The price of self-storage can vary significantly depending on a whole range of factors making it difficult to know exactly how much self-storage should cost and whether you’re getting a good deal even if you’ve used it before. For those that are looking at self-storage for the first time, it can be even more confusing. To help, we’ve put together all our experience and knowledge to help you answer one important question: How much does self-storage cost?
What determines the cost of self-storage?
The first step to understanding self-storage costs is to know what storage facilities base the price on. The total price you’ll be charged will be determined by three main factors.
The size of the unit you need is the main factor that will determine how much you’ll pay. Self-storage is priced per square foot but, just like wholesale prices, the more space you buy the cheaper the price per square foot.
Because prices are based on unit size, it also means that it pays to get a unit size that is as close to the exact sized space you need. That means you should look out for companies with as wide a choice of unit sizes as possible, so you don’t end up having to pay for a unit much bigger than you need just because the next size down is too small. It can also help to read up on choosing the right unit size. You can get more information with our cheat sheet here or use our storage estimator.
Your price will also obviously depend on the amount of time you need the storage for. Just like price per square foot, your price per month can be cheaper when you sign up for longer contracts. Many companies will offer deals or discounts for signing up for 12-month contracts or longer and paying up front. Of course, if like many people you only need storage short-term then you’ll need to look out for deals and discounts that apply to shorter term contracts and check whether there is a minimum rental period.
The region that a storage facility is in has also been known to have a significant impact on how cheap or expensive it is. Storage in northern regions is typically cheaper than in the south, while storage in London is much more expensive. While this isn’t something you usually have a choice over, if it is an option to look for a storage unit in a different location it can be worthwhile doing so.
For example, if you’re living in the south and are moving to the north, you might want to look at storing near the house you’re moving to. Similarly, if you are living in London and need storage then you could look for storage facilities just outside of London instead. This might mean a longer journey to get to your unit, but if you don’t need to access your belongings regularly then it could be worth the savings. Of course, don’t forget that having a storage unit nearby could save you time and money in travelling so weigh up your options carefully.
The real cost of self-storage
Unfortunately, the costs don’t always end there. As well as the price of the unit itself for the time period you need it, there can be some additional costs to be aware of.
Some companies may charge you a reservation or deposit especially if you’re enquiring before you need the unit. Check how much this is as well as whether you get it back and how you get it back. For example, you may get your reservation or deposit back as a refund, or it may be taken off the cost of your unit on your next invoice.
Some companies may charge you an admin fee for signing the contract and other small admin at the beginning. Not everyone does this, however, so look out for a company that doesn’t have any extra admin fees or is at least up front with their fees in their quote to avoid any nasty surprises.
Insuring your belongings is mandatory in all self-storage facilities so be wary of any that don’t mention this when you sign up. You can source and buy insurance with your own provider, but your chosen self storage facility should be able to provide you with their own or at least point you in the direction of a third-party insurer they recommend. At Space 4U, our insurance starts at £3.60 per £1,000 value of goods per month.
Self-storage is all about security and your unit should just be like having a room in your house. That means you should be the only one to be able to access your unit, which means having your own lock and key. Fortunately, locks and keys are extremely affordable today and most facilities like us will have quality locks for you to purchase on site.
Depending on what you’re storing there’s a good chance you’ll need packing materials with additional costs you might need to factor in. You may be able to pick some of these up for free from recycling centres but likely you’ll want to buy your own to make sure they’re new and strong. Again, look out for companies that have their own packing materials available on site to make things easier.
What else to consider: Price and quality
There are also a few other things to consider that may affect the cost of your self storage directly or will help you determine which company offers the best value for money depending on your needs. Opting for the cheapest self-storage isn’t always the best solution. In fact, it can pay off, in the long run, to go with a company that might be slightly more expensive if it offers you additional things that may save you time or money in the future. Here are some things to think about and look out for when choosing your self-storage provider.
If they don’t have the latest CCTV and alarm security, then you could end up paying for a lot more than just your storage unit if there’s a break-in!
Many companies have specific opening times for you to get your belongings. If you need to access them regularly then this can be extremely inconvenient, especially if you work a lot and can only access your unit at certain times. Paying for 24/7 access can save you a lot of stress and maybe even money if it means you can access your storage at times that suit you and your work.
Friendly and knowledgeable staff are easily worth paying a bit extra if it means getting any problems solved quickly and efficiently or getting money-saving advice straight from the experts. Friendly staff can make self-storage much easier and even cheaper.
Is there on-site parking, enough space for a van or other large vehicles and is it free? Not only can it be inconvenient having to park down the road, but it may even cost you money if you have to pay for more convenient car parking or have to bring your belongings in multiple trips because there isn’t enough room for a van or truck.
As well as having a wide range of unit sizes it can pay to opt for a self-storage company that is happy to be flexible and change your unit size when needed. If you can pay for more space or downsize easily then you’ll save money on paying for two units instead of one or having to stick to a unit that’s bigger than you need.
Some facilities may offer some form of removals service at an additional cost either directly with the facility or through a third-party removals company. This can make life much easier and you may be able to get a special price on using these services. At Space 4U, for example, we offer a free pick-up with some of our unit sizes and have teamed up with an affordable local removals company to help you save money on your storage.
Little extras like free tea or a coffee or having a UPS access point as we have at Space 4U can make having a storage unit much easier and can even make your life more convenient. It’s always worth looking out for these little bonuses.
Deals and promotions
Everyone loves a good deal but be wary about falling for what sounds like the best promotion. Compare competitor offers carefully and be aware that the wording may make them sound better or worse than what they are. For example, some may offer 50% off the first 2 months, 50% off the first 8 weeks or give you the first month for free but all these offers are in fact the same. Make sure you double check the minimum rental periods and conditions.
Ready to get a quote?
Contact us today or fill out our easy online form to get your free self-storage quote today. If you need any extras just let us know and we’ll be happy to help!