Moving Companies That Provide Budget Trailer Rental

June 3, 2024

Either you’re relocating your studio-sized life across town or moving to a new house, a trailer rental is a less expensive alternative to a full-sized moving truck—as long as you’re prepared to haul it.

A trailer rental service or tow dolly may also be viable solutions if you need to transfer your automobile and auto shipping is out of your budget.

U-Haul has the largest assortment of enclosed trailers and car carriers of any national company we’ve looked at. However, if you’re already renting one of their moving trucks, Budget and Penske are excellent choices for car carrier rentals.

Best Option: U-Haul

You may rent U-Haul’s trailers individually, so you don’t have to rent a moving vehicle to get a cargo trailer or a tow dolly. This set U-Haul apart from its rivals, which need you to hire both moving trailers and auto trailers/tow dollies.

In addition to car carriers and tow dollies, U-Haul is the only firm on our list that offers moving trailers (the others don’t). In fact, U-Haul outperforms the competition with its thirteen trailer selections.

However, be wary of hidden fees—U-Haul has a reputation for adding extra charges to your final bill.

Trailer Rental by U-Haul

Cargo trailers

Cargo trailers are less than rental trucks, but they provide the same level of weather protection. If you’re relocating bedroom furniture, fragile things, or that costly West Elm desk you always use a coaster with, you’ll need one of these.

It all boils down to this: if you want to be safe, cargo trailers are the way to go. You won’t have to worry about highway debris getting into your possessions, and you won’t have to worry about a sudden torrential rainfall destroying your velvet sofa.

Cargo Trailer rates

6’ x 12’5’ x 10’5’ x 8’4’ x 8’
Weight limit2,480 lbs.1,550 lbs.1,800 lbs.1,650 lbs.
Long-distance vs. localLong-distanceLong-distanceLong-distanceLong-distance
Price per day$29.95$29.95$14.95$14.95
Best forLarger loads of furniture1–2 bedroomsSingle room, twin bed, couches, chairsSingle room, dorm room

Utility trailers

Outdoor or larger items, such as landscaping equipment or your brand-new gas barbecue, are great for utility trailers.

We wouldn’t put your Restoration Hardware sectional in one of them, but if you’re carrying patio furniture, a lawnmower, or other items that can handle an open highway trip, we say go for it.

EZ Ramps are available on several utility trailer sizes, allowing you to slide large items onto the bed rather than lifting them. Although these open trailers are not lockable, they do come with tie-down rings to keep your belongings secure.

Auto trailers

You can rent a car or motorcycle trailer to tow your vehicle if you don’t want to spend money on auto shipment. Your car rides on top of the trailer, preventing wear and tear on your tires while on the road.

As a result, if you’re moving lengthy distances, we recommend investing in a car trailer (i.e. 300 miles or more).

U-Haul Car Hauler Car trailers from U-Haul can tow vehicles weighing up to 5,290 pounds. To put this in context, a Ford F-150, a heavy-duty pickup truck, weighs between 6,000 and 7,000 pounds. Before you rent an auto trailer, double-check your car’s specs to verify if it’s towable.

Tow Dolly

Although a tow dolly is less expensive than a car or motorcycle trailer, it provides less protection. It simply supports the front wheels, rather than elevating the vehicle totally off the ground. Even though your car’s back tires drag on the road, it still saves you money on gas.

A tow dolly may be all you need if you have a smaller automobile and a limited budget. However, this approach is appropriate for local moves; long-distance moves will put too much wear and strain on your back wheels.

So How much exactly it will cost?

Renting a trailer from U-Haul is less expensive than renting a trailer from any of the other companies we looked at. Because you can reserve a U-Haul trailer without paying the entire price of a truck rental, this is the case.

The following factors influence U-basic Haul’s rates:

U-base Haul’s rates, to be honest, appear to be too good to be true. Here’s the catch: U-Haul has a habit of jacking up your bill with last-minute surcharges like gas and mileage fees, as well as damage protection policies.

U-Haul Trailer Rental Quotes

Best in Tow Dollies: Penske

Penske, unlike U-Haul, has a solid reputation for customer service and transparency, and it delivers on the features and perks it advertises. When it comes to Penske, you basically get what you see, which is something that only a few moving firms can boast.

Penske, for example, ensures that your selected truck size and pickup location are available. Other businesses may provide this service, but only at a premium.

Our only quibble? Penske rents automobile trailers but does not lend out other sorts of trailers. Furthermore, you are not permitted to pull its trailers with anything other than a Penske rental vehicle.

Trailer Rental offers by Penske

Car trailers

The three-point tie-down mechanism on Penske’s car trailers keeps your vehicle secure and prevents it from shifting. They also have a ramp to make loading everything from your mother’s expensive Mercedes to the beat-up Toyota you bought in college a little easier.

Penske specializes in the transportation of automobiles
Penske’s car trailers are best for automobiles with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, and their weight restriction is lower than U- Haul’s. Consider whether Penske is the best choice for your vehicle type before making a reservation.


Weight limit
4,050 lbs.

Front-wheel drive

Four-wheel drive

All-wheel drive

Best for
All-wheel or rear-wheel-drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Car dolly

Penske’s vehicle dollies, like its car trailers, can only be pulled behind a Penske truck. However, unlike its vehicle trailers, its vehicle dollies have a higher weight restriction than U- Haul.

One reason to use Penske over U-Haul is if you know your automobile is heavier than typical.

Tow dolly features

Weight limit
4,300 lbs.

Front-wheel drive

Four-wheel drive

All-wheel drive

Best for
Front-wheel drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Penske Moving Cost

Penske does not have a predetermined rental rate. The price of its automobile trailers and tow dollies is determined upon availability. The more car carriers and tow dollies it has on hand, the less it costs to rent them. They’ll be more pricey if there are fewer of them.

It was difficult to determine the exact cost of Penske trailers because the corporation is secretive about its costs

For example, we received a quotation of $275 for a car trailer from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Portland, Oregon. However, depending on how many trailers the Portland Penske has on hand, the cost of moving from Portland to Salt Lake City may be quadruple that.

Seasonality has an impact on rates as well. The figures we received were for the winter, but fees might easily rise if we phoned again in May or June.

Penske Trailer Rental

Budget Truck

If you’re wondering what Budget is great for, its name should tell you all you need to know.

Budget is great for those on a tight budget. While you can only rent a car trailer or car dolly as part of an existing truck reservation, the company provides reasonable rates and a variety of promotions to help you save money.

And if you’re relocating locally, the charges are considerably lower.

Budget Trailer Rental Offers

Budget’s car trailers lift your vehicle off the ground and secure it to the back of your rental truck.

Budget, like Penske, does not allow you to attach a trailer to your personal vehicle. But there’s a catch: you can only tow a Budget car trailer with a Budget truck that’s 26 feet long.

While the weight capacity of this trailer is equivalent to that of the other two firms, Budget nevertheless has the lowest weight capacity of the three.

Budget trailer rental features

Weight limit
4,055 lbs.

Maximum width of the car
6’ 7”

Vehicle compatibility
Four-wheel and all-wheel-drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Tow Dolly

In terms of design and functioning, Budget’s tow dollies are identical to those of U-Haul and Penske. A tow dolly, regardless of which business you choose, helps limit excess mileage on your vehicle (just not as much as a car trailer).

Budget’s tow dollies, on the other hand, are only available for one-way movements. Budget, on the other hand, has a distinct edge in terms of pricing, especially if you qualify for one of its discounts.

Tow Dolly features

Weight limit
3,300-3,600 lbs.

Maximum width of the car
6’ 4”

Vehicle compatibility
All-wheel, four-wheel, and rear-wheel-drive cars

Long-distance vs. local

Budget Trailer Rental Cost

Budget, like Penske, does not offer flat prices for car trailers and tow dollies. However, unlike Penske, Budget bases the price of each trailer rental and tow dolly on the number of days your move takes and the number of miles you travel—this means you won’t be charged exorbitantly based only on your location.

Because trailer rental isn’t included in Budget’s online quote generator, you’ll have to phone a Budget agent to find out how much they’ll add to your bill.

Budget Trailer Rental Quotes


If your moving dates and price are both flexible, we recommend U-Haul for trailer rental. (Just keep an eye out for any additional charges!)

Penske and Budget are also excellent choices for auto transportation, particularly because they are generally less expensive than U-Haul and, in some cases, offer higher weight restrictions. Penske provides more generous weight limits, while Budget has more affordable rates.

However, in the end, price and availability are the deciding factors. While U-Haul has stores in all 50 states and provides a wide range of services, it cannot guarantee reservations and does not waive late fees