Interstate Truck Rentals

Your budget is often the primary factor in deciding how you’re going to move. Although it’s the most labor intensive and time-consuming way to move, a moving truck rental can save you bucks. For a 1000-mile move, figure on spending anywhere from $500 to $1700 for the truck rental alone. Then add in your fuel, tolls, insurance, and lodging costs. On the other hand, hiring a moving company for your interstate move will save you headaches, time, and hard work. A full-service long-distance move can cost between $2000 and $7500 depending on the weight of your possessions and services you select. There’s a lot to think about and neither option is cheap. Be sure you have the complete picture before you decide. Hopefully this list of pros and cons will help:


Pros of Renting a Moving Truck

  • You can pack, load, and move on your own schedule
  • You always have control over your belongings
  • You can save your back by doing a ‘hybrid’ move and hire movers to load and unload your rental truck
  • You can tow your vehicle behind some rental trucks

Cons of Renting a Moving Truck

  • In addition to rental truck cost, add:
  • Lodging
  • Food on the road (often more expensive than eating at home)
  • Fuel (averages about $270 for a 1000-mile move)
  • Highway tolls
  • Insurance (auto insurance policies often don’t provide coverage for a rental truck)
  • The pressure of asking family and friends to help
  • Food and beverage costs for helpers
  • Possible one-way drop off fees
  • Questionable safety of your belongings overnight in hotel parking lots
  • Increased moving stress and hard work
  • Possibility of missing additional work days
  • Possibility of injuries to yourself, family, or friends when hefting heavy items
  • Stress of driving a big heavy truck
  • Delays due to weather or unexpected events increase DIY costs
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Best Truck Rental for an Out-of-State Move

Some truck rental companies charge mileage and only offer round-trip rentals while others offer unlimited mileage and no fees for one-way rentals. Insurance coverage prices can vary between companies, as can moving accessories options and prices. It’s worthwhile to make a list of all the services you’ll need for your interstate move. Will you need insurance, furniture pads, a hand truck, packing supplies, or a car carrier? Then comparison shop to get quotes from at least three moving truck rental companies. Booking as far in advance as possible will get you the best prices. Also, rates are cheaper when you rent between Sunday and Thursday, so if you can schedule your move during the week, you’ll likely save money.


Budget Truck Rental

Budget has over 2800 branches throughout the US and offers moving trucks and accessories for any kind of DIY interstate move. Whether you need to relocate a studio apartment or move an eight-room house, Budget has trucks and moving accessories for every need. Also, Budget branches stock a variety of packing materials and boxes. If you need ramps, hand trucks, furniture pads, a car carrier, or a tow dolly, you can order these accessories when you reserve your truck. Conveniently, Budget also rents pick-up trucks but note that Budget does not rent trailers. Budget can help you with self-storage and moving labor. Discounts are offered to students, seniors, and military personnel. Budget doesn’t guarantee their online reservations. Call, or better yet, visit your closest branch to get specific information about your scheduled rental. Budget offers trucks in three sizes:


  • 12’ truck with up to 3100 lb. load capacity moves a studio apartment or 1 room
  • 16’ truck with up to 3400 lb. load capacity moves 3-4 rooms or a 1-bedroom home
  • 26’ truck with up to 12,000 lb. load capacity moves 5-8 rooms or a 2-3 bedroom home

Ryder Truck Rental

Ryder offers vehicles designed for specialty commercial rental. If you need a refrigerated temperature-controlled truck or a stake bed truck, Ryder has a good selection. However, they only rent two sizes of moving trucks. They don’t rent or sell the typical moving accessories you’ll find at other truck rental companies, and only some of their branches rent furniture pads and hand trucks. Ryder has over 500 locations in the US and Canada but only offers round-trip rentals. Your truck must be returned to the original rental location. Unlike other truck rentals that charge by 24-hour periods, Ryder rentals are based on a daily charge. If you pick up your truck at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and return it at 8 a.m. the next day, you’re charged for two days. Ryder’s moving trucks include:


  • 16’ box truck holds 960 cubic feet of cargo up to 6,000 lbs.
  • 26’ moving truck holds 1600 cubic feet of cargo up to 15,000 lbs.

Penske Truck Rental

Penske has a variety of moving trucks for interstate DIY moves and offers free unlimited miles on one-way rentals. They also have more than 2000 pick-up and drop-off locations. Penske guarantees your reservation if you book 48 hours or more ahead of your pick-up time. Be sure to ask about their specials and discounts. All Penske trucks have automatic transmissions, power steering, air conditioning, cargo tie rails, and interior cargo lights. In addition to renting trucks, Penske sells moving boxes and packing supplies. They rent towing dollies, hand trucks, and furniture pads. Also, they offer a moving labor service and self-storage. However, Penske does not rent trailers or allow you to tow your own trailer with its trucks. Be sure to check their various insurance options for coverage during your move. Penske offers the following vehicles:


  • High roof cargo van holds 404 cubic feet of cargo with a 3500 lb. load capacity
  • 12’ truck holds 450 cubic feet of cargo with a 3100 lb. load capacity and moves 1-2 rooms
  • 16’ truck holds 800 cubic feet of cargo with a 4300 lb. load capacity and moves 2-3 rooms
  • 22’ truck holds 1200 cubic feet of cargo with a 10,000 lb. load capacity and moves 3-5 rooms
  • 26’ truck holds 1700 cubic feet of cargo with a 10,000 lb. load capacity and moves 5-7 rooms

Enterprise Truck Rental

Enterprise assesses a one-time drop charge for its larger vehicles which they add to their truck rental rate. With over 350 branches, only a few rental locations allow a truck to be rented in one location and returned to another. Be sure to check the mileage and distance policies. Given the round-trip policy at most of Enterprise branches, the option may not be the best choice for an interstate move. You must reserve their larger box trucks over the phone. Although you can rent hand trucks and furniture pads at Enterprise, they don’t rent car carriers or sell moving boxes. The best choices for an interstate move are their cabover and box trucks:


  • 16’ cabover truck has a 7500 lb. load capacity
  • 24’ box truck has a 10,000 lb. load capacity
  • 26’ box truck has a 10,000 lb. load capacity


Since 1945, U-Haul has maintained its reputation as one of the most popular companies in the rental truck industry. With more than 20,000 locations, U-Haul provides you with the greatest flexibility for pick-up and drop-off of one-way rentals. U-Haul has just about anything you might need for your DIY interstate move. Trucks, trailers, towing equipment, boxes, packing supplies, hand trucks, furniture pads, moving labor, storage, and even U-Box containers are available from most U-Haul branches. Rates can vary based on demand and availability. The sooner you can book your truck, the better your chances are of getting a great rate. From cargo vans to 26’ trucks, U-Haul has some of the best van and truck size selections:


  • Cargo van with 245 cubic foot capacity can move a studio
  • 10’ truck with 402 cubic foot capacity can move 1 small apartment
  • 15’ truck with 764 cubic foot capacity can move 2-3 rooms
  • 20’ truck with 1016 cubic foot capacity can move 3-5 rooms
  • 26’ truck with 1682 cubic foot capacity can move 5-8 rooms

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Tips for Renting a Moving Truck

If you’re contemplating going this route, be sure to follow these DIY moving tips:


  • Comparison shop, but before you do, decide:
    • How many days will you need the truck?
    • What size truck will meet your needs?
    • Which moving accessories will you need?
  • Be sure you have the necessary driving skills to maneuver a large, loaded truck a long distance.
    • Can you navigate narrow multi-lane city streets or constricted spaces like bridges or detours?
    • Can you drive using only side mirrors? Remember you won’t have a rearview mirror to maneuver through highways and traffic.
  • Make sure you have the right insurance and understand the difference between your insurance options.
    • The coverage on many credit cards does not include rental trucks.
    • Repair of damage to rental trucks is expensive. Be sure your liability and collision insurance cover any kind of damage that may happen.
  • Understand your rental truck company’s one-way, round-trip, or mileage policies.
    • Do you need to return the truck to the same branch or facility where you originally rented it?
    • Is there a fee for returning the truck to a different location?
    • Is there a distance limit or an additional mileage charge?
    • What is your truck rental company’s cancellation policy in case you need to cancel your rental truck at the last minute?
  • Essentials for the rental – make sure you have:
    • A valid driver’s license for each person who is planning to drive the truck.
    • Proof of your insurance. Your auto insurance might not cover liability, truck or cargo damage, so be sure you check this before arriving at the truck rental counter. If necessary, buy supplemental insurance.
    • The credit card in the name of the person renting the truck. Be sure to find out in advance of your moving day if the rental company will accept a check or debit card.
  • Carefully and thoroughly inspect your moving truck’s exterior and interior before you sign your rental agreement. Take photos.
    • Be sure lights, signals, and tires are in good working condition.
    • Report any damage to your rental rep before signing, so you won’t be held responsible when you turn in the truck after your move.
  • Locate the gas tank filling cap so when you need to fill up, you pull the truck up to the correct side of the pump.
  • On your way from the rental agency to where you’ll load up, test drive to become familiar with your truck.
    • Test the brakes so you’ll know how quickly you can stop.
    • Allow extra space around you for turns.
    • Practice changing lanes using only your side mirrors.
  • Reduce your speed for rain, snow, ice, or fog. Your truck won’t respond with the same agility as the car you normally drive.

While the cost of a DIY interstate move might sound appealing, be sure to thoroughly research this option before booking your rental truck. You could be surprised at the expense of renting a truck, once figuring in tax, insurance, and other fees. Compare the overall cost of renting a truck with the cost of hiring full-service movers. You might be surprised at the relative affordability of hiring a moving company. To start your comparison, request free quotes now using Ian’s Interstate Movers!

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