moving truck

Understanding the Average Cost of a Moving Truck

Once you have planned a move across the country, you need to rent a truck of the right size. The cost of a moving truck plays a major role in estimating how much it costs to move. While a large truck will need a higher budget, you do not want to rent a truck that is too small and get stuck with your stuff on the moving day.

In this article, we will discuss the various types of moving trucks and their costs. Hopefully, that will help you to optimize your moving budget in the best possible way.

How Much is a Moving Truck? 

The cost of a moving truck depends on a number of factors, including the size of the truck, the distance to be moved, the volume of items being moved, and the time of the year.

While small local moves can be managed by using a cargo van or a trailer, renting a truck becomes essential if you are moving large furniture, desks, and couches.

Depending on the truck’s size, the rent charges can be between $20 to $100 per day. The charges also vary between the truck companies, which means you need to shop around to find the best deal. 

However, just like other hidden costs of moving, there are additional expenses that you need to consider. If you are moving within 100 miles, the average cost of a moving truck can be around $1,700.

A cross-country move can cost you $5000 or more. For local moves, the charges can be anywhere between $100 to $400 for a two- or three-bedroom home.

In truth, it is impossible to predict the exact cost as each move and the moving conditions are different. Here are some other factors that will determine the overall charge.

Moving Duration

Since you pay a daily rental charge for the truck, you will have to pay more for covering distances that will take more than a day. Once the moving process is complete, make sure to return the truck so that you are not charged for an extra day.

Moving Date

The official moving season is during summer and you will have to pay peak season charges for moving during this period. To reduce moving truck costs, pick the period between late fall and early spring, which is considered off-season. Additionally, you can schedule the move for the middle of the month when the demand is lower.

Additional Equipment

Heavy or awkwardly shaped items may need special equipment for loading and unloading without any damage. A moving dolly is one such item that you may need to rent from the truck rental company. Beyond that, you might need moving blankets that act as padding to protect your instrument during the move.

Different Moving Truck Sizes

The thing is, the bigger the moving truck, the more it will cost. Note, the truck sizes specified by companies can be a guideline, but they may not match your exact requirements.

Generally, moving trucks are classified into box trucks and pick-up trucks. Box trucks are the most common moving trucks and come in multiple sizes. Pick-up trucks are a cheaper alternative when you are moving a few items or a small studio apartment.

Here is a chart that will give you an idea about the various box truck sizes that are commonly available.

Truck SizeTruck DimensionsInterior SizeHome SizeAverage Cost
Small Truck10–12 feet380 to 450 cubic feet1-room apartment$20–$35 per day
Mid-Size Truck14–20 feet650 to 850 cubic feet2-3 room apartment$40–$90 per day
Large Truck22–26 feet1,000 to 1,700 cubic feet4-5 room house$60–$110 per day

Note, these are not exact ranges, and the exact square footage for every home can differ. For example, two 3-bedroom apartments may not have the same volume of furniture and other stuff. Even if you have a 2-bedroom apartment, items like a king mattress, artwork, or oversized furniture may need a 20-plus-foot moving truck.

If you are moving a studio apartment or a few pieces of furniture, renting a cargo van is a good idea. They have an interior space between 245 to 300 cubic feet and are great for college students. They cost between $20 to $30 per day.

To determine the truck size for a move, you will need to compare your estimated load and the number of boxes with the cubic footage capacity of the truck. The best way is to use a reliable online moving calculator to determine the truck size.

For shipping a car, you will need a truck that can safely accommodate the vehicle. You can check our article on “how much does it cost to ship a car” for more details.

At times, your requirement can fall between the standard truck sizes. In such scenarios, you can pick a smaller truck and consider adding a trailer to carry the bulky items.

Additional Moving Truck Fees

Keep in mind, the base price that you receive is just the day rate for the truck that gets highlighted in advertisements. Beyond that, there can be fuel charges ranging between $0.49-$0.99 per mile. In case you are traveling on the weekend, the charge can be between  $0.99-$1.99 per mile.

That said, not all moving truck companies charge per mile. Some companies charge one flat fee and offer unlimited mileage. This can be a more economical option for long-distance moves.

The gas mileage of smaller box trucks is between 15 to 20 miles per gallon whereas larger ones will get around 10 miles per gallon. With more gas stops, you will have to pay higher charges.

Additional expenses include insurance charges and taxes. While insurance is not compulsory, it covers damages during the move and provides peace of mind. The insurance charges are between $20 and $40 per day. Taxes can range between 6 to 10 percent of the total rental cost.

If you need special towing equipment or other supplies like boxes and tie-down straps, there will be additional charges.

Finding the Best Moving Truck Costs Near You

Once you have formed an idea about the truck size you need, you can discuss it with a few rental truck companies. Weigh their recommendations against your needs to finalize the best option for the move. Most moving truck companies will provide you with a free quote based on the moving distance and truck size. That will help you compare the rates.

While it might be tempting to go with the cheapest rate, you need to focus on the quality of the service and a transparent pricing policy. Pick a company that offers reliable service, roadside assistance, flexible cancellation policies, and add-on services.

You will find a variety of rental trucks from brands like Home Depot. However, it is best not to depend on Home Depot truck rental costs alone and check out a few other brands as well.

If you want a hassle-free way to find the best moving companies in your locality, the Agoyu moving app is a great tool. Its free online tool provides full transparency and allows you to compare moving rates.

How Far Can You Go with a Moving Truck? 

Once you have the necessary insurance, you can move across the country in a rented moving truck. Most rental companies are serious about their reputation and you can expect them to provide a well-maintained truck. 

If you are planning to save money with a DIY move, driving the moving truck on your own is a good idea. Keep in mind, driving a large moving truck by yourself is a completely different ball game than driving a car. So, make sure to plan your route properly and take the necessary safety measures. 

The good news is, a driver’s license is good enough to make the journey as rental moving trucks are not classified as commercial vehicles.

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, this answers the question- how much is a moving truck?

The cost of a moving truck depends on multiple factors, so compare quotes from multiple movers to find the best deal.

To have more options it is best to plan ahead of the move and pick a moving truck rental service that ticks all the right boxes. Lastly, make sure to go through the rental agreement and clarify all doubts.

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL,, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.