Do Gas Prices Impact Moving Costs?

Budgeting for transportation expenses while moving

When every dollar matters in your moving budget, it's important to save money where you can. There are many factors to consider, from finding an affordable moving service to getting a good deal on packing materials. However, one price you can’t control is the cost of fuel.  

Fortunately, there are some moving options with no out-of-pocket fuel costs. Keep reading to learn how gas prices can influence moving rates and how to keep those costs reasonable. 

car at gas station


Paying for fuel during your move 

When considering the cost of hiring a moving company, make sure you understand if fuel is included in the price. Here’s how different moving services usually handle fuel charges:  

Full-service movers

Typically, full-service companies include fuel in the transportation costs. Some providers will increase the cost of your move if diesel prices rise. Make sure to review the contract to understand how the company handles fuel surcharges.

Rental truck companies

If you’re driving a rental truck, you’ll pay out of pocket for gas or diesel during the move. Fully loaded U-Haul® trucks typically get less than 10 MPG, so be prepared to spend more on gas than you’re used to with your personal vehicle.  

Use this rental truck fuel calculator to help estimate costs. And don’t forget you’ll need to return the truck with the same amount of fuel it started with!

Self-moving with U-Pack

U-Pack® is a self-moving service where you save money by packing, loading and unloading your belongings. We deliver the equipment and transport your things to the new home. Our prices include the fuel, and there are no extra fees based on mileage. 

If you reserve a move with U-Pack and don’t change any of the moving details (date, location or space in the equipment), the price will not increase, even if fuel costs do.  

Learn more about U-Pack pricing

Is it possible to save money on gas costs for a cross-country move?

By moving with U-Pack, you can save on fuel costs for most long-distance moves when compared to U-Haul® truck rental. 

Let’s look at how fuel impacted the prices of an example move for a 3-bedroom home from Sacramento, CA, to Richmond, VA, in July 2024, using each company’s recommended equipment. 

  • U-Pack: $7,039 
    The price included 17’ in a moving trailer, delivery, transportation and standard liability coverage. Taxes do not apply. There are no additional costs for fuel. 

  • U-Haul: $8,751.56 ($7,725.56 rental fee + $1,026* for fuel) 
    The base price included a 26’ truck, environmental fee, damage coverage, roadside assistance and taxes. 
    *Based on AAA’s average gas price of $3.60 per gallon at the time of posting for 2,850 miles using the estimated 10 MPG for the truck listed on U-Haul’s website. 

For the example move, a U-Haul truck is over $1,700 more expensive than moving with U-Pack. If gas prices were to increase before the move, you’d pay more out-of-pocket fuel costs with U-Haul, while your U-Pack rate would not change. 

Ways to reduce fuel costs 

Here are some ways to spend less on gas during your move.

1. Reserve a move with U-Pack

With U-Pack, the price is set at reservation. As long as the moving details don’t change, you won’t pay more for the move, even if fuel prices increase.

2. Don’t overload rental trucks

If you are moving in a rental truck, you can get better gas mileage by decreasing the amount of stuff you’re moving. Heavier equipment is less fuel-efficient. 

3. Choose the shortest route

Whether driving a rental or a personal vehicle, take the shortest route to save money on fuel. 

4. Avoid driving aggressively

To increase gas mileage, don’t accelerate too quickly, allow plenty of time for stopping and stay below speed limits.

5. Find the cheapest gas

Shop around for the cheapest gas. To save even more money, consider using a rebate app or a credit card with fuel-purchase rewards.

Ready to move long distance without fuel surcharges? 

Get a free U-Pack quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. Our prices are all-inclusive, so you won’t be stuck with extra fees for fuel.  

If you have questions about how gas prices impact moving costs or how U-Pack works, let us know in the comments. We’re here to help! 

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