If you’re about to embark on your very first DIY move, then you may be wondering how to budget for your move. In this post, we’ll explain how to figure in the cost of renting a moving truck based on mileage fees for the distance traveled during your move.

Mileage Fees

Plan in advance for a smooth move. Photo: Cleavers via Flickr cc.

The cost of renting a moving truck is based on the point of origin and the destination. If you are moving to a different city, then you will likely want to opt for a one-way move. This means your pick-up location and drop-off location are not the same. For moves within  the same city, most companies offer a local or in-town move. This means that you will pick-up and drop-off the truck at the same location.

Most truck rental companies make the process of receiving a quote very easy through their website or 1-800 number.  Receiving a quote directly from the rental company is the most accurate way to estimate the cost of renting your truck, especially if you are doing a one-way move. 

The company will generate a quote that may be based upon one or both of the following:

a) total distance (mileage)
b) rental period (in days)
c) seasonality (when is the best time to move?)

Typically, one-way moves are priced by trip. Each trip includes a mileage allotment with fees that are incurred if exceeded. In-town or local moves are priced based on flat rate and mileage. It is very important that you consider both of these factors when choosing which size moving truck to rent.   If you  make many trips, your cost will be higher than if you limit your move to one or two trips.

It is possible to save money by renting a larger size truck that will accommodate all of your items in fewer trips, or by renting a trailer, which has no mileage fees associated with it. It is important to note that trailers require a hitch and a hitch ball mount to be installed on your vehicle,  if not already equipped with one. This cost, however, may be offset by the money you will save in mileage fees and come in handy in the future.

Mileage Fees

After entering starting and ending address, you will see the total miles of trip.

Once you’ve decided that a moving truck is the best option for you, and you’ve selected the appropriate size, you are ready to estimate the mileage cost for your rental. Each rental company may have a different method of charging for rentals, so it’s important to keep this in mind when allocating your budget.

Begin by calculating the total distance (in miles) between your point of origin and your destination. You can do this quickly and easily by using an online map service such as Google Maps.

Next, decide how many trips back and forth you want to make. You will need to use your best guess, however most truck rental companies will provide an estimate of how many room’s worth of furniture will fit in each truck (below). Count each one-way trip as one. For example, from point A to point B is 1 trip,  point B back to point A is 1 trip. Round trip = 2 trips.

mileage fees

Estimate how much will fit in each Moving Truck by size Photo via uhaul.com


total mileage fee = (total miles to be traveled) x (mileage fee)

total miles to be traveled = (total number of trips) x (# of miles per trip – from Google)

Once you have calculated your total mileage fee, you are on track for estimating your total truck rental cost. Other important expenses to account for include:

When it comes to renting your moving truck, plan ahead and make your reservation in advance.  This will save you time, money and hassle in the long run, and will also ensure that the rental company can plan in advance to satisfy your and others reservations.

Do you have any experience with planning for or managing mileage fees? If so, let us know below in the comments section!

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12 Responses to Estimating the Mileage Fees for Your Move

  1. janice campitiello says:

    I want to rent a trailer for two days. How much does it cost for mileage

    • Toni J Toni J says:

      Hi Janice, There is no mileage rate for trailers, it is based on days of rental. The overall rental cost will depend on whether you are renting the trailer for local tow or for a cross-country move. Your best bet is to input your pick up date and location at http://www.uhaul.com/trailers/ to calculate the rate.

  2. Duane Hamblin says:

    roughly what kind of fuel mileage will a 26 foot gasoline truck get on the highway?

  3. Paige E Paige E says:

    Hi Duane, thanks for your question- the MPG for the 26′ truck will be 10mpg!

  4. Bill says:

    I need to move some furniture from Fort Lee, NJ to Baltimore, MD. I plan on using a cargo van, since it’s not a whole house move. What would be the fee for something like this?

    • Paige E Paige E says:

      Hi Bill, we don’t currently rent out Cargo Vans for One-Way moves. However, the smallest size truck that can be rented in order to complete a one-way move will be a 10′ truck. Depending on when the move takes place will determine the rental rate. The rates are determined by a combination of truck size, point of origin, destination and the date of the move. Thanks!

  5. Carlton Brown says:

    what is the tank capacity of a 26 foot gasoline truck …how many gallons to fill?

    • Shayne Dwyer Shayne Dwyer says:

      Hi Carlton,

      The tank capacity on a 26 foot truck is 57 gallons and the 26 foot truck gets 10 miles per gallon. Hope that helps in your calculation!


  6. Barbara Shutt says:

    What is mileage fee for a 26 foot truck for a one way trip of 260 miles?

    • Paige E Paige E says:

      Hi Barbara, your mileage for a one way move would be included in the flat rate fee. Any mileage over the allotted amount would be $0.40/mile. For more specifics, visit uhaul.com or call 1-800-468-4285!

  7. Bob says:

    want to rent a van for 24 hrs and wondering if any mileage comes with or what cost per mile is otherwise

    • Paige E Paige E says:

      Hi Bob, a U-Haul cargo van for in-town use is typically $19.95 plus mileage. Mileage will depend on what city and state you are picking up. If you are renting the cargo van for 24hrs, you can look into a Light Commercial Rate, if it is available. This will be a higher rental rate and will include miles. You can speak to Sales and Reservations (1-800-468-4285) to get an accurate rate.

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