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How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Truck

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If you have chosen a do-it-yourself move , renting a moving truck is a great option for both one-way and local moves that can save you a lot of money. Renting a moving truck may be the cheapest way to relocate, but there are still several factors that will affect the overall cost, including the size of the truck, the distance of the trip, and the time of the year, among others.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Truck

Read on to find out how much renting a moving truck will cost and what factors will affect that cost as well as any hidden fees associated with truck rentals.

What's the average cost of renting a truck?

The average cost to rent a moving truck ranges from $20 to $100 per day. However, the total price depends on the truck size, the distance you'll be traveling, time of year, duration of the rental, whether you're moving locally or long-distance, and what additional moving supplies and equipment you'll need.

Truck size

Most truck rental companies offer five-different truck sizes for rent; the bigger the truck you rent, the more expensive it will be. The smallest size (10-foot) is typically used to move one-bedroom or studio apartments, while the largest size (26-foot) can be used to move a four-bedroom house.

Here's an example of the price breakdown for each truck size, according to prices taken from U-Haul:

  • 10-foot: $19.95/day
  • 14-foot: $29.95/day
  • 17-foot: $29.95/day
  • 24-foot: $39.95/day
  • 26-foot: $39.95/day

These prices only represent the base price that you will pay, without considering mileage fees and other charges. When you rent a truck, it's important to remember that the price you see advertised is often not the price you will end up paying.

Distance of your move

Apart from the size of the truck, the distance of your move is probably the biggest factor in determining the final cost of your rental. So, when you're renting a truck for your move, you have to consider the point of origin, destination, moving date, and the additional days or the extra miles for which you'll require the truck.

Here's how much you can expect to pay for a moving truck based on distance:

  • For a local move : The average price for renting a truck for a local move ranges between $100 to $300 depending on other factors such as the size of the truck and the duration of the rental. For instance, if you're moving a three-bedroom house to another similar-sized home that's 20 miles away. To move all of your belongings comfortably and efficiently you rent a 24-foot truck, which will cost you $39.95/ per day.
  • For a one-way move> : If you're moving long-distance, you'll likely have to pick up and return your truck at different locations. This is usually more expensive and should be taken into consideration when calculating the cost. You can generally expect to pay between $200 and $2000 depending on the distance (as well as the other factors mentioned above). Note that the prices often include a set number of days and miles.
  • Remember, not every truck rental company charges per mile. Some companies, like Budget truck rental, offer unlimited mileage for one flat fee. With this option, you can save a lot of money if you're doing a long-distance move.

Hidden charges when renting a moving truck

In addition to the above-mentioned prices, you should also be aware of additional costs and hidden charges that may add to your final truck rental costs. These include:

  • Truck rental insurance : While purchasing insurance is optional, all rental companies will offer it to you. Insurance will protect against any accidents that may occur while you're driving the truck. It's the smart choice to make, especially if you're going to be driving on busy roads. This fee will vary with each company, but U-Haul charges $15 per day for liability insurance and $29 per day for full coverage.
  • Excess mileage fees: When renting a moving truck, you will often have a set number of miles you can travel. There will typically be an additional charge for exceeding that mileage.
  • Day of the week: It usually costs more to rent a truck on the weekend than on a weekday. It typically costs $0.69 per mile during weekdays and $1.29 per mile on the weekends.
  • Gas fees: When you're returning a rental truck, it's your responsibility to refill the tank with the same amount of gas it had when you received it. If you fail to refill the tank, the company will charge you for the gas - and they will often charge a much higher price per gallon than you'll get at your local gas station.
  • Peak moving period: As with moving companies, truck rental companies also have peak periods during which their prices will be higher. For example, it will cost you more to rent a moving truck on the weekends, at the end of the month, around holiday weekends, and in the summer. Rental companies can charge customers more during these times because the demand for trucks is higher.
  • Moving supplies and equipment costs: You may need some packing materials and moving equipment like furniture pads, bubble wrap to protect your fragile items, or a dolly to load items to the truck. Luckily, many rental companies offer you high-quality materials and equipment with your truck - but it will likely cost you more.
  • Truck damage fees: If your truck was damaged in any way during transit, you may be charged for the cost of repairing it, especially if you didn't buy insurance.

Other additional fees

Apart from the hidden costs, you should also be aware of the following:

  • Cost recovery fees: Depending on where you rent your truck, different companies may add their own fees. One such fee is a "cost recovery" fee that can be tacked on to your final bill when you return the truck. These fees are often not advertised before renting the truck, so inquire with the rental company about any possible charges before you decide to rent.
  • Late rental fees: Rental trucks need to be returned before a certain date. If you return the truck late, you will be charged an extra fee. You may also be charged more if you return the truck to the wrong location.
  • Young driver fees: If you or your driver are underage (18-25 years old) you can expect to pay an additional fee, around $25 to $30 per day.
  • Rental tax and other fees: These will be added to the total when you return the truck and will vary from company to company. Often, the rental tax is used in place of sales tax and will be anywhere from 6 percent to 10 percent of the total cost of the rental. Some companies like U-Haul also add an "Environmental Tax" to their rentals, which amounts to $1 per day.

Remember, not every truck rental company will charge per mile. Few companies like Penske offer unlimited mileage, thereby helping you save a lot of money when you're going for a long-distance move.

As you can see, there are numerous factors that will affect the final cost of renting a moving truck. Before you rent, be sure to speak with the company to determine what costs you can expect to incur.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on November 8, 2013

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