When thinking about using self storage the first thing most people do is hop online and do a search for a self storage facility in the area they want. They might go onto a few individual websites and look at pricing but how closely do they look when comparing self storage costs? Often the price that’s shouting at you on the front page isn’t the price you’ll end up paying because there are additional add on costs like insurance. Make sure you know what’s included in any quote given and whether there are any charges that you night incur should you need to extend your time or cut it short. Sometimes, cost is not only about the storage space either; travel time and condition of the units can also have an impact on the overall cost to you.
So what questions should you ask when comparing self storage costs and quotes?
Is it included in the rental cost and if so, what is the amount of cover? At Space Centre Self Storage we automatically include free insurance for your goods up to the value of £3000. If you need additional insurance cover, you can use our services or arrange your own additional cover. This isn’t the case with all companies. For many, insurance is charged on top of the unit hire. Some companies insist you use their providers whilst others allow you to use your own. If you’re organising your own insurance cover you will have to provide proof of that cover to the storage company. Do not automatically rely on your normal household policy. You will need to check as it may not cover your goods while in storage.
2. Special Offers
Always check the terms. It’s our experience that most people who are using self storage for a short term project end up staying a little longer than they originally anticipated. If you go over your offer term, how much will your storage costs be going forward? As most offers are 50% off for a period of time, often the costs will double. Conversely, if you’ve taken advantage of an offer for a free or reduced price based on the fact that you will stay for a set period of time, will you have additional costs if you leave earlier than the agreed offer term?
3. Security deposits
Do they charge one? We don’t, but many providers do. If so, make sure you check the terms for getting that deposit back at the end of your rental.
4. Access charges
Most providers have set opening hours similar to shops and offices e.g. 8 -6 or 9 – 5 during the week with variances when it comes to weekend opening hours. Whilst most don’t charge for access during their normal opening hours, sometimes when you’re working it can be difficult to get to your unit during the working day. Can you have access outside of those normal hours and if so at what cost? Some providers charge per visit, others will charge an additional weekly/monthly fee.
5. Cancellation or extension charges
Will you be charged cancellation fees if you leave before your agreed term, need to extend your term or need to change the size of your unit? At Space Centre Self Storage we don’t tie clients in to long contracts or charge a fee if you need to change the size of your unit or extend the length of time you want to stay, but some companies do. Make sure you know what these will be should the situation occur.
6. Are prices guaranteed?
We guarantee our prices to our clients will not change for at least 12 months if not longer after moving in. Other providers may not provide any price guarantees or limit them to a shorter period of time. If storing longer term, is there a chance that your rental costs could up?
7. Condition of the units
You may well be wondering what this has to do with the cost of your self storage unit. Well, a cheap but poorly maintained facility could cost you further down the line. If units are not clean, dry and well ventilated with regular pest control checks, there could be an impact on your belongings, especially if storing longer term. If the storage units are not well maintained you may incur damage due to damp, mildew or even the odd nibble. Ultimately that could result in you having the cost of replacing goods.
8. Travel costs
There is little point in renting a self storage unit miles away to save on the storage cost if it’s then going to cost you more in terms of travel time and fuel. Is it really worth sitting in traffic for long periods of time and everything that goes with that for a couple of pounds?
When you’ve narrowed down your providers and have the answers to the questions above, only then can you make a real start on comparing self storage costs. And when you’ve worked out the costs, don’t be afraid to check them out. Check their reputation and reviews, and go and visit them to see for yourself
Space Centre Self Storage have facilities in Bristol, Gloucester and Stroud and we are happy for you to visit our sites and see the units if you’re not sure of what you want. Our friendly, experienced staff are on hand to give you all the help and advice you need.
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