When cheap storage becomes expensive

Cheap Storage | 23.10.15

There are many reasons for using self storage and one of the key things you will consider when making your choice of provider will be cost. Cost is a factor in everything we buy. You may be tempted to just do an internet search for cheap storage and see what it turns up, especially if you only want it for a short period of time. But we all know you get what you pay for and sometimes cheap can end up being very expensive. Some people have almost lost their business because they took the cheap option.

You may be thinking ‘I’m not having anything made or produced and I’m not running anything online, so that won’t apply. Cheap storage does what it says on the tin doesn’t it? Put your things in a unit and store them. How can storage space end up costing me more money?’

Well, there are many ways that going for cheap storage can end up costing you. Let’s start with the most common one – offers.

You’ll find lots of providers out there who have great introductory offers; discounts, 2 weeks for the price of 1, some even give you free weeks. Normally these offers are for set periods of time. Whilst the offers are genuine and there are savings to be had, always read the small print and calculate carefully. Some offers, once dissected don’t really save you money at all.

  • What happens if you need your unit for a shorter period of time? Are there fees for leaving early?
  • What will your costs be if you want the unit for longer? In many instances, these will be double your original introductory offer price (as many providers offer 50% discount for a set number of weeks), sometimes they could be more. In our experience, most people who come to us saying they only need a unit for a few weeks, end up keeping them on for longer.
  • What if you need to change the size of the unit? Will there be additional fees for moving mid offer and will the new unit be at the same introductory offer price?
  • Are you tied in to notice periods?

Reading the small print is all about the immediate financial impact of the cost of your unit, but there are other ways your storage unit can end up costing you money.

Let’s move on to the type of unit. If you want your belongings to remain, clean, dry and secure, then you’ll need some sort of climate control. If you go for a unit that doesn’t have any sort of climate or temperature control, then your clothes, furniture, paperwork etc. is susceptible to varying weather conditions which can cause damp and ultimately, damage. Imagine you wrap, fold and pack things carefully, only to find them covered in mould or mildew when you come to get them out of storage. You don’t want to incur the cost of replacing things.

It’s also worth checking that any provider has good pest control in place. Most good sites check their units regularly for damage to ensure there are no vulnerabilities. Ask your provider how frequently they perform controls and checks. The last thing you want is to get your things out of storage only to find that they’ve been nibbled around the edges! More replacement costs!

Location. This may sound like common sense, but consider the location of the self storage site. Some people get so hung up on the cheap offer that they don’t consider how much it will cost them to get to and from the site. There’s no point in saving £10 per week on the cost of a unit if you’re going to spend as much in terms of your travel costs and time. And do factor in your time. Even if, with petrol costs you’re still saving a few pounds, do you really want to sit in traffic for hours on end?

One final thing to remind you about is insurance. Most reputable self storage providers include some insurance or can arrange insurance for you. Your normal household policy may not cover your goods while in storage, so you need to check. If there’s no insurance and you find your goods damaged, you could end up substantially out of pocket.

Here at Space Centre Self Storage we understand that sometimes things happen that are out of your control and that results in you needing your unit for longer than anticipated, particularly when building, renovating or moving house. That’s stressful enough without having to worry about how much extra cost your storage will incur as a result, so we don’t add any. We guarantee our prices for 12 months, so you don’t have to worry if your project gets extended. We don’t ask you to make long term commitments and our terms are flexible. You can change units as and when you need to (providing we have an alternative unit available). All we ask is a little notice when you’re ready to finally move out.

If you need storage in Bristol, Gloucester or Stroud, get in touch. Not sure how big a unit you need? Give us a ring, we’ll be happy to advise you based on our 20 years experience in the storage business.

Have you been caught out by a cheap storage offer? Did you end up paying more than you thought you were going to?

Image Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

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