There are many different reasons you might need to rent a truck.
From hauling large pieces of furniture, picking up a large item from a store or even moving yourself, you may be looking for the cheapest way to rent a truck.
During your search for the cheapest place to rent a truck, you will see a lot of results. That’s why we’re providing our guide to help you find the best way to rent a truck in 2023.
Cheapest Way to Rent a Truck for a Day
There are many different companies that specialize in renting trucks.
Whether you need to rent a large truck or a small truck, need to drive it long distances for multiple days or only a few miles for a single day, you will have plenty of options when it comes to finding a company.
Tactic for Success
To limit how much you spending on a truck, pack all your moving needs into a short timeframe. Even if you have to rent a truck for multiple days to do multiple projects, it could be cheaper to clump all your projects together rather than renting a truck for multiple single days over a longer period of time.
Of course, there is no straightforward answer when it comes to what company provides the best price for rental trucks.
However, each company basically takes the same factors into consideration when they’re pricing their rentals, and you’ll you need to take them into consideration when planning your budget.
Factors for pricing rentals:
- Size of the Truck – The bigger the truck you need, the more expensive it will be to rent.
- Rental Demand – When trucks are in high demand, companies are likely to charge more.
- Length of Rental – The longer you want to rent the truck, the more expensive it generally will be.
- Mileage Driven – While some companies offer unlimited mileage, others may charge a rate per-mile or may have a cap on the total mileage you can drive.
As you’re searching for the cheapest truck rental service, keep in mind that these are the factors that could determine your price.
Then, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples.
Trend on the Rise
With more people moving to major metropolitan areas, the rental truck industry is expected to grow considerably over the next seven years. And despite inflation causing economic concerns in the U.S., people still a lot more disposable income today than they did even 20 years ago. That’s likely to increase the demand for rental trucks.
Rent a Pickup Truck Unlimited Miles
If you don’t need a full box truck, you could save some money by renting a pickup truck.
This could also save you money on car repairs by avoiding wear and tear on your own vehicle.
These vehicles are a lot cheaper for places to purchase and, as a result, they are a lot cheaper to rent out. If you are looking to purchase your own truck, you may consider monetizing your investment with car wrap advertising.
Depending on what it is you need to haul, a pickup truck could provide you with plenty of space.
Many local hardware stores will rent pickup trucks, in addition to some of the national companies that specialize in truck rentals.
So, before you immediately go to one of the big truck rental companies for a large box truck, consider whether the items that you need to haul could more easily fit into a pickup truck.
There are some positives and negatives to renting a pickup truck with unlimited miles.
Is Penske cheaper than Budget?
There are many companies that you can choose from when you need to rent a truck. Two of the biggest companies around are Penske and Budget.
Just like with getting coupons in the mail, if you’re really looking to save money, you still need to shop around and do your research.
Both companies are available in just about every state and have multiple sizes of trucks that you can choose from.
As we mentioned before, which company would be the cheapest for you depends on a number of factors.
Tactic for Success
You should never assume that information you find online through third-party sites is completely accurate for your specific situation. For example, truck rental companies may run specials that would make their truck much cheaper than normal. So, when you need to rent a truck, make sure to get actual estimates from each company before making a decision.
Comparing apples-to-apples, both Penske and Budget offer roughly the same cost.
The average cost of a local rental with Penske is $138, while the same costs $145 with Budget.
Whether you’re selling a motorcycle locally and need to transport it or you are moving to a house a few streets over, this is a good price point to know.
If you are looking for longer-haul trips, Penske seems to win out in terms of the average price charged.
According to Consumer Affairs, the average cost with Penske of a 500-mile move is $1,090, compared to $1,424.
There are plenty of factors you should consider in addition to price, but this gives you a general idea of what you might be looking at.
Again, make sure that you are actually getting real quotes from both companies, as the price can vary greatly based on your location, the type of truck you’re renting, how long you plan on driving with it and the availability of trucks.
Trend on the Rise
During 2021, roughly 8.4% of the American population moved, the lowest mark in a few decades. Most of those moves happened relatively, locally, meaning there was a high demand for truck rentals. Of all the people who moved in 2021, 43% moved in the same city and 35% moved within the same state.
How much does it cost to rent from U-Haul?
U-Haul is one of the most well-known truck rental companies in the world.
They are considered very reliable and, as a result, are often atop the list of companies people check out when they need to rent a truck.
U-Haul often advertises a special where you can rent a truck for $19.95 per day.
However, that’s not the only costs you will pay when you rent a truck from this company. There are extra fees that are tacked on top of that.
What the $19.95 covers is the base rental of three of the company’s smaller trucks, which includes:
- Pickup Trucks – These rentals are good for smaller jobs that don’t require weather protection.
- Cargo Vans – These are slightly larger than pickup trucks and also provide an enclosed space to protect your items.
- 10-Foot Truck – This typical box truck can typically fit the contents of a studio or one-bedroom apartment.
What other fees does U-Haul charge?
In addition to the $19.95 per day base fee for renting these trucks, you also will be charged fees for damage protection (or insurance), fuel (that you have to pay for, environmental fees, taxes and other miscellaneous fees such as for “convenience,” drop-off and cleaning.
In addition, you need to understand that the $19.95 per day base fee only applies to local moves.
If you are doing a long-distance move, a different base fee will apply. Typically speaking, U-Haul sets the cap at local moves around 50 miles.
This doesn’t mean that you can only drive 50 miles with the truck you rent, but you can’t be moving more than 50 miles away.
In other words, you can make multiple trips back and forth between the two places you’re moving, as long as those places aren’t more than 50 miles away from each other.
Finally, U-Haul may require you to drop the truck rental off at the same location you picked it up at to qualify for the $19.95 base fee.
How much does U-Haul charge per mile?
Another factor to consider in the overall price of a U-Haul rental is that the company charges a per-mile rate in addition to the base fee and additional fees above.
In most cases, they will charge $.99 per mile driven. That rate may drop to $.79 or lower if you rent the truck during the week or during other “off-peak” times.
The total cost of this is something you can obviously estimate before you rent your truck from U-Haul, but it won’t be calculated and charged until you return your truck rental.
U-Haul will calculate the mileage you have driven from the moment you drive off their lot until the moment you drive the truck back onto their lot to return it.
If, for example, you drive 52 total miles with your U-Haul rental truck, you might be charged an additional $51.48 on top of the other fees based on the $.99-per-mile rate.
If you need to rent a bigger vehicle to help you with a move or other task, you’ll have plenty of options when searching for the cheapest way to rent a truck.
Follow some of our tips above, and you can find the cheapest place to rent a truck today.
Tim is a classically-trained journalist who loves to share knowledge and information with others. In the past, he has worked in TV, online and print media, and currently works with companies to help design, create and strategize their messaging.