With high fuel prices, many people have become very conscious of their vehicle’s fuel efficiency. If you’re planning a move and need to rent a moving truck, you probably already know that they are not as fuel efficient as a modern hybrid. How many miles per gallon does a U-Haul get?
U-Haul moving trucks get about 10 miles per gallon of gas. Their trucks all use regular unleaded gasoline. U-Haul truck’s gas mileage is higher than other moving trucks due to being made lower to the ground and using U-Haul’s custom truck boxes with rounded corners.
|U Haul Truck Size||Mile Per Gallon||Distance In Miles|
|10′ U-Haul Truck||MPG: 12||350 Miles|
|15′ U-Haul Truck||MPG: 10||350 – 375 Miles|
|17′ U-Haul Truck||MPG: 10||350 – 375 Miles|
|20′ U-Haul Truck||MPG: 10||350 – 375 Miles|
|26′ U-Haul Truck||MPG: 10||550 Miles|
We’ll go over what you can expect from U-Hauls’ different vehicles trucks, and we’ll give you some tips at the end so you can get the most out of your U-Haul rental!
10′ U-Haul Truck
The 10′ Truck has a range of about 350 miles, so you don’t have to stop on long drives frequently.
- MPG: 12
- Fuel Tank Size: 31 Gallons
The 10′ truck gets the best gas mileage out of U-Haul moving truck fleet. The truck is the smallest, which helps, and it also doesn’t have the Mom’s Attic feature over the cab of the truck.
This truck is best used for small moves like an apartment or a 1-bedroom home with limited furniture. If you can fit all of your items in it, it’s a great option.
15′ U-Haul Truck
This truck has a similar range to the 10′ truck of 350 to 375 miles.
- MPG: 10
- Fuel Tank Size: 40 Gallons
The 15′ Truck is an excellent option for a 1-bedroom home or a 2-bedroom apartment. When deciding what truck to get, it’s important to note that the main storage area is not 15′ long. The main storage area in the 15′ truck is only 12′ and 5″ long. U-Haul arrives at 15′ by measuring from the front of the Mom’s Attic (the overhang above the cab) to the back of the front.
The Mom’s Attic comes on this model, allowing you to place boxes of fragile items above the cab where they are separate from other items that could crush the boxes should things shift around.
Related Article: U-Haul 15-Foot Moving Truck
17′ U-Haul Truck
You can expect nearly the same range of 350 to 375 miles.
- MPG: 10
- Fuel Tank Size: 40 Gallons
The 17′ truck is very similar to the 15′ truck. The only difference is you get 14.3′ in the main storage area to store your things. This may be enough for you if you don’t fit in the 15′, but it’s still not big enough to move into a two-person home. U-Haul says this truck is best for large apartments and condos.
Related Article: U Haul 17-Foot Truck Gas Mileage
20′ U-Haul Truck
The 20′ truck will range between 350 and 375 miles.
- MPG: 10
- Fuel Tank Size: 40 Gallons
The 20′ truck has the same 40-gallon tank as the two trucks below it. U-Haul lists the mileage as the same for all of them, but since this one is bigger and heavier, you’d probably get slightly lower gas mileage than the 15′ or the 17′. The 20′ truck still runs on regular unleaded gasoline as well. The main storage area of the truck has a length of 16′ 10.”
Related Article: U Haul 20-Foot Truck Gas Mileage
26′ U-Haul Truck
The 26′ truck has a larger gas tank than any other truck model, extending the range to around 550 miles. If you’re making a multistate move, it may be worth upgrading to the 26′ truck over the 20′ truck to fill up less.
- MPG: 10
- Fuel Tank Size: 60 Gallons
The 26′ truck is U-Haul’s largest truck they rent out. This truck can easily move a 3 bedroom house or a 4 bedroom if you’re light on large furniture. The main storage area in this truck is 23′ 6″. The Mom’s Attic is also included in this model and is the same size as the other trucks.
Related Article: U Haul 26-Foot Truck Gas Mileage
Pickup & Cargo Van
U-Haul doesn’t just rent moving trucks. They also pickups and Cargo Vans that you can use for jobs or getting that new fridge home from home depot. It’s a great option for someone who only needs the benefits of this kind of work vehicle once in a while.
The U-Haul pickup truck is either a GMC or a Ford, depending on which location you go to, so the actual gas mileage will depend on the vehicle they have. U-Haul’s website thought they listed the truck as getting 19 miles per gallon which is pretty standard for a pickup truck.
The truck has a gas tank of 28 gallons and can go about 475 to 500 miles on the highway. If you’re doing a lot of city driving where you’re stopping and going, it will be much less.
The cargo van is another great option for really small moves. This could be great for a college dorm where you need to move many boxes but no furniture.
The cargo van gets about 18 MPG and has a 25-gallon tank giving you about 400 to 425 miles of range on the highway. You likely won’t need to worry about that too much if you’re moving items across town.
What Effects MPG
The gas mileage you get from a rental truck depends on several factors. MPG is the primary measurement for measuring a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. MPG is affected by weight, aerodynamics, engine type, fuel grade, and how the truck is driven.
Unfortunately, moving trucks have to be very large and will be very heavy when loaded up with boxes and furniture. This means that moving trucks have very poor gas mileage compared to what most people are used to getting in their personal vehicles. To offset this, moving trucks generally have large gas tanks so that they can still travel a reasonable distance.
Moving trucks are also not the most aerodynamic vehicles out there. The trucks are large, and the box shape of the back helps maximize the space you have to load up your moving vehicle. You can stack many more boxes and furniture inside the truck when it has straight walls, corners, and ceilings.
Fuel Type also affects the MPG that a vehicle gets. In general, Diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline engines. Hybrids and Electric vehicles are also more efficient. Almost all moving trucks will be gasoline or diesel engines. Currently, U-Haul only has gasoline vehicles. U-Haul chooses only to offer gasoline vehicles because it is what more people are used to. It makes it easier for customers and saves the company some headaches.
Finally, the way you drive is one of the biggest determinants of the gas mileage you get. Vehicles use the most gas when they are accelerating. Vehicles have lower MPG ratings in the city because you frequently have to stop at lights, stop signs, and slow down for turns. Vehicles get the best mileage when driving down a highway at a constant speed. Speeding also affects fuel efficiency because it takes a lot of energy to keep a vehicle moving fast. The ideal speed for most vehicles to be the most efficient is about 50 miles per hour.
U-Haul trucks are also capable of towing a trailer behind them. Many people choose to tow their personal car behind their moving truck when moving to another state. This is very convenient, but it will cause your gas mileage to be lower. This is likely offset by the fact that you aren’t driving two vehicles.
What has U-Haul done to Improve Gas Mileage
U-Haul knows its customers will be concerned with gas mileage, so they’ve done a few things to make its trucks more fuel efficient.
U-Haul has a small fuel economy gauge in all of its trucks that the driver can look at when driving. The gauge is not very sophisticated and doesn’t show you exact numbers or anything, but it does help the driver to maintain a constant speed and accelerate in a more controlled way.
They have also designed their trucks to be a little more aerodynamic. U-Haul trucks all have what they call an advanced chassis skirt. These metal sheets run down the sides of the truck below the actual wall of the trailer. They successfully make the vehicle more aerodynamic because it keeps the air from shooting underneath the truck and dragging on the mechanical features below the box.
The trucks also have rounded corners and are lower to the ground than some other moving truck designs. This helps the truck to slide more quickly through the air as you drive, reducing drag. The lower floor of the vehicle also helps with loading and unloading.
U-Haul also makes sure to always have their tires properly inflated. A vehicle’s tires significantly affect fuel efficiency since this is where the vehicle interacts with the ground to make it move. Low tire pressure will cause more of the tire to run across the ground as you go increasing friction and reducing fuel efficiency. U-Haul always inflates its tires to the proper pressure before sending the vehicle out.
Tips for Getting Better Gas Mileage
You can do a few things to ensure you get the best gas mileage possible during your move.
- Balance your cargo: How you pack the truck can affect your gas mileage for long trips. When you pack a U-Haul, you want to ensure the weight is equally distributed on the left and right sides of the vehicle. U-haul also recommends having more weight towards the front of the vehicle. It would be best if you aimed to have about 60% of the weight in the front half of the box and 40% in the back half of the box.
- Tires: Check the tire pressure before you leave the U-Haul location with your truck rental. Make sure to ask them if they filled up the tires to the correct amount. U-Haul claims all their vehicles’ tires are filled up correctly before going out, but we’re all human. It might not happen every time, and you don’t want to be someone with low tire pressure.
- Go the Speed Limit: As was mentioned above, the most fuel-efficient speed for most vehicles is around 50 miles per hour. That is too slow for most interstates and highways, but staying in the right lanes and going the speed limit will still help you save money and get a few more miles out of the gas tank than driving 10 over in the fast lane. It will also be safer overall.
- Avoid Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving includes accelerating really fast and breaking fast. Driving aggressively is terrible for your gas mileage since it takes more gas to accelerate than move at a constant speed. You can also save gas by coasting and breaking slower, especially on short city blocks where accelerating fast and stopping abruptly will cause you to use an unnecessary amount of gas. This is also a good safety practice since most people have little experience driving a large moving truck.
- Avoid Idling: Idling is terrible for gas mileage since it uses up your gas without moving the vehicle. If you’re stopping for more than a minute due to traffic, parking, loading the vehicle, or waiting for someone at a bathroom stop, it’s best to turn off the vehicle and then start it again when it’s time to move again. You’ll save a lot more gas that way.
- Use Cruise Control: Many U-Haul trucks have cruise control. Using cruise control will help you to maintain a constant speed on highways and reduce the number of times you need to step on the gas pedal. It should only be used when traveling on relatively flat highways and should be turned off in heavier traffic. The cruise control in U-Haul trucks does not have many features that modern vehicles do, such as lane control and adjusting speed based on the car in front of you, so you need to remember that if you’ve gotten used to those features in your personal vehicle.