What to Expect When You Move with Budget— Karolina’s Move

Frank Lanigan
May 23, 2022
Icon Time To Read4 min read

It’s tough to beat Budget Truck Rental when it comes to pricing on local moves. As one of our top moving truck rental companies, Budget continually provides easy solutions for DIY moves.

To learn more about what it’s like to use Budget, we helped Karolina and her boyfriend, Ryan, take on an East Coast long-distance move. They explored Penske and U-Haul as potential options, but were drawn to Budget’s pricing. They even received 20% off base rates by using a promotional code they found on the Budget website.

While the pricing was a high point, Budget unfortunately dropped the ball on customer service. When the couple picked up the truck, they were met with a heavy cigarette smoke odor in the truck cabin. Despite their attempts to get another truck, Karolina and Ryan were not able to change trucks or be compensated.

Keep reading for a full breakdown of Karolina’s experience with Budget Truck Rental.

Want to see how much you can save with Budget?

Meet Karolina

An avid reader and author of two books, Karolina and her boyfriend, Ryan, decided to make the move from Greenville, South Carolina to Westfield, Massachusetts after Karolina received a job offer from a local college. In addition, Karolina began a part-time PhD in Education.

The self-proclaimed coffee-lover and cat mom of Ollie wanted an easy and problem-free company to help them relocate and start a new chapter.


Karolina, author and cat mom, with her boyfriend Ryan. The couple moved from North Carolina to Massachusetts.


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Why Karolina chose Budget

Before landing on Budget as her best fit, Karolina researched other moving truck companies online. After getting higher quotes at both Penske and U-Haul, Karolina decided that Budget’s price point was too good to turn down.


Karolina, Ryan, and friend load boxes into a 16-foot Budget rental truck. They used furniture pads for extra protection.

Initially, Karolina and Ryan thought a 12-foot truck would be suitable for all their furniture and boxes. But after taking stock, they decided that a 16-foot truck would be the best option. When it was all said and done, it was the perfect size—with a few feet of extra space to spare. Their initial quote from Budget was $774.76 to rent the truck from July 8 through July 13.

Karolina’s Budget move at a glance

Moving companyBudget Truck Rental
Move dateJuly 10, 2021
Service typeMoving truck rental
Start locationGreenville, South Carolina
End locationWestfield, Massachusetts
Quoted cost
Actual cost

What to expect with Budget—Pricing

In the table above, you’ll notice that Karolina’s initial quote was only $.04 less than the actual cost she paid, which means that there were no hidden fees or surprise costs during her 870-mile move.

The actual cost of the truck itself, including unlimited mileage, was $390.40. Other costs came from taxes, a Physical Damage Waiver ($149.95), Roadside Safety Net ($65.95), and Supplemental Liability Insurance ($89.70). In addition, Karolina opted to rent 12 furniture pads to help protect her furniture in transit. Most Budget locations offer furniture pads, hand trucks, and other helpful materials you may need.

Pro tip: Use packing supplies you have on hand

Karolina and Ryan were able to save extra money on their move by opting out of purchasing some packing materials. Instead, they used newspaper and wrapping paper to help soften impacts for their breakable items. Of course, when packing yourself, it can be worthwhile to spend a little money on bubble wrap and styrofoam to ensure your valuable items are protected during travel.

What to expect with Budget—Customer service

Unfortunately, this is the area where Budget delivered a lackluster performance in Karolina’s case. After picking up the truck, there was a dense smell of cigarettes in the truck cabin, contrary to Budget’s policy of a smoke-free fleet.

With a two-day journey ahead of them, Karolina and Ryan didn’t want to subject themselves to the offensive smell in the cabin. They attempted to clean the cabin themselves, using soap, water, dryer sheets, and coffee grounds to soak up the stench.

Karolina and Ryan (not pictured) cleaned their truck rental’s cabin to rid its cigarette stench—not exactly something they expected to do before hitting the road to their new home.

On top of that, it rained on their two-day drive to Westfield, Massachusetts. After some time, Karolina noticed that rain began to leak into the cabin on the driver’s side, with another leak in the back of the cabin. Luckily, there were no leaks in the trailer, and their furniture remained dry.

When Karolina asked for a discount, she was redirected to the national phone line and was never connected with an agent.

What surprised us about Budget

As one of the top-rated moving truck companies on our site, it was jarring to see such poor customer service with Budget Truck Rental. Though plenty of people have had positive experiences with Budget, it’s a shame that Karolina and Ryan went through such an ordeal.

Better customer service training and more attention to detail in cleaning and preparing trucks for rental would be the solution, but unfortunately for Budget, they may have lost a customer.

Our take

Budget delivered with strong pricing and truck size options, but fumbled badly with customer service for Karolina. Understandably, Karolina said that she would not recommend Budget Truck Rental and will not be using the company in the future. In the future, we hope Budget can fix these mistakes and provide a strong customer-oriented experience for others.

Even though Karolina had a rough experience with Budget, it may be the right solution for you depending on your location and price range. Check out our full review of the company and our comparison to other top moving truck rental companies.

Frank Lanigan
Written by
Frank Lanigan
Frank Lanigan is a writer and internationally-published journalist who has over a decade of experience in the moving industry. With thousands of completed moves under his belt, Frank hopes to bring years of experience to Move.org and help readers to navigate moving day with ease.