Rear view of young man in checkered shirt carrying packaged box from car to open container where storing things after home selling

PODS Review (2022)

PODS was founded in 1998 as a more cost-effective alternative to hiring full-service movers. This moving container company provides portable on-demand storage to assist with all moving and storage needs. Whether you’re trying to stage a DIY move from New York to California, moving just down the road, or need some on-site storage for a home renovation, this is one of the best possible options. Read on to learn more about:

  • PODS’ container offerings
  • How much booking with PODS typically costs
  • What past customers think of their experiences with PODS

Our PODS Review

PODS has more than two decades of experience providing stress-free moving experiences to DIY movers and storage seekers. As the original name in moving container providers, they are one of the best moving companies available for various small relocation needs.

PODS has become so synonymous with moving containers and DIY relocations that people often refer to all such containers as “pods.” Few moving companies enjoy such name recognition within the industry, which has been thoroughly earned. Remarkably high ratings from PODS customers everywhere, reasonable pricing, and uncomplicated booking processes make this a leading option for any move.

Pros & Cons of a PODS move

Pros
  • Wide availability across 44 states
  • Multiple container options are available.
  • Largely positive customer experiences
Cons
  • Pricing can be misleading
  • Long-distance moves can’t be booked on PODS.com

How Much Does a PODS Container Cost?

PODS and other container rental companies are becoming increasingly popular with moving clients everywhere. Though this option is slightly more expensive than a moving truck rental, the customer’s decreased liability is a popular reason for paying a higher price. We’ve listed some average price points for PODS moves of varied sizes here:

<250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $700 – $1,700 $1,300 – $2,300 $1,700 – $2,700 $2,200 – $3,200
4 BR $900 – $1,900 $1,900 – $2,900 $2,900 – $3,900 $4,200 – $5,200

Cost Factors

There are some individual factors that will influence your bottom line when you book a move with PODS. They include:

  • The number of containers: If you happen to need more containers, your move cost will increase dramatically with each additional vessel you rent. For this reason, PODS is far more cost-effective for small or medium-sized moves and storage needs.
  • Exact location: This is more of a logistics and time management issue than it is a cost analysis one. However, moving container availability will vary from location to location. PODS services have multiple sites across 44 states to help you in this area. If there are multiple PODS locations near you, then you may want to look into the available units at each.
  • Storage duration: All container rentals will come with a month of storage, whether you store them at a PODS facility or at your new home. You’ll be paying a minimum of $149 extra per month per unit.
  • Move distance: Of course, move distance will factor into any quote you get from PODS or any moving company. Remember that rental and shipping fees will sharply increase with each unit you need.

Other Fees

A couple of common threads in most negative reviews are complaints about hidden fees or unnecessary upcharges and misunderstandings about insurance coverage for damaged goods. We’ve outlined a couple of additional fees below that may pop up when you book with PODS.

Taxes

PODS moving & storage quotes don’t ever include local or sales taxes. Most moving clients don’t factor this in when they get estimates, and for good reason. It simply isn’t something that most would think to consider. You should ask about taxes in your state when you get a quote from PODS. One of their customer service professionals will likely be able to give you a reliable answer when this is brought to their attention.

Insurance

PODS offers a couple of different kinds of insurance coverage. One covers your storage unit at 

a fixed rate of $10 per month per unit. This does not cover your goods within a given unit but may be worth considering if you’re opting for long-term, on-site storage.

You can insure any and all goods contained within your units for monthly costs ranging from $34.95 to $469.95. However, there is a $100 deductible on all claims. Coverage ranges from $5,000 to $300,000 in total value protected. Some sample insurance costs are as follows:

Declared Value Monthly Cost
$5,000 $34.95
$10,000 $49.95
$15,000 $59.95
$20,000 $69.95
$25,000 $79.95
$140,000 $229.95
$150,000 $244.95
$200,000 $319.95
$250,000 $394.95
$300,000 $469.95

What Services Does PODS Offer?

PODS offers a fairly typical range of services when compared to its competitors. Unlike its principal rival U-Pack, it provides local moves along with the typical long-distance options.

Local Moving

Again, PODS distinguishes itself from U-Pack by offering moving help for relocations under 150 miles. You’ll have to get an online quote for such services. Initial estimates will include your initial storage period and pickup and delivery fees.

Long-Distance and Cross-Country Moving

Typically, long-distance moves for smaller or medium-sized homes are where clients see the biggest difference in cost relative to full-service providers. PODS’ service and storage centers across 44 states mean that when you book a longer move with them, you’ll most likely be able to store the contents of your home or get immediate service in any location.

Storage Services

Of course, PODS’ storage options are a huge selling point. As is the case with local and long-distance moving, renting multiple units will substantially increase your costs. The steel frames on the units you’ll be renting will be as ideal for outdoor storage near your home as they will for warehousing at a PODS service center.

Car Shipping

Vehicle shipments are among the most expensive moving add-ons, regardless of how far you’re looking to move. Cross-country vehicle shipments can range upwards of $2 per mile, depending on shipment accommodations, security, and vehicle size. PODS partners with the following providers to assist with such requests:

  • ACERTUS
  • Mr. Car Shipper

As PODS themselves doesn’t handle these, the same quality can’t be guaranteed. That said, these partners are trusted by PODS and moving customers alike and are more than able to render quality assistance.

Packing & Loading Help

As a DIY moving solution, container rental quotes for both moving and storage do not include material costs or associated labor for loading or unloading. That said, you’re free to hire labor help from any moving company or labor broker. You can typically expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $50 per hour per worker. Most of the time, you’ll be in line to pay a two or four-hour minimum for such service, no matter how much you need to be moved. PODS directly partners with these companies:

  • Hire A Helper
  • Moving Staffers
  • Pack & Load Services, Inc.

Container Sizes

Different containers are able to contain different amounts of household goods and will have different weight limits.

8-Foot Container

An eight-foot container will be ideal for most studio apartments or for a small room within a larger home. This is a fairly popular option for on-site storage among those who are staging home renovations, as well as for college students. This provides 402 cubic feet of storage space and is roughly equivalent to most 5’x10′ storage units.

12-Foot Container

A 12-foot container will fit the equivalent of a small one-bedroom apartment or about two to three rooms (depending on how densely packed they are). At 689 cubic feet, this will provide the interior space of most 15′ rental trucks. That said, this conveniently-sized unit is only available for local relocations.

16-Foot Container

PODS’ largest option is viable for most two-bedroom apartments (under 1,200 feet of living space). It fits within the footprint of a standard parking space, which makes this, and all of the units offered by PODS, popular with apartment complex residents or those with spatial constraints.

Service Area & Availability

PODS has locations throughout the U.S. It currently serves moving and storage needs in 44 states, including Washington, D.C. In fact, the following states are the only areas in which PODS does NOT currently have a brick and mortar location:

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

We highly recommend booking at least a month in advance when possible. PODS has great reviews across the board, but many negative customer experiences stem from a lack of unit availability in specific locations. You can rent a PODS unit in the following places:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

How To Schedule With PODS

Renting storage containers or booking moving services with PODS is relatively easy when 

compared to other similar movers. No deposits are required to reserve one of their weather-resistant containers for either moving or storage. Here are a few steps to keep in mind when scheduling:

  • Appraise spatial requirements: PODS’ delivery method via its proprietary PODZILLA system requires a minimum amount of flat and unobstructed space. You’ll need an area 12 feet wide and 40 feet long, with 15 feet of overhead clearance.
  • Get a quote: When you’re sure your container will fit outside of your home, you’ll want to get your quote for service. Call the phone number on PODS.com to discuss your exact moving or storage needs, and a pricing estimate will be emailed to you. All quotes are good for seven days, so you won’t be pressured into booking immediately.
  • Booking: Once you’ve reviewed PODS’ rental agreement and conditions, you’ll be able to confirm your booking. You won’t be billed for long-distance moving or long-term storage until seven days before your scheduled delivery date.
Best Full-Service Mover

  • Serving 50 states and 180 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • One month of free storage

PODS Reviews From Actual Customers

Generally speaking, customer reviews are your most valuable single resource when evaluating movers for any purpose. Perusing reviews for your local PODS location is the best way to determine quality. Whether you’re planning on a long-distance move or simply need on-site storage, you should be sure of what you’re getting into prior to signing any contract.

PODS’ presence in 44 states makes these reviews even more important to you in the booking process. Because of this, the quality of service and unit availability will vary significantly from location to location. You owe it to yourself to be informed well ahead of your move.

Shashu was happy to take all long-term storage and moving needs to PODS:

My two year experience with PODS has been great. They are reliable and have great customer service, including our latest driver Iran, who delivered our container to our house from the Norwood location. He called to get me an exact ETA, and when he arrived he was friendly, funny and most of all, helpful. He had a great attitude and wanted us to be happy with the service. Which we were. He’s a great guy and overall PODS has exceeded our expectations and I highly recommend them.”

Unfortunately, Erin’s PODS experience was somewhat less than ideal:

“PODS charged me what I was supposed to be charged, there were no surprises on that end. However I moved from California to Oklahoma and had to have it in storage while I found a house. From my understanding,the POD was supposed to be put into a storage facility in Oklahoma City so it wouldn’t take as long to deliver. When I called to have it delivered, they had left it in California the whole time. And I ended up sleeping on the floor of my house for 4 days with nothing. They didn’t offer any discounts, nothing, they literally said oops. IF I order from PODS again, I will definitely be calling more for clarification.” 

DJ’s experience with a Central Texas PODS location went as well as can be expected:

“There was a small miscommunication at the beginning and I ordered the wrong size pod. When it was delivered, I knew it would not work. The driver contacted the local PODS while I called the main office. Everyone was accommodating, especially since I was frantic at the time. I had a small window of time to have it loaded and picked up. The folks over at Temple TX Pods were amazing with how helpful and responsive they were. The main office had everything straightened out in one call. The rest of the PODS moving went without a hitch. All the drivers I interacted with were friendly, professional and courteous. I would highly recommend them.”

The Good

Among moving container companies, PODS enjoys one of the most coveted spots in the industry. Given its early entry into the container and DIY moving space, this provider is synonymous with such service. On its website, PODS advertises a 4.6/ 5 overall rating. This is largely on the strength of the reliable pickup and drop-off dates that most locations provide, as well as the well-built moving and storage units they offer.

The Bad

While not disingenuous, the overall rating PODS advertises on its website is not indicative of the performance and quality offered by all locations. Negative reviews report surprise charges, lack of communication during long-distance moves, lack of availability of certain container sizes, and similar complaints. This isn’t an indictment of the company as a whole, but it serves as a reminder to prospective clients to thoroughly look into prior reviews.

PODS FAQs

Can I hire full-service movers to load my POD?

You can hire local moving help with loading and unloading. If you do this, you should be aware that many moving companies charge minimum fees for service. This will amount to two to four hours at whatever hourly rate you’ve agreed to. Even if you only need your movers to handle a single item, this will often be the case.

Is there a minimum amount of rental time folded into any PODS cost estimate?

Other than the one month of storage folded into every PODS estimate, there is no minimum for how long you have to keep your units. You can add storage time at your leisure.

Does PODS sell moving supplies?

PODS does sell moving and packing materials as an added service. Also offered are container-specific moving kits tailored to fit each differently-sized POD. Other retailers, such as U-Haul and Home Depot, offer a far more varied inventory of moving supplies, including furniture pads, ratchet straps, and more.

How much can fit in my PODS containers?

The three differently-sized PODS containers each have their weight limits. Small, eight-foot containers can hold up to 5,200 pounds or a studio apartment worth of goods. The medium 12-foot offering holds 4,700 pounds or the equivalent of two or three full rooms. The sizeable 16-foot container holds 4,200 pounds and can fit most two-bedroom apartments.

What happens if I cancel my move?

PODS is pretty lenient when it comes to cancelations. If you need to cancel your move, you can do so until 4:00 PM on the day before your containers’ scheduled delivery. However, you have to speak to a customer service representative for this to be valid. If you fail to do so, your credit card will be billed for your move.

House Method Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched several dozen moving companies so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your move. 

To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best moving companies on a 10-point scale based on the following criteria:

  • Moving Services (3.0): Does the company offer international, interstate, or local moving services? Or all three?
  • Additional Services (3.0): Does the company offer additional services such as packing/unpacking or loading/unloading?
  • Insurance Coverage (1.0): What kind of moving insurance coverage does the company offer, such as released value protection or full-value protection?
  • Trailers and Containers (1.0): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer to customers?
  • Benefits (1.0): What additional perks does the company offer? Some examples: storage, packing, free boxes, moving truck rentals, financing, etc.
  • Scheduling (.5): How are customers able to schedule their move, online, through the phone, or both? What is the ease of the scheduling process?
  • Reputation (.5): What kind of ratings does the company have on popular review sites such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and Trustpilot?

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