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What size moving truck do you need?

Whether you're packing up a studio apartment or a four-bedroom home, we help you sort through the options from popular rental providers like U-Haul and Penske to find the best truck for your stuff.

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RJ Sangosti/Getty Images

Whether this is your first or 15th move, figuring out what size truck you need can be tricky. Any rental truck company will have a wide variety of options to fit different moving scenarios. We're here to help you sort through those options to find the one that best suits all the stuff you need to transport.

We checked with popular providers U-Haul, Penske and Budget about their available choices and which they'd recommend based on your space. We'll go through the common dimensions of each as well as extra cost considerations so you can start your move on the right foot.

Cost considerations

Before we dive into sizing up your place, almost all rentals have similar factors other than the size of the truck that will contribute to your final bill. In general, pricing will depend on mileage, where you intend to drop off versus where you picked it up, the number of days you rent your moving truck and if you choose to tow your car with your rental.

On top of that, you could add extras such as furniture padding and hand trucks. You also have the option to buy protection plans for both your furniture as well as the rental truck, since scraping up a rental vehicle can cost you a pretty penny.

The starting price, though, will be based on what size truck you need. Here are the truck sizes you can expect to find at your local rental place, organized by typical house and apartment size. Keep in mind these are generalized guidelines and prices are subject to change.

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You can find smaller trucks if you aren't moving much.

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Studios and one-bedroom apartments

Pickup trucks

If you're moving a light load with minimal furniture, consider a pickup truck. They're perfect if you just need a little more room other than your own car or you're getting your first place and need to move your handful of bedroom pieces. Pickup truck beds are usually 7 feet, 10 inches long, with a max load-bearing weight rating of 1,897 pounds.

Starting price: $20

Cargo van

A cargo van is another affordable option for those who aren't moving a lot of furniture. They can hold furniture as large as a queen-sized mattress, making it perfect for small moves. Consider a cargo van if you have a couple of bigger pieces but an otherwise light load. Typical cargo van lengths are 9 feet, 6 inches to 11 feet, 11 inches.

Starting price: $20-$40

10 or 12-foot truck

If you have a full set of furniture in your apartment, you'll likely need a 10- to 12-foot truck. Consider this upgrade even if you just have a few pieces of furniture and some boxes as you might not save money on a smaller vehicle if you need to make multiple trips. Typical truck lengths here are 9 feet, 11 inches to 11 feet, 8 inches.

Starting price: $20-$30

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You should have lots of options at your location rental place. 

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Large apartments and small homes

15- to 17-foot truck

These trucks serve as anything from entry-level options for those with a densely furnished one-bedroom to medium-tier trucks for fully furnished two-bedroom apartments and small homes. Look for pricing overlap in trucks of 15, 16 or even 17 feet in length and get as much space as you can for your buck. The added space can prevent you from having to take multiple trips and can keep your truck from becoming over-packed, which could put your fragile items at greater risk than necessary.

Starting price: $30

Medium and large homes

20-foot truck

Whether you're moving from a house or an apartment, if you have more than a couple of rooms of furniture, consider upgrading to a 20-foot truck (technically 19 feet, 6 inches). You might even need this upgrade if you have two densely packed bedrooms, but definitely consider this for anything bigger.

Starting price: $40

26-foot truck

The biggest option at most truck rental providers, the 26-foot truck is a brute for those needing to haul quite a bit of furniture and belongings. This truck is your answer to moving all your packed boxes and furniture for up to a four-bedroom home. U-Haul even offers similar pricing between the 20 and 26 foot options, so you might be able to get a bunch of extra space for a low premium.

Starting price: $40-$90

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Large trucks and moving services are available too. 

Education Images/Getty Images

Get moving

If you're still unsure what sized truck rental you should get, you can call your local provider for a recommendation. You'll likely talk to someone who works with movers every day. When in doubt, over-estimate the size you'll need for longer moves to save yourself from racking up costs on multiple trips.

For your other moving needs here is how to inform the IRS and USPS you moved; here's a guide to getting a house-warming gift for yourself; and here are ways to track your steps during your move.