2021 Budget Truck Rental Review

Bottom line: Budget Truck Rental’s services, affordable rental prices, and low mileage rates make it our number one moving truck rental company for local moves.
Joe Roberts
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on May 31, 2021
10 min read

Budget Truck Rental is one of the best moving truck rental companies in the business, and it’s the number one option for local moves. The company provides most services you could need for a DIY move, it’s widely available throughout the country, and it has the best rates for local rentals.

That said, Budget’s competitors do sometimes have better prices for long-distance rentals and large rental trucks. So if you’re moving long distance or you need a big truck, get a quote from multiple companies to compare.

Keep reading to learn about Budget’s pricing and services.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Best prices for local moves
Pro Bullet Moving help available
Pro Bullet Deals and discounts
Pro Bullet Low mileage rates
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Fewer locations than U-Haul
Con Bullet Fewer truck options than most competitors
Con Bullet Lukewarm customer reviews

See where Budget ranks on our list of the best moving truck rental companies.


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How much does Budget Truck Rental cost?

If you’re moving locally and you want to keep things cheap by renting a moving truck instead of hiring professionals, Budget Truck Rental is your go-to option.

To fairly compare moving truck prices, we gathered over a hundred quotes from industry-leading moving truck rental companies. We found that Budget’s prices are consistently lower than U-Haul’s, and they’re the very best in the industry for local moves.

For moves under 100 miles, Budget’s average price was $27.60 with a $0.47/mile mileage rate. Compared to the industry average of $169.65 plus a mileage rate of $0.75 per mile, Budget’s local rates are an absolute steal.

The only company that can hold a candle to Budget’s local rates is Home Depot, but only if you can complete your move in one of Home Depot’s super small Load ‘N Go Trucks. If you're moving locally from a home with more than one bedroom, Budget is your best bet.

Budget’s long-distance rates are a different story, though. For moves over 100 miles, Budget’s average price was $2,080, while the industry average was $2,077. So, while Budget’s long-distance prices aren’t as good as Penske’s, they’re just about average.

These are just averages though, and Budget can sometimes have the best rates available for long-distance moves, like it did for this move from Iowa to Texas. The bottom line is that you should always get quotes from multiple companies.

Budget pricing

To give you an idea of how much your Budget truck rental might cost, here are a few of the quotes Budget gave us:

Quotes for Budget’s 26-foot truck rentals

Move Distance
Quote
50 miles$38.38 + $0.47/mile
463 miles$777.70
1,846 miles$3,029.63
2,060 miles$2,861.33

Quotes for Budget’s 12-foot truck rentals

Move Distance
Quote
50 miles$21.14 + $0.47/mile
463 miles$571.63
1,846 miles$1,988.27
2,060 miles$2,179.52

Data as of October 2020. Prices do not include add-on services like moving coverage or additional equipment rentals. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Budget cost factors

Moving truck rental rates fluctuate daily because of supply and demand, so it’s impossible to predict exactly how much your Budget moving truck will cost until you get your quote. However, here are some factors that will always affect your price:

  • Your move date
  • When you book
  • Your rental deposit
  • Taxes
  • Mileage
  • Add-on rentals and services
  • Moving coverage

If you’re curious about how each of these factors work together to determine your rental price, read our guide to moving costs.

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.

Bullhorn
Budget’s truck rental deposit

On top of your rental cost, Budget also charges a refundable $150 deposit for moving truck rentals. You’ll get the full deposit back as long as you don’t return the truck caked with mud, with less gas than you started with, or past your allotted time. Be warned that sometimes the deposit can take weeks to return to your bank account. Plan accordingly.

Budget discounts

To make its competitive rates even better, Budget offers several discounts that can save you a lot of money:

  • US military discount—20% off truck rental
  • AARP member discount—20% off Sunday through Thursday and 10% off Friday through Saturday
  • Police, fire, and EMT personnel discounts—20% off for local moves and 15% off for one-way moves
  • Motor Club member discounts—20% off for local moves and 15% off for one-way moves
  • Bar Association member discounts—20% off for local moves and 15% off for one-way moves
  • Student discounts—20% off for local moves and 15% off for one-way moves​1

Ready to get your quote?
See exactly what your moving truck will cost and snag a sweet discount while you’re at it.

Budget’s moving coverage options

While it costs extra, moving coverage is absolutely essential for a painless and carefree move. If you don’t purchase coverage to pay for unexpected damage to your moving truck or your belongings, you’ll be left footing the bill for whatever might go wrong. Even if you make it to your new home without incident, the peace of mind that comes with coverage is worth the price.

Here’s a list of Budget’s moving coverage options and what they cover.

Damage Waivers

Budget’s damage waivers cover the cost of physical damage to moving trucks and towing equipment.2 Budget has two different damage waiver options, each with specific exclusions:

  • The first, called Physical Damage Waiver, covers all damage, so you’re financially responsible for no damage to the truck.
  • The second, called Limited Damage Waiver, covers damage after the first $500. So, for example, if the truck suffered $1,000 of damage while you had it, you’d have to pay $500, then the damage waiver would cover the other $500. If the truck suffered only $500 of damage, though, you’d have to pay it all.

Supplemental Liability Insurance

Supplemental liability insurance (SLI) protects you from third-party property damage or injury claims made by third parties against you while you’re driving your Budget truck. Keep in mind that there are exclusions. For example, SLI won’t protect you if you operate your truck in a way that violates your rental agreement.3

Personal and Cargo

Budget’s personal and cargo insurance covers two types of damage in case of a collision:

  • Bodily injury to you and your passengers
  • Damage to your household goods

There are a lot of exclusions, and this coverage doesn’t apply to items like jewelry, antiques, and firearms, so be sure to check the terms and conditions before you hit the road.4

Auto Tow Protection

If you need to tow a car during your move, auto tow protection covers damage to the towed vehicle as long as you tow it behind your Budget truck on a Budget tow dolly or car carrier. This coverage comes with a $250 deductible. As with all types of coverage, there are also some exclusions.5

Roadside SafetyNet

Roadside SafetyNet is Budget’s version of roadside assistance. It gives you access to Budget’s 24/7 roadside assistance hotline, which can help you in case of certain events:

  • Flat tires
  • Lost keys
  • A broken window or windshield
  • A dead battery
  • An empty fuel tank
  • And more6

Roadside SafetyNet only covers these events if they happen to your moving truck, not to your personal vehicle. This is Budget’s most basic coverage option, but it’s also the one you’re most likely to use. Even if you forego other types of coverage, you should still pay for roadside assistance.

All coverage options are subject to provisions, limitations, and exceptions. Individuals should review their rental contract—including addendums—for a complete description of the policy's terms, conditions, and exclusions.


Budget Truck Rental features and services

  • Long-distance, one-way rentals
  • Local, round-trip rentals
  • Multiple truck sizes
  • Pickup truck rental
  • Furniture pads and hand truck rentals
  • Tow dolly and car carrier rentals
  • Multiple coverage options
  • Roadside assistance
  • Moving labor (costs extra)

Budget’s moving trucks

Budget has fewer moving truck sizes than most competitors, though its 26-foot truck is just as big as any other company’s largest truck (give or take a few cubic feet of space). Budget’s two largest trucks also come with convenient loading ramps that make it easy to carry heavy furniture up into the truck.

Budget truck sizes

Truck size
Cargo van
12 foot
16 foot
26 foot
Internal dimensions11 ft. x 4 ft. 5 in. x 6 ft.10 ft. x 6 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft.16 ft. x 6 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft. 7 in.26 ft. x 8 ft. 1 in. x 8 ft. 1 in.
Capacity1 room or a studio apartment1–2 rooms3–4 rooms5–8 rooms
Weight limit (lbs.) 3,4003,6104,46010,000
Interior space (cu. ft.) 3573806581,698
Fuel tank capacity (gallons)25353350
Miles per gallon 8–148–146–108–10

Data as of April 20, 2021.

In addition to the moving truck sizes listed in the table above, Budget rents out pickup trucks of various sizes. Budget’s pickup trucks are only available for local moves and odd jobs, so you can’t move to another state in one, but they’re perfect for hauling a busted sofa to the dump or picking up renovation materials from the hardware store.

Exclamation
Watch the clearance!

No matter which size you pick, pay attention to your truck’s clearance, and avoid low bridges, drive-thru windows, and parking garages. You wouldn’t want to get stuck under your apartment building’s covered parking or mow down an awning.

Budget’s auto transport rental equipment

If you need an affordable way to get an extra car to your new home, you can rent one of Budget’s tow dollies or car carriers to haul your vehicle behind your moving truck.

Budget’s towing rental specifications

Rental equipment
Tow dolly7
Car carrier8
Intended towed vehicle type
  • Front-wheel drive
  • All-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel drive
  • All-wheel drive
  • Load capacity (lbs.)
  • 3,300 (FWD)
  • 3,600 (AWD, 4WD, or RWD)
  • 4,055
    Maximum vehicle width6 ft. 4 in.6 ft. 7 in.
    Maximum vehicle lengthN/A12 ft.

    Data as of May 13, 2021.

    Budget’s tow dollies and car carriers can only be rented if you’re also renting a moving truck. You can’t tow them behind any vehicle except your moving truck.

    Money
    Is towing your car worth the savings?

    While it’s more affordable than paying for professional auto transport, towing your vehicle behind your moving truck adds heaps of stress to your move, even if you get towing coverage. If you’d rather just hire a pro to ship your vehicle and wash your hands of the situation, check out our list of the Best Auto Transport Companies.


    What to know about Budget Truck Rental

    Now that you’ve got an overview of Budget’s services and prices, let’s focus on a few of Budget’s qualities you should know about.

    Budget’s mileage rate is one of the lowest

    For local moves, basically every moving truck rental company charges a mileage rate on top of the rental price. The only exception is Home Depot, but this only applies to its small Load ‘N Go truck rentals, which come with unlimited mileage. If you need a medium- to large-sized moving truck, Home Depot can rent a Penske truck to you, but it will come with Penske’s mileage rate.

    Mileage rates for moving trucks

    Company
    Budget Truck Rental
    Penske Truck Rental
    U-Haul Truck Rental
    Mileage rate$0.47/mile$1.29/mile$0.99/mile

    Data as of October, 2020.

    The only company with a lower mileage rate than Budget is Enterprise at $0.20/mile, though Enterprise’s average upfront rental price for local moves is about $100 higher than Budget’s rental price.

    Budget’s low mileage rate, paired with its unbeatable rental prices, make it the most affordable moving truck rental company for local moves.

    Budget offers loading/unloading help

    If you’re renting a moving truck, you’re probably prepared to do all the heavy lifting yourself to save money. However, DIY moving doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and getting some professional moving help can expedite your move and prevent back pain later on.

    Budget partners with HireAHelper—one of our favorite moving labor companies—to help customers with loading and unloading. These services cost extra, but they’re still cheaper than paying for a full-service move.

    Additionally, hiring trained professionals to help load and unload your belongings is safer than doing it all yourself, even if this isn’t your first rodeo.

    If you’re still committed to doing all the work yourself, you should at least check out our guide to loading a moving truck to get some tips and pointers.

    Budget’s customer reviews aren’t stellar

    Despite all the good qualities we’ve listed, Budget’s customer reviews don’t paint a pretty picture. Across multiple review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews, customers report issues like unfriendly customer service, dirty and damaged trucks, and slow response times from roadside assistance.

    As a general rule, you shouldn’t put too much stock in customer reviews. People are more likely to write reviews if they’ve had negative experiences,9 so online reviews tend to skew harshly critical, even if a company offers satisfactory service a lot of the time.

    That said, Budget’s reviews are tied with U-Haul’s for the worst in the industry, so be forewarned before you decide to rent from Budget. The company’s low local rates might still be worth risking some bad customer service, but if you’re willing to pay more for a better experience, get a quote from Penske, the moving truck rental company with the best customer reviews.

    Pin
    No guaranteed reservations

    One of the most common complaints Budget customers have is that the company doesn't guarantee reservations—almost no truck rental companies do.
    If you're flexible, this can be worth the savings. But if you want to be sure that you'll get what you ordered at the date and time you need it, Penske offers guaranteed reservations.


    FAQ about Budget Truck Rental

    Why doesn’t Budget Truck Rental guarantee reservations?

    Budget Truck Rental doesn’t guarantee reservations because it considers your truck size, pickup date, and location to be preferences, and it reserves the right to make changes. However, Budget Truck Rental does honor your original rate if you make a deposit using a credit card.

    Does Budget Truck Rental have unlimited mileage?

    Budget does not offer unlimited miles. With a local rental, you’ll pay a per-mile fee. On a long-distance, one-way rental, mileage is included, but there’s a mileage cap based on your specific move—and you’ll pay for any additional distance you drive.

    Does Budget Truck Rental offer loading/unloading help?

    Budget itself will not send its employees to help you load and unload your truck or pack and unpack your boxes. Instead, it'll direct you to HireAHelper, which offers hourly moving labor.

    Does Budget Truck Rental rent moving trailers?

    Budget does not have moving trailers available for rent. It offers only car trailers and tow dollies for your vehicle. If you need a trailer to tow behind your car, check out our list of the best places to rent moving trailers.

    Does Budget Truck Rental rent cargo vans?

    Yes, in addition to its three moving truck sizes, Budget Truck Rental also offers cargo vans. As you might expect, Budget’s cargo vans are much smaller than its moving trucks, so you can’t fit much inside of them. That said, they’re cheaper than renting a moving truck, and they’re perfect for smaller jobs like moving out of a studio apartment.

    Heads Up
    Budget Truck Rental and Covid-19

    Budget Truck Rental is still open for business. The company is taking extra precautions to sanitize its vehicles. Budget has also relaxed its cancellation policies, so if your plans change, you may be able to avoid fees.


    Our recommendation

    Despite its negative customer reviews, Budget’s list of services and affordable rates make it one of the best moving truck rental companies in the biz. And, if you’re moving locally and you want the most affordable moving truck you can find, Budget’s rates are far and away the lowest. You should still get quotes from a few other companies as well, but Budget is likely your most affordable option.

    Ready to get your move started?
    We could talk all day about Budget’s affordability, but you’ll only know for sure what your move will cost after you get your quote.

    Have you moved with Budget? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!

    Other truck rental picks

    If Budget isn't quite what you're looking for, here are a few other moving truck rental companies we recommend:

    You can also compare companies' pricing and services on our Best Truck Rental Companies list or our Cheapest Truck Rental Companies list. 

    Recommended resources

    You can never over prepare for a move. Read these guides to make sure everything is squared away before moving day:

    Our reports on Budget customers' experiences

    Bullhorn
    Move.org Moving Grants: The 411

    At Move.org, we offer financial assistance to individuals and families who are moving in exchange for details about their experience. Their candid reviews help us provide unique, real-life perspectives about the moving process.

    Visit our Moving Grant hub to find out which companies we’ve worked with and to apply for funding for your next move!

    Sources

    1. Budget Truck Rental, “Current Truck Rental Deals.” Accessed May 12, 2021.
    2. Budget Truck Rental, “Rental Damage Waiver.” Accessed May 12, 2021.
    3. Budget Truck Rental, “Supplemental Liability Insurance.” Accessed May 12, 2021.
    4. Budget Truck Rental, “Personal Accident & Cargo Insurance.” Accessed May 12, 2021.
    5. Budget Truck Rental, “Auto Tow Protection.” Accessed May 12, 2021.
    6. Budget Truck Rental, “Truck Roadside Assistance.” Accessed May 12, 2021.
    7. Budget Truck Rental, “Car Dolly and Tow Dolly Rentals.” Accessed May 13, 2021.
    8. Budget Truck Rental, “Car Carriers and Car Trailer Rentals.” Accessed May 13, 2021.
    9. Marketing Charts, “Bad Customer Service Interactions More Likely to be Shared Than Good Ones,” April 15, 2013. Accessed May 4, 2021.
    Joe Roberts
    Written by
    Joe Roberts
    Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over three years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.