You’re ready for a road trip! When you’re moving cross country, renting a moving truck to haul your belongings to your new home might seem like the best cost-saving option. Shipping has to be more expensive, right? Not necessarily. Have you considered how to calculate moving truck gas costs? Fuel can be quite pricey for moving truck rentals, particularly large ones. Use our moving truck fuel calculator to make sure you have the most accurate numbers to forecast your costs.
Calculations basically use this equation: (Total Miles ÷ Moving Truck MPG) x Price of Gas per Gallon = Total Cost to Fuel the Rental Truck
For example, if you are moving 2,000 miles in a truck that gets 10 miles per gallon, and regular unleaded gas costs $2.45 per gallon, the equation would look like this:
2,000 mi ÷ 10 MPG is 200, multiplied by 2.45 = $490 in predicted fuel costs.
Here are some of the factors that need to be considered as well, and can vary widely from trip to trip:
Average miles per gallon (MPG) for a moving truck can range from 6 to 12 depending on the age of the fleet, maintenance schedule, and type of engine. Whether you’re renting a Penske or a U-Haul, the rental agency should be able to tell you what your truck’s expected MPG should be. Check that the tires are in good shape and properly inflated and that the oil has been maintained.
Don’t just assume that your vehicle will use regular fuel — it may require diesel, and the prices for diesel don’t necessarily fluctuate in the same ways that regular unleaded prices do. Be sure to accurately represent your potential truck when using the moving truck fuel calculator.
A heavier truck will require more fuel to move – it’s physics. So keep in mind while loading the truck that moving extraneous items, like furniture that you might not actually keep, could end up costing you!
Will you be towing a vehicle or other cargo trailer? The extra drag can decrease your average miles per gallon significantly, especially if the cargo is heavy.
Driving a rental moving truck through mountainous terrain or across the windy plains of the Midwest will probably decrease your fuel efficiency more than cruising through moderate rolling terrain on a trip up the coast.
Driving at higher speeds increases wind resistance, particularly for the boxy shape of a moving truck. Higher wind resistance means the engine has to work harder, and therefore it will use more gas. Most moving service companies encourage their drivers to drive slowly for safety, but it also helps improve gas mileage. Acceleration practices also impact fuel efficiency: by increasing speed slowly, the truck won’t have to rev the engine quite so hard. A rapid acceleration leads to burning gas (and rubber) quickly!
Let’s look at another potential fuel scenario: you’re moving 5,000 miles in a truck that gets an average of 8 miles per gallon. Gas is going for about $2.60 per gallon. So your first calculation would look like this:
5,000 ÷ 8 = 625. Multiplied by $2.60, your fuel will cost $1,625 with this basic moving truck fuel calculator. However, you’re driving through Colorado and expect a lot of mountainous terrains. You’re also towing a small car. You should probably add a bit of cushion to that expected budget to account for that extra strain on the truck!
Make sure to check out our post about calculating linear feet which is important when calculating room in a truck for your belongings.
Sounding complicated? Perhaps the fuel cost calculation has shown you that this trip won’t be quite as cheap as you thought. It might surprise you, but hiring a moving company isn’t as expensive as it seems. Get a guaranteed quote from Unpakt, and let the movers worry about the moving truck gas mileage calculator. You? Plan that road trip in something that gets better mileage!