Budget Moving Truck Rental Review

Budget’s truck selection is limited—but, true to its name, it has some pretty top-notch deals.
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Plenty of discounts
Easy online reservations
Limited truck selection

Truck rentals are a nice middle ground between hiring expensive full-service movers and asking your best friend if you can use their pickup truck to move . . . for the fifth time.

As truck rental companies go, Budget is a pretty good option. It doesn’t have the biggest truck size selection in the world, but it is cheaper than its main competitor (*cough* U-Haul *cough*), and it always has some kind of discount available.

Budget moving truck rental details
Type of truck12-foot truck (small)16-foot truck (medium)26-foot truck (large)
Dimensions10 ft. x 6 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft.16 ft. x 6 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft. 7 in.26 ft. x 8 ft. 1 in. x 8 ft. 1 in.
Weight limit3,100 lbs.3,400 lbs.12,000 lbs.
# of rooms it holds1–2 rooms3–4 rooms5–8 rooms
Auto towing optionYesYesYes
See detailsLearn moreLearn moreLearn more

How Budget Truck Rental works

Just like with other truck rental companies, Budget lets you rent a truck for either a day (to make a round-trip move in your same area) or a multi-day one-way trip (to move to another city or state).

If you’re just moving across town, plan to pay a daily rate with Budget. If you’re hauling your stuff hundreds of miles away, you’ll get a five-day flat rate in your quote. If you need more time than that, you’ll just pay by the day.

Budget does give you unlimited mileage on long-distance moves, which is nice because some other companies don’t. Plus, Budget always has some kind of discount you can get. Click on the “Deals” section on the website to check out your options.

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Deal alert
Budget’s currently offering 20% off all rentals. Just enter the discount code 20DIS.

What you get with Budget

Budget’s actual truck selection is a bit limited. If you want a cargo van, you’ll be out of luck with Budget. And if you need something between a medium truck and a super big gargantuan truck, then you’ll be out of luck with Budget’s inventory.

That said, Budget does have the usual array of add-on features. You can get equipment to tow your car, or you can get furniture pads so your antique dresser doesn’t get scratched during your journey.

Budget moving truck rental features
FeatureAvailable
Local round-trip rentalsYes
Long-distance one-way rentalsYes
Multiple truck sizesYes
Pricing transparencyYes
Moving/packing supplies availableYes
Low ramps (for easy loading)No
Car/tow dollies availableYes
Online reservationsYes
Long-term leasesNo
Furniture pads availableYes
Toll passes availableYes
For-hire help availableYes
Roadside assistanceYes
Learn more

If you don’t want to do quite all the work yourself, then Budget can also hook you up with a loading/unloading crew to carry your boxes and maneuver your couch.

Protection options

When you rent a truck, the rental company’s usually more concerned about what could happen to its truck than what could happen to your stuff—and Budget’s not much different.

Budget has three protection plans to pick from, but keep in mind that only the top-tier plan has any kind of insurance for the cargo you’re hauling to your new house. The other two mostly protect the rental truck itself. (Not that that’s not important too. Those trucks don’t come cheap.)

Budget rental truck protection plans*
Value Protection Package coverage1Choice Protection Package coverage2Complete Protection Plan coverage3
Loss or damage to the rental truckYesYesYes
Roadside assistance (for a flat rate)YesYesYes
Injury/property damage claims from other people if you get in an accident NoYesYes
Injury/property protection for you and your cargoNoNoYes

* Terms and restrictions apply.

Budget moving experience

The reservation and moving processes for Budget are pretty straightforward. You might face some tricky situations if you’re taking your truck across state lines, but for the most part, it’s easy to make a reservation, pick up your truck, and return it when you’re done.

Making your reservation

Good news for our fellow phone call haters: Budget lets you do the entire reservation process online. It has an instant quote generator, and it doesn’t even make you give your contact info unless you’re officially going to book the truck.

It took us less than five minutes to get a quote for our hypothetical move from Salt Lake City to Seattle, and we didn’t even have to surrender our email address to get full pricing details.

Source: BudgetTruck.com

Budget’s price was also way cheaper than what we’d pay with U-Haul for the same truck and the same trip—and that’s without any extra discounts.

Also, Budget’s online reservation tool lets you see all your auto towing and add-on options, with full pricing info. If you need to pull your car behind your truck, you can add the dolly you want at the same time you book the reservation. (That way you don’t have to bother with a car shipper.)

Source: BudgetTruck.com

Keep in mind that your pricing might look different depending on the dates you choose and where you live.

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Are you struggling with the online system?
Budget also has an online chat function so you can talk to a live agent if you need to. Don’t turn to social media for help, though—Budget doesn’t have social media accounts dedicated to customer service.

Packing your truck

Once you pick up your truck from the dealer on moving day, loading and unloading is up to you. We recommend choosing the smallest truck you can safely fit all your stuff in. That way, things are less likely to slide around and break.

As with all truck rental companies, the actual loading and unloading are up to you. But if you do want some extra help, Budget lets you add on some moving services through MoveLift.

MoveLift is a broker that lets you compare prices from different companies. For our move, the prices were super variable. We could pay either $200 for extra loading help or over $1,000—for the same amount of time and the same number of movers.

Source: MoveLift.com

Moving

If you’re just moving your stuff across town, then it’s pretty easy to unload your stuff and return the truck to the same place you picked it up from. But if you’re moving farther away—especially to a different state—then you might face some extra costs.

For example, if you cross any toll roads on your multi-state journey, plan on paying the tolls yourself, unless you sign up for Budget’s PlatePass system. With PlatePass, you still pay the tolls, but it automates the process, so you don’t have to dig loose change out of your wallet or avoid toll gated roads.

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Heads up
When you return your rental truck, keep in mind that Budget uses 24-hour timeframes. So if you pick up your truck at 10 a.m., you have to return it before 10 a.m. on the return day, or you’ll have to pay for an entire extra day.

Recap — Is Budget a good truck rental company?

If you need a super-specific truck size, then Budget might not have what you want. But for the most part, Budget offers trucks that will work for most people—and for a lower price than you’d get from a competitor.

We definitely recommend looking for open deals on Budget rentals because there’s always something available.

Features: Budget’s truck selection is limited—it offers only three sizes, but those sizes will work for most people. Other than that, Budget offers a full range of features like moving supply add-ons and protection packages.

Reservations: It’s super easy to make a reservation. Just use the online quote generator, the live chat function, or call in. We like that Budget doesn’t make you submit your personal info until you’re actually ready to book.

Packing: Budget can help you hire extra help for loading or unloading your truck. Just remember it will be more expensive, and the prices are super variable.

Moving: The actual moving process is pretty easy. Just make sure you return your truck on time to avoid paying for extra days. And be aware of toll roads.

Have you rented a moving truck before? Have you ever gotten a truck from Budget? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!

Sources

  1. Budget Truck Rental, “Value Protection Package
  2. Budget Truck Rental, “Choice Protection Package
  3. Budget Truck Rental, “Complete Protection Package
  • R Sanborn

    I echo the comment below. I reserved a truck from Budget in San Diego; flew to San Diego to pick it up (this was for an out-of-state move) and two hours before I got to Budget they called and said they did not have my truck and could not find one. This is absolutely the WORST thing that can happen when you FLY somewhere to get a moving truck that you’ve RESERVED. Had to find another truck with another company and had to pay over 2X as much for a last minute reservation. Budget is horrible. Said there agreement only guarantees there rate, not that they’ll have a truck for you. Go elsewhere, like Penske Truck Rental. They were GREAT. They don’t work on commission so they won’t give your truck to someone else who they will make more money on.

  • Patrick Janson

    I had the worst experience of my life with Budget and I am still going through this nightmare almost two months later.

    First of all, they gave me a car dolly with bald tires and a nail in the tire. They actually let it off their property. I had to get the roadside assistance before I even started moving and the tire guy was actually surprised that they let the dolly go with such a bad tire.

    Second, the seat was broken exposing the bar underneath the drivers seat and they put a blanket on the seat to remedy the problem. I drove 24hrs with a bar on my backside. I was in serious pain for the next week.

    Third, the Scion XB, that was on the car dolly almost fell off the dolly. We had to reset the car 3 times on the trip to Florida. We finally called to see if they could tell us what was wrong. The guy that met us in Mobile said that the car had to be up against the metal front. He didn’t do anything to help he just verbally told me what was wrong. In the morning, after resetting the car for the forth time, we discovered that his advice was wrong because the car shifted again on the final leg of the trip, yet now we have to pay for that because Budget made a claim. They said that the vehicle was damaged and sent us the bill for the guy doing nothing.

    Fourth, when I dropped off the dolly the “not so nice man” at the drop off location insulted my ability to drive a dolly, because I couldn’t back the dolly into a tight little spot down a long alley.

    Like I said, this was the worst experience I have ever had. By the way, I spoke to a customer service rep and explained all this stuff and I never heard anything back. PLEASE, IF YOU HAVE A CHOICE GO WITH ANOTHER COMPANY. Look at the reviews. 2.2 is not good. Go with UHAUL you will be much happier with your experience.

  • Patricia Gayle

    Budget Truck Rentals does not even attempt to honor their reservations. They cancelled my reservation that Id had in place a week in advance with less than 24 hours notice. No, attempt was made to find me a replacement. It was a simple youre S.O.L. because reservations arent guarantees. Why do we need to make them then? Who cares about your time off and money lost. . .

  • Victoria Kosko

    Horrible customer service. We reserved a 26’ truck, and over 3 weeks later we received a call that the truck would not be available. They MIGHT have a 16’, but couldn’t guarantee. We are moving, had laborers scheduled on both ends, couldn’t rearrange to fit whatever, and whenever, Budget decided to schedule for us. Called (outsourced) customer service, absolutely no help at all. Stupid of us to try and save $200 over UHaul. We called UHaul and got what we wanted, when we needed it. And customer service rep could not have been more helpful.

  • Victoria Kosko

    Totally HORRIBLE experience. Over three weeks after making our reservation for a 26’ truck, we were called on a Friday afternoon (move was Monday) that the truck would not be available. They might have a 16’, but couldn’t guarantee it. Customer service was totally unhelpful. Joe, at the Rehoboth Beach, DE office, could not have cared less. Thank heaven for UHaul. Their customer service was exemplary, we have to drive an extra 15 minutes to pick up our truck and it’s a little more expensive but we’ve learned our lesson. NO MORE BUDGET, ever!