How to Pick the Best Moving Truck

The Moving Kit
Aug 12 · 7 min read

The goal of this guide is to help you get a moving truck that will be convenient, safe, and budget-friendly for you and your belongings as you move into your new home.

Step 1: Understand Everything Concerning Your Move

When looking at DIY (do it yourself) moving truck companies, you should consider the following factors:


Your travel timeline is one of the first things to sort out. When would you get the moving truck and when would it be returned? Keep these dates in mind as you ask for an invoice. You should also remain flexible. Is it possible to move some days earlier or some days after the schedule? You may score a better deal.


What is the distance of your travel? It’s better to be precise, so put in your old and new addresses on Google Maps and take note of the mileage. The rental company you’ll be getting a truck from will require the information to give a correct quote and you’ll also need it to find out any charges you might need to pay per mile and make a budget for gas.


The cost of paying for a DIY moving truck rental service changes drastically and this depends on how long your move takes and how far you need to travel. It also depends on the truck size you require. Your expenses can range from $20-$3,000 on the truck alone. Hence, it’s wise to decide what you’re budgeting before you begin your search.


It’s relatively simple to take inventory of your home with the help of technology. Reserving the right truck size is also important when getting a moving truck. Having an idea of the number and size of things you’re moving will make sure that the space you’ll pay for is just enough and not more than you actually need.

Your car

A plan should be in place whether you’re driving the car, towing it behind the moving truck, or shipping it. If you don’t want to ship the car, you can still get the most protection for it using a carrier from Penske. This creates space between your car and the road offering it protection from rocks and other things.

Step 2: Choose the Right Moving Truck Size

You can be guided by various companies on the right truck size for your move. With that in mind, it’s wise to keep some sizes of your own in mind to do a comparison and to make a budget. You should have an estimate of the moving truck size you need since you’ve taken an account of all your properties. Using our moving app, you can estimate the truck size that you’ll need.

Step 3: Find How Much It Costs to Rent a Moving Truck

What moving truck companies take into consideration when quoting you are the moving truck size, the time it’ll take to move, and the distance. However, this just covers the basic cost. So, ensure you take into account other expenses like insurance, tolls, and gas when requesting a quote. If there are extra payments or costs per mile, ensure you know about them before you book the truck.

Step 4: Compare Moving Truck Companies

Begin making comparisons between DIY moving truck companies, keeping your budget in mind.

Use our handy moving app to help determine which moving truck company is the best value for your area.

Step 5: Ensure you have an insurance policy

You don’t drive a moving truck the same way you drive your car — accidents are possible. Your normal car insurance may not cover a moving truck, hence you’ll need extra insurance. The following are choices for insurance by DIY moving truck companies.

Limited Damage Waiver (LDW): any theft or damage done to the truck or towing equipment has its charges covered here provided the terms of use are not violated as stated in the rental contract.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI): this one covers the cost of any injuries you or your passenger might have while in the truck when an accident happens.

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI): you’ll want this coverage if you or the driver injures a third party or their belonging while driving the truck.

Cargo Insurance (CA): you and your belongings are covered when natural disasters cause an accident while driving the truck or while it’s parked. However, if something happens to your property while loading or unloading the truck, this doesn’t cover that cost.

Towing Insurance (TWI): this one covers any damage done to your car if it’s being towed.

Note that this is just an overview of the plans available. Ensure you go through each plan thoroughly and discuss with your moving truck company before making payment to get the best insurance option available.

Step 6: Place an order for a truck beforehand

It’s recommended that you pre-order the DIY moving truck ahead of time. A month’s advance booking is wise. 6 weeks’ advance booking is even recommended in the summer. Early booking raises the possibility of getting just what you want at the perfect price.

Step 7: Choose the equipment you need for the move

After you’ve made an estimate of the number of boxes you’ll need for the move and whether they’ll be plastic or cardboard, the next thing to do is to know what equipment you’ll need. If you have a piano to move, you’ll really be thankful for the right equipment. You can buy or rent things like hand trucks, dollies, and furniture pads from most DIY moving truck companies. Other things you should consider getting are rope, moving gloves, mattress bags, twine, moving blankets, and bungee cords for extra protection while on transit.

Step 8: Handle other little details

Before you begin to actually move, there are few things you must sort out first. Ensure you’ve handled the following before the D-day.

Know the travel route for your move

Most movers are usually armed with a smartphone or GPS. Ensure there’s a charger or an extra GPS to move from point A to B without hassle. This is to avoid being stranded if something happens to the first one. It’s not a bad idea to do things the old way by taking a map along. Regardless of which option you go for, ensure your move is mapped out before you get on the road. Your journey can be complicated already with construction and traffic. Getting lost is not an option.

Request for a moving permit if necessary

Across the country, some cities need permits for a move to enable you to park your truck on the road without issues. Request for a parking permit if need be to prevent your truck from getting towed or having to park at very far and inconvenient distances. You may get the permit with the help of your DIY moving truck company. But if they can’t help, just log on to the website of the city you’re moving to and place an application. It is advised that you apply two weeks before your moving date and ensure you get the permit at least 5 days before you hit the road.

Know how the truck should be packed

Jam-packing everything into the truck may seem appealing, but it’ll be easier to unload if you organize the loading process, and it’ll protect your properties too. Try to put the heaviest things (like appliances) in the front, center and back like an “I” formation when loading. Line the walls of the truck with softer items like your mattress and fill up the remaining spaces with the least heavy items.

Get ready to drive the truck

Before you seat on the driver’s seat, ensure that you can actually drive a DIY moving truck. Take a drive around your neighbourhood first to test what it is to drive a truck. Note that it requires more space to switch lanes and wider turns too, it also requires more time to bring the truck to a halt because of its size and weight. Hence, keep the space of a full car between you and the next vehicle when on the road. Know the height of the truck to avoid any funny accidents and watch out for road signs. It wouldn’t be funny to lose the top of the truck because you drove through a low overhang.

Don’t forget to stock up on gas

You probably need to refill the gas tank before returning the truck to avoid a high fine.

Since you’re now in the know on what it takes to book a DIY moving truck, you can now prepare to move. Have this guide around. You might need it for a hassle-free move.

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