Truck Rental Companies vs Moving Container Companies

There is no doubt; that everyone is looking for the best and most affordable option to move their family to another location when the need calls for it. You will be faced with many options regardless of the type of your move, whether a local move or across the state lines.

When preparing a house for prospective buyers or waiting for contractors to complete renovation on your proposed home, homeowners do store their belongings while preparing for a move. With consideration of all-important bottom lines, the decision between renting a portable storage unit or a moving truck depends on many factors in all of these situations.

Truck Rental Companies vs Moving Container Companies

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If you are considering hiring a professional moving company or renting a moving truck, planning your budget for the move can be a difficult task. Renting a portable storage unit is another fortunate option.

Portable storage units might be the best solution for you if you want to avoid dealing with the time required by the moving company or the difficulties involved in loading a rental moving truck. We are going to look at how a portable storage unit compares with a moving truck.

Transporting your possessions at your own convenience is one of the greater flexibilities a portable storage unit offers while you are paying for each day the container is put to use. If you opt for a moving truck rental, everything will be moved in a couple of days.

long distance movers also do the same as they move all your belongings to the new home the same day they show up at your home. When you are faced with a time crunch, this can put a lot of additional pressure on your schedule and significantly affect your option.

Read on, as we compare the two options – moving truck rental and PODS moving companies.

Choosing between Storage Containers or a Moving Truck

There are certainly a lot of pros and cons while deciding between renting a moving truck and portable containers. Renting a moving truck or trying to negotiate a move on your own could be a challenging task especially when you are trying to figure out how much your move will cost.

Regardless of what happens along with the move when you rent moving containers, the cost is always the same, and the amount on the moving quote issues is exactly the amount you are going to pay. Between moving containers or moving truck, below are the facts:

Moving Truck Rental

A moving truck rental might be your best option if you are looking for a convenient, flexible, and cost-effective solution for your DIY move. Only moving truck rental provides you with total control over your relocation and others compared with professional relocation services, portable moving containers, and other hosts of moving service options available to choose from.

When you rent a moving truck for your move, the benefits that come along with it will be discussed here. The pros and cons of using a moving truck for your move instead of pods will be discussed next.

Pros of Moving Trucks

Renting moving trucks is one of the best ways to move professionally and on a budget. With moving trucks, you don’t need to incur costs on daily use of storage containers or parking spaces. Below are the pros of using moving trucks for your move:

1. Options

The moving truck usually comes in many sizes compared to the number of sizes available to you in moving containers.

From packing up your belongings and loading them on the moving truck, to driving them to your new home, you have the option of doing everything yourself with a rental truck.

You can as well hire labor to load and unload your belongings while you drive the moving truck to your destination. There are several options with moving trucks.

2. Control

You have more control over your belongings because you can do everything yourself than you do with hiring a mover. You get a lot of comfort knowing that you know where your stuff is and can have access to any of it if necessary, depending on how comfortable you feel about committing your belongings in the care of strangers.

3. Cost

You can save money by using a moving truck if you can do much work involved in it yourself – this an option you can explore to cut the cost of your move. There is still a possibility that using a moving truck will be less expensive than moving containers even if you decide to hire a moving company for your relocation.

4. Accessibility

Accessing your things through every stage of the moving process is possible depending on your arrangement with your truck rental service.

You can as well unload the truck at a storage facility of your choice if you plan on waiting a while before you relocate your belongings into a new home.

Make sure you get quotes for storage and other expenses if necessary because storing your belongings can add some cost.

5. You don’t need a permit

According to Carrigan (a moving expert), you can save yourself the trouble of applying for a parking permit for a storage container by making use of a rental moving truck.

Seeking permission from neighbors or authorities for a parking permit for a longer period if you are using portable containers can sometimes be stressful.

This is not the case of a moving truck, a truck can be loaded and unloaded in hours without inconveniencing anyone.

6. You will only pay for the time you use

Portable container companies require a minimum of one-month storage fee which can be avoided since rental moving trucks generally rent by the day.

7. National coverage

Both pick-up and drop-off centers are maintained by many of the big moving truck and van rental companies in most major cities of the US. A service center where you can return the truck once you are done with it will be provided by most companies even if you relocate to another state.

8. Vehicle transportation

This is another benefit of using rental moving trucks people don’t remember. Outside of the trailer rental fee, getting your vehicle to your new home is easy with a moving truck rental without costing you a dime.

The ball socket that accompanies a vehicle trailer is attached to all rental trucks making it easier to cut tolls, fuel, and other costs related to driving separate vehicles by towing your vehicle to your new home.

Cons of Moving Trucks

To every good of service, there are some setbacks that may make the service not a good fit for some people. Despite the many pros of using rental moving trucks, there are some cons to the option. Below are the cons of using moving trucks for your move:

1. Convenience

It requires hard work to relocate. You will need to devote more time and energy if you plan to do the move yourself. Doing all the heavy lifting yourself might not be what you want to commit yourself to if you are a busy person resuming to a new job or always have a tight schedule at work.

Moving containers gives you more time to unload your belongings compared to when you hire a moving truck to load it yourself.

2. Logistics

Most friends will not be available at the weekend to help you with your move, as it is the busiest and expensive time for rental companies. If it is a portable container, you may schedule your packing for the weekend, your friends and relatives will be available to help you.

3. High gas costs

Keep in mind to calculate how much money you will spend on gas for the moving truck when comparing the costs of hiring a moving company or storage container with renting a moving truck. You should be aware that you will fuel the truck and the cost is based on the distance the truck will travel.

A premium charge for refueling will be added if you return the truck with lesser fuel than it had when checked out. Note that the credit card provided upon pickup will be billed directly.

4. Liability

The rental is liable for any damage caused to the truck, as the auto insurance policies mostly don’t provide coverage for rental trucks. Note that rental trucks’ value can exceed $50,000. A rental company that offers insurance coverage should be selected.

5. Hidden costs

Many moving trucks ads show rates as low as $19.99 and $49.99 in value. It might actually sound like a good deal in theory, but you will be surprised with some hidden charges that might come with a price usually in less than a day when you dig deeper which will not include the huge per-mile charge that will be incurred upon return.

6. Drivers

For long-distance and other kinds of relocation, even if it costs extra, every person who might easily drive the truck should be included in the contract. If you don’t plan to drive the truck yourself, you arrange for a professional truck driver to do the work and this usually comes with a price.

7. Credit

To rent a moving truck, rental truck companies will expect a credit card with enough balance. Before they allow the moving truck to be driven from their lot, you may be subjected to a credit check and/or deposit cash if you do not have any available credit.

8. Stressful

Moving with a truck or DIY move requires a lot of physical tasks if your strongest friends are not available to help. Removing your packed and loaded possessions will require more strength after you have probably spent most time expanding the strength to move your possessions to the moving truck.

Portable Moving Container

According to the website, portable on-demand storage popularly known as PODS are portable and moving storage units made from a steel frame and aluminum panels.

In the portable storage industry, PODS is the most widely known portable storage even though other companies offer the same type of cube storage. Portable storage units provide unmatched convenience which is priceless during a hectic move.

The pods are delivered right to your door and transported directly to your new home when you have packed and ready to move. You need not worry about picking up a truck and deal with the difficulties in driving a large vehicle.

According to Riaz Karim (a moving expert), you get a lot of flexibility when you transport your possessions using a container. Customers can pack, load, and unload at their own convenient time while the container is being stored in one of our storage facilities or kept on their property for convenient temporary storage.

Pros of using a Moving Container

There are a number of pros of using the moving container option for your move. You pack your belongings at your own pace, you move to your new home at your own convenience, and much more are some of the benefits of this option. The pros and cons of storage containers are discussed below:

1. Cost

Renting a storage container is definitely more affordable than hiring a professional moving company even though it might be a little bit costlier than renting a moving truck. It also allows you to plan your moving budget accurately.

You will not be left assuming how much your relocation costs, as a storage unit will provide you with exact pricing, unlike professional moving companies that can only provide you with a moving quote. Charges on fuel, mileage, and gratuity are nothing to worry about in the case of moving containers.

2. Convenience

The container will be brought to your doorstep by the container company for you to fill up with your stuff. The company will then pick it up and transport it to your new home after you have filled it. You only need to take care of the loading and unloading aspects by hiring someone or do it yourself.

3. Storage

Moving container companies are usually able to keep your container for a longer period if you are going to need some time before you unload your belongings.

To avoid too much trouble on their end, containers stack items easily so that they can store it at a location. When you are trying to decide the best time for buying and selling the house, storage containers can come in handy.

4. Flexibility

Leaving containers at your place for a long period of time is the joy of moving container companies. The time spent on loading and unloading the container is what some people value.

Moving companies gives you a day to get all your belongings in the truck while you have a whole month to do the packing and loading when you rent a moving container that you can easily access right in your backyard conveniently.

5. There is no need to drive a big vehicle

According to Taylor, you will not have to worry about breakdowns along the way or maneuver a moving truck in heavy traffic. You don’t have to worry about transporting your possessions from one point to another when using PODS. According to PODS website, the company offers content protection and uses professional drivers.

5. There’s no refueling hassle

A professional organizer from the Chicago area known as Amy Trager noted that, to avoid extra costs, rental truck companies charge for gas you use to make it necessary to refuel before returning them in. This is not the case when you use PODS.

6. You can avoid steep loading ramps

Ramps that require you to move your belongings uphill are part of the rental trucks option while containers are loaded at ground level.

Cons of Moving Container

There are also some cons to the use of Portable on Demand Storage. You should check out these cons before concluding if the moving container is the best for your move. The cons and cons of storage containers are discussed below:

1. Cost

When compared to hiring a moving truck, you would think that moving containers as simple as they are would be cheap in value. Moving containers are the most expensive option in reality as you pay for the convenience and comfort you enjoy.

If you are on a budget, doing your homework before you assume you will want a moving container would be a nice idea. Using a portable storage container in a local move generally costs between $200 and $300 in value while it would cost between $60 and $120 including gasoline when you use a rental truck according to Carrigan.

It costs around $3,000 with a moving container in a cross-country move while using a rental truck would cost about $2,000 including fuel costs.

2. Accessibility

You cannot access your stuff until it is unloaded at your home, as it will be in a metal container. Even if you are going to wait for many months between leaving your first home and arriving at the new home, you cannot expect to have access to any of your belongings in the container.

You can put all your things in a storage facility where you can access them if needed when you use a moving truck compared to the container.

3. You may need a parking permit

To make sure there are no restrictions concerning street parking, PODS recommends that customers who want containers placed on streets closer to their homes first contact homeowner associations or local governments.

4. There may be additional restrictions

There are some strict rules set by homeowners associations on where portable storage containers can be placed on properties in their locality. Driveways and lawns may be included in the list according to Taylor.

5. Limited size options

Unlike moving trucks with a range of sizes, storage containers have a few size options. One container may not be enough for your move due to size limitation; hence, you may need to hire another container, even if it is just for a quarter of the space.

Comparisons between Moving Truck and Moving Container

Not everyone wants to pay the added cost even though moving containers are often easier than rental trucks according to Carrigan. The difference between convenience and cost is always the factor for determining which one to choose.

1. Costs

Depending on demand and supply, as well as the date you move, the price for your rental moving truck will vary. The price of your rental truck will be lower if the demand for it is greater in your new home than it is in your current location because the rental company will need the vehicle at your new location.

At the time of quoting, both rental truck and PODS option allows for negotiation. The weekly rental period is required for long-distance relocation using a rental truck while its local move equivalent requires a per-mile charge as well as a daily rental fee.

A light-duty truck costs $300 per day for a move involving the use of Penske commercial truck rental as of March 2012 from Los Angeles to New York on May 1, 2012. For a diesel moving truck with a 26-foot-long cargo box, the cost increases to $525 per day without including insurance and gasoline compared with the current price.

For example, U-Haul costs $2,200 to $3,200 while a budget commercial moving truck costs $1,400 to $2,200 for the same date and distance, allowing 3,300 miles and 10 days to arrive at your new home while the costs range from $4,300 for a 7-foot long moving container to $5,000 for a 16-foot container using PODS rental for the same move.

2. Service and Storage

Rental moving trucks and PODS are both regarded as self-service moving options. You must add the cost of hiring outside help or your own labor to the price of your rental option as both require it.

You may hire and use fewer helpers over many days or weeks with PODS while you may pay many helpers for a short period of time if you use a rental truck. You may have to go for a different size to replace the unavailability of the particular truck size you may need for your move.

A convenient, secure retail and office storage for large inventory or drop shipments can be provided by PODS if required. You can have the unit sent to your new home or stored securely at the PODS storage facility. Storage service is not involved in a rental truck as they only provide point to point transport.

3. Driving

If you are not an experienced truck driver, driving a large rental moving truck can be intimidating. The size and heaviness of the truck make it not as responsive as an automobile. Trailers allow you to save costs alternatively if you are moving a car along with your possessions.

If you have never done the move before, an added trailer makes the long drive complicated. You do not have to worry about transporting your belongings from your old home to your new home when using PODS.

The PODS Company according to its website offers protection for your belongings and uses professional drivers. Only insurance coverage is being offered by rental truck companies for your belongings.

You can, however, find yourself a costly situation if you do not opt for enough insurance coverage on any damage to the moving truck.

Purchase an insurance plan from the rental company or provide a Certificate of Insurance Guidance Form for Commercial Accounts that proves your insurance coverage.

According to the website, your liability limit must equal or exceed $750,000 regardless of what type of coverage you purchase. Each state, however, may request different coverage requirements.

4. Time Allotment

If you need to pack your belongings at your own pace, PODS unit offers a minimum of a month even though you can rent it for as many months depending on your purse. You will be charged an additional fee with a rental moving truck for keeping the truck longer than you bargained for. This could be a penalty on top of your normal agreed rental fee or a daily fee.

5. Parking

Both PODS and rental trucks give you concern about parking. Depending on your local jurisdiction, however, you may double park a rental moving truck. You can temporarily park a truck near your business entrance or home to load your belongings.

You must find a secure spot that does not cause traffic intrusion if your PODS is to sit for the full thirty days rental period. You can as well lease a space to park your PODS or obtain a permit, but these will, however, add to your costs.

6. Delivery

You must unload all your belongings before your rental time expires when your loaded rental truck arrives at your new home. The time given is often lesser than with POD. You can store a portable storage unit at PODS storage facility or have them pick it up and drop it off at your new location.

You can park the POD at your new home and unload your belongings at your own pace if your rental time is not yet expired or closer to it.

You are responsible for returning the rental truck back to the rental company after the whole relocation if you had a local move or to their truck rental site in your new location if it was a one-way move while PODS Company will pick up the storage unit after you are finished with the move and return to their company.

7. Size

PODS come in different sizes such as 7 x 7 for the 7-foot container and 16 x 8 for the 16-foot container. Rental of the partial unit is not allowed, meaning you have to rent another container if your belongings require more storage. The rental truck provides more flexibility in size.

With most storage companies offering up to 24-feet long and tractor-trailers, the smallest moving truck you can rent is a panel truck which majorly happens to be a van with a twelve-foot-long box.


Comparing moving trucks and moving PODS requires critical looks to know one is good for you or not. This post has justified the benefits and cons of each of the options based on their needs. Check your moving needs and marry them with each of the options to arrive at a particular one. After deciding on one, choose from any of the reliable companies discussed above and enjoy your move. Happy moving. Share your experience about any of the options you have earlier used in the comment box below!

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