2019 Penske Truck Rental Review

Bottom line: Penske offers affordable rental trucks for DIY moves. Its positive customer reviews, generous discounts, and commitment to reduce its carbon footprint help it stand out from the crowd.

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

Penske is a budget-friendly truck rental option that makes long-distance (a.k.a. one-way) moves easier and more affordable.

Penske has an easy-to-navigate website, provides clear information about its services, and runs the newest and most environmentally-friendly fleet. Plus, it offers transparent pricing, which means you won’t get hit with any last-minute fees on your final bill.

Read on to see why Penske is a smart option for your next DIY move.

Pros

  • Lots of discounts
  • Green initiatives
  • Guaranteed reservations
  • Transparent pricing

Cons

  • Not as widely available as competitors
  • Trucks only—doesn't rent moving trailers

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

What services does Penske offer?

Penske is best for DIY moves: It’ll hand you the keys to your rental truck and leave loading, driving, and unloading up to you. Renting through Penske is budget-friendly—as long as you’re willing to roll up your sleeves.

Penske makes picking up and dropping off your rental truck convenient: The company has over 2,200 locations in forty-eight states, as well as Washington, D.C. You can also pick up or drop off at Home Depot.

Services Penske offers

  • Long-distance, one-way rentals
  • Local, round-trip rentals
  • Multiple truck sizes
  • Moving and packing supplies (furniture pads and hand truck rentals)
  • Multiple insurance coverage options
  • Automobile tow coverage
  • Roadside assistance included in every move
  • Moving services (help-for-hire services available)
  • Online reservations
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Did you know?

Did you know?

Penske includes 24/7 roadside assistance in every move, meaning you’ll have ‘round-the-clock help if your truck has issues ranging from a flat tire to a fluid leak.

Penske truck sizes and features

Penske offers five truck sizes, which is pretty standard for the rental truck industry. But the thing that puts Penske ahead of its competition is the quality of its trucks.

Penske switches trucks out for newer models every few years to ensure that its trucks are in tip-top running shape—and it pays off. Customers rave about how reliable Penske trucks are: They perform as advertised and rarely break down.

Here are the features that set Penske rental trucks apart:

  • Diesel engines on 22- and 26-foot trucks: Save fuel on long-distance moves and make pulling heavier loads easier.
  • Nonslip wooden floors: Prevent cargo from sliding.
  • Clear roofs and interior lights: Make moving in the dark easier.

Penske rental truck comparison

High-roof cargo van12-foot16-foot22-foot26-foot
Measurements11’11” x 4’6” x 6’9”12’ x 6’6” x 6’1” 16’ x 7’7” x 6’6” 21’11 x 8’1” x 8’1”25’11” x 8’1” x 8’1”
Capacity53 sq. ft. 78 sq. ft. 120 sq. ft. 164 sq. ft. 192 sq. ft.
Weight limit3,500 lbs.3,100 lbs.4,300 lbs. 10,000 lbs. 10,000 lbs.
Diesel fuel?No, gasolineNo, gasolineNo, gasoline✔ Yes✔ Yes
Best forLarge appliances and furniture, studio apartment1–2 rooms, studio apartment 2–3 rooms, studio or one-bedroom apartment3–5 rooms, medium to large house5–7 rooms, large house
Measurements
Capacity
Weight limit
Diesel fuel?
Best for
High-roof cargo van 12-foot 16-foot 22-foot 26-foot
11’11” x 4’6” x 6’9” 12’ x 6’6” x 6’1” 16’ x 7’7” x 6’6” 21’11 x 8’1” x 8’1” 25’11” x 8’1” x 8’1”
53 sq. ft. 78 sq. ft. 120 sq. ft. 164 sq. ft. 192 sq. ft.
3,500 lbs. 3,100 lbs. 4,300 lbs. 10,000 lbs. 10,000 lbs.
No, gasoline No, gasoline No, gasoline ✔ Yes ✔ Yes
Large appliances and furniture, studio apartment 1–2 rooms, studio apartment 2–3 rooms, studio or one-bedroom apartment 3–5 rooms, medium to large house 5–7 rooms, large house

How much does Penske cost?

Penske costs anywhere from $35 to $2,800 (compared to $550 to $12,000 for a full-service move), which makes it an affordable choice for long-distance moves.

We found that Penske has the most transparent pricing for one-way moves compared to other truck rental companies. Plus, with Penske’s environmentally-friendly diesel trucks, you’ll get more miles from each gas station fill up—saving you money.

The company also includes mileage in its one-way quotes upfront and won’t tack on hidden fees after the fact. Based on our research, Penske doesn’t seem interested in shortchanging you or advertising too-good-to-be true prices.

To give you an idea of how much a one-way move would cost, we shopped for prices for a move from Denver, Colorado in a 16-foot rental truck with limited damage waiver coverage and no add-ons. Here’s what we found.

Penske rental truck rates for one-way moves

Cost factorsMoving to Seattle, WAMoving to Cleveland, OHMoving to Miami, FL
Move distance1,316 mi.1,334 mi.2,065 mi.
Truck size16-ft. truck16-ft. truck16-ft. truck
Rental truck base price*$995$989$1,802
Environmental fee$9 $9 $9
Highest coverage cost (LDW)$161$128$207
Total cost of move**$1,165$1,136$2,018
Cost factors
Move distance
Truck size
Rental truck base price*
Environmental fee
Highest coverage cost (LDW)
Total cost of move**
Moving to Seattle, WA Moving to Cleveland, OH Moving to Miami, FL
1,316 mi. 1,334 mi. 2,065 mi.
16-ft. truck 16-ft. truck 16-ft. truck
$995 $989 $1,802
$9 $9 $9
$161 $128 $207
$1,165 $1,136 $2,018

*Includes unlimited mileage
**Does not include deposit and taxes

Penske’s rental truck rates aren’t significantly cheaper than the rates of competing companies, but Penske offers unlimited mileage on one-way moves, sparing you from paying per mile. Plus, there are no hidden mileage fees.

Be aware, though: Penske does charge an environmental fee ($9) to handle the proper disposal of materials that may be harmful to the environmental (e.g., coolant and brake fluid).

While Penske’s prices may seem high upfront, the company factors in all rental costs in your quote. That means the number your quotes won’t increase significantly after your move—unlike low-balled quotes that could end up being hundreds more than you anticipated.

Plus, did we mention that Penske’s quote process is a total breeze?

You don’t have to provide your email to see rates or pay anything upfront, which we love. If you make your reservation online, you will have to provide your credit card information—but payment isn’t due until you pick up your truck.

Grab your Penske truck
Know what size moving truck you need? You can reserve your Penske truck for the day of your move online.

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Penske pricing for local moves

Heads up if you’re just moving across town: Penske charges by the mile for local moves ($0.69–$0.79 per mile) on top of the $20–$160 truck rental fee.

Protection plans for local truck rentals are comparatively less expensive, but your quote may not match the actual price you’ll pay since Penske doesn’t factor in total mileage upfront (again, that’s for local moves).

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HEADS UP

HEADS UP

If you reserve your truck online, Penske will hold your reservation using your credit card information. If you pay in person, you’ll need to put down a cash deposit.

Penske rental truck coverage options

No matter how experienced a driver you are or how many moving trucks you’ve maneuvered, nobody is immune from icy roads and bad drivers. Before you pull away in a truck that’s larger, heavier, and fuller than a standard car, it’s worth looking into insurance options.

We recommend choosing your coverage based on how comfortable you are driving a rental truck, how big a move you have ahead, and where you are located. For instance, if you’re moving cross-country, we recommend LDW, but if you’re moving locally in Florida during peak hurricane season, it makes sense to at least get CAI.

Here’s what coverage options Penske offers:

Limited damage waiver (LDW)

This coverage option is the most expensive (it adds about 10% on top of the rental price), but it protects you from damage due to accidents, including dents and scratches. It doesn’t insure against mistakes you make behind the wheel, so be sure to drive carefully.

Liability (LIA)

If you cause an accident, this plan covers the minimum amount of money you have to pay (as required by each state) for damage to the other person’s vehicle.

Supplemental liability insurance (SLI)

If an accident occurs during your rental period and someone tries to sue you for damage to their person or property, this coverage protects you and any authorized drivers (up to $1,000,000).

Cargo insurance (CAI)

CAI covers damage to anything in your truck as a result of an accident or a natural disaster (up to $15,000). This option does not include any damage that happens during loading and unloading.

Personal accident insurance (PAI)

PAI provides medical coverage for you and your passengers if someone is injured or killed as a result of an accident that involves your Penske truck.

Towing insurance (TWI)

TWI covers any vehicle you’re towing behind your Penske truck in the event of a collision. It also covers the vehicle while it’s being loaded and unloaded.

Penske offers lots of discounts

With discounts for college students, AAA members, online booking, and more, Penske makes it easy to trim the cost of your move no matter where and when you’re moving.

Penske truck rental discounts

Discount rate
AAA members12% off truck rentals
New customers20% off your first rental
US military personnel10% off all truck rentals
College students10% off all truck rentals
Online booking0% off one-way rentals
Unlimited mileageFree on all one-way moves
Seasonal discounts10% off (varies by season)
AAA members
New customers
US military personnel
College students
Online booking
Unlimited mileage
Seasonal discounts
Discount rate
12% off truck rentals
20% off your first rental
10% off all truck rentals
10% off all truck rentals
0% off one-way rentals
Free on all one-way moves
10% off (varies by season)
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Pssst

Pssst

When you move with Penske, you’re eligible for up to 50% off all car, boat, and motorcycle transport services through uShip. Plus, you can save up to $400 on self-storage at CubeSmart—perfect for stashing all that ski gear you only pull out when it snows.

Reasons why we love Penske

Penske is environmentally friendly

Penske earns points in our book for taking strides to be more environmentally responsible. The company uses recycled materials in its trucks, moving blankets, and boxes, and its fuel-efficient 22- and 26-foot diesel trucks will take you farther per gallon. This means you don’t have to fuel up as often as you would with a gasoline engine (which is good for both the environment and your wallet).

Here are some of Penske’s go-green efforts we love:

  • Limits maximum speeds on trucks to save fuel
  • Owns low-emission trucks
  • Installs truck bodies made of 100% recyclable materials

Penske guarantees reservations

Penske guarantees both your truck size and pickup location when you reserve at least forty-eight hours in advance—a service other companies don’t offer.

Most rental truck companies rely on their customers to return their rental trucks on their assigned drop-off day. But hiccups happen during moving, and because customers can pay to extend their bookings, you’re out of luck if the person ahead of you falls behind schedule.

Penske, on the other hand, has drivers (called “hikers”) who will pick up the truck you reserved from one of Penske’s main district offices in your area and take it to the location you selected—meaning your truck will be ready for you where and when you expect it to be.

Penske also allows you to cancel your reservation up to forty-eight hours in advance without penalty—and you can add extra days to your reservation for $100 per day.

Our final thoughts

When you rent a truck with Penske, you know exactly what you’re signing up for—both in how much you’ll spend and in the quality of service you’ll receive.

To recap, here are the reasons we like Penske:

  • It has more transparent upfront pricing compared to its competitors. (Sayonara, hidden fees!)
  • It offers lots of discounts, which make affordable moves more feasible.
  • It provides clear information about its trucks and has a helpful, thorough website.
  • It guarantees reservations on one-way rentals if the reservation is made forty-eight hours before pickup.

Penske isn’t the cheapest option for local moves, but we love that it includes free unlimited mileage on long-distance moves. As far as DIY moves go, Penske is one of the most budget-friendly rental truck options for one-way trips—and one we highly recommend.

Ready to get your move started?
You can reserve your Penske truck online—remember, your quote includes unlimited mileage for any road trips or detours along the way!

Get a Penske Quote

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

About Julia Campbell

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).
  • Nomad1978

    First and only time I will rent from Penske. Rented a 16′ one way to move from San Diego to Austin, paid by debit. The whole process went smooth, better price than their competitors, got a brand new 2019 truck that had less than 100 miles on it, no issues the whole trip, easy pick up and quick return. I was quite satisfied with the experience and even told my wife that I’d consider paying a bit more for Penske if we need to rent a moving truck again.

    About a month rolls by and I’m looking through my bank statement and see a $40.20 charge from Penske pending… no notification whatsoever, if I had not scanned my bank account I would have not known Penske tacked on an additional charge. After navigating their automated customer service number and explaining the charge, I’m told it’s a toll charge they received from the time during my rental. I’m 100% confident I did not pass through any tolls, I intentionally looked up the route I was to take before I made the trip, no tolls. My wife followed behind me on the same route during the move, no tolls were charged to our personal vehicle. In California I traveled a small section of the I15, CA94 and mostly eastbound on the I8… no tolls. Arizona and New Mexico have no tolls within either state. Texas I traveled east on the I10 across most of the state, then the 290 east to I35 north until the 290 east picks up again, I get off on the last exit before the 290 toll begins after the intersection with the 183. My new apartment is off this exit and explicitly remember thinking about how it was nice to be avoiding the tollway right at my journey’s end. I ran the Penske truck’s plate through the Texas site that tracks all pass through tolls, no records of a toll with that plate. I run our personal vehicles plates through the same Texas site, no records of toll charges.

    I explain this to the rep, who informs me that I need to speak with the ‘citations department’, gives me a number. That number goes to another company and an automated messages asks for a parties extension and NOTHING follows, just silence… tried pushing 0 for operator and other numbers and NOTHING. I call back to the customer service number, they transfer me to the same number with the same dead end message. I call back to the customer service a third time, getting upset at this point. The rep is empathetic and transfers me to the ‘Austin Division’ as this is where I turned in my rental. I get a guy who seems genuinely baffled that my call was transferred to him, he asks me for the invoice number of the charge and I explain that I received none it was just pulled automatically from my bank account. I explain further that I don’t believe I passed through any tolls and went into detail with what I described above and asked to be sent verification of the charge from whichever state it was supposedly from. He claims he can’t see that or access that, though he can see the additional charge on my account. He doesn’t know who would be able to do that for me. I’m feeling pretty taken advantage of by this point, as I did a little internet research before my calls and found I’m not the only person that this has happened. The Austin division rep admits there may have been a mistake, another renter may have passed a toll and it was mistaken for my rental period, though he is unsure about this. After a little further back and forth, I can sense he is tired of my now angry banter and reluctantly agrees to refund the $40.20 back to my card on file. He takes my email and says he will send a receipt. This was about 6 hours ago and I still have not received any email. I’m currently giving him the benefit of the doubt as a charge back to a debit card can take several business days. We will see.

    This whole experience of dealing with Penske customer service reps that can provide no customer service, can’t access toll billing files to verify for the doubting customer and generally just given the runaround on a unverifiable automatic charge just ruined all good will I had for the company. I have rented from ‘the other’ big name moving company on several occasions for local use and once for a move from college in Iowa City, IA to Chicago, Il and had 0 issues on the many times I’ve used them. I’ll be going back even if Penske has the better deal, this B.S. charge and how I had to fight to get it removed is just shady and apparently I’m not the first.

    Penske You had a new customer and you killed a new customer.

  • Tom

    This report is friggin nonsense. Penske sucks! As a retired Marine, I have done 7 cross-country moves, and 14 state-to-state moves without issue, but I had never used Penske. This time, I decided to use Penske for a 1,400 mile move and rented a 26 foot truck. The truck was a piece of crap, I had to stop on day 1 to have maintenance done, yet 2 hours into day 2, all the same engine lights came back on. Called their 24/7 number, only to be spoken to like i had an IQ below 50. If they guy was in front of me, I would have kicked his ass.
    I highly recommend using Ryder, U-Haul, or my cousin with a pickup truck before using Penske. Crappy truck, crappy service, crappy expereince, and the truck leaked.

  • bobg

    I don’t recommend Penske – there truck sideswiped my PARKED car, I have the license plate, truck number of the hit and run driver, and police report, and two and a half weeks later, they will not authorize the work to repair my car. True test of a company is how they treat people who are NOT their customers. Delay tactics and BS story about other damages (telephone lines also brought down) needing investigation.

    I agree with Tom – PENSKE SUCKS.