How to Find a Cheap Rental Truck

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Finding a Rental Truck on a Budget

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Moving is a very expensive process. If you are renting a truck for your move, you've already made a cheaper decision than choosing a full service mover who will ship your items for you. But there is more money to be saved. Follow these tips to find a rental truck that will cost you the least amount of money possible.

Choose the right sized truck

The first way to make sure renting a truck doesn't break your budget seems obvious, but it is very important. You should know the rough square footage of your shipment before you decide to rent a truck. Keep in mind how many large items like beds or televisions you are trying to ship. There are several different sizes of truck rentals and, not surprisingly, the price of a truck rental increases with the size of the load.

To keep the rental cheap, you are going to want to rent the smallest possible truck for your load. If the move is a short distance and the gas money works out to be less than the cost of getting a bigger sized truck, you may want to make multiple trips. You also get charged for the weight of your load, so if you can, keep the shipment as small as possible if you are on a tight budget.

Keep it close

There are a variety of rental company locations throughout Canada and the United States. To keep your rental as budget-friendly as possible, it would be advisable to find one as close to home as possible. This will help you keep the costs of the rental down for two reasons:
  • Closer distance to the destination means a shorter time that the truck will be in your possession. Some rental companies charge you for the time you have their truck off their lots. A close drive minimizes the chances that the rental will need to go longer than expected.
  • Gas money. You will have to pay for the gas in the rental truck, so a closer choice means less driving, which means less money spent by you.

Gas mileage

Monitoring your gas mileage is the primary way to try to save money for drivers of moving trucks. You are expected to return the truck with about the same amount of gas that it had when it was given to you. This is usually about half the tank. This means you will have to add some gas to the tank at some point, so make sure it is as little as possible.

At the same time, try to use every ounce of gas that you buy. Don't return the truck to the rental company with more than the necessary half tank of gas. Here are some tips to keep your gas mileage down:
  • Keep your load as light as possible. This includes excess unnecessary passengers
  • Ask the truck rental agency about the truck's gas mileage. The price of the rental could be low, but the cost of paying for the gas could be a surprising hidden fee. Try to find a budget-friendly quote from a rental company that also has fuel efficient trucks.
  • Look to be at 80 km/hour as much as possible. This is the optimal speed for gas mileage in a moving truck. Stop-and-go traffic and speeding will burn gas faster per mile than going a constant 80 kph.
  • Don't ever waste gas by idling. When you park the truck, turn if off
  • Use the air conditioner sparingly, if at all. Open windows can cause drag, negatively affecting your gas mileage, but the air conditioner/heater also burns more gas. Just use one or the other here and there if you can't tolerate the heat/cold.


Before you can take a rental truck, it will undergo an inspection. This is done to make sure that the truck is in good working condition before you rent it in case you cause some damage to it. Be sure to review your own and the rental company's insurance policies before renting the truck. The existing coverage should be enough, especially if you are on a tight budget. Just be sure to drive carefully, or else the rental company will charge you for damages.

Regardless of the level of insurance you need, you should pay attention during the truck's inspection. You want to be sure that the company does not try to pin any pre-existing damage on you. You also should make sure that the truck looks like it is in good shape. If the truck breaks down during your rental, it will be a waste of time and money.

Keeping these tips in mind when shopping for a rental truck should help you find the best truck for your budget. Ask a variety of rental companies in your area about their prices, policies, and the truck's gas mileage. If you are persistent and don't just accept the first company's price at face value, you can fit your moving truck rental well within your budget.

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on July 21, 2014 - Moving Expert
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