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Budget Truck Rental Review

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Budget is well known for their rental cars, but they also have a robust moving truck rental segment. Living up to their name, Budget's range of rental truck options are great for people doing low-cost DIY moves in town or long distance. Let’s take a look at what you’ll get with Budget rental trucks.

Budget Truck Rental Review

Budget Rental Trucks

Budget has four rental trucks available: a cargo van, a 12’ truck, a 16’ truck, and a 26’ truck. One great feature with Budget rental trucks is that most have translucent roofs so you can see your items even if it is dark.

What Size Rental Truck Do I Need?

In general, if you’re in between truck sizes, then go one size up. If you’re on a true budget, you can do some quick math to determine how much size you’ll need. Many boxes have a cubic foot measurement on them. Keeping a full checklist can seem like a lot of upfront effort -- and it is. But to save the most money, you’ll want to know how much stuff you really have.

 Cargo Van12' Truck16' Truck26' Truck
Cubic Feet3573806581,698
Home SizeStudio Apartment1 or 2 rooms3 or 4 rooms5 to 8 rooms
MileageUp to 14 MPGUp to 14 MPGUp to 10 MPGUp to 10 MPG
Max Load3,400 pounds3,610 pounds4,460 pounds10,000 pounds
Fuel TypeGasolineGasolineGasolineDiesel
Fuel Tank Size25 gallons35 gallons33 gallons50 gallons
Boxes Held40 medium boxes 120 medium boxes, up to 5 furniture pieces250 medium boxes, up to 10 furniture pieces500 medium boxes, 15 furniture pieces

Using Budget for Local and Long-Distance Moves?

Budget offers a simple, intuitive website portal. Your rates will vary depending on location, date, and whether it's a one-way or round-trip move. Budget also offers a range of insurance options and other add-ons. We got quotes for two sample moves to give you a better idea of what to expect.

**Quotes are subject to change and may be different based on location**

Buying Budget Truck Insurance

Buying extra insurance is not strictly necessary to rent from Budget Rentals, but it can be nice to have. Rates are on a sliding scale depending on the trip distance. Here are the types of insurance and insurance packages they offer:

  • Physical Damage Waiver
    • waives all of your responsibility for loss or damage (excludes tire damage)
  • Supplemental Liability (SLI)
    • protects you against property claims made from a third party
  • Personal Accident and Cargo
    • Covers you, your passenger, and your stuff
  • Roadside Safety Net (like roadside assistance) includes non-emergency help like:
    • Tire change
    • Jumpstart
    • Windshield repair
    • Lockout assistance
    • Non-collision towing
  • PlatePass: Allows you to use all toll lanes.
    • You are charged per rental day for it.
    • If you are doing a long-distance move through major cities or tollways, the PlatePass speeds up your trip with access to the electronic toll lane (you don't have to wait for the cash lanes).
 Value Protection PackageChoice Protection PackageComplete Protection Package
Physical Damage WaiverIncludedIncludedIncluded
Supplemental Liability (SLI)Not IncludeIncludedIncluded
Personal Accident and CargoNot IncludedNot included Included
Roadside Safety NetIncludedIncludedIncluded

What it Costs -Local Budget Rental Truck Move

For a local move in Houston,(for December 1, 2020) here's what you can expect to pay:

  • The cargo van was sold out so the price could not be estimated
  • The 12’ truck would cost $19.99 a day plus $0.79 per mile
  • The 16’ truck is $29.99 a day plus $0.79 per mile
  • The 26’ truck would cost $39.99 a day plus $0.79 per mile

For a 16’ truck taking a 30-mile trip, it would cost, (23.70 + $29.99)= $53.69. This is a great rate for a small cross-town move. Your price may increase depending on the extras you choose.

Budget Rental Truck Options

  • Car towing (prices range based on vehicle)
  • Furniture pads- $17.00 per dozen/ per day
  • Hand truck- $12.00 per unit/ per day
  • Loading and unloading help- this is offered by their partner site Hire-A-Helper, those prices will vary by moving company
  • Lastly their insurance options
    • Value protection- $48.98
    • Choice Protection- $60.93
    • Complete Protection- $63.18
  • They also offered additional protection called "roadside safety net" but said it already came included

For this scenario, we chose the Choice Protection insurance and no additional add-ons. All together the estimated total came out to $128.78 plus a deposit of $195.00 that would be due at pick-up of the vehicle and would then be given back once they received the vehicle back (depending on if there were any extra charges, etc.). Of course, you are responsible for filling the vehicle up, so keep that in mind as well.

Long Distance Budget Truck Quote:

For a theoretical long-distance move, we chose a move from Houston to Laramie, Wyoming. The trip itself is 1,155 miles and takes close to 18 hours to drive. I set it for December 1, 2020, since the dates in November had all the trucks sold out. Here were the costs of the moving trucks:

  • The cargo van was sold out
  • The 12' truck would cost me $801.90 per trip with unlimited miles
  • The 16’ truck would also cost me $801.90 with unlimited miles
  • The 26’ truck would cost me $1,035.00 with unlimited miles

Just like with the local move, we went through with the 16’ truck because it would hold all of our stuff. The next page on Budget’s website let us know that the rental included 6 days, so we would have to return the truck on December 7, 2020, and had unlimited miles so we could explore as we drove. Now we had to choose a pick-up and drop-off location. Luckily there are locations in both Houston and Laramie so that wasn’t an issue. Now we were asked about add-ons. They were:

  • Car towing (prices varied based on a vehicle towed)
  • Furniture pads- $29.00 per dozen/ per trip
  • Hand truck- $37.00 per unit/ per trip
  • They offer the loading and unloading help again through Hire A Helper, so prices will vary with whichever company you go through if you so choose to do that
  • Next up was the insurance protections:
    • Value protection- $293.88 per trip
    • Choice protection- $$365.58 per trip
    • Complete protection- $379.08 per trip
  • Again, the final option for roadside safety net came up, but if you choose an insurance option it comes with that standard

This time we chose furniture pads and the complete protection package insurance, so the total came out to $1,347.14 with a deposit of $150.00 due at pick-up of the vehicle. One thing to remember is the gas for the trip. We would make it about 300 miles before having to fill up 33 gallons, so that will also add up.

What We Think About Budget?

Overall, Budget is excellent for people on a budget.

One thing to keep in mind is there are not many stores as compared to U-Haul (2,800 compared to U-Hauls 21,000). The closest one to me is over 50 miles away, so I would personally have to go out of my way to use Budget, and using them for a local move would be considerably more expensive than using another truck rental company.

One other issue we kept running into was the fact that their vehicles were sold out at many locations that we looked at. We not sure why that was the case, but we ran into it in Houston, Chicago, Nashville, and even New York. Again, they should have plenty of trucks available so not sure if students booked rental trucks for those times or what happened, but that was a consistent issue.

Overall, we like Budget. They have fair prices that are affordable and that are on par with other truck rental companies. They also offer great discounts, so you are sure to get some money taken off your total. They offer discounts for:?

  • U.S. military members (20% off)
  • AARP members (20% off)
  • First responders (20% off)
  • Motor club members (20% off)
  • Students (20% off)
  • Bar association members (20% off)
  • They commonly have 20% off deals

If any of those apply to you, then you’re in luck. If not, they are currently offering 20% off on base rates, to anyone, so you still get some savings. To look more closely into costs, check out How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Budget Moving Truck to get more specific information on the costs.


Katherine Broome  Posted by Katherine Broome on November 9, 2020

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