If you can’t afford to hire full-service movers but you don’t want to go through the hassle of renting a moving truck, how can you move your things efficiently? If this is the situation you find yourself in, portable storage containers from a company like PODS Moving and Storage might be the right option for you.
Providing you with portable containers that you can use to load up with all of your household goods, PODS provides you with a convenient way to relocate without the full expense that comes with hiring a professional moving team. But what can you expect to pay for these services?
We’ve completed a comprehensive analysis of PODS moving prices to help you budget better. In this article, you’ll learn more about:
- The types of containers currently available from PODS
- What you can expect to pay for your move based on distance and home size
- What factors play into PODS’ pricing
- Tips and tricks you can use to lower the price of your move
- The pros and cons of working with PODS
What is PODS?
PODS is a portable on-demand storage provider offering a wide variety of moving containers to assist in your move. Here’s how it works.
- Step 1: Choose your container size. PODS offers a range of container sizes ideal for a wide variety of home and apartment sizes. You’ll begin by exploring the pod sizes available in your area and deciding which size container works for you. You can also consult with a PODS moving representative for assistance deciding between the company’s container choices.
- Step 2: Get a free quote. Next, claim a free online quote or call PODS to get a quote over the phone. Your representative will provide you with an estimate according to your moving needs, requested date, and the size of your current property. You can also elect to add on services like delivery of moving supplies and assistance loading your pod. Price quotes are free and available within 24 hours in most instances.
- Step 3: Confirm your moving date and schedule your move. Confirm your moving date with your representative and schedule your first down payment. A representative will help you reserve your pod.
- Step 4: Fill your moving pod. When your move date arrives, PODS will deliver your moving container to your home. You’ll then be responsible for packing up your container and preparing all of your things for shipment.
- Step 5: Travel to your destination. After your pod is fully packed, PODS will take care of delivering your unit to your new home. No matter if it’s across town or across the country, PODS will handle your shipment—all you’ll need to do is get to your new home with your valuables, family, and pets.
- Step 6: Unload your pod. When you arrive at your new property, PODS will deliver your storage container, ready to be unloaded. PODS will also handle removal of your container after you’re finished.
PODS can be an excellent option for DIY movers who don’t want to incur the expenses that come with hiring a professional moving company but who also can’t hire a moving truck. PODS also offers storage options, which can act as a convenient alternative to going back and forth between a traditional storage facility.
1 of the first decisions that you’ll need to make when you decide to schedule your container delivery is the size that you need. PODS offers 3 different sizes of containers suitable for both local and cross-country moves. Let’s take a look at each option and what you might fit in them.
Small Container – 8-Foot Container
Ideal for spaces equal to 500 square feet or less, the small container is perfect for college students and families living in small apartment spaces. The dimensions of this container are 8′ x 7′ x 8’ and each container includes about 402 cubic feet of space.
Medium Container – 12-Foot Container
If you need a little more space, you might want to consider PODS’ medium-sized container, which is ideal for larger apartment spaces or small homes. The medium container features dimensions of 12′ x 8′ x 8’ and each container includes about 689 cubic feet of usable space. Keep in mind that medium containers are currently only available for local moves and in-town self-storage.
Large Container – 16-Foot Container
Ideal for larger homes, PODS’ most often recommended container size is its 16-foot container. This container features dimensions of 16′ x 8′ x 8′ and offers about 835 cubic feet of usable space. The size of the large container is comparable to a 3D parking space, a 10’x15′ storage unit, or a 20′ truck rental.
Each container includes a monthly rental on the price you’re quoted, which means that you won’t need to rush to unpack your space.
PODS Pricing Estimates
How much do PODS cost? If you’re like most movers, you’re probably looking for the most cost-effective way to move your home. We collected a few quotes on multiple moving distances. Each quote below was collected using a standard-sized 2-bedroom home and a 16-foot container. We’ve also compared the same move to estimates with a professional moving company.
|Origin city||Destination city||Total distance of move||PODS quote||Range on same move from professional movers with no add-ons|
|Orlando, FL||Miami, FL||235 miles||$1,732.00||$1,429 to $1,964|
|Los Angeles, CA||Palm Springs, CA||98 miles||$269.00||$1,215 to $1,655|
|Philadelphia, PA||Dallas, TX||1,469 miles||$4,390.64||$4,918 to $6,907|
As you can see, we were quoted rates significantly lower with PODS on moves less than 100 miles. As the distance you’re moving increases, so do PODS’ prices. When we compared reported estimates we received ourselves with others using reviews found on sites like BBB.org, we found that the average PODS move equal to more than 100 miles cost about $3,000.
Factors That Affect PODS Cost
There are several factors that play into the cost of PODS moving containers—and the price that you’ll pay will vary depending on your unique moving situation, the size of your home, and more. Let’s take a look at a few of the things PODS will take into account when assigning you a quote.
- The distance you’re moving: The further you’re moving, the more you’ll pay for your storage units. This is because PODS includes the price of transportation, gas, toll charges, and other costs associated with long-distance moving.
- The number of containers you’re working with: If you’re moving a very large home or you have lots of furniture that you want to bring along with you on your move, you might need to schedule more than 1 PODS container to pack all of your things in safely. Hiring multiple PODS will double or even triple your expenses depending on the number of storage units you request.
- Any additional services you request: Though PODS can provide you with loading and unloading services, requesting these will add additional expenses to your moving price.
- Any packing supplies you purchase through PODS: Packing supplies like cardboard boxes, furniture blankets, moving dollies, and even packing tape are essential for a safe and efficient move. While PODS can provide you with high-quality packing materials and supplies, purchasing them through the company will add to the total price of your move.
- Insurance coverage you invest in: You might want to invest in insurance for your PODS container (or the container and its contents in the event that your homeowner’s insurance protects your contents for you). If you invest in contents insurance, the total value of your items will play a major role in what you pay for coverage. The more valuable you report your content as the more you’ll pay for protection.
- The date of your move: Like standard moving companies, PODS containers tend to receive more requests for service during the week. If you have any flexibility in your moving date, you might want to choose a weekday to save money. Similarly, you should try to schedule your PODS rental as far out from your actual moving date as you can, as last-minute moves may limit the number or size of containers available to you.
- The season you’re moving in: PODS also has both a “busy” and a “slow” season, as is the case with most moving companies. The busy season (which usually begins in April and lasts through September) will come with increased prices because more movers are requesting moving pods. If you can move during the off-season, consider doing so to save money and leave yourself more flexibility with your move.
Your location and any particularly fragile or valuable items you’re moving may also influence the price that you pay for PODS storage or moving container services. Thankfully, getting a free quote from PODS is a relatively simple and straightforward process.
How to Save Money on Your PODS Move
While PODS pricing is more affordable than working with a full-service moving company, there are ways that you can lower your final bill even more. Use these tips to enjoy a more affordable PODS move and save more.
- Declutter and get rid of things that you don’t need: The best way to save money on your move is by getting rid of everything that you absolutely don’t need to take with you on your move. Items like couches, heavy chests of drawers, and bookshelves aren’t only a pain to load into your moving container—they can also increase the pricing of your move because you might need a larger pod to safely transport all of your things.
- Ask if the price is negotiable: Contrary to what many movers believe, moving prices are oftentimes negotiable—especially for high-value interstate moves. Every moving company wants your business, and they may be more willing to negotiate should they know that you are considering working with competing providers.
We recommend getting an online quote from at least 3 companies and bringing them to the moving company that you really want to work with to ask for a discount. You might also want to ask for a discount based on factors like extra add-ons you’re purchasing, bundling multiple storage units together on a single move, and being flexible with your moving date.
- Schedule your moving pod in advance: The longer you wait to schedule your move, the fewer options that you have when it comes to PODS availability and the availability of competing moving companies. As soon as you know your moving date, call to schedule your moving container drop-off. Remember that PODS has a free cancellation policy so long as you cancel your move within 7 days of your drop-off date—so don’t be afraid to call, even if you aren’t 100% certain of your move date.
Advantages of Using PODS For Your Move
- Easier to load than a traditional moving truck: Even with a moving ramp, lifting heavy objects and loading them onto a traditional moving truck can leave you at risk of injuries like muscle strains and hernias. By contrast, PODS are level with the ground, which makes it possible to use a small moving cart or dolly when loading heavy items on your own.
- Allows you to move at your own pace: When you’re paying by the hour with a traditional moving company, it’s easy to make mistakes because you feel pressured to get everything done as quickly as possible. When you move with PODS, you can take as much time as you need loading and unloading, as each PODS container comes with a 1-month rental term.
- Free cancellation: Some moving companies charge you a non-refundable deposit when you decide to move and reserve your moving dates. If you change your moving date or suddenly need to move sooner than expected, you’ll lose your initial deposit and often need to put more money down. PODS provides you with completely free cancellation so long as you request to cancel at least 7 days before your scheduled delivery date.
- More affordable option for moves: The average cost of a long-distance move from Philadelphia to Dallas with traditional moving services is $4,764 to $6,684. In our review, we were quoted a price about $300 lower than the lowest average estimate for this move with PODS. This is just one example of how PODS can provide you with a more affordable option for both local moves and long-distance moves, which can be beneficial for movers on a tight budget who cannot rent a moving truck.
Disadvantages of Using PODS For Your Move
- Inconvenient quote process for long-distance moves: Though we found getting a local moving quote with PODS to be quick and convenient, getting a long-distance quote was annoying. After inputting our contact information, we were served a prompt that told us that our moving quote was ready and to call PODS’ customer service number to learn more. After calling, we were only told that our quote was still processing after providing all of our contact information. We’d love to see PODS provide more transparent and accurate information on its website in the future.
- Labor and moving doesn’t come as a standard service: If you’re living with a disability or you’re moving with an older family member, you might have trouble loading your pod. While PODS can provide you with basic loading services at an additional fee, you might want to consider working with a full-service moving company that includes loading and unloading as a standard inclusion.
- Not available in all states: PODS is currently not available in Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, or Vermont. If you live in one of these areas or you’re moving to a state that isn’t serviced, you’ll want to work with a competing moving container company.
PODS Cost vs Professional Moving Company
If you’re looking for a less stressful move and you’ve got a little more flexibility when it comes to pricing, you might want to consider moving with a professional moving company. Professional moving companies are what most people think of when they envision a moving service. Depending on the company you work with, professional movers may:
- Arrange storage services for your household goods
- Handle all of your truck’s loading and unloading, leaving you to decompress and relax
- Pack your things, providing you with the moving supplies that you’ll need to prevent breakage
- Unpack your household goods when you arrive to your new home
- Disassemble and reassemble items of furniture
Moving Company Cost
Though pricing factors for moving companies and PODS storage and transportation are similar, there are a few additional factors that moving companies take into account when they assign you an estimate, including the following.
- The layout of your building: If you live in an apartment building that doesn’t have an elevator, it’s normal for moving companies to tack on an additional fee for convenience. However, your movers should never bill you more than 110% of the estimate listed on your non-binding quote.
- The number of rooms in your home: Because movers provide you with loading services, partial and full-service moving teams will want to know how many rooms are in your home. The more rooms you have in your home, the more moving professionals your moving company will need to assign to your job.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of what you can expect to pay for a full-service and partial-service move with a variety of home sizes.
|City of origin||Destination city||Total distance of move||Home size||Estimated cost for a full-service move||Estimated cost for a partial service move|
|Orlando, FL||Miami, FL||235 miles||1 bedroom apartment||$1,363 – $1,858||$1,127 – $1,505|
|Los Angeles, CA||Palm Springs, CA||98 miles||1 bedroom apartment||$1,296 – $1,760||$1,038 – $1,373|
|Philadelphia, PA||Dallas, TX||1,469 miles||1 bedroom apartment||$3,802 – $5,315||$3,287 – $4,542|
|Orlando, FL||Miami, FL||235 miles||2-bedroom home||$1,858 – $2,370||$1,505 – $1,900|
|Los Angeles, CA||Palm Springs, CA||98 miles||2-bedroom home||$1,760 – $2,245||$1,373 – $1,730|
|Philadelphia, PA||Dallas, TX||1,469 miles||2-bedroom home||$5,315 – $6,829||$4,542 – $5,798|
|Orlando, FL||Miami, FL||235 miles||3-bedroom home||$2,853 – $3,852||$2,265 – $3,028|
|Los Angeles, CA||Palm Springs, CA||98 miles||3-bedroom home||$2,707 – $3,659||$2,063 – $2,757|
|Philadelphia, PA||Dallas, TX||1,469 miles||3-bedroom home||$8,233 – $11,151||$6,944 – $9,347|
As you can see, the average cost for a professional moving service is often significantly higher than moving with a large PODS container. These price increases become particularly drastic as you increase the size of your current property and take into account how far you’ll be moving. This is because professional moving services can handle things like loading on your behalf, which PODS will not provide for you.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your PODS Container
While moving with PODS is exceptionally easy, there are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure that none of your household items are damaged during pick up or drop off. Use these tips for a safer PODS move.
- Create a detailed inventory list: As you pack, create a detailed inventory list that includes all of the items you’re bringing along and the room that they’ll be going in when you arrive at your new home. If you have more than 1 storage container or you’re working in combination with a moving truck, be sure to note what is in which container. This will make unloading easier and more efficient.
- Label all of your boxes: Labeling your boxes helps you load your storage container because you know exactly what’s in each box. This helps prevent you from accidentally breaking your things by loading fragile items on top of heavy items.
- Invest in moving blankets: Moving blankets are tarp-like blankets that protect your furniture from scratches and scrapes associated with the moving process. Invest in a set of moving blankets from your local supply store or contact PODS and request to buy them directly through the moving service provider.
- Cover items with a thick, heavy blanket when moving: If you’re moving your things into your PODS container through the day and the sun is out, cover things like furniture and wooden items with tarps when not in the process of being moved. This will prevent sun bleaching from ruining your things.
- Pack items closely together in moving boxes: Packing items as closely together as possible in each cardboard box will prevent your things from moving around during the move. This will prevent accidental breakage.
- Keep must-have items separate from the rest of your moving container: Expensive items (like jewelry or antiques, important documents, cash, and your overnight bag for the first day in your new home shouldn’t be moved in your PODS container. Instead, keep these items with you and move them on your own in your personal vehicle or a moving truck that you’re using to complement your PODS reservation.
- Secure your PODS container when not in use: Be sure to always lock up your PODS container when you aren’t currently packing it. This will prevent you from losing your things to theft before you complete your move.
More Tips to Reduce Moving Costs
No matter if you’re working with a full-service moving company or a moving container service like PODS, you can use the following tips to reduce the cost of your move.
- Get rid of as many household goods as you can: No matter if it’s taking up excess room in your PODS container or weighing down your moving truck, excess belongings can quickly raise the price of your move. Consider hosting a garage sale or donating some of your old things before you receive your estimate. Getting rid of heavier items (like furniture or books) can be especially helpful when saving money on a move.
- Enlist friends and family members to help: If you’re doing your own packing and loading, consider asking family members for help. Be sure to leave everyone with plenty of notice so they can make it to your packing or loading session—and always say “thank you” with a special meal at the end of the day.
- Move during the week: If you have any flexibility with your moving date, consider moving during a weekday instead of a weekend. Like moving during the off-season, moving on a weekday gives you better pricing on moving services.
PODS Moving Cost FAQ
How much does PODS cost?
The answer to this question will vary depending on which container sizes you need, whether you’re completing a local move or you’re in need of long-distance moving services, and more. We were quoted a rate of about $1,700 for a 250-mile move and a rate of about $4,400 for a move of about 1,500.
Are PODS cheaper than U-Haul?
Because PODS handles moving and storage on your behalf, PODS is usually more expensive than renting a U-Haul truck and handling your move on your own. However, this will vary depending on moving distance.
Are moving pods cheaper than movers?
In most cases, moving pods and moving container services are more affordable than hiring a professional moving team. This is because moving companies will often offer services that PODS and other moving container companies cannot—for example, loading services and delivery of packing supplies to your home.
Are PODS or movers better?
The answer to this question will vary depending on your unique needs. If you’re looking for the most affordable way to move long-distance, PODS will likely be a better choice than a moving team. However, if you have a large number of heavy items that you need to move and you aren’t willing to put in as much work on and before moving day, professional movers will be a better choice for you.
What should you not pack in a POD?
Perishable items, explosives, plants, other types of hazardous materials, and exceptionally valuable items (like jewelry, antiques, or cash) are not accepted by most moving container companies because they present too high of a liability for the company servicing your move.
What is the cheapest moving pod company?
U-Pack, U-Box and 1-800-PACK-RAT are all highly rated when it comes to value on long-distance moves. We found PODS to be exceptionally affordable when it comes to local moving services but more expensive for longer moves.
How long can you keep a pod in your driveway?
PODS minimum rental time is 1 month.