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How Much Do PODS Cost?

By: Davina Ward
August 23, 2021

Moving soon?

Whether you’re looking to move your stuff within your current city or make a cross-country move, you’ll have to determine the best way to get your belongings from your current home to your new one.

If you’ve done your due diligence on the matter, you’ve certainly come across the moving and storage solution PODS. Not sure if PODS is the right moving solution for you?

This guide will take a deep dive into the world of PODS and tell you everything you need to know about PODS. Let’s dive in.

What are PODS?

PODS is a moving and storage solution that allows customers to rent large containers to store their items long-term or when moving. If you are moving, the basic PODS rental package includes container rental for one month, the scheduled pickup of your storage container, and secure transport.

You’ve almost definitely seen a PODS storage container on the move before. The massive white containers with the red PODS logo are ubiquitous on US highways, particularly during the summer months (aka peak moving season).

PODS are massive metal storage containers that come in three sizes that suit different storage and moving needs:

  • Small: 7ft (great for a single room or studio)
  • Medium: 12ft (great for one-bedroom apartment)
  • Large: 16ft (great for a two-bedroom apartment)

PODS offers a full-service moving option where customers can rent a container _and _have professional movers load and unload their belongings.

In short, PODS’ full-service option is essentially a point-and-shoot operation in which you need to iron out the details and let everything else fall into place.

Who are PODS for?

PODS customers typically fall into two categories:

  • Customers looking for short or long-term storage solutions.
  • Those looking to safely transport their belongings during a move.

As PODS fulfills such a broad range of moving and storage needs, pretty much anyone could find a use for PODS, from the college freshman moving back home during the summer months to the elderly couple wanting to store their antique collection of fine china.

How Much Do PODS Cost?

According to PODS, the average cost of renting a portable container for a local move is between $349-$549. Renting a PODS container for a long-distance move, costs between $999-$2,999.

However, the cost of renting a PODS container for moving is highly variable. Here are four factors that will heavily affect the cost of renting a PODS container:

  • Moving Distance: Destinations considered local or long-distance are highly subjective, so don’t automatically assume that you’re making a “local” move and will get lower rates. The further the distance, the higher your cost.
  • Container Size: PODS offers three container sizes to choose from. Renting a larger container will typically increase your costs while renting a smaller container will usually decrease them.
  • Time Frame: Follow the time-tested rule of moving — start as early as possible! If you leave the planning of your move until the last minute, you can definitely expect to pay higher rates.
  • Season: Due to high demand, you can usually expect to pay more for your PODS during the summer months as they coincide with the peak moving season. Conversely, you’ll likely save big during the winter months, when moves die down.

PODS offers customers quotes before making a final decision.

However, you’ll have to submit your email when you request a quote, though they won’t deliver it to your email address. You’ll have to call PODS to get the quote.

This system is a little outdated, but if you are seriously considering using PODS, be sure to get a quote beforehand to ensure the costs align with your moving budget.

Pros and Cons of PODS

If you’re still on the fence about whether renting PODS is the right move for you, doing a little research can help you find the

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of renting PODS.

Pros of PODS

  • Choose Between Three Container Sizes: Whether you’re moving items from a studio or a three-bedroom house, PODS offers a variety of storage container sizes to fit your needs. You can also rent more than one storage container in different sizes to get the right fit.
  • No Driving!: If you’re like us, driving a large truck filled with all your valuables sounds like a nightmare situation. Renting a PODS storage container means all you have to do is get your stuff loaded up and leave its transport to the professionals.
  • Containers Are Rented By the Month: If you’re one of those people who take weeks to unpack your vacation luggage, then PODS is for you. Because you’ll be renting the container for a month, you can move in at a slower pace to help you avoid becoming overwhelmed.
  • Flexibility: When it comes to moving, there are a lot of moving parts that can cause sudden shifts in timeline orbudget. Luckily, PODS offers very flexible moving options. If you need to change your timeline or want to cancel the rental completely, you can do so up to one day before the scheduled diversity of your first container.

Cons of PODS

  • Lugging Boxes: Unless you hire a professional moving team in addition to your PODS container rental, you’ll be lugging all your belongings up to your
  • Not Available in All 50 States: If you’re moving to Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wyoming — you’re out of luck when it comes to PODS rentals, as they don’t operate in those states.

Are PODS Worth It?

Whether PODS are the best option for you comes down to your personal preferences and moving circumstances.

Overall, PODS is a great storage and moving solution company that has built quite a positive reputation in the moving industry and offers a variety of services to help make your move as seamless as possible.

If you find that PODS isn’t the right fit for you, there are other services and options available, including U-Haul and professional moving services. Here’s a look at how PODS stacks up compared to U-Haul and professional movers.

What's the Difference Between PODS vs U-Haul?

Compared to PODS, U-Haul allows customers to take a more DIY approach to moving.

U-Haul customers are generally responsible for loading, transporting, and unloading their belongings during their move. Additionally, they must deliver their U-Haul vehicle back to the nearest branch location once they’ve completed their move.

When it comes to pricing, renting a U-Haul van or truck is generally less expensive than renting a PODS container. Just expect your bill to be a bit more detailed, as you’ll have to pay based on mileage, rather than just a flat rate.

If you prefer U-Haul, its U-Box service is similar to PODS. However, because PODS specializes in the storage container moving solution niche, it’s services are considered more robust than that of the U-Box.

Overall, PODS and U-Haul offer excellent moving services and are trusted names in the industry. Whether PODS or U-Haul is the best choice for you depends on your budget and your moving strategy.

PODS vs Professional Movers

There’s a lot of overlap between the services offered by professional movers and PODS, the most obvious being that the transport of your belongings is handled by professionals. However, there are some pretty substantial differences, as well.

PODS offers add-on services that include professional loading and unloading of your items, but these services will cost more. The professional movers are chosen through Hire A Helper, Moving Staff, and Pack & Load.

When you hire a professional moving company, loading and unloading services are generally included in your invoice at no additional cost. Though, if you have large, expensive, or heavy items that you need to be moved, you can expect additional costs.

Traditional moving companies may store your items in containers with other people’s belongings, especially for cross-country moves.

When you rent a PODS container, it’s just your belongings in the container. There aren’t any mix-ups or the potential spreading of pests.

The bottom line? PODs and professional movers are great options when it comes to moving solutions. There’s a lot of overlap in their services, which means that the final decision may come down to pricing, reputation, and your preferences.

Tips for Long-Distance Moves

It’s always going to take a massive effort to successfully pull off a long-distance move. However, it’s possible to apply some “work smarter, not harder” logic to the move.

In short, learning how to move cross country is actually more about learning how to maximize your move cross country.

The following tips can help you get the most out of your long-distance move.

Consider Selling Big Ticket Items

If you’re able to cut down on your belongings, you can save money on your moving costs. Better yet, if you sell big-ticket items such as your larger furniture and appliances (sofas, beds, laundry machine sets, etc.) you can make money.

That said, setting up a garage sale or posting items online can take time and add to your stress levels. If you plan to sell your items be sure to start sooner rather than later. Give yourself the most time possible to get the items sold before your moving date.

Anything that you fail to sell can likely be donated or sold to your local thrift shop.

Research, Research, Research!

There are just so many moving options on the market. It can be overwhelming to choose the right one whether you’re going with a local moving company or an international chain.

Assess your moving timeline, the amount you’ll have to transport, your budget for moving costs, and what services you’ll need, to help narrow down your options.

Once you have these details, you can use them to determine which option is best.

Make Accommodations for Your Pet

Moving with a pet isn’t as easy as you might think. It’s important to plan your pet’s relocation as in-depth as your own, especially if you plan on driving.

If you plan on driving cross-country or traveling by other means, you’ll have to plan stops at pet-friendly hotels.

If you’ll be flying, be sure to book a ticket for a pet, as well. Better yet, research the airline’s pet flight policies and reviews to ensure that you and your four-legged friend enjoy a good flight.

Tips for Budgeting for Your Move

Budgeting for your move is crucial.

Seriously, creating an accurate budget is the only way to ensure that you are prepared to cover all the miscellaneous expenses that come with getting your belongings from point A to B.

The tips below will help you create an accurate moving costs budget.

Create a Moving Budget

Generally, there are a ton of expenses to keep track of and manage during the moving process. As a result, building an accurate moving budget can be quite a daunting and challenging task.

That said, it’s a necessary task. Start by getting quotes from local movers or storage services to get an idea of how much you can expect to spend.

Once you have a rough estimate, set a generous budget that exceeds the numbers you got during your quotes. This will help you cover any incidentals that arise during the moving process.

Finally, if you’re having a hard time getting your budget and quoted costs to align, research the best ways to lower your moving costs.

You may end up having to go full minimalist, but it's worth saving thousands.

Use a Furnishing Checklist

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with our first apartment checklist.

Despite the name, this checklist can be used to help you build a list of everything you’ll need to fully furnish your new apartment from the bedroom to the bathroom.

Don’t be afraid to edit the checklist by removing things you don’t need and adding things you can’t live without.

If you want to go the extra mile, create a new apartment grocery list! Not only will this list help you stock your pantry, but you can amend it to fit your diet and add all your favorite foods.

Whether it’s furnishing or grocery shopping, once you know what you need to get, you can work from there to find the numbers behind the items.

(Pro Tip: Even if you don’t shop at Amazon, it makes for a great research tool. Spend an evening on the couch looking up the costs of the things you’ll need to grab to come up with an overall cost estimate.)

Don’t Forget Apartment Rental Fees

When you’re moving to a new apartment, you must have enough to cover the costs associated with the rental process, including all fees and deposits.

You’ll likely be responsible for covering the cost of the first month’s rent, a security deposit, and in some locales, last month’s rent. In short, you’ll need to come up with 3x the monthly rent upfront.

Additionally, some utility companies charge a new customer/setup fee that may significantly raise the cost of your first bill.

Preparing for all these costs is a simple matter of budgeting for them ahead of time. If you have a hard time keeping track of your money, check out our guide on the best budgeting apps for renters.

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Davina Ward is a contributing author at Apartment List and freelance writer specializing in real estate and digital marketing. She received her B. Read More
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