The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

Big Move on Campus: Tips for a Successful College Move-in

College campuses are ready for the arrival of new students as the fall semester will soon begin. But before the first class, the first all-nighter, or the first exam, you’ve got to get there and move in.


“The move to college is often one of the first times a student needs to rent a truck, and we’re here to help,” said Don Mikes, Penske’s senior vice president of rental. “Our rental associates in the call center and at Penske locations around the country can help guide students through the process.”

Here are a few tips for college students returning to campus:

Only Take What You Actually Need

Dorm rooms and student apartments are usually small, so pack only what you use regularly. Leave other items at home. Check with your college for a list of the essential items you’ll need to provide for your room.

Stay Organized

If possible, start packing early and keep an updated list of items that you still need so you won’t have to rush at the last minute. Clearly label each box with your name, so your stuff doesn’t get mixed up with boxes from the hundreds of other students who will be moving in at the same time! Include some notes about what’s inside each box, so you can easily sort them and identify any high-priority items. Keep any key documents that you may need during your move – such as identification, credit cards, etc. – with you so you can easily access them.

Plan Ahead

If you need to rent a truck, make a reservation as early as possible and ideally at least two weeks in advance. Summer and fall are popular times to move, so there are fewer trucks available on short notice. A 12- or 16-foot truck is usually sufficient for most college students, and Penske’s website has a page with specifics about the capacity for each size truck.

Penske offers college students 10% off on all truck rentals, plus an additional 10% discount for those who book a one-way rental online.

Stay Safe

When driving a rental truck, remember that it’s taller, wider and requires more stopping distance than a standard car. Be sure to know the height of your truck and watch for low bridges, tree branches or building overhangs. Pay attention to any signs warning of upcoming low overpasses, so your move doesn’t go viral.

When you need to stop for breaks or overnight, be sure your truck is locked – both the cab and storage area – and park in a visible, well-lit area.

Planning and preparation can make it easier to transport everything you need to set up your home-away-from-home at college. You can find more information at the Penske Truck Rental website.