- Unlimited miles for long-distance moves
- Lots of discounts available
- Sturdiest rental trucks out there
- Great value when paired with movers
- Free 24/7 roadside assistance
- Fewer locations than the competition
- Prices higher without discounts
- Higher mileage costs for local moves
- You don't pick your drop-off date
Penske® Company Overview
Penske is well known for its race car expertise, but the moving arm of Penske has made tracks of its own.
Why use Penske to move? Compared to other moving truck rental companies, they have refreshingly knowledgeable customer service that's always willing to help, not to mention great discounts. A thorough website that anticipates consumer questions and provides more info than you'll ever need to know about the company don't hurt either.
Penske has more than 2,200 locations in the United States, 26 locations in Canada and over 200,000 vehicles. The average age of rental trucks for personal use is 24 months. What makes up for its relatively small size compared to others (only 2,200+ locations, compared to 20,000+ U-Haul locations) is a more personable rental experience, not to mention a couple of solid perks.
Under 50 mi.
4.49/54.5% better than other companies
4.54/58.4% better than other companies
4.43/56.5% better than other companies
Average Cost Per Mile
$2.731.1% higher than other companies
$1.342.2% higher than other companies
Under 50 mi.
Compared to Other Companies
Compared to Other Companies
Compared to Other Companies
Penske® Truck Sizes
Miles Per Gallon (up to)
|High-Roof Cargo Van||11'11" X 4'6" X6'9"||Up to 1 room||404 cu. ft.||Up to 12 mpg|
|12 ft.||12' X 6'6" X 6'1"||1 to 2 rooms||450 cu. ft.||Up to 12 mpg|
|16 ft.||16' X 7'7" X6'6"||2 to 3 rooms||800 cu. ft.||Up to 12 mpg|
|22 ft.||21'11" X 8'1" X8'1"||3 to 5 rooms||1,200 cu. ft.||Up to 13 mpg|
|26 ft.||25'11" X 8'1" X8'1"||5 to 7 rooms||1,700 cu. ft.||Up to 13 mpg|
Photos of Penske® in the Wild
Penske® Services Offered
- Not Offered
My move with Penske®
Author: Francesca Di Meglio
Updated: Wednesday, October 21st 2020
How does Penske work?
Like everything else nowadays, you will begin your journey on the company's website. Head to the personal rental page, not their commercial rental page. (Remember, a large chunk of Penske's business is based on commercial truck rentals, so don't get lost.)
Next, use Penske's Truck Wizard tool to determine which size vehicle you should rent. Once you have an idea of how big of a truck you'll need for your move, fill out the form, get a quote, and afterwards you get to pick up the vehicle on the day you chose. (On the flip side, Penske actually automatically determines the drop off date for you based on your move details.)
Penske guarantees your location and selected time once you have your reservation, which is a perk compared to other rental truck companies.
For a local move, you should strive to pick the same location for both to lower overall cost. Just beware that your desired location might not end up being the one you're given in the final quote, due to supply. (I had chosen Hackensack, New Jersey, for example, but I was instead booked for a Manhattan location, which required me to drive over the George Washington Bridge and pay tolls.)
In addition, you'll be asked to tack on rental supplies. You can say no if you have your own furniture protectors and the like. The last step in getting a quote requires you to choose the kind of insurance if you want to get any.
After that, you're off to the races! You get the rental truck at your scheduled time, drive the truck to your first destination and load it up with your stuff. Then, you'll drive the vehicle to the next destination and unload it before finally dropping it off where and when Penske tells you to drop it off.
How does Penske work with local moves?
Good news: Penske works virtually the same way for both local moves and long-distance moves.
Determine the size vehicle you want to rent and when you are going to pick it up on their site. Then, you travel to the agreed upon Penske location to get the vehicle and pack up your stuff and bring it to your final destination. Penske will automatically determine your drop-off date based on the distance you have to travel. Your estimate will be based on that distance, and obviously the shorter the distance, the cheaper the price.
Penske guarantees your location and selected time once you have your reservation, which is a perk compared to other rental truck companies. U-Haul, for instance, can change it out from under you. (The only exception is if you book a mere 24 hours in advance, in which case Penske might give you a larger truck or alternative pick-up location.)
A couple of things to keep in mind: First, the calculated mileage ratings listed on your estimate are not guaranteed. (After all, this document is called an estimate.) Fuel mileage may also vary depending on load, terrain, weather, and driving speed, according to Penske's fine-print.
My local move estimate
While getting the quote for my local move, I chatted with a customer representative. My estimate suggested I would pay $0.99 per mile from the starting point of the trip, which would have been the Penske location in North Bergen, New Jersey on a weekend in September. However, the rep asked me if I wanted to pay a lower mileage rate. Duh.
During the live online chat, the representative offered me a discount of $70 per day for the truck rental and $0.87 per mile driven, compared to the original price of $79.99 for the truck and $.99 per mile. However, the caveat is that if you get offered a lower price than the online estimate, you only have the duration of the chat or phone call to take advantage of it. There are no guarantees you can get the same price again after you talk it over with your spouse, for instance. Sure, it's a way to get you to book, but not a terrible one.
You can probably do this in person as well, or over the phone. The point is that Penske agents are given a relative number to bargain with, so take advantage.
How does Penske work with long-distance moves?
Planning a long-distance (or one-way) move requires virtually the same process as the local one. The biggest difference with the long-distance move is that you'll be picking up and dropping off in two different Penske locations. (And yeah, obviously it generally costs more.) You head to the website for a quote, find out how much it costs, and sign up for a certain-sized truck.
The other major difference is that everyone is offered free unlimited mileage for a long-distance move, as opposed to the $0.99 per mile quote from the local move estimate. This really makes you feel like an adult, and less like you're being monitored or nickled and dimed.
Once you schedule your pick-up date, you will automatically be told your drop-off date, which again, you don't get to pick. (Just as you would with the local move, take note of the locations you are assigned.) But Penske guarantees you get to keep your pickup reservation day and time.
How much does Penske cost?
Prices vary depending on the size of the truck, the distance you will be traveling, and the length of time you'll have the vehicle. Also, Penske prides itself on its discounts. Here is a list of their basic ones, but they always have some sort of deal going on, depending on the season.
|US military||10% off all truck rentals|
|Students||10% off all truck rentals|
|AAA||12% off all truck rentals|
|New customers||20% off first rental|
$129.44 for a local move - 3 bedrooms, 5 miles
The local move is quite affordable, even before I was offered the discount during the chat. A 26 foot rental truck - with enough space to move a 3-bedroom home with a basement and garage from Fort Lee, New Jersey to Ridgefield Park, New Jersey - was $129.44. The breakdown:
- Daily fee of $79.99
- $.99 per mile driven (5 miles)
- Environmental fee of $2
- Vehicle licensing recovery fee $2.50
$40 Limited Damage Waiver
- Total: $129.44
This comes to a total of $129.44 for the truck. Penske automatically added the limited damage waiver (LDW) coverage for $40.
$2,089.05 for a long-distance move - 3 bedrooms, 1,200 miles
I made a reservation For a move of a 3-bedroom house with a basement and garage from northern New Jersey to central Florida. I was charged $2,089.05, which includes:
- Rental of the 26-foot truck ($1,614.75) for 6 days
- Free unlimited mileage
- 2 dozen furniture pads ($15 per dozen)
- 2 hand trucks ($20 each)
- Protection plans (Limited Damage Waiver for $132 and supplemental liability for $100.50)
- Sales tax for $162.80
Environmental fee of $9
- Total: $2,089.05
This cost puts Penske right in line with those offered by Budget® and U-Haul®. Talking to an agent and making your reservation online might lower the price, if you qualify for any promos or things like military discounts. Penske has a lot of those!
...(E)veryone is offered free unlimited mileage for a long-distance move, as opposed to the $0.99 per mile quote from the local move estimate.
You get unlimited mileage free, but you have to pay if you go over the agreed-upon number of travel days. Pick-up and drop-off are at the same time, so you have to return the vehicle when agreed upon or risk being charged for an extra day. If you add extra days to your trip before pick-up, you will pay $50 more per day. If you add them after pick-up, you will be charged $100 per day. Oh, and if you complete your move and drop off the truck before the agreed upon date, you don't receive a refund, except on protection plans and insurance. Of course, you'll be charged if you return a dirty truck, so sweep out the cargo areas and make sure to remove all trash and personal belongings.
There is no charge for changing or canceling your reservation, as long as you do it at least 48 hours before the scheduled date and time. But you will be charged $100 if you fail to notify Penske of changes or cancellations within that time frame, so be extra careful.
How does insurance with Penske work?
Penske offers a few options for coverage, however the company suggests you look at your own car and homeowner's policies first about renting a truck that will be more than 10,000 pounds.
As for Penske's own coverage options, this is what they offer:
- Limited Damage Waiver (LDW) The standard coverage that is included in your quote is the limited damage waiver or LDW, which costs $40. It "relieves you of financial responsibility should any loss or damage occur to the truck or towing equipment except if the vehicle or equipment is used in any manner that violates the terms of the rental agreement."
- Personal Accident Insurances (PAI) This coverage is one no one wants to have to use. It's only $3.90, but it offers accidental death and accident medical coverage for the renter of the truck and his or her passengers. It is only for passengers when they are in the enclosed portion of the rental vehicle. It's a supplemental insurance.
- Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) SLI is more sophisticated coverage, and it costs $28.88. This one is to protect any listed authorized drivers against claims from third parties for either bodily or property damaged as a result of an accident while driving the Penske truck. "This coverage is excess over the underlying insurance specified within your signed rental agreement up to $1,000,000," according to the website. The only caveat for this one is you - and the authorized drivers - have to be 21 years old to purchase this coverage.
- Cargo Insurance (CAI) As the name implies, this coverage is all about your stuff. The cost is $5. It covers the renter and any listed authorized drivers' furniture and possessions in case of loss or damage if you have an accident or experience a natural disaster while in transit in the truck. CAI is limited to $15,000 (deductible per occurrence $100).
Downsides of using Penske
Penske prices aren't always going to look as appealing as other rental trucks on sight, and that's because prices will vary based on your approach and because some of the discounts are secrets.
For example, the price gets lower if you make your reservation through the website, and this is the case for many truck rental companies. Still, it's not advertised, so you need to know ahead of time. A web reservation saved me $215.30! Lesson learned. Secondly, I received an additional discount of $193.77 for going through the HireAHelper site.
Just as you need to be aware of discounts, you have to be on the lookout for hidden or unknown fees. I repeatedly asked about any fees associated with cancellations. When quoting me the price initially, the customer service agent told me reservations are free to cancel and free to change the dates. Turns out, that absolutely isn't true.
What I learned using Penske
Ask a customer service rep if he or she can help find the lowest possible quote. Initially, I was impressed with the long-distance $1,743.93 price for the truck alone. But I had some questions about coverage, so I clicked on the live chat button that appears when you start getting a quote. The agent offered to give me a quote herself and see if she could lower the rate. Indeed, she managed to get the price for the truck down to $1,614.75. That's an additional savings of $129.18, which I wouldn't have gotten had I booked without talking to an agent. She wrote that the rate was only good during our live chat and that she was able to offer this price based on availability.
The focus on truck features and driving safety was refreshing. I learned the truck I was planning to rent had an automatic transmission with cruise control, anti-lock brakes for safer stops, dual-faced mirrors for better vision, and power steering. My concerns about being able to load the truck melted away when I read about the easy-to-operate 1,000-pound capacity loading ramp and rear roll-up door. There's a translucent roof with interior lighting, so I could feasibly load and unload in the dark. All of this is far different than the competition's approach, which is usually far more centered around sticker prices.
I received an additional discount of $193.77 for going through the HireAHelper site.
Additional perks, such as air conditioning, cargo-tie rails, and 3-person bench seating were nice to know about, as was the diesel power, which was estimated to save me $58.70 on fuel. Knowing the average truck was no more than 24 months old was the cherry on top. Also, as long as I called the district office in my area, I could even test drive the truck before pick up.
Penske will keep you warm and fuzzy in the cold, so don't worry if you're moving in the winter or other times when there are poor conditions: "If conditions are dangerous, your rental may be extended without charge. And, if you add windshield washer fluid, oil, or antifreeze, save your receipts and Penske will refund you." Sounds like a company that cares!
Free roadside assistance will help you 24/7. Some companies make you pay extra for access to roadside assistance should your truck break down or malfunction. Penske, however, offers an SOS number to all renters of its trucks should the unthinkable happen. When you're worried about driving one of these big boys, this sure could put your worries to rest.
Same-day rental is possible. As long as the truck and equipment you need is available, you can reserve and pick up a truck in the same day.
Should you choose Penske over other truck rental companies?
If you are someone who cares about safety and are willing to do the necessary research for the best quote, try Penske. In fact, from my experience renting rental trucks, the biggest reason someone should consider Penske over other truck rental companies is for the ability to find discounts and even sometimes negotiate, as opposed to just chasing sticker prices.
The free unlimited mileage for a long-distance move is also a big perk worth noting. The ease of using the website and online chat for customer service is another benefit of opting for Penke, and their trucks are just sturdier and safer. I really fear driving those big trucks, so information about the safety features is always welcome. The fact that 24-hour roadside assistance is automatically part of your order also sets Penske apart from other truck rental companies.
Real People Moving Stories with Penske
George MGaithersburg, MD
Maryellen PBonita Springs, FL
Nick MWinchester, KY
DeeDee MAnaheim, CA
James FMemphis, TN
Betsy FDenver, CO
Karen SSaint Louis, MO
They were ok. Reserved 3dozen moving pads, the ones the had for me were filthy and the mess would have come off on my microfiber furniture. Replaced them, still didn't look all that great. Truck seemed to have a restricter...never got above 72, even when going down steep down grade in Allegheny Mountains....very unsafe in a couple of circumstances during my 15 hour drive. Over the last 4 years I have personally driven 22 ft to 26 ft moving vans from, Budget, Penske (2), Uhaul (2) and just this past weekend another Penske (22 ft). Never had this kind acceleration problem before...even on flat, could not get over 71mph. Yes, generally plenty fast and most often the posted speed limit, but there are always times when you should be able to apply accelerator and actually accelerate.
Rudolph HSavannah, GA
I was misinformed when I reserved the truck as to what the charge was for each day the truck was returned late. I was told $50 per day. However, that was the rate for returning the truck beyond the contracted terms and if paid in advance. If you return a truck later than the number of days you initially paid for, the daily rate jumps to $100. When I first contacted Penske, the rep curtly advised me to read the lease agreement. I told her it is about 30 pages long, in fine print and reads like stereo instructions. It was probably only about 10 pages long. She also advised me the time for return was exactly the time of checkout. I asked her shouldn't such important details be highlighted during reservation and checkout and require the customer's initiating. She said, "I wouldn't know." I called back and spoke to another rep, and he told me he understood my situation and made an adjustment to the lease allowing for the $50 per day late fee. Lesson here: if at first you don't succeed, try again and again until you get satisfaction. When I made the reservation, I was told that the truck WOULD be full of fuel when I picked it up, I was expected to bring it back full, or I'd be charged for completely filling the 50-gallon tank. I was aware of this from previous experience. When I picked up the truck at Home Depot, to my surprise, the fuel tank was 3/4 full. This was noted on the lease contract sheet. When I returned the truck I forgot about the amount of fuel I had when I checked out until I had put 7/8 of a tank of diesel fuel in the tank. When I returned the truck and pointed out how much fuel was in the truck's tank, the employee chuckled and said, "If you put too much fuel in the tank, too bad, no refunds." Lesson here: don't except any rental vehicle unless you are absolutely sure it is full of fuel. The next time I do so, I will take it to the nearest fuel station and top it off and get a receipt.
Patricia MPalm Harbor, FL
Joseph JWake Forest, NC
I rented a 26' Penske truck to move from south Alabama to the Raleigh area of NC. This truck was in much better condition than any truck I've rented from other companies. Also, Penske offers unlimited miles for one way rentals and the larger trucks are diesel so that helps on fuel efficiency. I had no trouble with the truck at all and, in fact, never wondered if it would make it. I can't say the same for other vehicles I've rented.
Tara DCincinnati, OH
kelli BLenexa, KS
We reviewed the truck with the agent and all seemed well. When we got on the road for our 1100 mile journey it was another story. We were told it would get 11-15 miles to the gallon, well it only got about 5-6. The radio was broken and the cargo area had a leak. Thankfully, nothing got ruined since I packed in plastic totes and all of my clothing was in space saving bags. When we returned the truck we told the agent about this and she said she was sorry but the complaint would go no further. Highly disappointed and I'm not sure I would use them again.
The Penske® image above is used solely for identification purposes and serves as the primary means of visually identifying the subject of this article and provides an illustration of the entity that is represented.
Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.® is a trademark of Penske System, Inc. HireAHelper, LLC has no affiliation with Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. and Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. has not authorized the use of its trademarks.