Comparing moving truck sizes
Figuring out what size moving truck you need can feel like doing advanced math. There are so many numbers to look at — overall dimensions, loading capacity, weight limits, deck heights — and you have to figure out how all those fit together to solve your problem. And to complicate matters even more, truck sizes aren’t standard from company to company. A 12’ truck from one may be a little smaller than a 12’ truck from another. If you’re trying to compare moving truck sizes, we’ve got some charts and guidance to help you choose the right equipment for your move.
How big of a moving truck do I need?
That depends on several different factors: how many rooms you’re moving, how big your items are, the number of passengers, whether you need to tow an enclosed trailer or a car and how comfortable you feel driving big vehicles. After answering those questions, you can figure out which rental truck size would be best for you.
Number of rooms
Each truck rental company provides specific equipment capacity, but it’s often easiest to decide what size truck you need using the number of rooms in your home. Use the chart below to see what truck size fits your needs. Note that recommendations are typically based on individual rooms. For example, a 2-bedroom house could have five total rooms (living room, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms).
Here’s what each truck is advertised to hold:
|What size moving truck do I need?|
|Comparing the advertised maximum capacity of each truck rental company.|
Note: Both Budget and U-Haul previously offered 24-foot trucks, but they no longer list them as options. Also, we once compared Ryder® trucks as well; however, Ryder no longer rents trucks for personal moves.
Not moving very much? If you think even the smallest truck is too big, explore alternative moving options like U-Pack® compared to cargo van rental.
Moving large items
If you have large mattresses or sofas, it’s critical to rent a large enough truck to hold your items. Small trucks will fit twin, full and queen mattresses easily, but bigger beds can be problematic. For example, the door opening on the 12’ Budget truck is 5’11” x 5’5”, so a queen or California King will be difficult to load. If you have a sofa over 72” long, make sure the truck is long enough to accommodate it (or tall enough if you can stand it on end).
Also, if you’re moving large items like lawnmowers or motorcycles, there’s more to consider than size. Most truck rental companies don’t allow you to put these types of vehicles in their equipment, so you would have to add a towing trailer to the moving setup.
Number of passengers
Trucks can hold between 2-3 passengers (there are no 4-passenger trucks). If you need to move with three people, these trucks have bench seating and three seat belts:
- U-Haul: 15’, 17’, 20’, 26’
- Budget: 26’
- Penske: 22’, 26’
- Enterprise: 16’, 24’, 26’
Whether you need to add an enclosed trailer or tow a car, towing will limit your moving truck size choices. While all U-Haul truck sizes can tow their trailers, that’s not the case with every company. Budget will allow towing a car trailer behind their 16’ and 24’ trucks, while the 16’, 22’ and 26’ Penske trucks have car towing capabilities. Enterprise doesn’t allow towing behind any of their trucks.
Ability to drive a big vehicle
The average car length is around 15’. The biggest trucks, like the 22’ or 26’ Penske trucks, can be double that once you add in the size of the cab. These large vehicles also require special handling, taking wider turns and requiring more time to stop. On top of that, there are no rearview mirrors (only side view), so it can be tough to change lanes. If you’re not comfortable driving a big truck, then you might be better off taking multiple trips in a smaller truck — or using a different type of moving service altogether.
Still don’t know what size moving truck you need? U-Pack can help!
U-Pack is a different type of moving service, but many people compare us to truck rental because our service is DIY and affordable. But with U-Pack, space is flexible. Our moving trailers are 28’ x 8’ x 9’ (similar in size to a 26’ truck plus a 10’ truck), but you use the space you need. You get a quote for your home size, but you can use more or less room when loading, and your price goes up or down depending on the space you actually use.
Here’s how it works: fill the truck with your belongings and then install a divider wall. The rest of the truck gets filled with commercial goods going in the same direction. We do all the driving door-to-door, and prices include transportation, fuel and liability coverage.
Get a free moving quote online or over the phone to check rates for your move.
Need help finding the right equipment option?
Budget® is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC. Enterprise® is a registered trademark of Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Penske® is a registered trademark of Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. Ryder® is a registered trademark of Ryder System Inc. U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.
More articles you might like...