What to Expect When You’re Moving with Penske Truck Rental—Brian’s Move

Joe Roberts
Apr 30, 2021
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Penske Truck Rental is a giant in the moving industry, though it often gets upstaged by U-Haul. Even so, the company is one of our favorite moving truck rental companies. We wanted to learn more about how it feels to actually move in a Penske truck, so we helped a Penske customer with his move.

We’re happy to report that Penske did not disappoint in any way. In fact, Penske undercut prices from its competitors U-Haul and Budget. Keep reading to learn more.

Want to learn how much a Penske moving truck will cost for your move?

Meet Brian

After living in Nashville, Tennessee for 11 years, Brian Wood was ready to try something new. Brian works in customer service, and he needed to move to Kansas City, Missouri for work.

This means that Brian had to move everything in his 821-square-foot apartment roughly 560 miles. Going with a full-service moving company would have likely cost him over a thousand dollars, but Brian was willing to put in a little extra work to save money, so he opted for a DIY move with a truck rental.

Brian also had to get his car to Kansas City, so he needed to rent a vehicle trailer as well. Luckily, most moving truck companies offer vehicle trailer rentals, so Brian was able to find everything he needed under one roof at Penske.

Moving grant recipient
Parked Penske truck
Move.org Moving Grants: The 411

At Move.org, we offer financial assistance to individuals and families who are moving in exchange for details about their experience. Their candid reviews help us provide unique, real-life perspectives about the moving process.

Visit our Moving Grant hub to find out which companies we’ve worked with and to apply for funding for your next move!

Why Brian chose Penske

Before Brian hired Penske, he shopped around to see what prices other companies could offer. This was a smart move. We always recommend getting quotes from multiple companies before signing a contract. It’s the only way to know you’re getting a good price.

In fact, Budget offered Brian a lower initial estimate than Penske, so he planned to work with Budget at first. After some back and forth with Budget, however, Brian realized that additional fees and insurance prices made Budget more expensive than its initial quote.

After that, Brian pivoted to Penske, which was actually able to knock a significant chunk off its first quote (more on that in a minute).

Brian’s move at a glance

Moving Company
Penske Truck Rental

Move date


Service type

Moving truck and auto trailer rental

Start location

Nashville, TN

End location

Kansas City, MO

Quoted cost


Actual cost


What to expect with Penske—Pricing

When Brian was first shopping around, Penske quoted him $978 to rent a moving van and trailer.

When Brian returned, however, he was able to get his price lowered to $677.46. This quote included unlimited mileage, Penske’s standard $9 environmental fee, all applicable taxes, and four days of rental time.

This final price was lower than U-Haul’s initial estimate of $739, and while Budget’s quote was only $664, that price went up like we said.

We want to point out that these price differences are likely due to regional variations in supply and demand for each company. In some cases, we have seen both U-Haul and Budget offer cheaper rates than Penske.

We cannot stress this enough: always get quotes from multiple companies!

Penske vs. U-Haul

Penske can be cheaper than U-Haul, like it was in Brian’s case. However, when it comes to service and availability, U-Haul does outclass Penske (though actual customer experiences vary). To learn more, check out our Penske vs. U-Haul review.

What to expect with Penske—Customer service


Brian didn’t qualify for a promotional discount that Penske was running when he got his first quote. Luckily, Brian had the brilliant idea of asking if there were any other discounts that could be applied to his bill.

Brian was put on hold for a few minutes after asking this, but when the customer service agent returned, he offered Brian an unadvertised discount that knocked about $110 off his price, which was already lower than the initial estimate.

On top of showing great customer service, this illustrates another tip we always give. Instead of just accepting a company’s price, ask about unadvertised discounts or promotions. Sometimes there aren’t any, but you never know until you ask.

Equipment pickup

When Brian went to pick up his rental equipment on moving day, the attendant was very helpful and attentive. He showed Brian how to properly operate his trailer’s jack and tie-down straps, how to fuel up the truck, and how to operate every button in the truck’s cab.

Moving trucks and trailers may seem as simple as everyday vehicles, but they’re much bigger and more unwieldy, and a lot can go wrong on a long drive. We appreciate a company that takes the time to ensure its customers know what they’re doing before sending them on their way.

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How to load a moving truck

Luckily, Brian didn’t run into any problems loading his moving truck. If you want to make sure loading goes just as smoothly for you, read our guide to loading your moving truck.

Equipment dropoff

Brian found returning his equipment was a breeze. All he needed to do was refill the gas tank, park the truck at the dropoff location, and leave the keys in a designated drop box. He didn’t need to coordinate with anyone at the Penske location at all.

After a days-long drive, the last thing you want is a lengthy return process, so we love that Penske makes it so simple to drop off equipment.

Of course, if you don’t refill the gas tank or there’s something wrong with the truck, you should plan on getting an extra bill or a phone call from the company.

Loaded Penske truck

What to expect with Penske—Pro tips

Aside from the tips and tricks we’ve already given about Brian’s move with Penske (asking for multiple quotes and discounts), there’s one other important thing to learn from Brian’s move.

The max speed you can tow a car on a Penske trailer is 55 miles per hour, which can really lengthen an already lengthy drive. As Brian said on his post-move survey, this “made the trip from Nashville to Kansas City a long trip.”

If you plan on towing a car with a Penske trailer, make sure you put a good road trip playlist together and download a few audiobooks. You’re going to be on the road a while. Here are some more tips if you’re planning to make a road trip out of your move.

Our take on Penske Truck Rental

Penske is a first-rate truck rental company, and Brian’s experience really illustrates how good the company’s customer service and pricing can be. That said, it offers fewer services than some of its competitors, and its prices are higher than Budget and U-Haul’s in some areas. Because of this, we recommend at least getting quotes from several other truck rental companies before settling with Penske.

Interested in Penske for your upcoming move?
If Brian’s experience has you sold on Penske, we recommend getting your quote today.

Joe Roberts
Written by
Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over four 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.