Moving Companies That Offer Trailer Rentals

Best trailer selection
uhaul
U-Haul
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
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    Utility trailer
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Car trailer
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Car dolly
Best tow dollies
penske
Penske
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No utility trailer
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    Car trailer
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    Car dolly
Best prices
budget
Budget
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No utility trailer
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Car trailer
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Car dolly
Julia Campbell
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on March 02, 2021
8 min read

Whether you’re moving your kid into their college dorm room or relocating your studio-sized life across town, renting a trailer is a cheaper alternative to a full-sized moving truck—as long as you’re willing to tow the thing.

Plus, if you need to move your car and auto shipping is beyond your budget, a car trailer or tow dolly may be feasible options.

U-Haul offers the best selection of both enclosed trailers and car carriers of any nationwide company we’ve reviewed. But Budget and Penske are great options for car carrier rentals—if you’re already renting one of their moving trucks.

Read on to see our review of the best companies for moving and car trailers.

See where these brands rank on our list of the best truck rental companies.


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U-Haul—Best trailer selection

See where U-Haul ranks on our best truck rental companies list.

U-Haul allows you to rent its moving trailers a la carte, which means you don’t have to rent a moving truck to get a cargo trailer or tow dolly. This sets U-Haul apart from its competitors, who require you to rent moving trailers and car trailers/tow dollies all at the same time.

U-Haul is also the only company on our list to offer moving trailers in addition to car carriers and tow dollies (the others don’t offer trailers). In fact, U-Haul knocks it out of the park with its thirteen trailer options.

Be cautious of hidden fees, though—U-Haul has a rep for tacking extra costs onto your final bill.

Trailers U-Haul offers

Cargo trailers

Cargo trailers are smaller than a rental truck but still offer the same protection from the elements. You’ll want one of these if you’re transporting bedroom furniture, fragile items, or that pricey West Elm desk you always use a coaster with.

It comes down to this: Cargo trailers are best if you want protection. Your belongings will be kept safe from highway debris, and you won’t have to worry about a surprise torrential downpour ruining your velvet loveseat.

U-Haul Cargo Trailer

Plus, U-Haul cargo trailers have lockable doors to keep your things safe from theft.

U-Haul cargo trailer rates

4’ x 8’
5’ x 8’
5’ x 10’
6’ x 12’

Price per day

$14.95

$14.95

$29.95

$29.95

Weight limit

1,650 lbs.

1,800 lbs.

1,550 lbs.

2,480 lbs.

Best for

Single room, dorm room

Single room, twin bed, couches, chairs

1–2 bedrooms

Larger loads of furniture

Long-distance vs. local

Long-distance

Long-distance

Long-distance

Long-distance

Utility trailers

Utility trailers are ideal for outdoor or oversized items like landscaping equipment or your brand-new gas grill.

We don’t recommend throwing your Restoration Hardware sectional in one of these—but if you’re transporting patio furniture, a lawn mower, or other items that can handle an open ride on the highway, we say go for it.

U-Haul Utility Trailer

Several utility trailer sizes come with an EZ Ramp so you can slide heavy belongings onto the bed rather than lift them. These open trailers can’t be locked, but they do come with tie-down rings to secure your items in place.

U-Haul utility trailer rates

4’ x 7'
5’ x 8’
5’ x 9’ with ramp
6’ x 12’
6’ x 12’ with ramp

Price per day

$14.95

$18.95

$24.95

$29.95

$34.95

Weight limit

1,700 lbs.

1,890 lbs.

1,650 lbs.

2,670 lbs.

2,110 lbs.

Best for

Single room, lawn mowers, bulky items

Single room, twin bed, bulky furniture

1–2 rooms

Several rooms, bulky furniture

Several rooms, bulky furniture

Ramp included

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Long-distance vs. local

Long-distance

Long-distance

Long-distance

Long-distance

Long-distance

Auto trailers

If you don’t want to drop money on car shipping, you can rent a car or motorcycle trailer to tow your ride. Your vehicle sits on top of the trailer so your tires don’t suffer wear and tear while on the road.

For this reason, we recommend getting a car trailer if your move is long distance (i.e. 300 miles or more).

U-Haul Car Hauler

U-Haul’s car trailers can hold vehicles up to 5,290 pounds. To put this in perspective, a Ford F-150—a heavy-duty pickup truck—weighs anywhere from 6,000 to 7,000 pounds. Check up on your car’s specs to see if it’s towable before you book an auto trailer.

U-Haul auto trailer rates

Auto trailer
Motorcycle trailer

Price per day

$54.95

$14.95

Weight limit

5,290 lbs.

1,600 lbs.

Best for

Cars under 5,290 lbs., long-distance moves

Motorcycles, mopeds

Ramp included

Yes

Yes

Long-distance vs. local

Long-distance

Long-distance

Tow dolly

A tow dolly is cheaper than a car or motorcycle trailer, but it also offers less protection. Instead of lifting the vehicle completely off the ground, it supports only the front wheels. The back tires drag on the road—which does still save your car from racking up mileage.

Tow Dolly

If you have a smaller car and a tighter budget, a tow dolly may be all you need. But this solution is best for local moves—the wear and tear on your back wheels will be too much with long-distance moves.

U-Haul tow dolly rates

Tow dolly
Price per day$44.95
Weight limit3,450-3,900 lbs.
Best forFront-wheel or rear-wheel drive cards
Long-distance vs. localLong-distance
Website

How much does it cost to move with U-Haul?

Renting a trailer through U-Haul is cheaper than renting a trailer with any other company we reviewed. That’s because you can reserve a U-Haul trailer without having to pay the full price of a truck rental.

Here are the factors that affect U-Haul’s base rates:

  • Trailer type
  • Trailer size
  • Move distance
  • Gas mileage
  • Seasonality (i.e. rates increase in the summer)

To be honest, U-Haul’s base rates seem too good to be true. Here’s the caveat: U-Haul has a thing for jacking up your total via last-minute fees ranging from gas costs and mileage fees to damage protection plans.

To learn more, check out our U-Haul Truck Rental review. You can also learn how customers feel about U-Haul's trailers by reading our report on one U-Haul customer's experience.

Pin
Need a hitch?

U-Haul will install a hitch on your vehicle for you. The company has more than 1,500 installation locations across the country and a hitch option for nearly anything you might want to haul.


Penske—Best tow dollies

See where Penske ranks on our best truck rental companies list.

Unlike U-Haul, Penske has a great reputation for customer service and transparency: It makes good on the features and benefits it advertises. Basically, what you see is what you get when it comes to Penske, and that’s something few moving companies can claim.

For example, Penske guarantees reservations for your preferred truck size and pickup location. Other companies may offer this—but only at an added cost.

Our only complaint? Penske rents car trailers but doesn’t offer other types of moving trailers. Plus, it doesn’t allow you to tow its trailers behind anything other than a Penske rental truck.

Trailers Penske offers

Car trailers

Penske’s car trailers have a three-point tie-down system to keep your vehicle in place and prevent shifting. They also come with a ramp to make it a little bit easier to load everything from your mom’s new Mercedes to your beat-up Toyota you bought in college.

Penske Car Hauler

Penske’s car trailers are best for cars with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive—they also have a lower weight limit than U-Haul. Before you reserve, consider whether or not Penske is the best option for your car type.

Penske car trailer features

Car trailer
Weight limit

4,050 lbs.

Front-wheel drive

Yes

Four-wheel drive

Yes

All-wheel drive

Yes

Best for

All-wheel or rear-wheel drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Long-distance

Car dolly

Like its car trailers, Penske’s car dollies can only be pulled behind a Penske truck. But unlike its car trailers, the weight limit on its car dollies are actually higher than U-Haul’s.

If you know you have a heavier-than-average car, this might be one reason to choose Penske over U-Haul.

Penske Car Dolly

Penske tow dolly features

Tow dolly
Weight limit

4,300 lbs.

Front-wheel drive

Yes

Four-wheel drive

No

All-wheel drive

No

Best for

Front-wheel drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Local

How much does it cost to move with Penske?

Penske offers no set rental rates. It bases the cost of its car trailers and tow dollies on availability. The more car carriers and tow dollies it has at your location, the cheaper they are to rent. The less available they are, the more expensive they’ll be.

It was hard to nail down exactly how much Penske trailers cost because the company isn’t transparent about its cost factors (on top of its variable rates).

For instance, we got a quote of $275 for a car trailer starting in Salt Lake City, UT, and ending in Portland, OR. However, the cost of a move from Portland to Salt Lake City could be double that depending on how many trailers the Portland Penske has on hand.

Seasonality also affects rates. The quotes we got are from the winter, but if we called again in May or June, the rates could easily be double.

Want to learn more? Check out our Penske Truck Rental review.


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

If you’re wondering what Budget is best for, its name is a straight giveaway.

Budget is ideal for the price-conscious mover. And while the company only allows you to rent a car trailer or car dolly as part of an existing truck reservation, it offers low rates plus a slew of discounts to curb your overall cost.

And, if you’re moving locally, its rates get even cheaper.

Trailers Budget offers

Car trailers

Budget’s car trailers secure your car above the ground on a trailer attached to the back of your rental truck.

Like with Penske, you don’t have the option of attaching a Budget trailer to your personal vehicle. But there’s another caveat: you can only pull a Budget car trailer with Budget’s 26-foot truck.

Budget Car Hauler

While this trailer’s weight limit is fairly comparable to the other two companies’ offerings, Budget still has the lowest weight capacity of all three.

Budget car trailer features

Car trailer
Weight limit

4,055 lbs.

Maximum width of car

6’ 7”

Vehicle compatibility

Four-wheel and all-wheel-drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Long-distance

Tow dolly

Budget’s tow dollies operate just like U-Haul’s and Penske’s both in design and functionality. Regardless of which company you choose, a tow dolly helps limit extra mileage on your car (just not as much as a car trailer).

The difference with Budget is that its tow dollies are only available for one-way moves. But the clear advantage with Budget is its affordable rates—especially if you qualify for one of its discounts.

Budget Car Dolly

Budget tow dolly features

Tow dolly
Weight limit

3,300-3,600 lbs.

Maximum width of car

6’ 4”

Vehicle compatibility

All-wheel, four-wheel, and rear-wheel drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Local

How much does it cost to move with Budget?

Like Penske, Budget doesn’t have flat rates for its car trailers and tow dollies. But unlike Penske, Budget determines the price of each car trailer and tow dolly based on the number of days your move takes and your mile count—this means you won’t get sky-high prices based solely on where you live.

You’ll need to call a Budget representative to find out how much a trailer or car dolly rental will increase your bill, as these items aren’t included in Budget’s online quote generator (which is a little annoying, if you ask us).

Read more about Budget in our Budget Truck Rental review.


Trailer towing FAQs

Can my car tow a trailer?

The short answer: It all depends on the car. Generally speaking, there are certain car types that aren’t designed with tow capabilities in mind:

  • Luxury cars
  • Antique cars
  • Smaller cars (such as coupes and hatchbacks)
  • Electric cars

Give your car make and model a good Google search to find out if it’s tow-friendly. Some rental companies like U-Haul and Penske even have tools on their websites that tell you whether or not your car has towing capabilities.

Light Bulb

Even if your car has towing capabilities, you won’t be able to use them without working lights or side-view mirrors.

Vehicles with a low front end don’t always have enough ground clearance to drive up a car carrier ramp or tow dolly platform—so keep that in mind if you’re hoping to tow your lowrider.

How do I safely drive a moving trailer or tow dolly?

Just as driving a moving truck is new territory for most people, there are a few things you need to know to safely navigate towing a trailer.

Here are our top tips:

Check your lights

Before you start driving, check that the brake and signal lights on both the car (or truck) you’re driving and the trailer you’re pulling are in working order.

Adjust your mirrors

Be sure you have eyes on your trailer in your side (and possibly rear-view) mirrors, and check on it often to make sure it’s not swaying or coming unhitched.

Don’t drive over 55 mph

When it comes to driving while towing: the slower, the better. Drive defensively, and don’t be afraid to cruise on over to the slow lane.

Our take

U-Haul is the best moving company for trailer rentals—by a landslide. It’s the only company on our list to offer both moving trailers and auto transport trailers, plus it lets you rent trailers separately from a rental truck.

Here’s a refresher:

U-Haul:

  • Offers enclosed moving trailers and auto transport carriers
  • Has a reputation for hidden fees and poor customer service
  • Offers option to rent trailers without a truck rental

Penske:

  • Offers only car trailers and tow dollies
  • Has the highest weight limits on tow dollies
  • Determines prices based on availability

Budget:

  • Offers only car trailers and tow dollies
  • Determines prices based on days and miles
  • Has budget-friendly rates

If your move dates are flexible—and if your budget is, too—we recommend U-Haul for trailer rentals. (Just keep an eye out for those hidden fees!)

Penske and Budget are great options for car transport, too—especially since they’re generally cheaper than U-Haul and, in some instances, have higher weight limits. Penske offers higher weight limits, while Budget has more competitive prices.

Ultimately, though, it boils down to differences in price and availability. While U-Haul has locations in all fifty states and offers lots of services, it can’t guarantee reservations, and it doesn’t hold back on last-minute fees.

Think your move might require more than just a trailer? Check out our best rental truck companies list to read about the top companies for rental truck moves.

Julia Campbell
Written by
Julia Campbell
Julia Campbell is a full-time writer who knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to planning a hassle-free move. Having moved seven times in the past five years, she draws from her own experience and industry expertise to help you avoid her biggest mistakes (like that time she thought she could get away with packing her dishes without wrapping them first).