U-Haul or Penske: Which Trucks Get Better Gas Mileage to Save You on Your Next Move

If you’re planning a move soon, you already know how stressful it can be. Sourcing your moving boxes, setting up your budget, getting your new place sorted out, and other things are among the many common stressors. 

Along with that, you have to choose the right moving company to get your trucks and vans from. However, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll give you a rundown of two popular moving truck companies so you can make the right choice for yourself. 

Penske vs. U-Haul

Filling up a U-Haul truck with gas at a Wawa fuel station in Annapolis, Maryland
Filling up a U-Haul truck with gas | Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U-Haul trucks come with fewer fees than Penske’s, and the company offers more services as add-ons as you’re checking out. One of these add-ons is vehicle coverage — the company doesn’t provide any vehicle coverage automatically. If you choose not to get coverage, you will have to pay for broken parts out of pocket, which can add up. 

Here’s a breakdown of the fees: 

  • Rate per day
  • Rate per mile
  • Environmental fee
  • Taxes

Here are the add-ons you can get as you’re checking out:

  • Dollies and furniture pads 
  • Storage units
  • Plastic moving boxes
  • Boxes and packing supplies
  • Moving help
  • Truck rental coverage (optional but recommended) 

Penske has similar fees to U-Haul but offers a level of coverage automatically rather than only having it as an add-on. 

Penske also has an added security fee and fewer add-on options than U-Haul has, so you’ll need to provide more of your own supplies. Note that you can order supplies separately from elsewhere on Penske‘s website, specifically the Supplies and Services tab. 

Here is a breakdown of the fees: 

  • Rate per day
  • Rate per mile
  • Environmental fee
  • Security deposit 
  • Taxes
  • Vehicle licensing recovery fee

Here are the add-ons that are presented to you before checking out: 

  • General moving supplies (dollies, furniture pads) 
  • Additional truck rental coverage (optional but recommended) 

Note that for both of these companies, the fees lists do not include extra fees from not following the terms of service. For example, the company will charge you an additional fee if you go over U-Haul’s allotted mileage. Be sure to check the agreement beforehand to make sure it doesn’t cost more than expected. 

Which company has the best gas mileage?

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your money and helping the environment in the process, it’s always a good idea to look at the gas mileage for each truck you rent. 

Here is a list of Penske’s trucks and respective mpg ratings: 

  • 12-foot: 12 mpg
  • 16-foot: 12 mpg
  • 22-foot: 13 mpg
  • 26-foot: 13 mpg

Here is a list of U-Haul’s trucks and respective mpg ratings: 

  • 10-foot: 12 mpg
  • 15-foot: 10 mpg
  • 17-foot: 10 mpg
  • 20-foot: 10 mpg 
  • 26-foot: 10 mpg

The two companies are tied for the smallest moving trucks (12 and 10-foot trucks, respectively). However, for every other moving truck size, Penske is the better choice. Its trucks get at or above 12 mpg for all options, while U-Haul stays consistently at 10 mpg for every truck except the smallest one. 

Truck specifications for each company 

Penske offers four moving truck options, which have the following specifications:

  • 12-foot
    • Inside Specs: 11’11” x 4’6″ x 6’9″
    • Load Capacity: 3,500 lbs
  • 16-foot
    • Inside Specs: 16′ x 7’7″ x 6’6″ 
    • Load Capacity: 4,300 lbs
  • 22-foot
    • Inside Specs: 21’11” x 8’1″ x 8’1″ 
    • Load Capacity: 10,000 lbs
  • 26-foot
    • Inside Specs: 25’11” x 8’1″ x 8’1″ 
    • Load Capacity: 10,000 lbs

U-Haul has five moving truck options, which have these specifications:

  • 10-foot 
    • Inside Specs: 9’11” x 6’3″ x 6’1″ 
    • Load Capacity: 2,850 lbs
  • 15-foot
    • Inside Specs: 15′ x 7’8″ x 7’2″
    • Load Capacity: 6,385 lbs
  • 17-foot
    • Inside Specs: 16’9″ x 7’8″ x 7’2″ 
    • Load Capacity: 6,160 lbs
  • 20-foot
    • Inside Specs: 19’5″ x 7’8″ x 7’1″
    • Load Capacity: 5,700 lbs
  • 26-foot 
    • Inside Specs: 26’2″ x 8’1″ x 8’3″
    • Load Capacity: 12,859 lbs 

All in all, the companies are mostly tied for both load capacity and inside specifications. The truck you decide on will depend on your needs for the move. For example, if you need the largest, 26-foot truck, U-Haul may be a better choice if you only look at load capacity. Of course, you’ll need to weigh it with the factors mentioned earlier, such as the pricing model and gas mileage. 

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