Portable Storage Containers vs Moving Truck Rentals: Which is the Best Option for Your Move?

Jump to Section

When moving homes or businesses in the past, people relied on one of two things: a moving truck or a caravan of helpful friends and family with their cars packed to the brim. But now there’s a new kid in town: the portable storage container.

If you’re still on the fence about which option to choose, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help you make an informed decision by comparing moving trucks and portable storage containers in terms of cost, convenience, security, and features. Keep reading to find out which option best suits your needs.

Portable Storage Containers & Moving Truck Rentals

Portable storage containers are the newest tools on the market to help make moves smoother. Essentially, they are large containers delivered right to your doorstep, allowing you to pack at your own pace. Once everything is loaded up, you can store the container in a secure storage facility, or it can be transported to your new home or business. On the flip side, renting a moving truck requires you to pick up the vehicle from a rental company, load it yourself (unless you’ve decided to hire movers), and drive it to your new destination.

Let’s take a look at some specifics.

FeaturesPortable Storage ContainerMoving Truck
DeliveryWill be delivered to your location (some weekend restrictions may apply).You pick up the truck, and the delivery date/time is up to you.
DrivingRental company does the drop off and pick-up/ delivery. You do all the driving.
Sizing3 sizes – PODS for example, has 10, 12 and 16-foot containers.Many – U-Haul for instance, has pick-up trucks along with 10, 15, 20 and 26-foot trucks.
Storage30 days is usually the base time length, but you’ll have the option of longer rentals.No options available. 
ParkingParking can be tricky, and you may need a permit.Not an issue as moving trucks are usually street legal. 

Some clear advantages of using a portable storage container are having the ability to pack at your own pace without being rushed. Plus, they provide the option of temporary storage, keeping your belongings safe until you need them again. On the downside, the size options are limited, and you may have to apply for a permit to park on the street. In contrast, moving trucks offer more size choices and can be parked almost anywhere. 

Back to Top

Comparing Costs: Moving Containers vs Truck Rentals

When it comes to planning a move and making rental decisions, cost plays a crucial role for many individuals. To help you make an informed choice, let’s break down what you can expect regarding expenses when renting a portable storage container versus a moving truck.

Moving Truck Rental: According to movingwaldo.com, the rental costs for trucks depend on the distance of the move. For local moves, the average rental suitable for a 1-bedroom home falls within the range of $20 to $200, while long-distance journeys can range from $800 to $1,900. It’s important to note that additional fuel charges may apply.

Portable Storage Options: Like moving trucks, the cost of moving a portable storage container varies depending on distance. Additionally, a larger size unit will cost more. A pod that holds a 1-bedroom home can be shipped locally for $150-$600, and a long-distance move will cost between $1,200 and $4,000 plus fuel.

Determining an average monthly rental cost for a storage container is challenging due to the numerous factors influencing pricing. To obtain an accurate estimate, reach out to your local storage company, as they can provide you with a personalized and free estimate based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Tips On Cutting Costs: You can save yourself some money by doing the following:

  • Looking for deals and discounts. Even if you don’t see any advertised, always ask.
  • Comparing companies. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. 
  • Sharing your Military status. Many companies offer discounts for Military personnel and veterans. 
  •  Reading the fine print. Some deals seem too good to be true because they are. Read the rental agreement carefully before you sign.
  • Claiming your moving expenses. Find out more here about how you take advantage of this potential tax break. 

Comparing Convenience: Portable Storage Units vs. Renting a Moving Truck

Back to Top

Moving can be an incredibly stressful experience. The more streamlined and hassle-free the process, the better. In the moving world, convenience truly is king.

Moving trucks save both time and money by allowing you to transport all your belongings in a single day, eliminating the need for storage fees, minimum rental periods, or delivery time constraints. Furthermore, moving trucks offer the added benefit of accommodating the transportation of your car alongside your other items.

On the other hand, portable storage containers offer the convenience of packing at your own pace. Whether you prefer to complete the packing all at once or take several weeks to prepare, the flexibility is yours. As Brian Hoel, president of Braine Trust Storage LLC, states, “Portable self-storage units offer unmatched convenience compared to traditional storage facilities. These units are delivered directly to your location, eliminating the need for transporting your belongings to a remote storage site. Whether you’re renovating your home, relocating, or decluttering, the ability to have a storage unit delivered to your doorstep saves you valuable time and effort.”

Back to Top

Security: Storage PODS vs Moving Truck Rentals

Whether moving across town or the country, you want to know that your possessions are safe and secure. Both storage pods and moving trucks offer solutions to ease your mind. 

Storage Containers:

  • Made of sturdy materials to ensure a secure and weather-resistant environment.
  • Equipped with a robust locking mechanism.
  • Ground-level loading eases the loading and unloading process, helping to prevent drops and injuries.

Moving Truck Rentals:

  • Equipped with safety features like padding, security straps and padded compartments.
  •  Professional moving staff to follow safety protocols and secure loading procedures.
  •  Professional drivers who are trained on road and truck safety (if you are doing the driving, check the vehicle regularly and drive with extreme caution).
  • Regular maintenance checks on trucks to ensure a smooth move.

Either way you choose, you can rest easy knowing both pods and moving trucks offer reliable safety and security solutions. 

Back to Top

Make An Informed Moving Decision

Now that you have a better understanding of the distinctions between portable storage containers and moving trucks, you may still be uncertain about which option best fits your specific needs. To assist you further in making an informed decision, here are some final things to consider: 

A Moving Truck Might Be Best If:

  • You’re moving long-distance.
  • You need to transport a vehicle.
  •  You have no space to park a storage pod.
  • You’re on a tight timeline.
  • You have a budget.
  • You’re moving the contents of a large home.

A Storage Pod Might Be Best If:

  •  You have a larger budget.
  •  You need to store your belongings before unpacking at your new home/business.
  • You have no desire to drive a large truck.
  • You have a longer timeline with your move.

Back to Top

Portable Storage Recommendations

To ensure a successful move, it is crucial to research and select a reputable moving company that aligns with your budget and specific requirements. Here are a few recommended companies to consider.

PODS – Short for Portable On Demand Storage, this well-established company offers weather-resistant containers and promises a convenient and flexible moving experience for both commercial and residential movers. PODS takes great pride in their excellent customer service. 

1-800-Pack-Rat – Their distinctive red containers signify the flexibility, reliability and security they pride themselves in. 1-800-Pack-Rat offers short and long-term storage and moving services for residential and commercial moves.

UNITS: Offering flexible delivery and pickup options, UNITS supplies spacious units designed with safety and security in mind. They cater to residential and commercial customers and strive to give their customers a simple, convenient moving experience.

Back to Top

Categories Moving Storage