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How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Storage Unit?

Whether moving, completing some sort of home renovation project or just making some extra space in your basement or business, there are times when you may need to move your belongings to a safe, secure location for storage. Self storage facilities and mobile storage units may come to mind: But do you know how much each of these options may cost and what those costs are based upon? Before you shell out money for storage fees, find out how much that storage unit costs.

Usually, storage costs are based upon the features that are provided by the storage facility or company. The storage costs of these options are tallied as part of the total storage costs for your unit. Additionally, you may opt to purchase insurance to cover loss or damage of your stored items. That fee will be added to your monthly cost to rent the unit. The most common storage considerations contributing to the cost of renting a storage unit include:

  • Size of the unit.
  • Security on storage facility premises.
  • Whether the renter uses climate control, lights, or ventilation.
  • Location of stored items: on-site fees or mobile unit fees.
  • Optional insurance fees.

Here is a breakdown of how much these options can add to the total of storage unit costs.

Unit Size

This choice is the first one the self storage renter will usually make depending on the amount of property to be housed. Standard storage facilities provide storage units in a variety of sizes. Naturally, the smaller the size of the unit, the less the cost. A medium sized unit is considered to be in the 10 ft x 10 ft to 10 ft x 20 ft range and is estimated to hold about three roomfuls of furniture. Common unit sizes measured in feet are:

  • 5 x 5
  • 5 x 10
  • 10 x 10
  • 10 x 15
  • 10 x 20
  • 10 x 30

Since prices vary greatly from region to region for storage unit costs. A canvas of average rates across the US for small, medium, and large storage units reveals the following monthly rental base prices for non-climate controlled storage units:

  • $35-$50 for a small (5 ft x 10 ft) unit
  • $95-$155 for a medium (10 ft x 20 ft) unit
  • $175 or greater for a large unit (10 ft x 30 ft)

Storage Security

Highly rated storage facilities offer great safety and security for their customers. Any fees related to security measures will be related to how much security is provided and in what form. Good security measures can include combinations of gated security, motion activated floodlights, security guards or 24 hour camera surveillance. Security fees become part of your monthly base cost to rent a storage unit. 

Climate Control

 Climate control provides temperature and humidity management to prevent extreme heat and cold, or harmful organisms, such as mold, from damaging your belongings. You can expect the cost of your storage unit to rise to $120-$175 per month for a smaller 5 ft x 10 ft unit and upwards of $350 per month for a fully loaded 10 ft x 30 ft unit. Climate control may be worth the extra expense depending on the time of year you are storing your belongings or based on the environmental conditions where you live. Choosing this option is typically the second biggest choice the self storage renter will make after deciding upon the size of the unit needed.

Lights and Ventilation

 These options may seem basic but they are usually added on as extra fees for most storage units. A lighted unit generally has an overhead fixture to provide illumination. Ventilation may be in the form of some sort of fan system and may be included with climate control features if that option is chosen. Fees are typically related to how much electricity is generated monthly for these features.

On Site vs Mobile Storage Fees

 On site fees are a combination of the base rate charged per size of storage unit plus any additional options added by the renter such as climate control features. Mobile storage units offer storage in a different way. The storage unit is brought to the renter's home, loaded up then housed at a mobile storage facility. These storage facilities may not necessarily be near a renter's home location. Renters of mobile storage units pay the following in fees:

  1. Base fee for the size of the storage pod. The smallest size is usually 10 ft x 10 ft and the largest about 10 ft x 30 ft. The cost ranges between $500-$700 which includes drop-off and delivery.
  2. Storage fees between $5-$15 per day.
  3. Transportation charges, which are based on how far the mobile storage facility is located from your home. Generally, the farther away the less per mile is charged. For example:
  • If you live within 10 miles, you pay between $3-$7 per mile.
  • If you live between 11-50 miles, you pay between $.30-$1.00 per mile.
  • If you live over 200 miles away, you pay less than $.30 per mile.

Insurance Options

As a further measure of protection the self storage renter can add personal property insurance for added security against damage or destruction of property. Most self storage facilities will offer insurance to provide for damage to the building itself as part of their monthly fee. Extra insurance that covers your belongings can be added many times. Types of insurance that may be offered by self storage facilities include:

  • Low cost/low deductible policy that covers accidents, fire, water damage, or theft. These policies can range between $9-$40 per month.
  • Separate deductible that goes through the tenant insurance policy instead of the renter's personal insurance.
  • In-transit coverage up to 50 miles.
  • Supplemental insurance that covers business equipment.

Check with the self-storage facility to see what types of insurance they may offer.