Budget and U-Haul similarities
Like we’ve said, Budget and U-Haul have a lot of similarities. To bring you up to speed, we’ll quickly detail these similarities before talking about what differentiates the two companies.
Both companies offer local and long-distance rentals
Typically, a long-distance move is any move over 100 miles, and a local move is any move under 100 miles.
Truck rental companies sometimes call long-distance moves “one-way” moves because you return your rental truck at a different location than where you got it. Similarly, companies often call local moves “round-trip” moves because you return your truck to your initial rental location.
Both Budget and U-Haul offer rental trucks for both types of moves. This makes both companies stand out above competitors like Enterprise and Home Depot, which only rent trucks for local moves (though some Home Depot locations partner with Penske to provide long-distance Penske trucks).
Both companies have bad customer reviews
Across customer review forums like Google Reviews and Yelp, both Budget and U-Haul receive abysmal reviews. We checked star ratings across five different review platforms, and we found that the average star rating for both companies comes out to 1.3.
Since the companies’ star ratings are in a dead heat, we can conclude that the two provide similar customer satisfaction. However, customers do tend to complain about different things depending on which company they rented their truck from.
While neither company guarantees reservations, we’ve found that U-Haul customers complain about broken reservations far more often than Budget customers. Conversely, Budget customers report unclean trucks with malfunctioning parts far more often than U-Haul customers.
So, based on customer reviews, you’re more likely to get your reserved truck with Budget, but that truck probably won’t be as clean or reliable as a U-Haul truck.
Another important difference that we noticed is that Budget responds to customer complaints and is proactive about solving problems—U-Haul is not. We’re impressed by the way Budget goes the extra mile to address concerns.
Want to hear what customers think of Budget?
Despite the negativity found in online reviews, we’ve seen Budget provide customers with positive experiences. If you want to read about these moves, check out these reports:
Both companies offer moving assistance
Renting a moving truck for your move traditionally means doing all the packing, loading, and unloading yourself. However, you don’t have to go full DIY. Both Budget and U-Haul offer move help services to assist you with everything except driving.
As you’d expect, these services cost extra, and exact prices depend on factors like location and how long you need help. That said, many hands make light work, and when some of those hands belong to professionals, it can greatly speed up your move. Your wallet may be a little lighter afterward, but your back will certainly hurt less than if you’d done all the work yourself.
U-Haul uses an online marketplace to provide moving assistance. In this marketplace, local labor companies compete to get hired for your job and you can handpick which company shows up to help you. Budget, on the other hand, provides moving assistance through a partnership with HireAHelper, our very favorite moving labor company.
Still planning to do all the work yourself?
If you’re trying to move as frugally as possible, then going full DIY is the best route. However, just because there won’t be any professionals on-site doesn’t mean your stuff can’t get pro-level treatment. Check out our guide to loading a moving truck so you can load up like the pros.
Both companies have great coverage options*
While moving coverage is optional, you should always purchase as much as you can to safeguard your stuff, your truck, and yourself. That’s why we like that both Budget and U-Haul have comprehensive coverage options.
Keep in mind that all of these coverage options have various exclusions and limitations, and you should refer to your rental agreement for complete information regarding coverage.
Budget has five coverage options to protect you in case of unfortunate circumstances ranging from locking your keys in the truck to getting in an accident.
Damage Waivers: These coverage plans cover the cost of damage to your Budget truck and any towing equipment you rent. Budget offers two different damage waiver plans:
- Physical Damage Waiver (PDW), which covers all damage costs.
- Limited Damage Waiver (LDW), which only covers damage after the first $500, so the repair/replacement costs for the first $500 of damage will come out of your own wallet.
Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI): This coverage plan protects you against injury claims made by third-parties against you while you’re driving your Budget truck. There are some exclusions, though. For example, SLI doesn’t cover you if you drive in a way that violates your rental agreement.
Personal and Cargo (PAC): PAC covers bodily injury for you and your passengers and damage to your household goods in case of a collision. PAC won’t cover certain types of belongings—such as jewelry—or collisions that result from improper driving, though.
Roadside SafetyNet (RSN): Paying for RSN gives you access to Budget’s 24/7 roadside assistance hotline that can help you in case of flat tires, lock outs, dead truck batteries, etc.
Auto Tow Protection (ATP): ATP covers any vehicle you tow using a Budget tow dolly or car carrier as long as you tow it behind your Budget truck.
U-Haul has four coverage options to protect you in the event of water damage, burglary, or accidents.
Safemove®: With Safemove, you get a damage waiver for rental equipment like your truck, cargo protection for your belongings, and medical/life protection for you and your passengers.
Safemove Plus®: This coverage option gives you everything included in the base Safemove plan, but it adds $1 million in supplemental liability coverage and additional inclusions for your damage waiver.
Safetow®: Think of Safetow as Safemove for towing. It gives you a damage waiver for your towing equipment, protection for towed cargo, and medical/life protection for you and your passengers.
Safetrip®: While all U-Haul rentals come with basic 24/7 roadside assistance in case your truck breaks down, you can purchase Safetrip to gain access to more deluxe roadside protections like lockout services and fuel services.
*Individuals should review their rental contract—including addendums—for a complete description of the policy's terms, conditions, and exclusions.