What to Expect When You Move with Penske—Caroline’s Move

Joe Roberts
Researcher & Writer
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Published on April 13, 2021
4 min read

Penske is one of the best truck rental companies in the business, and we’ve found that it’s the most affordable option for customers moving long-distance (500 miles or more). To get a better idea of how much the company charges its customers and how it treats them, we helped a Penske customer named Caroline pay for her DIY move in a Penske truck.

Penske lived up to expectations in every way. The customer service agents were efficient and professional, the truck worked (almost) perfectly, and Caroline got a great price. There was a small booking error on Penske’s part and the truck caught two flat tires on the trip, but Penske took care of these problems promptly and professionally. It even knocked a bit off Caroline’s price because of the booking issue.

After her move, Caroline said she would absolutely use Penske again and recommend the company to others.

Want a great price and service for your move?

Keep reading to learn more about Caroline’s move.


Meet Caroline Hill

Caroline Hill is a librarian who enjoys art, Broadway shows, and tasty cuisine. She had been living in South Carolina for almost a decade but had her eyes on a new life out West for a while. When she finally got a good job offer in New Mexico, it was settled.

She set her move date for January 18, 2021, packed all of her furniture and belongings, and drove to Santa Fe in a Penske Truck with her mother and her two cats, Buster and Loulou.

Caroline Hill headshot
Bullhorn
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Why Caroline chose Penske

While Caroline didn’t do the extensive quote gathering we usually recommend—you only know you’re getting the best price if you get quotes from multiple companies—she did do her research. She checked the websites and customer reviews for several different companies like U-Haul and Budget to read up about their trucks, prices, and services.

After finishing her research, Caroline decided Penske was her best option for three reasons:

  1. Penske is known for having newer, highly reliable trucks.
  2. Penske has a reliable process for guaranteeing reservations.
  3. The quote she got from Penske was lower than the rates she saw listed on other companies’ websites.

Caroline’s Penske move at a glance

Moving companyPenske Truck Rental
Move date January, 2021
Service typeTruck rental
Start locationEasley, South Carolina
End locationSanta Fe, New Mexico
Quoted cost$848.31
Actual cost$1017.62 (with insurance)

What to expect with Penske—Pricing

Considering the distance of her move and how much additional coverage she purchased, we can say without a doubt that Penske gave Caroline a great deal on her move.

Like we said, though, gathering quotes from other truck rental companies makes it easier to know exactly how Penske’s price compares. For a truck rental move like Caroline’s (roughly 1,530 miles), the average price is much closer to $2,000.

Caroline also added these three coverage options to her bill after getting her initial quote:

  1. Cargo insurance (which covers damage to your belongings)
  2. A limited damage waiver (which covers damage to your truck)
  3. A supplemental liability waiver (which protects you from claims made by someone you might get into an accident with while driving your Penske truck)1

These optional coverage add-ons are why Caroline’s final bill was bigger than her initial quote. The additional cost wasn’t a result of shady hidden fees.

Additionally, Caroline is an American Automobile Association (AAA) member, and Penske offers exclusive discounts for AAA members.2 On Caroline’s final bill, her AAA membership saved her about $78. Not too shabby.

Money
Moving and storage companies with AAA discounts

From hotels to restaurants, lots of companies offer discounts to AAA members, and moving companies are no exception. Check out our guide to moving and storage discounts for AAA members to find a company that will cut you a deal if you show them your membership card.


What to expect with Penske—Customer service

You can sometimes tell more about a company’s customer service by how well it handles mistakes than by how well it prevents mistakes. No company is perfect—what distinguishes the good ones from the bad ones is how well they fix problems as they arise.

Penske did a great job solving every problem for Caroline.

Caroline originally booked a 12-foot truck for her move. Unfortunately, the customers who rented the truck before her didn’t return it on schedule, so it wasn’t there when Caroline came to pick it up.

If Caroline had been renting from U-Haul, she might have been up a creek without a paddle; U-Haul is notoriously bad at honoring customer reservations.

Penske went above and beyond to make things right for Caroline. The company hooked her up with a 16-foot truck and then knocked $278.10 off her final price.

So, essentially, Caroline got a larger truck for a lower price. Would it have been ideal if nothing had gone wrong in the first place? Sure. But you really can’t beat this dedication to quality customer service.

Full Penske truck
Heads Up
Need a hand?

Caroline did all of her packing and loading herself, and while this can save you money, you don’t have to do everything yourself to make your move affordable. If you’ve got a little extra room in your budget, you can hire a professional moving labor company to assist you with the heavy lifting and difficult packing.


What surprised us about Penske

The only thing that really surprised us about Penske were issues with the truck, specifically the truck’s tires. During Caroline’s move, two of the truck’s tires started to look a little flat. This isn’t a great look considering Caroline specifically chose Penske for the reputed youth and reliability of its trucks.

Flat tire on a Penske truck

That said, in both instances, Penske’s roadside assistance took care of both flat tires and had Caroline back on the road.

This serves as a good reminder that you should always check your moving truck’s tires at every stop along your moving road trip. The last thing anyone needs is an unnoticed flat tire suddenly halting their journey hours from a city or even a gas station.


Our take

Penske gave Caroline exactly the kind of move we’d expect: affordable and professional. While this move fell just short of painless thanks to the booking debacle and the flat tires, Penske handled these issues perfectly in our book. If you’re moving long-distance like Caroline and you’re willing to do all of the packing, loading, and driving yourself, then you can’t do much better than Penske.

If you want to learn a little more about Penske before booking your move, you can read another customer’s experience with the company, check out our full Penske review, or see how the company compares to its competition on our list of the best moving truck companies.

Sources

  1. Penske Truck Rental, “Commercial Truck Rental Coverage Options.” Accessed March 31, 2021.
  2. Penske Truck Rental, “AAA Members Save with Penske.” Accessed March 31, 2021.
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.