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How To Save Money on Gas When Using a Rental Truck

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Using a rental moving truck is supposed to save you money. A DIY move where you rent and drive your own belongings gives you autonomy over you move and will save you from the hefty price tag associated with a  full service move. However, gas for that rental truck can be an unexpected expense. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to save money on gas for your rented truck.

Tank half-full

Typical moving truck policies require you to return the truck with roughly half a tank of gas, which also happens to be the amount of gas that they are likely to provide you with when you rent the truck. This means that you will invariably have to spend money on gas at some point of your rental. You can save money by estimating just how much gas you will spend on your trip so that you do not return the truck with more gas than you are required to. It may help to ask the rental company the maximum capacity of the truck's gas tank before you leave their lot.

Keep it smooth

Gas mileage is your primary concern. Erratic driving kills gas mileage, and a heavy moving truck only makes matters worse. Constant acceleration and deceleration will run up the cost of gas for the move quickly. Try to maintain a constant speed whenever possible. If there is an alternate route with little traffic or stoplights, then it may be worth it to take it even if it marginally increases the actual distance of the trip.

80 is the magic number 

80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) is the ideal speed for a moving truck to be as fuel efficient as possible. In a perfect world, you would deviate from that low highway speed as little as possible. But it is not a perfect world, and that is not always possible; however, it is still something to keep in mind when you are tempted to floor it on the open highway.

Idling is a waste

If you have the moving truck parked, turn it off. It makes no sense to waste gas and money while breathing in fumes. The rental truck should be completely turned off during packing and unpacking. Time doesn't need to equal money if your renal truck is not running.

Take the heat

Both open windows and air conditioning will hurt your fuel efficiency. Open windows create drag that will force the truck to work harder to move forward. A/C internally borrows some power from the combustion engine, which means gas burns quicker with the A/C on. If you are really sweating it out, the open windows are the lesser of the two evils. Alternately, you could use your A/C in short bursts.

Keep it light

Obviously you rented a moving truck in order to transport large amounts of heavy possessions. But the heavier your load, the more gas and money it will take to get to your new home. There is a reason why moving companies charge based on weight when they move your items for you.

Hopefully you have gotten rid of all your old items that you don't want instead of lugging them to your new home. It doesn't matter if you sold them, donated them, or threw them out, you'll be thankful that they're gone when you have to pay for the gas of your moving truck.

Keep in mind that people add weight to your load, too. Seating in moving trucks is usually limited to one to three passengers, but additional people equal additional weight, and that equals additional gas money. If your regular family car is very fuel efficient, it may be best for the rest of the family to leave the driver of the rental truck alone and drive separately.

Pay attention to inspection

A rented moving truck will have to go under inspection before you are able to drive it. This is done to make sure that any preexisting damage is noted and not charged to you. During inspection, you may want to make sure the vehicle has been serviced recently and ask other questions about its general condition. A vehicle that runs poorly for a variety of reasons may have bad gas mileage. If the inspection or vehicle history seems shaky, you can always find another truck to rent.


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on June 24, 2014 - Moving Expert
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