In a city like Vancouver, where population density is high and space is at an ever-growing premium, affordable self-storage can be an expensive proposition. And it’s not only the cost of the unit; you also have to consider the costs associated with keeping your stuff safe, secure and dry. After all, cheap rates are certainly a consideration, but they aren’t the only consideration. When you factor in supply, demand and premium service, the cost of self-storage is going to be predictably high.
Typical rent for an urban self-storage unit in Canada ranges from $1.75 to $2.50 per square foot, which is equal to a typical apartment rent in Burnaby. In downtown Vancouver neighbourhoods, storage rents can reach $3.75 per square foot, and average around $2.95 per square foot. When you compare this to storage in smaller towns, where rents are more likely to be around $1.40 per square foot, the disparity is significant (1). These prices can also change unexpectedly, as many storage companies will suddenly increase rates. And while these prices are an unavoidable reflection of the market, they only make sense if you need the space of an entire unit. Plus, traditional storage units force you to haul, organize and pick up all your things yourself, which can be a major hassle at the best of times.
How Do You Find the Best Price?
The key to finding the best prices is looking within your area and comparing prices.
The first step is to get quotes from a good amount of different storage providers. If you don't shop around, the chance you miss out on a good deal goes up.
But you also need to find these prices within your area. If you have to get the products picked up and driven hours away, or drive yourself and use a good amount of gas, are you really saving anything?
You also want to consider the fact that the cheapest price doesn't equal best option. If you're getting the cheapest price but they have no security in place (cameras, for example), or their storage units aren't equipped for winter months resulting in damage, the saving on monthly storage will pale in comparison to the cost of replacing your stuff.
Living in Vancouver is expensive enough – by doing some due diligence, storage doesn't have to be another overpriced investment.