Penske vs. U-Haul Truck Rental 2019

Bottom line: While Penske and U-Haul are actually pretty similar in terms of services and customer reviews, we think U-Haul’s wider availability, larger selection of truck sizes, and longer list of additional services make it slightly better for DIY moves than Penske (even though Penske may be cheaper in some locations).

Quick Penske vs. U-Haul comparison

PenskeU-Haul
Company logo
PricingGenerally more expensiveGenerally cheaper
Availability2,548 locations20,000 locations
Additional servicesFewer servicesMore services
Customer reviewsModerately satisfiedMostly satisfied
Our rating4.74.7
WebsiteRent a TruckRent a Truck
Company logo
Pricing
Availability
Additional services
Customer reviews
Our rating
Website
Penske U-Haul
Generally more expensive Generally cheaper
2,548 locations 20,000 locations
Fewer services More services
Moderately satisfied Mostly satisfied
4.7 4.7
Rent a Truck Rent a Truck

Penske and U-Haul are two of the most popular truck rental services in the industry, and they’re both on our list of the best truck rental companies.

Keep reading to learn how Penske and U-Haul differ—and why we think U-Haul is a better truck rental option for your DIY move.

Penske vs. U-Haul pricing

Move distance (miles)90–150500–7001,000–1,200
Penske 12-ft. truck$336$538$1,126
Penske 26-ft. truck$545$701$1,913
U-Haul 10-ft. truck$132$526$1,033
U-Haul 26-ft. truck$173$692$1,706
Move distance (miles)
Penske 12-ft. truck
Penske 26-ft. truck
U-Haul 10-ft. truck
U-Haul 26-ft. truck
90–150 500–700 1,000–1,200
$336 $538 $1,126
$545 $701 $1,913
$132 $526 $1,033
$173 $692 $1,706

Data as of 8/22/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Generally, Penske’s rates are at least slightly higher than U-Haul’s, but they can be cheaper in some locations. If low prices are the most important factor to you, we recommend getting a quote from both companies.

The prices above are averages we calculated by gathering several quotes from Penske and U-Haul. Both companies calculate prices based on move distance and truck availability, so both seasonality and location can affect your price. Your quote will vary at least slightly from what we’ve listed.

Keep in mind that these averages reflect only the base rate each company charges for truck rental. They don’t include add-on services and fees like moving coverage, security deposits, extra mileage, towing charges, etc.

Get money

Got a nose for a good bargain?

Got a nose for a good bargain?

Penske offers a boatload of discounts year-round plus a few others seasonally, making it easy for you to save money. Its list of all-year discounts include military discounts, student discounts, and discounts for AAA members. The company posts seasonal discounts on its website, so check for deals before scheduling your service.

Penske vs. U-Haul availability

Penske and U-Haul have locations in all 50 states, and they both have service centers in Canada as well. U-Haul boasts an impressive 20,000 locations, while Penske’s count is 2,548 (including Home Depot locations that rent out Penske trucks).

U-Haul’s abundance of locations means two things:

  1. The company can usually get you into a truck at the last minute. This flexibility can spare you a lot of embarrassment and inconvenience if your friends show up to help on moving day but you didn’t book a truck ahead of time.
  2. U-Haul’s rates are often lower than competitors’ since prices are partially determined by truck availability—and U-Haul has a lot of trucks.

Both of these factors can affect you as a customer, which is part of the reason we recommend U-Haul over Penske.

Penske vs. U-Haul customer experience

Both Penske and U-Haul have easy-to-use websites that offer plenty of information and instant quote tools. This is all pretty rare for the moving industry, so both companies get points for convenience.

However, the two do differ a little in terms of customer satisfaction . . .

Penske customer reviews

Positive customer reviews for Penske usually focus on the company’s affordability and convenience, but very few applaud Penske’s customer service.

Penske’s bad reviews are mostly focused on unexpected charges like security deposits. A few also complained of faulty rental equipment, so watch out for that if you rent a Penske truck.

Overall, Penske’s reviews average out to middle-of-the-road customer satisfaction, and Penske is usually ranked below U-Haul in this regard (but only slightly).

U-Haul customer reviews

When customers recommend U-Haul, they’re typically focusing on the company’s friendly staff and customer service. Negative reviews of U-Haul usually fall into two categories:

  1. Customers complaining about hidden fees
  2. Customers complaining about last-minute changes to their reservations

Both of these are things you should watch out for with most moving companies.

It’s also worth noting that very few U-Haul customers complain about faulty equipment.

Since U-Haul’s customer reviews and ratings are generally a little better than Penske’s, we recommend U-Haul for customer experience.

Orange exclamation mark

In case you break down en route

In case you break down en route

Flat tires, empty gas tanks, and dead batteries are all bad news, especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere and the truck in question holds everything you own. To make sure you can get out of these sticky situations, Penske and U-Haul both offer roadside assistance for an additional fee.

Penske vs. U-Haul services

Penske and U-Haul operate almost identically, and they both run tight ships. However, if you’re looking for add-ons that can make your move more convenient (for a price), you’re more likely to find what you need on U-Haul’s extensive menu of services than with Penske’s comparatively limited selection.

Service comparison

ServicePenskeU-Haul
Truck rental✔ Yes✔ Yes
Packing and loading services✔ Yes✔ Yes
Guaranteed reservations✔ Yes✔ Yes
Trailer rentalNo✔ Yes
Self-storage✔ Yes✔ Yes
Moving and storage containersNo✔ Yes
Moving supplies✔ Yes✔ Yes
Service
Truck rental
Packing and loading services
Guaranteed reservations
Trailer rental
Self-storage
Moving and storage containers
Moving supplies
Penske U-Haul
✔ Yes ✔ Yes
✔ Yes ✔ Yes
✔ Yes ✔ Yes
No ✔ Yes
✔ Yes ✔ Yes
No ✔ Yes
✔ Yes ✔ Yes

One important distinction: Penske contracts with other companies to provide moving labor and self-storage services, whereas all of U-Haul’s offerings are in-house.

We couldn’t find any customer complaints about Penske’s partners, so they probably aren’t anything to worry about, but it’s always good to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Another big difference between Penske and U-Haul is their truck selections. Penske has only five truck sizes, while U-Haul has seven, so you’re more likely to find the ideal truck size for your move at U-Haul.

Penske truck sizes1

Truck typeInterior capacity (cu. ft.)Weight limit (lbs.)Recommended use
Cargo van4043,5001 room
12-ft. truck4503,100Up to 2 rooms
16-ft. truck8004,300Up to 3 rooms
22-ft. truck1,20010,000Up to 5 rooms
26-ft. truck1,70010,000Up to 7 rooms
Truck type
Cargo van
12-ft. truck
16-ft. truck
22-ft. truck
26-ft. truck
Interior capacity (cu. ft.) Weight limit (lbs.) Recommended use
404 3,500 1 room
450 3,100 Up to 2 rooms
800 4,300 Up to 3 rooms
1,200 10,000 Up to 5 rooms
1,700 10,000 Up to 7 rooms

Penske offers rentals that range from cargo vans (for a single room’s worth of stuff) all the way up to 26-foot trucks (that can hold up to seven room’s worth of furniture and belongings).

U-Haul truck sizes2

Truck typeInterior capacity (cu. ft.)Weight limit (lbs.)Recommended use
Pickup truckNA (open truck bed)1,897Less than 1 room
Cargo van2402,8801 room
10-ft. truck4022,8501-bedroom apartment
15-ft. truck7646,3851-bedroom home
17-ft. truck8656,1602-bedroom home
20-ft. truck1,0165,7002-bedroom home
26-ft. truck1,6829,0104-bedroom home
Truck type
Pickup truck
Cargo van
10-ft. truck
15-ft. truck
17-ft. truck
20-ft. truck
26-ft. truck
Interior capacity (cu. ft.) Weight limit (lbs.) Recommended use
NA (open truck bed) 1,897 Less than 1 room
240 2,880 1 room
402 2,850 1-bedroom apartment
764 6,385 1-bedroom home
865 6,160 2-bedroom home
1,016 5,700 2-bedroom home
1,682 9,010 4-bedroom home

U-Haul’s rentals range from pickup trucks (for odd jobs around your house) to 26-foot moving trucks (for moving everything you could fit in a four-bedroom home).

Penske vs. U-Haul truck rental coverage

Moving coverage is crucial when you’re renting a truck because, contrary to popular belief, your personal car insurance policy won’t always cover exceptionally large vehicles like moving trucks.

If anything were to befall your rental and you didn’t purchase additional coverage, you would be left footing the bill for the damages yourself.

Luckily, both Penske and U-Haul offer comprehensive, customizable coverage plans to help protect you from hefty damage claims. Neither company provides specific pricing info for its coverage plans—likely because rates can vary based on factors like a customer’s age.

However, we’ve outlined what each plan covers below.

Penske’s coverage plans

Limited Damage Waiver covers damage to trucks and towing equipment unless they were used in ways that violate the rental agreement (doing donuts in an abandoned parking lot, for example).

Personal Accident Insurance provides coverage for you and your passengers in case of death or bodily harm incurred while driving the truck.

Supplemental Liability Insurance covers you if another driver files a claim against you.

Cargo Insurance covers your belongings against accidents and natural disasters while they’re in the truck.

Towing Insurance covers any vehicle you’re towing behind your Penske truck.

U-Haul’s coverage plans

Safemove® covers your belongings (while they’re in the truck) as well as you, your passengers, and your rental equipment in the event of most accidents (except for collisions with overhead objects).

Safemove Plus® includes everything Safemove offers with two added benefits: it supplements your personal insurance policy for the first $1 million in losses, and it also covers the types of accidents that Safemove doesn’t.

Safetow® covers a vehicle you tow behind your moving truck as well as any equipment you rent to help you tow that vehicle.

Our pick: U-Haul

We think that U-Haul’s longer list of services, larger selection of trucks, and wider network of locations make it better for DIY moves than Penske. However, if budget is your biggest concern, we recommend getting a quote from both companies to compare prices. U-Haul’s rates are typically lower, but Penske is the cheaper option in some areas.

You can learn more about U-Haul by reading our review of the company’s services and features. If you’d rather read more about Penske, check out our Penske review instead.

Let’s get this show on the road!

If you’re ready to rent a truck from U-Haul, click the button below to get your quote.
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Other moving truck companies we recommend

If neither Penske nor U-Haul feels like a good fit for your situation, then we recommend reading up on some of our other favorite truck rental companies:

Sources

  1. Penske, “Moving Trucks
  2. U-Haul, “Truck Rentals

About Joe Roberts

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.