Budget Truck Rental’s name isn’t a gimmick. The company pairs exceptionally low prices with satisfactory services, making it a great budget option for folks and one of our favorite moving truck companies.
To better understand what moving with Budget is actually like, we helped finance a couple’s long-distance move in a Budget truck. Overall, the company provided an adequate—though not outstanding—moving experience.
While Budget’s price was the best around, and its customer service came through in a lot of commendable ways, the truck itself was a mess, it broke down several times, and the company’s communication with its partners left a lot to be desired.
Keep reading to learn more about what you should expect when you move in a Budget truck.
Meet Devon and Phillip
Devon Drake and her boyfriend Phillip both work in commercial construction and real estate development. They were living in Des Moines, Iowa with their German Shepherd, Koda, but they decided to move to Austin, Texas to start their own company (and escape Iowa’s frosty winters).
A long-distance move like this can cost over ten thousand dollars if you aren’t careful, so Devon was very focused on getting the best possible price. She was also in the market for a move that was painless, fast, and well organized.
Devon’s price-consciousness made a DIY move seem like the best option. However, moving all your stuff yourself in a rental truck is often anything but pain-free, fast, and organized. In the end, Budget delivered an affordable and fast move, but there were a few pain points and organizational hiccups that kept them from a 10/10 score in Devon’s case.
MOVE.ORG MOVING GRANTS: THE 411
MOVE.ORG MOVING GRANTS: THE 411
At Move.org, we offer financing 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 Devon and Phillip chose Budget
Before settling on Budget, Devon did two things you should always do when you’re planning a move:
1. She gathered quotes from multiple companies.
Devon got a moving quote of $1,066 from Budget. Instead of just settling for this price, Devon went the extra mile and gathered quotes from two full-service movers, United Van Lines and a local mover called Adamantine Spine Moving. These companies quoted her $6530 and $6485 respectively. For good measure, she also got a quote from U-Haul which came out to $1,600.
This made Budget’s quote the clear winner.
Pricing in the moving industry is complicated and impossible to predict, so gathering multiple quotes is the only way to know you’re getting the best available price. If you just go with the first quote you get, you could be spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars you don’t need to.
2. She double-checked information provided by Budget against competitor information.
Devon checked Budget’s truck size recommendation for her home against the size that U-Haul recommended. Luckily, Budget’s info checked out. While big companies like Budget usually make sound recommendations, it never hurts to make sure that what a company tells you aligns with what other companies are saying.
After examining the different offers and info from other companies, Devon and Phillip decided that Budget’s low prices made it the best option for their move.
What’s the deal with truck sizes?
What’s the deal with truck sizes?
If your truck is bigger than you need, you’ll end up paying for space you didn’t use. If your truck is too small, you obviously won’t be able to load everything correctly. What you need is the Goldilocks truck for the size of your home. Hop over to our moving truck size guide to find a truck that’s just right for you.
Devon’s Budget move at a glance
|Move date||January 2021|
|Service type||Truck rental|
|Start location||Des Moines, IA|
|End location||Austin, TX|
|Des Moines, IA|
What to expect with Budget—Pricing
Looking at the table above, you might infer that Budget hit Devon and Phillip with some hidden fees after their move. This isn’t really the case, though. After getting her quote, Devon purchased moving coverage last minute, so most of this price increase was expected. This coverage cost $100 and provided $200,000 in liability coverage.
The price increase also included a late pickup fee. Devon didn’t actually pick up her truck late, so this was a mistake on Budget’s end. Luckily, the company refunded her immediately after she brought this up.
While this late fee blunder was inconvenient, it wasn’t a big deal. Overall, Budget honored its original estimate and didn’t increase Devon’s price unfairly. And like we said earlier, Budget had the best price of any company that Devon got a quote from.
What to expect with Budget—Customer service
While Devon and Phillip had a few problems with their Budget truck that we’ll discuss in detail below , we first want to say that Budget handled these problems quickly and professionally. In one instance, Budget bent over backwards to make up for the truck’s problems and do right by Devon and Phillip.
While it’s obviously better if nothing goes wrong in the first place, no company can guarantee smooth sailing. Moves are complex and unpredictable, and there’s always a chance that something unexpected will happen. What a company can do is make amends for these shortcomings, and that’s exactly what Budget did for Devon and Phillip.
What surprised us about Budget
Devon and Phillip got their Budget truck from a rental facility called Brad’s Used Cars that Budget partners with.
Right off the bat, there was some confusion about truck availability at Brad’s Used Cars. Devon and Phillip needed their truck on January 7, but to secure it for that day, Brad’s Used Cars required that they reserve it for January 5, two days early. And they had to pay for this extra time. This extra price was included in their initial quote.
Later, Devon called Brad’s Used Cars and asked if she could pick it up a day later since neither she nor Phillip could get off work in time to pick it up. The customer service agent told her she could pick it up two days later (the date that they actually wanted to pick up the truck in the first place) and would be refunded for the time they didn’t need.
When Devon actually went to pick up the truck, though, a different customer service agent helped her and told her that she wouldn’t be refunded for the extra time. So, after all this rigmarole, Devon and Phillip were able to get their truck on their desired day, but they had to pay for extra time.
Additionally, though Devon had cleared this later-than-reserved pickup with customer service, she was still hit with the late pickup fee we mentioned. Luckily, when Devon called Budget directly, the company immediately refunded this fee.
The takeaway here is that you should try to get your truck from a Budget facility instead of working with one of Budget’s partners. This isn’t always possible in some areas, though, as partnerships are very common, and they allow Budget to service areas it otherwise wouldn’t be able to. They also don’t always result in these types of problems.
If you do rent your truck from a third party like Brad’s Used Cars, just call Budget directly whenever issues arise.
The worst thing about Devon and Philip’s move was the truck. To start with, the truck was pretty dirty when they picked it up. The dashboard had dust all over it, and the floors were grimy. What’s more, there was a large crack across the windshield. Luckily, Devon had the foresight to discuss all of these problems during her pickup inspection.
Otherwise, she might have been charged for the truck’s problems when she returned it.
The serious problems began when Devon got in the truck to drive it away. As she was pulling out of the rental facility’s lot, the engine died. She was able to restart the truck, and it made it to her apartment just fine, so Devon and Phillip chalked it up to cold weather draining the truck’s battery, which can happen.1
The following morning, Devon backed the truck up to their door for loading and it died several times. At this point, it was clear that something was wrong with the truck. Devon called Brad’s Used Cars to address this issue, and the company referred her to Budget’s customer service, who then told her to call roadside assistance.
After asking Devon several questions about the truck, roadside assistance sent a mechanic her way. While the mechanic worked, Devon and Phillip loaded the truck with the help of a few friends.
After the truck was almost completely loaded, the mechanic told Devon that the truck’s alternator was completely fried and would need to be replaced. The bad news was that he wouldn’t be able to get the replacement until the following Monday, January 11, but Devon and Phillip needed to be on the road on Sunday, January 10.
Budget then gave Devon a choice. She could either wait for the truck to be fixed on Monday or she could get a replacement truck, but she would also have to wait until Saturday (the next day). This would also mean they would have to unload the current truck and load everything into the new one.
Devon told Budget that neither of these options worked, so Budget escalated Devon’s case to a manager, who contradicted what the mechanic had said about being unable to get the new alternator until Monday.
The manager said he’d send out a different mechanic to investigate the problem and get the replacement part from a nearby car parts retailer if need be. If that didn’t work, Budget said it would get her a new truck immediately and send a loading labor crew to help move everything out of the old truck and into the new one quickly.
Luckily, this wasn’t necessary. The second mechanic was able to get the truck fixed in 30 minutes. Apparently, the alternator didn’t even need replacing. Devon and Phillip’s move was back on schedule.
The truck made it to Austin without any further problems, and Devon and Phillip were able to unload everything and return their truck on time. Their move had a rocky start, but it ended fine, and everything went smoothly after they started driving.
While Devon and Phillip’s move didn’t go smoothly by any stretch of the imagination, most of the things that went wrong can’t be blamed on Budget. In fact, Budget did everything it could to fix problems as they arose. Every problem—from breakdowns to unfair fees—was addressed and resolved in the end.
What’s more, Budget gave Devon and Phillip the best price around. This means that Devon got two out of the four things she wanted from her Budget move. It certainly wasn’t painless, and it could have been better organized, but it was cheap and fast.
While you’d certainly get a more pain-free move from a full-service moving company, we think Budget’s low prices are worth the hard work and potential stress, especially if price is your number one priority.
- Firestone Complete Auto Care, “Top 3 Things That Can Drain Car Batteries in Winter.” Published November 19, 2018. Accessed February 24, 2021.