Self-storage isn’t always the cheapest thing to purchase, and the costs can easily start to pile up – especially if you are subject to sudden price increases or a special offer that seemed amazing at the time but ended up being more expensive in the long run. It’s easy for scenarios like this to put you off the idea of a storage unit, but it doesn’t have to be something that causes financial stress, and there are actually a few ways that you can save money instead. If you follow our helpful self storage tips on how to save a little extra when you go to rent a storage unit, you’ll find the experience not only smoother but also more financially stable. Here’s our guide and some important advice you should follow.

 

Location

self storage tipsIf you are currently renting a self-storage unit in a city like London, you should ask yourself if you really need to. City prices can be a lot higher than those in the surrounding areas, so it might be worth taking a look at units that aren’t so central.

Of course, if you require unit access every day then it is probably more convenient for you to keep it in a central location. After all, if you move away it might save you on rental costs, but you need to take things like fuel into account as well. If you aren’t needing to visit your unit on a regular basis, however, it’s definitely worth looking into something a little further away. Facilities are easily accessible from London and the surrounding areas, but at a much lower cost to you.

 

Collection

Storing.com offers a collection and delivery service to you if you decide to rent one of their units. This means that when you need to send or retrieve goods from the facility, your time is saved by a team of professionals who are fully trained and able to load and unload your goods without you having to give assistance.

Our fleet is tracked via satellite with updates every sixty seconds – so we always know where your possessions are. We also offer a collection service for free to those in London and the surrounding areas, with a six month storage plan (click here for further details). When you go to rent a storage unit, make sure your storage plan comes with little extras like this as they will not only save you time, but also a good chunk of money.

 

Packaging

What you may not know is that storage companies can also supply packaging to you. So when you are preparing to move your items into a unit, the company you are with can supply the necessary packing materials from small boxes to large, wardrobe boxes, sofa covers, mattress covers and tape.

Our boxes are incredibly high quality as well as durable so it can be both a practical choice and save you a bit of money when it comes to organising your unit and transporting goods.

 

 

Speed

One of the great benefits to a good storage company are their speedy response times. When you call up for a quote or compare online, you should always look to see if they offer a quick collection service early in the morning. This allows the goods to be collected quickly and before you depart for work.

Sometimes the service comes at additional cost, but at Storing.com it’s free. It is incredibly convenient for you, and you can also rest assured that your goods, possessions or documents are in safe hands and will be delivered to the unit in a safe, timely manner.

 

Prices

When you go to rent a unit you need to look carefully at the fixed price and the guarantee that comes with it. People often make the mistake of choosing a company that is offering low prices initially but no guarantee that they will stay that low, and generally they don’t. In fact, they can give as little as two weeks’ notice with regards to dramatic price increases that are sure to cause stress and financial strain – especially if you have signed a contract that does not allow you to move for a set amount of time.

So even if the unit price with the fixed price guarantee is not offering any special deals for the first few months, at least you know the cost is going to stay the same in the long term. You should also check how long that guarantee will last – it can range from anything such as a couple of months to several years. The longer it lasts, the better for you. At Storing.com, our fixed price guarantee lasts for up to five years, so you can rest easy and make considerable savings.

 

Reviews

When you’re looking through potential units and browsing companies, always remember the importance of reviews. Customer experiences are so important when it comes to picking out a reliable facility to store your goods. After all, they can tell you how good or bad the service was as well as the added extras they either did or did not receive during their time with said company.

Of course, most are bound to have a few negative reviews, and you should only become concerned if the reviews are consistent and appear in a larger quantity than you’d expect. For example, if there are thirty good reviews and two bad ones, then you don’t need to be concerned.

However, if that number were to rise closer to ten, then it’s worth doing some extra digging and possibly looking at others with better ratings. Reviews can reveal a lot of hidden truths, so beware companies that have disabled them completely as well as those that respond rudely to negative comments that are making valid and reasonable points.

 

Facilities

You may have decided which company you want to store with, make sure you ask them about their facility so you fully understand how the access works and build a relationship with them so they remember you, this will make them all the more helpful

Ask them for money saving tips, good companies will advise you of things you can avoid wasting money on and potentially becoming trapped in a contract with a company that offers poor services and substandard facilities.

 

Security

The safety of your items should be the main concern for any good storage company. Their security features should not only be listed on their website, but also shown to you and explained when you go and visit. Of course, this doesn’t mean they need to take you to the CCTV room, but features like the cameras should be pointed out to you.

At Storing.com we offer a range of excellent and advanced security measures at no extra cost, so you can sleep peacefully knowing that your goods are being looked after. Some of the things we offer, and you should look for in a company, are:

  • 24/7 fully trained security guards on patrol
  • CCTV and a high tech security system (Red care) that links directly to the police
  • Key card access to larger units
  • Electrified fence around the perimeter
  • Security barrier
  • Satellite tracked vehicles

A good storage company should offer at least some of these security services, otherwise your items are completely unprotected. This is especially important for units that are accessible by you 24/7 as the risks of theft and break-ins are much higher. Always talk about the security features and check that they are part of the package, as having these included in your plan can save you a lot of money.

 

BAR   TSI Code of Practice

You should always check to see if the storage company you are planning to go with is accredited to the BAR. The British Association of Removers (BAR) will come and audit all facilities on an annual basis to make sure they are in good condition and kept to a high standard. They will check all records including customer satisfaction to ensure that the company has operated to their strict Trading Standards guide lines.

 

Charges

Always check to see if there are any hidden charges in your plan, and if so make sure you question them and their purpose. Many people forget to read the small print or skim through a contract before signing, which is why so many companies can get away with additional charges that pile up on top of your monthly rental costs.

These can include a wide variety of extra features from security services to the delivery and collection of goods, access and insurance.  Always make sure you read every document you are given carefully before signing and agreeing to anything.

If they can’t justify the additional charges that are listed in the contract, that’s a definite cue to leave as well. The company reaction to items that are hidden in your contract can be very telling of what it would be like to use them as your storage provider.

Time

How long has the storage company you are looking into been in business for? If a company has been operating for a decent length of time and has great feedback from customers, it gives you more confidence and shows it to be a company that you can trust. You can find information regarding the length of time they have been operating in the ‘about’ section of a website most of the time.

However, you’re also likely to get an answer to this question over the phone too. A company that is very new and has little to no rating on any website is one to be cautious of, whereas one that has been running for some time and has a strong review base is definitely one to get in touch with.

 

Offers

A definite word of warning is to be cautious of short term special offers. The first month looks amazing and is usually at a massively reduced price to draw you in. However, it is usually laden with hidden costs that aren’t explicitly advertised and it will usually cost you far more in the long run than renting one at a standard price. The concept of something being too good to be true is incredibly real when it comes to special offers like this.

 

Space

One of the things that humans are prone to is hoarding. We like our stuff, and many of us feel bad throwing gifts away. So over the year’s piles of unwanted presents and things that we can’t quite let go of start to build up – and that’s when they move to a storage unit. However, it’s vital to remember that the more space you need, the higher the rent is going to be on your unit.

So before you plan on putting all of your ‘stuff’ into a unit, it’s definitely worth going through it. Those old and unwanted gifts? Re-gift them to other people at Christmas or on birthdays. Get rid of the clutter and only put the things that are really important to you in storage. It will save you a good chunk of money in space costs, but it will also help to get rid of the clutter in your life. It’s never too late in the year to find time to declutter.

 

 

Fees

If you don’t pay for your unit on time every week/month, then you are going to be charged late payment fees. These are a financial inconvenience as it is, but if you let them build up then they can cause a lot of monetary strain as well. In fact, if you fail to pay for your unit over an extended period of time, the company is completely within their rights to sell any possessions you have in there in order to recover outstanding monies owed to them.

So you can end up losing money via late payment fees, or you can lose everything in your unit through failure to pay. The best way to avoid situations like this is to set up a direct debit or standing order with your bank, and always ensure the money is in your account the day before it is due to go out so that it doesn’t end up bouncing. Always pay on time and you’ll save money.

 

Insurance

In the event of a burglary, flood, fire etc. you could end up losing everything that is stored in your unit. This is why you can purchase insurance that will cover your possessions (even if they only have sentimental value) should disaster strike. However, insurance can be quite costly to purchase which makes it a little off putting.

If you have contents insurance on your home, you may be able to extend it to the items that are held in your storage unit. It’s a good idea to call up your provider and check if this is possible – after all, it could save you a lot of money while granting you peace of mind.

If it doesn’t cover the items in your unit, however, don’t go straight to the storage company as they may not always have the best price. Shop around first, get a good quote, and then take it to the company you are storing with. Often, they will try and match or even lower the price of the insurance they are offering. Some companies offer basic cover at no cost, limited to so much per item.

 

Bargains

We all like to get a bargain. Receiving money off a purchase can make us feel really good and boost our confidence for the rest of the day. That’s why you should never be afraid of trying to get the price down, even with a storage unit. Most companies want your custom. They want you to use their facilities and to have you as a client.

So when you compare prices for storage companies, never be afraid to let the one you want know that their competitor is offering a lower price for exactly the same services and facilities. Whether you’re on the phone or are actually at the unit itself, simply direct the person serving you to the comparison website you used and they will often look to make you an excellent deal.

Of course, it’s not going to work every time and it does largely depend on the employee who is looking after you, but there is never any harm in asking. After all, getting a little of the cost trimmed off can do wonders for your monthly income and expenditure. Always remember to remain polite and friendly for the best results.

Remember if you get a discount will the storage company maintain this discount or can they just increase the price at short notice. If they can this may be a false economy, so be careful.

 

Comparison

It’s been mentioned briefly a few times, but a storage comparison website like Go Compare Storage is your best bet if you want to find the cheapest price with the best services and facilities. It’s a very simple process and it takes no time at all to complete, with a good number of companies being compared to find you the best deals according to your needs.

It can take a lot of time and effort to slug through countless storage websites, and this is why comparison ones are so fantastic. It takes all of the effort out of your search and presents you with the results you need. To top it all off, you can purchase the unit there and then, either online or by giving them a quick call on the telephone and referencing your quote.

You can even use the list of quotes to show your favoured storage facility to see if they will match the price (as discussed above). So if you are struggling to find yourself a good storage space, don’t hesitate and go compare facilities now.

 

To Conclude

As you can see from this self storage tips guide to saving money on your storage unit, there are lots of ways you can get saving immediately. Always remember to do your research before you commit to a storage facility, after all, reviews and the units on offer can be a huge indicator as to whether or not a company is going to be right for you. Doing the necessary research early on will help you to avoid getting stuck with a company that treats you poorly and doesn’t care about you, the customer’s, thoughts and feelings.

Always see if you can get the best offer. If you have a unit in a major city but don’t access it frequently – move it a little further out, you’ll save yourself a fortune every month in storage rent. Do your best to get a bargain too when you go to purchase a unit, most companies want you as a customer and will be willing to at least match the price a competitor is offering. If you can try and save some money on your monthly fees, then go for it.

Always beware of hidden costs and the short term special offers. These offers may look amazing, with some even offering the first month or even 2 months for free, but they are more expensive than renting a unit at the standard price in the long run. Hidden costs are almost always found in these offers as well, and they can really up the price of your weekly/monthly rent at short notice. Instead look at a company like Storing.com who will move your goods for free and save on your rental fees also. Always read the contracts and paperwork thoroughly before you sign anything and make sure you ask questions if you spot a hidden cost. After all, it’s you who is paying and you need to know where your money is going.

Hopefully, this little guide has given you some help when it comes to searching for a storage unit and saving money in the process. We all know that self-storage costs money but  it’s important to try and save as much as you can. Remember these key points in this summary as well as the little self storage tips and tricks mentioned throughout this page for the best ways to save. You’ll have an excellent storage unit deal in no time at all.