Penske vs Budget for Long Distance Moving


Penske vs Budget for Long Distance Move

Penske and Budget are two of the most popular moving truck rental companies for those of us brave ‘do-it-yourself’ movers. If you have a long distance move coming up, you can spend A LOT of time comparing moving truck options.

In this article, I hope to help expedite your research process by putting all the information you need to compare Penske vs Budget for long distance moving all in one place.

To get started, the first thing we’re going to compare is price. Because if we’re all being honest, price is most often the number 1 deciding factor when it comes to choosing what truck rental to go with.

To compare price, I set up online quotes for two different moves. The first long distance move is going from Atlanta to Philadelphia (775 miles). The second is a really long distance move (2,165 miles).

Penske vs Budget – Cost of Truck from Atlanta to Philadelphia
Company Truck Size Inside Dimensions LxWxH (Cubic Feet) Recommended For Ramp? Cost
Penske 12′ Truck 11’11” x 6’x6″ x 6’1″ (450 cu. ft) 1-2 Rooms No 538.00*
Penske 16′ Truck 16′ x 7’8″ x 6’6″ (800 cu. ft) 2-3 Rooms Yes 565.00*
Penske 22′ Truck 21’3″ x 7’8″ x 8’1″ (1200 cu. ft) 3-5 Rooms Yes 605.00*
Penske 26′ Truck 25’11” x 8’1″ x 8’7″ (1700 cu. ft) 5-7 Rooms Yes 605.00*
Budget 12′ Truck 10’0″ x 6’3″ x 6’0″ (380 cu. ft) 1 – 2 Rooms No 755.10**
Budget 16′ Truck 16’0″ x 6’3″ x 6’7″ (658 cu. ft) 3 – 4 Rooms Yes 755.10**
Budget 26′ Truck 26’0 x 8’1″ x 8’1″ (1698 cu. ft) 5 – 8 Rooms Yes 1403.10**

And here is the price breakdown for our really long distance move, Atlanta to San Diego.

Penske vs Budget – Cost of Truck from Atlanta to San Diego
Company Truck Size Inside Dimensions LxWxH (Cubic Feet) Recommended For Ramp? Cost
Penske 12′ Truck 11’11” x 6’x6″ x 6’1″ (450 cu. ft) 1-2 Rooms No 1,033.00*
Penske 16′ Truck 16′ x 7’8″ x 6’6″ (800 cu. ft) 2-3 Rooms Yes 1,085.00*
Penske 22′ Truck 21’3″ x 7’8″ x 8’1″ (1200 cu. ft) 3-5 Rooms Yes 1,749.00*
Penske 26′ Truck 25’11” x 8’1″ x 8’7″ (1700 cu. ft) 5-7 Rooms Yes 1,749.00*
Budget 12′ Truck 10’0″ x 6’3″ x 6’0″ (380 cu. ft) 1 – 2 Rooms No 1105.20**
Budget 16′ Truck 16’0″ x 6’3″ x 6’7″ (658 cu. ft) 3 – 4 Rooms Yes 1162.80**
Budget 26′ Truck 26’0 x 8’1″ x 8’1″ (1698 cu. ft) 5 – 8 Rooms Yes 2034.90**

*Price was obtained from an online quote on 6/3/21 for a scheduled pickup date of 6/25/21. Prices subject to change. Check Penske for most up to date prices.

**Price was obtained from an online quote on 6/3/21 for a scheduled pickup date of 6/25/21. Prices subject to change. Check Budget for most up to date prices.

Price Comparison

Penske gets the edge here when it came to our price quotes. Using comparable size trucks, Penske came in at least $100 cheaper across the board. The biggest difference came on the Philly truck where the 26′ foot truck from Budget was over double the cost of Penske.

Pro Tip: Every time I’ve done price comparisons for a move I always call each company after getting online quotes. I simply give companies the online numbers I received and ask them if they are able to beat their competitors.

This has saved me money EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Sometimes as much as a few hundred dollars. I know this gives some people anxiety, but you don’t have to be a master negotiator. Just call and ask. That’s it. I’ve rarely had anyone that wasn’t willing to make a more competitive price offer.

Penske gets the edge on straight up price, but let’s look at what you can expect to get with your rental with Penske and Budget.

Mileage

Penske and Budget both offer unlimited mileage with their truck rentals. No need to double check your odometer or travel route with either of these companies. Need to make a stop at a storage unit. No worries.

Having unlimited mileage definitely gives you one less thing to worry about, but since both offer it, no advantage here.

Days Included For Move

Whenever you rent a moving truck, you get a set amount of days to make your move. The amount of days you get with any truck rental company is typically more than enough, but it’s always better to have extra time and not need it as opposed to need it (inclement weather, etc) and not have it.

For the Philly trip Penske gave us an extra day to get the move done. Five days vs four for Budget. For the trip cross country to San Diego, both companies gave us eight days.

There is one other thing that I noticed though when I was checking return times for both Penske and Budget. On the day the truck is due back, Budget charges for an extra day if the truck is not returned before noon. Definitely something to keep in mind.

If you do end up needing an extra day for your move, Budget charges $90 for each additional day and an extra day for Penske is $100.

Moving Supplies

Neither company includes any moving supplies with a truck rental, at least not for free. However, you can pick up a hand truck and furniture pads directly from them (we highly recommend getting both).

Penske vs Budget: Moving Supplies
Item Penske Budget
Hand Truck $25.00 $37.00
Furniture Pads $25.00 / dozen $29.00 / dozen

Penske will save you a few dollars both with a hand truck and furniture pads. In the grand scheme of things, if you get both it’s only a difference of $14.00 but every little bit adds up.

Locations

Budget has around 3800 locations nation-wide compared to 2500 for Penske.

Why does the amount of locations a truck rental company has matter?

The more locations a truck rental company has, the higher the chance that there will be a really convenient pickup and drop off location for your move. Obviously, every move will be different so I recommend always checking, but more locations just means more opportunities for a company to be close to you.

Return (Drop Off)

For the most part, how convenient your drop off is is going to be very dependent on your particular location so making a comparison between the two is difficult.

My only recommendation is to pay attention to your drop-off location, particularly what the hours are for the day you plan on returning your truck. This is especially important if your return day is on a weekend. Some locations have limited weekend hours, sometimes closing as early as noon.

The last thing you want is to end up with an extra charge because you show up 30 minutes after your drop off location has closed.

Final Thoughts

The differences between Penske and Budget are pretty close for the most part.

The edge in price goes to Penske, at least on the two moves that I researched. If you add moving supplies like the hand truck and furniture pads, those are cheaper with Penske as well.

Both companies offer unlimited mileage and were very close on the number of days included with the truck rental.

The amount of locations between the two are also pretty close, so it’s probably about a 50/50 shot on which one has locations more convenient for your move.

At the end of the day, I can’t recommend enough calling both Penske and Budget and see if they are able to offer a better deal than what you find online. Based on my experience, the true winner here between Penske and Budget is probably going to come down to that call.

I hope this article served as a helpful resource for you as you work to figure out whether Penske vs Budget is better for your long distance move.

Best of luck with your move!

Ryan

I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

Recent Posts