot truck16-foot truck26-foot truck
WebsiteMake a ReservationMake a ReservationMake a Reservation
Best for1–2 rooms or studio apartment3–4 rooms or 1-bedroom home5–8 rooms or 2–3 bedroom home
Weight capacity3,100 lbs.3,400 lbs.12,000 lbs.
Truck accessoriesNoneLoading rampLoading ramp and towing
Truck sizes
Website
Best for
Weight capacity
Truck accessories
12-foot truck 16-foot truck 26-foot truck
Make a Reservation Make a Reservation Make a Reservation
1–2 rooms or studio apartment 3–4 rooms or 1-bedroom home 5–8 rooms or 2–3 bedroom home
3,100 lbs. 3,400 lbs. 12,000 lbs.
None Loading ramp Loading ramp and towing
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Rent a pickup truck for smaller moves

Rent a pickup truck for smaller moves

If you’re working on a landscaping project, a minor home renovation, or even moving a dorm room-sized load, you can rent a Ford F-150 pickup truck from Budget Car Rental.

Budget Truck Rental features

Budget Truck Rental is the sister company to Budget Car Rental, and both are friendly to frugal consumers. Plus, from getting a quote to finding a location, Budget’s rental process is easy to follow.

Here are some of Budget’s features we feel deserve a special shout-out:

  • Comprehensive discounts
  • Broad availability
  • User-friendly quote generator

Add-on features

From moving pads to hand trucks, Budget’s add-on features can help make your move a lot easier (plus they’re decently priced).

Just keep in mind that Budget’s accessory rentals are on a first-come-first-serve basis, so it’s not guaranteed your location will have what you need right at that second.

You can add the following to your rental:

  • Hand truck rental
    • Includes two-wheeled, L-shaped hand truck with straps to help move heavy objects such as appliances or stacks of boxes.
    • Moves up to seven boxes at a time.
    • Prevents damage to stairs.
    • Is available when renting any truck or van.
  • Car carrier rental
    • Holds entire car on a trailer attached behind your rental truck.
    • Is good for four-wheel and all-wheel-drive vehicles.
      Has a maximum width of 6-feet 7-inches and a maximum weight capacity of 4,055 pounds.
  • Car dolly rental
    • Lifts your car’s front wheels off the ground and pulls it behind your rental truck.
    • Prevents extra mileage on your car.
    • Works with 16-foot and 24-foot trucks.
    • Is available for one-way moves.
  • Furniture and moving pad rental
    • Includes 3-foot by 5-foot quilted pads, rented in a pack of twelve.
    • Prevents furniture from scuffing.
    • Can be used to wrap fragile items like mirrors or pad open space in your truck.
    • Is available when renting any truck or van.
  • PlatePass
    • A toll payment solution for Budget Truck Rental customers.
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Need more services?

Need more services?

Budget partners with other providers to help its customers find moving companies, storage options, and car and motorcycle shipping.

Budget moving van rental costs

With local moves, you pick up and drop off your truck at the same location. With Budget one-way truck rentals, you return your truck to a different location from where you picked it up.

The difference in Budget’s van rental cost for local moves and one-way moves comes down to mileage. With local moves, the mileage cost depends on the exact number of miles you drive. But one-way moves come as a package deal with the estimated mileage included in the overall cost.

One-way moves will fit your needs if you’re moving to a different state, but be aware that rental costs change from state to state—meaning your overall cost could go up or drop down depending on the states you’re moving to and from.

Here’s the full breakdown between local and one-way moves:

  • Local moves
    • Cost to rent a Budget truck (per day)
    • Mileage (per mile)
    • Day of the week (it’s cheaper to book Sunday through Thursday than over the weekend)
    • Any add-ons, like a Budget trailer rental
    • Any liability coverage selected
    • Taxes and fees
    • Gas
    • $150 deposit
  • One-way moves
    • Cost to rent a Budget truck (per day)
    • Mileage (included)
    • Day of the week (it’s cheaper to book Sunday through Thursday than over the weekend)
    • Any add-ons, like a Budget trailer rental
    • Liability coverage selected
    • Taxes and fees
    • Gas
    • $150 deposit
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Be aware of cancellation fees

Be aware of cancellation fees

You can cancel your reservation up to 48 hours before your pick-up time, but any later will cost you $50.

The $150 deposit is fully refundable as long as you don’t bring the truck back dirty, with less gas than you started with, or past your allotted time. Plan accordingly, though: Sometimes the deposit can take weeks to hit your bank account.

Protection plans

Budget offers three different rental protection packages: value, choice, and complete. The availability of each plan—and even the specific benefits offered—may vary depending on the location you’re doing business with.

Budget’s customer service is pretty on point, though, so the representative you’re working with should be able to tell you your options.

Here’s what each plan includes:

  • Complete protection package
    • Physical damage waiver
    • Roadside assistance
    • Supplemental liability
    • Personal accident and cargo
  • Choice protection package
    • Physical damage waiver
    • Roadside assistance
    • Supplemental liability
  • Value protection package
    • Physical damage waiver
    • Roadside assistance

Here’s a full list of things Budget’s insurance covers.

Physical damage waiver: Waives all renter responsibility for any loss or damage, excluding tire damage as a result of driver error.

Roadside assistance: Provides everything from key replacement, tire changes, windshield repairs, jumpstarts, and lockout services to non-collision towing and emergency fuel delivery.

Supplemental liability: Protects the renter against injury and property damage claims made by a third party involved in an accident.

Personal accident and cargo: Covers injured renters or passengers, as well as any damaged household cargo.

Megaphone

Auto tow protection

Auto tow protection

Auto tow protection covers up to $15,000 of damage to any vehicle being towed by a Budget car carrier or dolly. It covers floods, fires, hail, and collisions and is treated as an add-on to the other protection plans.

Why we recommend Budget Truck Rental

Standout feature #1: Discounts

Budget’s rates are transparent and competitive, but its plethora of discounts is the real reason it stands out from the crowd.

For instance, Budget is so discount-happy it offers 40% off one-way moves in Phoenix, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Chicago, IL; all of California; and every state in between Virginia and New York.

Budget's discounts

Eligible customersDiscount rate
US military personnel20% off all orders
AARP members20% off all orders
Police, fire, and EMT20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
Motor Club members20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
Students20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
Bar Association members20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
Select states40% off one-way moves
Eligible customers
US military personnel
AARP members
Police, fire, and EMT
Motor Club members
Students
Bar Association members
Select states
Discount rate
20% off all orders
20% off all orders
20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves
40% off one-way moves

Standout feature #2: Broad availability

Minus Hawaii and Alaska, Budget has locations all over the United States—which makes it automatic royalty in the moving world. Not all moving companies have their fleets planted in all the major US cities, much less the entire continental US.

And while Budget offers only three rental truck sizes, it makes up for it by having such a wide reach.

One potential downside: Customer service quality might differ depending on the franchise you’re working with. Giving your location a quick Google search and reading up on its reviews will usually give you a good sense of what to expect.

Standout feature #3: Simple quote generator

Budget’s quote generator is painless and time-saving when you’re shopping around. To get your quote, plug in the basics of your move and see the numbers crunch for yourself. It’s just four steps:

  1. Pick your Budget moving truck
  2. Find a location
  3. Choose add-ons
  4. Provide personal information if you want to book

First things first: Budget can guarantee only rates, not reservations. Because Budget can’t control unexpected delays or hiccups (like if someone brought their truck back a day late), its truck availability is at the mercy of its customers.

That said, Budget will still honor the rate it quoted you. For instance, if you signed up to receive your rental truck on a Thursday but didn’t receive it until Friday, Budget will uphold its original quote for Thursday even though weekends cost more.

Budget’s quote generator is so low-hassle that it doesn’t even require you to provide your personal information until the last step. So if you’re shopping around and want to compare prices between companies without involuntarily signing up for a barrage of emails, this tool will be your best friend.

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Research made easy

Research made easy

Budget’s quote generator provides a list of possible pickup locations and business hours. Plus, it’ll show which locations do drop-offs and car rentals after hours.

Let’s recap—should you move with Budget?

Budget’s moving vans are some of the lowest-priced rentals we’ve seen on the market. Even for DIY moves, its prices are pretty hard to beat—as are its discounts.

Another thing that’s hard to beat? Budget’s nationwide availability. (And by nationwide availability we mean the entire continental US.)

Our only complaint about Budget is that it offers only three truck sizes—which is less than half what competitors offer—and its availability of add-on services varies based on location. But if you have a smaller, flexible load and your dates have some wiggle room, we say go for it—especially if you qualify for a discount.

What do you think of Budget’s moving truck rental prices and features? Let us know in the comments section below!

About Julia Campbell

Julia Campbell
A Washington, DC, native turned West Coast transplant, Julia is a full-time writer and amateur hiker. Experienced in relocating, she knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to all things moving.
  • Joel Rhustaller

    DO NOT USE BUDGET RENTAL TRUCKS. I showed up on Saturday morning with my reservation in hand, two $100/hr movers in tow and was told “sorry, it’s a really busy weekend. I doubt we will be able to get you anything.” Sort of makes you wonder what the value of a reservation is with Budget Truck Rentals.

  • Liz Flyntz

    I agree with the below commenter. I reserved a truck a month in advance and Budget cancelled our reservation after we cabbed to the pickup location claiming the previous renters decided to keep their truck longer. Because we’d already scheduled movers, we were forced to cab back, call around to rent another truck for twice as much money, and delay our move. Meanwhile Budget claimed they’d call us back in 20 minutes with another truck pickup location. No call. We called them an hour later and they offered to “escalate” our complaint and give us a discount and call us back with a truck within two hours. No call. Two hours later we called and got another offer to “escalate” our complaint.I guess use Budget if you don’t actually need a truck and just enjoy arguing about the definition of the word “reservation” with some dude at a call center.

  • Wayne Schwisow

    This review is for the Budget Truck Rental located at 5124 74th Street W., Lakewood, Wa 98499. Can you give 0 stars? Too bad. Worst rental experience EVER! And I’m 55! Showed at 10 for our reservation and no truck. “Sorry, not here yet. It will be here in 45 minutes”. We went back 90 minutes later and no truck. Finally got it at 3:30 on a Wednesday. I said I hoped we wouldn’t get charged for that day because it was shot. It was scheduled to be returned at 10am Sunday. He said we could have it till 3:30 on Sunday. I explained I don’t want it on Sunday till 3:30. I could have it back when they opened, I just don’t want to be charged for the day that I didn’t have the truck. He said if we got it at 3:30 we had till 3:30 to return it Sunday. Nothing he could do. We returned it at 2 since we had no rush at that point. They were closed. They close at 1 on Sunday. He didn’t mention that, ever. Brought it back the next day and he charged an extra day, plus a late fee! What a douche! He was practically laughing at the situation. My daughter tried asking him a question and he said “I don’t need to listen to your question, you’re wasting my time.” We asked to speak to the manager and he smiled and handed us his card. “I am the owner” he smugly said. I think he was enjoying it. I hope they go under by the end of the year. ABSOLUTE WORST EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!! Beware!!

  • Dominic Sebastian Xavier Gassm

    Budget Truck and Rental should be out of business. I implore those reading this review to never use Budget. You are INFINITELY better off using Penske (for a cheaper option) or using the reliable UHaul. Let me go into a little bit of detail..

    I booked a truck through Budget to move from one half of the country to the other. The drive was 20+ hours. Unfortunately, my move was due to a recent cancer diagnosis, as I was moving home to be closer to treatment and family. While I do not believe that necessarily entitles me to special treatment, I do think it warrants a little bit of empathy.

    Fast forward to when I have the truck… the smell in the truck is BEYOND awful. I firmly believe it is the worst thing I have ever smelled. It was like a mix of mildew, diapers and a dead animal. The odor attached itself to EVERYTHING in the back of the truck, as well as the cab, which I was driving in for about 25 hours! One can imagine how frustrating this was, especially considering my circumstances.

    I alerted Budget’s Customer Service division as soon as the smell become too much to bear, and they put a note into the account. When I arrived at my destination, the smell was too potent on some of my items (especially clothing) and I had to throw several things out, which is a clear loss of money due to Budget not maintaining their equipment.

    On top of all this, I returned the truck a DAY EARLY in my destination city, and was told there would be an extra charge for that of about $100. I did not understand and they said they were adding the fee for the last minute change. I explained that doesn’t make sense, as my initially planned drop off location was not open on the day I returned the truck (Saturday) and wouldn’t be open until Monday. I did not want to leave the key in a drop box, as I needed to explain to an employee the smell and show them.

    I called customer service immediately after drop-off to get compensation. I was unable to until “the reservation was closed”. I called seven more times and they said everytime that the reservation was not closed. When my reservation was FINALLY closed on Wednesday (four days after dropoff), I was able to discuss compensation options with Customer Service. I expected at least 50% considering the terrible conditions and loss of property.

    They offered $25. That amount doesn’t even pay for 2 hours worth of gas. It was less than 5% of my total cost for the truck. I politely asked several times to multiple levels within customer service for a refund of the bogus $100 fee they stuck on me and ideally a little bit of money to replace my lost property. Their customer service managers were EXTREMELY curt and even after explaining my diagnosis, were extremely apathetic. At one point they said “After giving your situation extreme consideration, we do not believe any compensation over $50 is legitimate”. They said that. To a cancer patient whose life they made miserable and whose property they ruined.

    I am writing this review to hopefully persuade everyone reading to NEVER use Budget. I don’t want to grandstand, but no one deserves that level of apathy and rudeness, let alone one going through cancer treatment. Budget will never see another cent from me, and with the way they treat their customers, I can only pray they go out of business.