Choosing the Best Self Storage in London

If you've ever been in need of self storage in London, you'll know that there are an awfully large number of companies in the capital that would be only too happy to take your money. So, there's no shortage of options, but on what criteria should you base your decision? There are many things to look out for when you're searching for the best self storage in London; price is obviously a major factor for most people; location; opening hours; container or room?; insurance...etc...etc. Not all of these are immediately obvious to the consumer – below are my tips for finding the best self storage in London.

Hidden Extras

There are two things that most self storage companies will require you to have if you if you wish to use them; 1) insurance for your stored goods; 2) a padlock with which to secure your storage unit. Many companies will insist that you buy their own insurance and/or padlock, whilst others will be happy for you to supply your own insurance (although you will be expected to provide proof) and padlock. When comparing quotes for storage in London you would be well advised to enquire as to these costs as they could well make a difference when it comes to choosing the best price.

Storage Types

Self storage in London comes in two basic flavours; storage rooms and storage containers. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages depending upon your situation.

  • Storage Rooms:
    • Are not subject to VAT.

    • Can usually be accessed as often as you like without having to give any notice.

    • Can usually be accessed without having to pay any fee.

    • Not usually subject to a minimum hire period.

    • You must travel to the self storage warehouse in order to complete paperwork and lock your unit.

  • Storage Containers:
    • Are subject to VAT.

    • You need to give notice in order to access your storage container.

    • There may be a charge for accessing your storage container.

    • There may be a minimum hire period.

    • You may not need to visit the self storage warehouse to complete paperwork – in many cases the container will be delivered to your address, you would fill the container, complete the paperwork and the container would be taken away to the storage warehouse.

As you can see from the above points, storage rooms are more appropriate for customers who wish to have frequent access to their goods or only need short-term storage, whereas storage containers are the better option if you are looking for long-term storage and do not envisage needing frequent access.

Location Within London

Just as you would expect when buying or renting property, the price of self storage in London will vary from area to area. Nobody would expect to pay the same price for a studio flat in Knightsbridge as for the same type of property in West Ham (for example). The same is true for self storage – a 20 square foot room in Knightsbridge will cost considerably more than the same room in West Ham. If you live in a central or particularly affluent area and do not need your belongings to be stored on your doorstep, significant savings can be had by looking just 2 or 3 miles further away.

Access Hours

London is apparently a 24 hour city, and round the clock access is being offered by many self storage companies these days. 24 hour access may seem like an excellent idea, and it probably is if you store business stock or paperwork. But, if you are not storing items which may be needed at a moments notice, just have a think about whether you really need all-hours access. Companies that offer this service will inevitably have higher overheads, which they will inevitably pass on to their customers. If you can manage without 24 hour access you will pay less for your storage.

Billing Frequency

When comparing quotes for monthly rental prices be very careful! Some companies will bill their customers every calendar month whilst others will charge per 4-week month. As we all know, there are 12 months in 1 year, but if you are charged per 4-week month there will actually be 13! (I'm not sure what the additional month is called!?). Therefore, if you obtain the same monthly quote from 2 companies but 1 charges per calendar month and the other by 4-week month, you would end up paying an extra month's rental per year if you chose the company that bills you every 4 weeks.