Are you getting a PODS container for your move? Maybe you’ve seen them parked on someone’s lawn and wondered how the heck they work?
I get a lot of questions about PODS from people I’ve moved, not to mention questions about moving containers in general. Here are 11 of the most common ones.
1. “How much does it cost to rent a PODS to move?“
Not surprisingly, the price of a PODS container depends on:
- The size of the container you select
- How many you need to rent
- How far you are moving
- How long you need the containers (PODS rents them by the month)
To top it off, where you live and what time of year you are moving are also part of the equation.
“Okay, but answer the question… how much are moving containers?”, I can already hear you saying.
As of 2020, according to real-time HireAHelper data,
- The average cost of a local PODS move (under 50 miles) is $663
- The average cost of a “medium” PODS move (50-250 miles) is $1,533
- The average cost of a long-distance PODS move (250+ miles) is $3,335
Could it be less than that? Yep! It could also cost more. To find out for yourself, PODS offers instant online quotes for local moves, 24/7 operator assistance for long-distance moves, and a Moving and Storage Calculator to help you figure out what size container you’ll need – and how many.
(One last note is that how much your stuff weighs has no bearing on the final cost of your move.)
2. “What is a PODS container? How does PODS work, exactly?“
Moving containers are basically big cases you can keep your stuff in. But they’re portable, like a driveable garage.
PODS drives them wherever you need them, waits for you to fill them up, and then comes and takes them to wherever you want your stuff placed. (They also have their own storage facilities if you can’t park it anywhere.) PODS are especially great for when your move date is up in the air.
How do you get one? After you schedule your PODS container online or over the phone, someone driving a thing called a “PODZILLA” (yes, seriously) will drive your container(s) to your pre-negotiated area and drop them off for you.
You can take a few days to fill up the container(s), or weeks… heck, even years – PODS charges by the month for however long you keep them. (So don’t keep it for a month and a day, because that’s a two-month charge!)
3. “Can you move a car inside a PODS container?”
According to their own website, the PODS people state that “motor vehicles of any kind cannot be stored in a PODS storage container.”
Aside from the “flammable/hazardous materials” factor, PODS says that it is not possible to secure a car inside a container. Note that we’ve read in the PODS FAQ that while PODS does not recommend storing anything with petrol, there seems to be nothing preventing people from storing motorcycles, lawnmowers and riding mowers after draining the gas from the tank. They add that doing so will negate any insurance or coverage against loss or damage the customer may have.
4. “Are moving PODS worth it?“
A better way to answer this is to tell you what PODS are especially good for.
If being in control of your schedule is the most important factor of your move, and if you can move your stuff yourself and have a moderate budget, then using PODS is absolutely worth it.
That’s because Full-Service moving companies are usually more expensive and way less flexible. Hiring a Full Service moving company means they’ll bring people to move your stuff, sure, but the costs are usually significantly more expensive and can take weeks – if not more – to properly schedule. On the flip side, your PODS container is billed monthly and even driven for you.
To get around the expense, I always recommend that people double-check for loading and/or unloading quotes from labor-only professionals. Then, simply add your PODS quote with your HireAHelper quote. Compare that to a Full-Service quote and see the difference. (Or just call them at 1-877-967-7322. They can figure out your PODS + labor costs for you.)
5. “Should I tip the PODS driver?“
Yes. The person dropping off your container may not be doing any lifting and carrying, but still, they are providing a service – one that comes with a bunch of rules and restrictions and some decision-making as to where they can or cannot place that container.
Here’s your tip: Be nice. I’ve never personally driven for PODS, but I get the impression they have to bust their butts picking up and dropping off containers all over the area, sometimes for ten or twelve hours. When they show up, work with them. Help them out by letting them know generally where you’d like them to drop your container, then step back and let them do their thing. Say thanks. Shake their hand. And if they were cool, give them five or ten bucks.
6. “How much does PODS cost to move long-distance?“
On their website, PODS gives a cost range for long-distance moves based on their numbers. They state that 80% of the long-distance moves they perform fall between $1,237 and $2,999 (including a month of storage).
Of course, your cost may fall anywhere inside – or outside – this range depending on what you need and how far you need to go.
7. “How much does a 7-foot pod cost?“
As the smallest container PODS offers, this 7’ wide, 7’ long, 8’ high stell-and-aluminum box goes for as little as $149.99 a month (depending, again, on where you live and what time of year it is). Pick-up and drop-off costs another $74.99 but will sometimes be included in your package. You’ll need to speak directly to someone at PODS for specifics.
8. “What size PODS do I need?“
First, there are three sizes:
- 7’ wide x ‘7 long x 8’ high (Dorm/Small Apt.)
- 8’ wide x 12’ long x 8’ high (2-3 Rooms)
- 8’ wide x 16’ long x 8’ high (3-4 Rooms)
NOTE: The middle size is only available for local moves.
On the PODS website, they have a pretty cool storage space calculator. Enter how many of every item you need to move – including boxes, so you really need to know how much stuff you have! – and you’ll see your container fill up as you keep adding items until you reach the end and get your final (estimated) answer.
9. “Are PODS waterproof?“
PODS containers are (said to be) completely waterproof. Though on the PODS website, the preferred term seems to be “weather-resistant”.
10. “How much can a PODS hold?“
The PODS people liken their small container to a walk-in closet and recommend this size for 500 square feet or less of living space. (Container weight limit: 5,200 lbs.)
Their medium-sized container holds roughly 2-3 rooms’ worth of stuff. (Weight limit: 4,700 lbs.)
A large container is recommended for 3 or 4 rooms, or up to 1,200 square feet of space. (Weight limit: 4,200 lbs.)
One important point to consider: The more stuff you have, the more important it is to load your container well. Professional movers can make a big difference in the final cost of your move.
11. “Is PODS storage climate controlled?“
Though they give plenty of general information about climate-controlled storage versus mere temperature-controlled facilities, the only statement PODS offers on their website regarding their own storage facilities is that they don’t strictly follow climate control standards.
That said, your closed container is stored in an indoor facility, so the elements have little chance of getting to your stuff. However, you may want to avoid storing items that are susceptible to extremes of temperature and/or high humidity – fine art and electronics immediately come to mind.