Self Storage vs Container Storage

There are typically two choices in the UK for storing your belongings, whether they are personal or business-related: container storage or self-storage.

The article compares and contrasts two storage solutions, outlining their features, merits, and downsides, as well as the price differential between them.


Storage facilities vary in terms of accessibility, pricing, unit size range, and methods for bringing and removing belongings.

In most cases, self-storage facilities provide:
  • Access within a matter of moments during business hours
  • Make own arrangements for transport and pickup of goods
  • Paying an extra fee
  • Various unit sizes are available
  • Protected by private key or padlock code
Storage container firms often provide:
  • Obtaining access requires previous agreement.
  • Items can be collected and delivered at your discretion.
  • Cut expenses
  • Reserve an unlimited number of containers
  • Standard dimensions for a unit are 40 square feet for wood and 25 feet for steel.

Self-storage, what is it?

‘Self storage’ refers to the leasing of a storage unit where you are responsible for loading and unloading your belongings and controlling access.

The most typical form of self-storage facility is an indoor or outdoor structure with many stories of storage units of varied sizes. Here are some common features seen in self-storage facilities:

  • In a jiffy during business hours
  • Make own arrangements for the shipment and pickup of goods
  • Paying a premium price
  • Various unit sizes are available
  • Protected by private key or padlock code
Self Storage vs Container Storage

Access to self-storage units

During business hours, you should have no trouble getting to your apartment. Many self-storage facilities are available around the clock, seven days a week. If you want regular and unforeseen access to your goods quickly, self-storage might be a suitable choice for you.

Putting things into storage lockers

Whenever you choose to retrieve any or all of your things from storage, you will be responsible for organising their transport and loading into your container. Alternatively, you may usually engage a moving company or drive your own car to the loading area; however, some facilities offer relationships with van rental companies or man and van services that you can employ to assist you with this.

Loading spaces are usually accessible to all customers, so if you want to avoid crowds and have an easier time loading and unloading, it’s worth remembering that there are quieter times of day to go.

Be ready to take your belongings to your unit, as loading bays aren’t always conveniently located close to storage rooms at places where storage rooms are inside bigger warehouses. Typically, storage facilities such as NO1 Rmovals company will have lifts and trolleys available to assist you with this, but if you plan on keeping bulky or heavy things, it’s wise to visit the unit in person to assess the accessibility.

Size of Storage Units and types

Spaces for storage can range from as little as one locker to as large as two hundred and fifty square feet, with the exact dimensions dependent on the facility.

At NO1 Removals you can find facilities that provide climate-controlled storage, as well as offices and rooms that you can use for business.

Safety measures used by self-storage facilities

With 24-hour security guards and surveillance cameras, most self-storage facilities are rock solid. An access code may be required to enter places that are not staffed. Typically, a combination lock and key or keypad access is used to secure your specific room or unit. It is your responsibility to ensure that the facility you are considering has adequate security measures in place.


Your belongings will be safely housed in one or more steel containers within a secure walls. Due to the close connection between storage and house relocation, removal firms frequently run these.

Although most container storage companies provide storage along with pickup and delivery, a few also provide self-storage options.

Self Storage vs Container Storage

Storage Facility Features of Containers

  • In a jiffy during business hours
  • Make own arrangements for the shipment and pickup of goods
  • Paying a premium price
  • Various unit sizes are available
  • Protected by private key or padlock code

Access for Storage Containers

Prior planning is normally required for access, usually at least 24 hours in advance. The warehouse staff may then move your container to a secure place where you can easily see what’s inside. For the majority of clients, this is an adequate solution unless they want constant or unexpected access to their belongings.

Putting things into storage containers

While some container storage facilities just facilitate deliveries and pickups, others provide a mixed service that allows customers to bring in their own belongings.

Removal Companies run the majority of container storage facilities, thus, they also provide expert collection and delivery services. If you have a lot of stuff to bring inside the store, or if something is particularly heavy or tough to move, this may be a lifesaver.

Container Storage Warehouse Security

No one outside of the warehouse personnel will be able to access your container after it has been securely stored inside. Secure container storage is possible since most warehouses have alarm systems and many have 24-hour CCTV. Padlocks are also commonly used to secure containers.


According to a recent market research report, self-storage units can cost up to 60% more than container storage. This is typically due to the fact that self-storage facilities are intended to provide regular, unforeseen access at no cost to you.

Why is self-storage more expensive than container storage?

In contrast to self-storage facilities, container storage warehouses often have reduced overhead. This includes the expense of staffing a high-traffic location and its associated upkeep, as well as the cost of putting several smaller units within a larger facility.

Because containers are stacked and no room is needed for hallways, lifts or staircases, container warehouses are typically able to utilise a larger portion of the available floor area. This allows more clients to use the same floor space at a reduced cost per unit.

Comparing the cost of storage

Unless you have a specific preference, we generally advise comparing prices slightly before deciding to a storage unit because the cost might vary greatly based on where you reside.

Recognise initial offers

For the first few weeks of storage, several companies offer considerable reductions; after that time, the pricing goes back to its original level. Make sure you are aware of the actual cost of storage for the full time you intend to use it before comparing prices.

Acknowledge any extra costs.

Here are a few typical extra costs to be aware of and factor in:

  • Verify the coverage for fire and flood, theft, and damage insurance, if any of these are covered. What is the cost and level of security if it is not included?
  • What about security? Do you have to pay for a key or bring your own padlock?
  • Does access come with a cost?

Length of contract

The majority of storage businesses advertise weekly rates, but some have monthly contracts, which means that if you terminate your rental before the end of the month, you will still be responsible for the entire amount due. Verify the minimum contract duration as well as any notification requirements for contract termination, especially if an initial discount has been granted.

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