Self storage prices can be a bit of a minefield. If understanding the pricing of storage units isn't difficult enough, on top of that there are so many offers, introductory deals and discounts that it can make getting the cheapest price a bit of a lottery. There are plenty of ways to ensure you achieve the lowest price possible on your self storage rental but before we get to those it helps to understand how prices are calculated. There are three fundamental components for the pricing of storage rental.
1. Floor space - units are calculated on size in square feet. As a general rule, the higher the square footage the more the unit will cost. The price per square foot is the foundation of every storage unit price - but in many cases there will also be a scale, where the greater the square footage the cheaper the cost per square foot. Think of it as bulk buying.
2. Storage facility location - a central London location, where property prices and demand for space are high will cost more per square foot than a similarly sized unit somewhere with lower property costs and demand.
3. Duration of stay - most self storage companies have a minimum stay duration. Usually that's a week, sometimes it's a month.
So that's the basics of how a basic self storage price is calculated, here are ten top tips on how to keep your storage rental costs as low as possible:
1. Size is everything - Spare space in a storage unit is money wasted, because you are paying to have it. Estimating the space you need accurately means you'll use every available inch with little to spare. All good self storage companies will be able to help you with that and some even have online calculators and space estimators.
2. Can you go the extra mile (or two)? Storage centres in central city locations tend to cost more than those on the outskirts. It's a demand thing. If you don't need regular and quick access to your unit, think about renting one in a cheaper part of town.
3. Check the minimum stay and early move-out conditions. Choose a storage provider that keeps these short or doesn't charge any administration fees for early move-out. That way you'll ensure that when the time comes to leave you won't be stung for some extra dosh. If you're very lucky you might find a storage company that charges by the day.
4. Need to reserve? Check your fee is refundable, most self storage companies offer a reservation service. That's ideal if you are in an area of high demand but need to guarantee a unit for a specific time frame (such as moving house). Most storage companies will charge a fee for reserving. Some offer a refund, whether that's knocking the cost of reserving off of your first bill when you move in or simply refunding it if you don't. If you need that flexibility, check the terms at the time of booking.
5. Exploit a competitive market, as storage companies love to compete on price. Almost all offer some form of 'we'll beat any like-for-like price' guarantee. If you're prepared to shop around you can save a significant amount. It's up to you to do the legwork though, as you won't find self storage on price comparison websites.
6. Make the most of offers and discounts - offers and discounts on storage units are everywhere. 1p a month storage, Free for the first 4 weeks, discounts for long-term storage, business, students and uniformed services. The range of promotions to tempt you is vast.Make the most of them!
7. But don't get caught out - Look for those special offers that could you save more money but also check out the terms and conditions. 1p for your first month's storage or free storage for the first 4 weeks are attractive proposition but they'll have terms and conditions attached, usually that you have to store for two months. You'll also want to calculate the cost of the storage over the whole time you'll need it; if you're storing for a year the lowest price for the first month is not necessarily going to be the lowest price overall.
8. Customers really should count - There's a lot more to value than just price. Pick a company that properly cares about great customer service.Look for little extras and lots of lovely customer testimonials.
9. Research the 'on costs' - reputable storage companies are up front about additional costs. Find out what they are. The most significant is insurance, an additional amount charged on top of your rental fee to cover the things you are storing. It's important to research and compare insurance too, the lowest rental price added to an expensive insurance cost might not be cheapest overall.
10. It's worth doing the math - getting the best deal depends on your circumstances. Long stays bring discounts which could outweigh a tempting introductory offer and vice versa. Some companies might include discounted insurance or packaging supplies and if you need either you might be able to make some sort of saving.
Only you know the details of your storage needs, so ultimately only you can work out the best deal. Using these ten top tips you can enjoy your new space reassured with that you'll probably have achieved the lowest rental price possible.