Cargo Van Comparison: Budget vs Ryder Which One Is Better?

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Cargo vans turn out to be the most practical and inexpensive way to move your household possessions if you live in a studio or small apartment.

Today’s rental companies offer everything from pickup trucks to 26-foot box trucks for household moving projects.

Plenty of people may take up the offerings of rental companies to do the move themselves in order to pocket the money that moving companies charge.

As a result, cargo vans are one category of vehicle that consumers consider.

If you believe a cargo van will work for you, it’s a good idea to shop around. You can find significant differences between costs that rental companies charge.

Pick the features that work best for you and that are available at the best price. A comparison of the Budget Rental Company’s cargo van against the Ryder rental Company’s cargo van produces interesting results.

Life’s One Constant is Change

First and foremost, the picture of the cargo van in truck rental agencies has changed. The Ford Econoline and Chevy Express type of cargo vans are still around, but they’re sharing space in the category with Sprinter high top vans which often offer more space.

Budget Rental no longer has cargo vans available at every one of their locations and they suggest renters move up to twelve-foot trucks when they inquire online.

Both the traditional cargo van and the Sprinter van offers a payload over 3000 pounds. As a result, you can get big pieces of furniture into it.

The back door is plenty wide so sliding big items inside isn’t a problem. If you’re living in a studio apartment, your biggest items should fit either van.

The van inside is over four feet wide and four feet tall, so unlike the Sprinter, it’s not an easy van to stand up in, but it does have considerable horizontal room.

It’s over ten feet in length and that will handle any sofas or beds you have in your studio.


The traditional Cargo van from Budget Rental:

  • Interior Ht: four-feet, four-inches
  • Cargo compartment length: 10 ft.
  • Total volume: 400 cubic feet of space
  • Width at doors: four-feet four inches by four-feet one inch.

The Ryder Rental’s Sprinter Van:

  • Height inside: six-foot-four-inches, plenty of room to stand up
  • Cargo compartment length: 12 feet
  • Total volume: 571 cubic feet of space
  • The width of doors: four-foot four-inches by six-feet

As you can see in a side by side comparison, the Sprinter van allows you to stand up inside with ease (unless you’re taller than six- feet four inches) and the Sprinter has 171-inches more of cubic feet of space.

It’s no wonder some people move two-room studios with the Sprinter.


With the Budget Rental cargo van, the vehicle seats two and the tank holds 33 gallons of gas. The Budget van has a gas engine. The mileage is nothing stellar at around 15 mpg.

You also get power steering and power brakes, along with tie-down slats for easy securing. The dual-sided mirrors allow for better visual checks on the road.

The automatic transmission, air conditioning, and the AM/FM radio might make the haul tolerable.

So, what does all that cost at Budget? Budget Rental lists the price at $49 a day.

The point is moot when you consider that Budget will meet or beat any price you can quote, so find a low-ball quote from Budget’s competitor to bring along with you before you go in.

Budget’s Price

Budget is famous for renting trucks for one-way trips, but that service isn’t available for cargo vans. Like Ryder, they only rent cargo vans for local moves.

A seven-day rental that allows for 1200 miles, for example, the cost is $931.00. By subtracting the $49.00 per day rental fee, Budget appears to be charging around .50 cents a mile, and that’s .07 cents more per mile than Ryder Rental Company charges per mile, but again at both places, these numbers are negotiable.

Budget’s Big Discounts

A big draw to Budget is their penchant for offering discounts. For example, there is a 40-percent discount for one-way rentals.

While the big one-way discount doesn’t apply to cargo vans, Budget offers discounts for military members, AARP members, police/fire/EMT people, motor club members, students and bar association members.

The downside of Budget is that they are often shuffling vans around to meet the demand, so they may bump you from your pickup time.

Fortunately, they work hard to rearrange their offerings to get your pick-up time nailed as closely to what you ordered as possible.

Ryder’s Sprinter Metrovan

Ryder’s van service doesn’t offer conventional cargo vans. The Sprinters are large, fuel-efficient vehicles with a lot of storage space so you can move a studio apartment’s content in one with ease.

In truth, you may be able to get the contents of a two-room apartment into a Sprinter van. In almost every category, the Sprinter outperforms the conventional cargo van.

Much of that has to do with the Sprinter’s high top roof.

Since the Sprinter is the van that Ryder lists in the specs, it’s a superior vehicle to Budget’s listed standard cargo van’s dimensions.

The Sprinter has a six-cylinder diesel engine with an impressive 25mpg and that easily beats Budget’s gas-operated cargo van.

The Sprinter also offers electronic stability control, and because of the payload and the van’s dimensions, this feature looks good.

Ryder’s Price

The Sprinter Metrovan is a $35 per day rental price, so if you rent it for a week, it looks competitive. It’s also .43 a mile at Ryder, so the 7 day rental at 1200 miles equals $761, but keep in mind that Budget will match anybody’s price.

Dollar bills

The Budget Rental cost for the same trip is about $250 more than Ryder. There are no one-way rentals with Ryder; they sold their one-way business to Budget years ago and are focused on local commercial and consumer rentals.

Ryder offers pre-negotiated rental rates, and fuel discounts to make up the difference, so the price might even be more advantageous than it appears.


Whatever, price matters. While Budget has such a good reputation in the industry, but they are currently encouraging consumers to step up to a twelve-foot box truck from a cargo van in many markets.

Whatever the market trend, comparing the Sprinter van to the perennial cargo van may not be fair to the latter.

Budget is an outstanding company, and that opinion is expressed as much by the employees as the public, but it’s hard to not recommend Ryder when you consider the inventory of vehicles available in the cargo van category.

Ryder deserves a look if the trip is local. You may also prefer the dimensions of the Sprinter model, so in the end, we recommend Ryder Truck Rental for the category of cargo vans.