2021 Penske Truck Rental Review

Bottom line: Penske offers affordable rental trucks for DIY moves. Its generous discounts and commitment to reduce its carbon footprint help it stand out from the crowd.
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penske
Penske
Our Rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
Julia Campbell
Researcher & Writer
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Published on April 30, 2021
6 min read

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 an 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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lots of discounts
Pro Bullet Green initiatives
Pro Bullet Guaranteed reservations
Pro Bullet Transparent pricing
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Trucks only—doesn't rent moving trailers

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

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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 2,500 locations in 49 states, as well as Washington, D.C. You can also pick up or drop off at Home Depot.

Standout features

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
  • Roadside assistance included in every move
  • Moving services (help-for-hire services available)
  • Online reservations
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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. The thing that puts Penske ahead of its competition is the quality of its trucks.

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.
  • Translucent roofs and interior lights: Make moving in the dark easier.

Penske rental truck specifications

High-roof cargo van
12-foot
16-foot
22-foot
26-foot

Measurements

11 ft. 11 in. x 4 ft. 6 in. x 6 ft. 9 in.

12 ft. x 6 ft. 6 in. x 6 ft. 1 in.

16 ft. x 7 ft. 7 in. x 6 ft. 6 in.

21 ft. 11 in. x 8 ft. 1 in. x 8 ft. 1 in.

25 ft. 11 in. x 8 ft. 1 in. x 8 ft. 1 in.

Capacity

404 cu. ft.

450 cu. ft.

800 cu. ft.

1,200 cu. ft.

1,700 cu. ft.

Weight limit

3,500 lbs.

3,100 lbs.

4,300 lbs.

10,000 lbs.

10,000 lbs.

Fuel type

Gasoline

Gasoline

Gasoline

Diesel

Diesel

Best for

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

Heads Up
How Penske is handling Covid-19

Penske is still taking bookings for rental trucks, but pickup and drop-off locations are subject to change due to closures. Call ahead. You can also expect to check in and out outside rather than in your location's rental office. Penske is not accepting cash payments.

Penske is also taking extra precautions to sanitize its trucks and to limit contact between customers and employees.


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 factors
Moving to Seattle, WA
Moving to Cleveland, OH
Moving to Miami, FL

Move distance

1,316 mi.

1,334 mi.

2,065 mi.

Truck size

16-ft. truck

16-ft. truck

16-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

*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.

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

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 $100 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.

You may want to choose 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, 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.

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.

*Individuals should review their rental contract—including addendums—for a complete description of the policy's terms, conditions, and exclusions.


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 members

Up to 12% off local truck rentals

US military (active duty and veterans)

10% off all truck rentals

College students

10% off all truck rentals

Unlimited mileage

Free on all one-way moves

Seasonal discounts

10% off (varies by season)

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Discounts from other companies

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 15% 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 anytime 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!

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

Our reports on Penske customers' experiences

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).