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Penske Truck Rental Review

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Penske is a popular truck rental company that operates a lot like U-Haul and Budget where you rent your truck and move your belongings to your new home. Penske is a great rental truck company designed to save you money and has a lot of truck options for you to choose from. To learn more about Penske check out this guide.

Penske Rental Trucks

Penske offers five different rental trucks that will work for whatever home size you have. The sizes of their trucks are the cargo van, 12', 16’, 22’, and 26’. Here’s what they offer:

  Cargo Van 12' Truck 16' Truck 22' Truck 26' Truck
Cubic Feet 404 feet 450 feet 800 feet 1,200 feet 1,700 feet
Home Size 1 room, studio 1 or 2 rooms 2 or 3 rooms 3 to 5 rooms 5 to 7 rooms
Fuel Tank 31 gallons 33 gallons 33 gallons 50 gallons 50 gallons
Mileage Up to 12 MPG Up to 12 MPG Up to 12 MPG Up to 13 MPG Up to 13 MPG
Fuel Type Gasoline Gasoline Gasoline Diesel Diesel
Seats 2 2 2 3 (bench) 3 (bench)
Can it Tow? No No No Yes Yes

Similar to Budget rental trucks, Penske rental trucks have a translucent roof so you can still see even when it starts getting dark.

What to Look for When Renting a Truck

Penske 12' Truck

Penske does have a "Penske truck wizard" that you enter in the amount of stuff you have, and they tell you what size truck to get. What renting a truck comes down to is how much you will be moving. Penske made it easy and did the work for you with the truck wizard, so all you need to do is enter your information in.

We went through Penske's truck wizard and estimated the number of things someone would have in a two-bedroom apartment. After going through each room and adding up the number of items in those rooms, Penske suggested the 16’ box truck for our pretend apartment.

Using Penske For Local and Long-Distance Moves

Penske 16' Truck

We went through Penske’s website to create a mock quote for a local and a long-distance move. It’s as easy as going to their website and entering your information (pick up city, whether or not you’re dropping it off in the same location or not, and the date you’ll be picking it up, as well as if you’ll be towing your vehicle or not). An important thing to note is that your quote will be different than ours based on mileage and possibly even location.

Insurance Options

Penske offers four distinct insurance options that can be purchased separately, or that can be stacked together. Their options are:

  • Limited Damage Waiver (LDW):
    • This takes any financial burden and responsibility off of you should damage occur to the vehicle or towing device (unless what you’re doing violates the rental agreement)
  • Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI):
    • Protects you or another authorized driver against property or body claims made by a third-party if there is an accident in the rental truck
      • Must be 21+ to get this coverage
  • Cargo Insurance (CAI):
    • Covers your cargo from damage or loss in case of an accident or “natural disaster”
      • Limited to $15,000
  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI):
    • Offers medical and death coverage for driver and passengers inside the vehicle
  • Towing Insurance (TWI):
    • Protects against collision for your vehicle that is being towed
      • Covers if your trailer is hit or detached while driving, also covers loading and unloading

Why is insurance important? It is always important to prepare for the unexpected. Driving is inherently unpredictable, and insurance is an added cost that offers peace of mind. Occasionally, that insurance pays off and it is absolutely something that you’ll need, especially when you’re carrying all your belongings in a truck.

A Local Move Quote Through Penske

Penske 22' Truck

We set up a quote for a local move (staying in Houston, TX, and returning the rental truck to the same location). We checked a bunch of dates out and somehow could not get any other truck than a 26’ truck no matter the date or location.

The date we ended up choosing was December 3, 2020, which gave us a return date of December 4, 2020. While we had the options of 8 different locations we could only rent a 26’ truck from any of those 8 locations. Somehow, none of the locations had any other options. Let’s go over the price now:

  • The 26’ truck cost $199.99 a day plus $0.99 per mile
  • Extra supplies:
    • A hand truck was an extra $7.50
    • Furniture pads were $12.00 for a dozen
  • The insurance options
    • LDW was $20.00
    • PAI was $7.00
    • SLI was $24.50
    • CAI was $6.00

We chose to go with a hand truck and moving pads and opted for all the insurance options since we would be stuck driving in Houston with a 26’ truck. The total came out to $343.67 NOT including the security deposit (which we never figured out the price of).

That is considerably more expensive than some other rental truck places we have gotten quotes from (granted, we don’t often go for a massive truck since the 26’ truck is overkill for the typical two-bedroom apartments we get quotes for).

A Long-Distance Quote Through Penske

Penske Cargo Van

Next, we moved onto a long-distance quote. For this move, we chose Houston to Kingsport, TN (a trip that’s about 1,000 miles). We gave a random date of departing Houston on December 3, 2020, and looked to see what our options were. Somehow, even though they only had the 26’ truck available for the local move, they have 4 different trucks available for my one-way move.

  • The 12’ truck would cost $1,403.00 with unlimited miles
  • The 16’ truck would cost $1,403.00 with unlimited miles as well
  • The 22’ trucks run $1,605.00 with unlimited miles
  • Finally, the 26’ truck costs $1,605.00 with unlimited miles

We went through with the 22’ truck since we figured that would be around the right amount of space for a two-bedroom apartment. Next, we had to choose a drop-off location (since we don’t know the area, we chose the location Penske recommended). Now for the add-ons:

  • A hand-truck costs $15.00
  • Furniture pads cost $12.00 for a dozen
  • Next up was the insurance options
  • LDW costs $186.00
  • SLI costs $147.00
  • CAI costs $36.00
  • PAI costs $42.00

We went ahead and got a hand-truck, furniture pads, and got all the insurance options since it would be a long-distance more. The total came out to $2,243.23 plus an undisclosed security deposit. Another thing to keep in mind is that you would have to pay for diesel for the trip.

What We Think About Penske

Penske 26' Truck

While Penske costs more than its competitors, you do get quite a few truck and insurance options. There are also a lot of Penske locations across the country (including most Home Depots) so you can certainly find one easier than finding a Budget location (possibly).

In regard to their truck options, they have a vehicle that will fit your need (if you can get it). Of course, we weren’t able to get any other vehicle but a 26’ truck. Of course, we could have probably called up to Penske and insisted on a different vehicle and gotten the hook-ups, but we went off the website.

One important thing about Penske is that they also have commercial rentals. They have quite a few fleet vehicles, including box trucks, tractor-trailers, 53’ trailers, and one-way only vehicles available for your business. So, if you are moving a business or need to rent a vehicle for your business, then Penske is certainly worth looking into.

Overall, we think Penske is a reputable rental truck company. They are more expensive than Budget and U-Haul, but they are reliable and have great customer service. So, if the price isn’t a major factor in your decision, Penske delivers high-quality trucks with great insurance options which is sure to put your mind at ease.

Katherine Broome  Posted by Katherine Broome on December 3, 2020

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