Moving Truck Size Calculator – What Size Rental Truck Do You Need?

Moving is no easy task, and with it comes the hurdle of deciding exactly what size of rental truck you’ll need to transfer all of your belongings to a new home. Time and time again, movers rent a specific size of truck thinking it has more than enough room, but they end up having to make two trips or needing to rent another truck. If the move is too far, many people end up having to make a decision of what to leave behind. On the flip side, movers who choose trucks that are too big can end up with broken items from them shifting during the drive. Use this calculator to determine the proper size moving truck.

Moving Truck Calculator

Pick the items you need to move from the list below. The best truck for your needs will be shown at right.

Moving Truck Size

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Luckily, there are things you can take into consideration when choosing the right size rental truck for your move. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

Choosing the Right Size Rental Truck for Moving

Most moving guides indicate that the average size per “room” in your house will require three cubic feet of truck space. Therefore, if you have a five-bedroom house, a 15 cubic feet truck might be best for you. Most movers who have an “average” 6 room house can usually do well with a standard 20-foot truck. 

There are generally three “types” of moving trucks, which include pickup trucks, cargo vans, and box trucks. Box trucks are the trucks people think of when they hear the term “moving truck,” but pickup trucks and cargo vans are also fine for some people’s needs. People who are afraid of driving a very large box truck may feel more comfortable in a pickup truck or cargo van, and these normally are good options for short moves and/or people who don’t have a lot of items to transport. 

Uhaul Truck Sizes

Budget Truck Sizes

Assess What You Have

We all have different amounts of “stuff” in our homes, so be honest with yourself about how much you have. The “three cubic feet per room” rule is a good start, but it only takes into consideration an average room. For example, the average bedroom has a bed, side table, dresser, and maybe a chair and/or desk. If your bedroom has multiple dressers, side tables, or other bulky furniture items, you’ll probably need to get a larger truck. 

If you’re moving out of a small studio apartment, you won’t need nearly as big of a truck as a large house, as it is likely you don’t have as much stuff in storage and not as many furniture items. Of course, if you have more belongings than the average person, you’ll want a bigger truck, and vice versa.

To help you determine what size of rental truck you need for your move, there are calculators available online that can give you an estimation of what you might need based on your belongings. In fact, many rental truck companies have a calculator right on their website that can help you figure out what size is best for you. Bear in mind these are just recommendations and you should still think about what exactly you are moving. 

Assess Rental Truck Prices

Not all moving truck companies are the same, which includes differing customizations, sizes, and billing procedures. Moving is expensive in general, so you’ll want to get as many quotes as possible for a moving truck. Most rental truck companies charge an up-front fee along with a mileage fee, so it is important to take that into consideration if your move is quite far. If you’re moving out of state, you’ll also likely need to rent a truck from a nationwide company because you may need to drop the truck off at a different location than the one you picked it up at. 

Of course, the length of time you need the truck should also be taken into consideration. Some rental companies offer occasional specials in which you can get a day or two free if you keep the truck for a week. Also, consider your personal vehicle as well because towing your personal vehicle behind the rental truck may come at an additional cost. 

Most moving truck rental companies offer add-ons like furniture pads and dollies. They also normally offer some sort of insurance that covers your belongings and/or the rental truck in case of any dings or damages. Your choice of rental truck size will partially depend on your budget. If you’re more strapped for cash, you may choose to rent a smaller size and either cram all of your belongings in it, make multiple trips with the same truck, or leave some items behind. 

Depending on which options you choose, you could find a rental truck for under $30 a day, or your moving truck of choice could be over $100 per day. Of course, companies like U-Haul and Budget are some of the more popular options, but you may be able to find a local company that rents out trucks at a better price for your budget and needs. The most important concept when it comes to the price is to do research to compare your options and the accommodations and stipulations each one comes with. 

Think About the Packing

You should also pre-plan the packing of the rental truck you choose. Strategically packing your items in the truck can allow you more room than if you randomly throw things in it. Visualize how you can break large items down (e.g., beds, tables, and chairs) and then how you can pack them together tightly so they don’t shift as much during transit. If you pack tightly and wisely, you may be able to settle for a smaller rental truck for moving. And be sure to use the estimation tool shown above to help you pick the right size moving truck for your move.


Ultimately, if you’re worried about not having enough space in your moving truck, it is generally okay to rent one size up from what your initial thoughts are if your budget allows it. Transferring all of your stuff to a new home can be stressful, but making sure you choose a big enough rental truck for moving can make the process a lot easier.