Rent a Truck or A Pod for help Moving or Moving Into Storage
We can help you plan and get the best rates to find a cheap truck for rent. For more information on everything from truck rental sizes to rental truck insurance, take a look at our guide to renting a truck, below.
Should you hire movers or find a truck to rent? While hiring movers certainly has its upsides, there’s no denying the affordability of a truck rental. Not only are rental trucks a low-cost alternative to moving companies, but they’re also a more flexible option for those with complicated timelines.
Truck Rental Sizes
Not sure which size truck to rent? While sizes vary between truck rental companies, most truck rental centers offer at least three different sizes for rent: a small box truck (10 to 12 ft. truck rental), a mid-size box truck (15 to 17 ft. truck rental), and a large box truck (24 to 26 ft. truck rental). In general, a smaller box truck is capable of holding a studio apartment; a mid-size box truck is capable of holding a one to two bedroom home; and a 26 ft. truck rental is capable of holding a household of five to seven rooms. The size truck you need will depend on the overall weight of your belongings, size of your furniture and distance of your move. If you’re planning to make multiple trips back and forth for a local move, then you can get away with a cheaper and smaller rental truck. However, if you’re embarking on a long distance DIY move, you should rent a truck large enough to fit all of your household belongings.
5 Things to Consider When Renting a Moving Truck
- The size of your move — Needless to say, the more belongings you plan to move, the bigger the truck rental will need to be. If you plan to move three or more bedrooms, you should opt for a larger truck. Those moving a studio, one or two bedroom household may be able to fit their belongings into a cargo truck rental or a small moving truck for rent.
- The price of gas — Given their large size, truck rentals tend to be serious gas guzzlers. So if you’re planning to drive through a state (or states) with steep gas prices, be sure to take this into account before renting a moving truck.
- The distance of your move — The distance of your move is a major consideration when renting a moving truck. For starters, the farther you move, the more gas you’re going to need (hence the pricier the move will be). Second, if moving a long distance, you’re going to need a truck rental with comfortable cab seating. Third, since you won’t be able to make multiple trips back and forth between houses, you’ll need to rent a moving truck large enough to fit everything at once. Finally, if embarking on a one way move, you’ll have to pick up and return your truck rental at different locations. This is typically more expensive to do and should be a consideration when calculating costs.
- The size of your truck — Imagine loading your belongings onto the back of the truck, only to realize later that the moving truck is too small. Yikes. The last thing you want to do is rent the wrong size truck rental when moving. To avoid this moving mishap, make sure to rent the appropriate size truck rental for your move. Rule of thumb: when in doubt, size up when renting a moving truck.
- Additional truck rental fees — Don’t forget about those additional fees. While renting a moving truck is certainly cheaper than hiring a moving company, it can still lead to a few extra fees along the way. These fees may include the cost of fuel, extra days needed, extra mileage, and moving equipment add-ons. Additionally, if you’re not returning the rental truck to its original location, you may have to pay an extra fee to the rental company. This is known as a “one way move,” and it will almost certainly be more expensive than returning the truck to its original location.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I have to be to rent a moving truck?
It depends on the truck rental company. In general, most truck rental companies require that renters be at least 18 years old to drive a moving truck. However, some do have higher age requirements, so be sure to ask about their policy when renting a truck.
What size rental truck do I need?
While pickup trucks and cargo vans are ideal for studio moves, most moving truck companies will advise choosing a larger box truck (at least 10 feet) for a one to two bedroom apartment move. Moving a large household of four or more bedrooms will require a larger truck. If you’re having trouble determining the appropriate size truck to rent, be sure to ask the truck rental company for their guidance. They should be able to point you in the right direction. As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to size up when choosing a truck rental. This ensures that all of your belongings will fit inside comfortably.
How much does it cost to rent a truck?
Renting a 10 to 12 ft. moving truck for a move from New York City to Miami costs around $1,000, give or take a few hundred dollars depending on the company. Other factors that affect the cost of renting a moving truck include: the size of the truck, point of origin, destination, moving date, additional days or miles added and moving equipment add-ons. Keep in the mind that truck rental rates will be higher during peak moving season as well.
What is considered peak truck rental season?
Peak moving season typically runs from May to September, as most people choose to move during the summer months. If you need to move during these months, make sure to book your truck rental well in advance of your move. Of course, more demand usually means higher rates as well. To save money, try moving on a weekday during the off-season when demand for truck rentals is lowest.
What is the gas mileage of a truck rental?
In general, truck rentals do not get great gas mileage. Factors affecting the gas mileage of a truck rental include the size of the truck, weather conditions and vehicle speed. If you rent a 10 ft. truck rental, you can expect to get 12 miles per gallon. A large 26 ft. truck rental gets only 10 miles per gallon. For a closer look the gas mileage of a truck rental, check here.
Do I refuel the moving truck myself?
Yes. Most moving truck companies ask that you refill the gas tank before returning the truck. If you don’t refill the tank, many truck rental companies will simply charge an additional fee for fuel.
How do I avoid truck rental scams?
The last thing you want is to get scammed during your already hectic move. So before booking your rental truck, make sure the company is reputable and reliable. To do so, check the truck rental company’s credentials and reviews with the Better Business Bureau and other online review sites.
Do I need to stop at weigh stations when driving the truck?
Most states do not require drivers moving household belongings to pull over at weigh stations, however, some do. Since transportation laws vary from state to state, it’s important to check your state’s individual laws before driving a rental truck on the highway.
Can I pick up a rental truck in one location and return it in another?
Most truck rental companies offer service centers throughout the country, making it easy to pick up a rental truck in one location and return it in another. However, this type of one way move will typically be more expensive. The reason for this is that the agency may have to drive the truck rental back to its original location. This logistical inconvenience for them often means an extra fee for you.
Should I reserve a truck rental far in advance?
The earlier you reserve your truck rental, the better. To book a truck rental, call your agency or make a reservation online as soon as you’re ready. If you procrastinate and wait until the last minute to reserve your truck rental, you could end up with fewer moving truck choices. In addition, you may have to travel to a farther truck rental service location to find the right size truck. All of this hassle could easily be prevented by booking your truck rental a few months in advance.
What’s the largest moving truck available to rent?
Moving multiple bedrooms and an entire household worth of belongings? You’ll probably need the largest truck rental available. Fortunately, most truck rental companies offer a 26 ft. moving truck. This is the largest moving truck that a customer can rent for a residential move. These trucks can hold around 10,000 pounds of cargo (or up to eight rooms of furniture and boxes).
Can I cancel my truck rental reservation?
You should be able to cancel your truck rental reservation at least two days in advance of the pickup date. However, cancellation policies vary by truck rental company (as do cancellation fee requirements), so be sure to ask for details before booking a truck.
Understanding Rental Truck Insurance
Unfortunately, neither your auto insurance policy nor your credit card will typically cover a truck rental. So if you’re planning a DIY move using a truck rental, you’ll need to look into purchasing additional insurance through the truck rental company. Different types of insurance options typically include Damage Waivers, Supplemental Liability Insurance, Personal Accident and Cargo Insurance, and Auto Tow Protection.
Tips for Driving a Truck Rental
Driving a large truck rental down the road is no easy feat. Here are six tips to help make your truck rental experience a smooth one.
- Before driving a truck rental, take a look at the user instructions provided by the truck rental company. Familiarize yourself with the truck’s features including the windshield wipers and lights. Adjust your mirror and practice driving the truck in a parking lot or quiet street before heading to busy roads.
- Unless you’re renting a large truck with a three-seat cab, keep the front seat to a maximum of two people (including the driver).
- When driving a truck rental, remember that your turns will need to be much wider than if you were driving a normal size car. Before turning, be sure to use your blinker as well.
- Avoid narrow roads when driving a rental truck. Instead, stick to main roads and highways.
- Remember that your truck rental may not be able to go under the same bridges, underpasses and drive-thrus as the average car without getting stuck. When driving, be sure to keep clearance and your truck’s height top of mind.
- The last thing you want to do is get into an accident while driving a truck rental. To prevent this from happening, pay attention to the speed limit and actively avoid tailgating other cars.
How to Pack and Load a Moving Truck
Packing and loading your moving truck by yourself? Follow these quick tips to maximize your storage space and prevent damage to your belongings.
With numerous moving truck rental companies to choose from, we know DIY moving can be a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, Moving.com’s Truck Rental Center makes it easy to find the one that best fits your relocation budget and DIY moving needs. Our special discounts and truck rental partners will help you save on truck rentals without compromising on service. Best of luck and happy moving!
- Disassemble furniture — Not only will this create more room in the back of the truck, but it will also help distribute the weight evenly. Start by disassembling dining table legs, bed frames, headboards, desks and drawers.
- Use moving straps — As you pack the truck, use moving straps to hold furniture and moving boxes in place. This will prevent items from shifting while the truck is in transit.
- Load large and heavy items first — Rule of thumb: always load your largest and heaviest items first. All appliances and heavy furniture should be placed on the bottom of the moving truck towards the front of the truck (closest to the cab).
- Place large furniture in an upright position — By placing furniture and heavier items in a vertical, upright position, you will have more room in the back of your truck for other belongings. Items that can be placed upright include headboards, rugs, couches, chairs and tables.
- Create multiple tiers — As you load the back of the truck, create three separate tiers to help distribute the weight more evenly. You can do so by strapping down one section at a time. For example, heavier belongings can be strapped down as tier one. Medium size items can be strapped down as tier two. Finally, lighter moving boxes can be strapped down as tier three on top of the heavier items.
- Roll rugs — To avoid damaging your rugs, make sure to roll them up first. Once they’re rolled up, secure each rug with plastic wrap to keep them from moving while in the truck.
- Load light items last — Place lighter items onto the truck last. Be sure they are positioned towards the back of the truck (opposite of the truck’s cab).
- Place mattresses in mattress bags — To avoid ruining your mattress during the move, place it securely inside of a mattress bag before loading it onto the truck.
- Store moving day essentials in an easy-to-reach spot — From your bottled water to your cleaning supplies, make sure to keep all moving day essentials in an easy-to-reach spot on the truck.