How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Self-Storage Unit?

Deane Biermeier
Written by Deane Biermeier
Updated March 16, 2022
A self-storage unit filled with cardboard boxes
Photo: NoDerog / E+ / Getty Images

Highlights

  • The average cost to rent a self-storage unit ranges from $1 to $1.80 per square foot.

  • Size, location, and features are factors that determine self-storage cost.

  • There are several ways to save money on self-storage costs.

Whether you’re looking to set aside a few items for a short time or you need room to store a houseful of possessions and vehicles, you’re likely to find a self-storage solution to match your needs and budget. Self-storage units come in a wide range of sizes and options, but the monthly cost will vary based on several factors.

The national average cost is around $240 per month. According to HomeAdvisor, per-month storage prices range from $20 to $450. 

TypeCost
National Average Cost$120
Average Cost Range$80–$160
Minimum Cost$20
Maximum Cost$450

How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Self-Storage Unit Near Me?

Not surprisingly, the size of the self-storage unit is the most critical factor in determining the price you’ll pay each month. More space means more money per month. However, location and availability play roles in the final price tag, too. 

Choosing to rent a storage unit in a metro area or a rural area can change the monthly price. For example, a 5-foot by 5-foot storage locker may cost $20 per month in a rural area or around $40 per month in a large metropolitan area.

It comes down to supply, demand, and availability. You’ll likely find a wide range of prices within a small geographic area when you’re shopping for a self-storage facility near you

Cost of a Self-Storage Unit by Size

Close-up of a woman unlocking a self-storage unit
Photo: Nikolay Tsuguliev / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Size is the prominent determining factor for self-storage unit prices. Let’s take a look at the most common sizes available and the average price range for each.

5x5

At 25 square feet, 5-foot by 5-foot storage lockers are ideal for storing several boxes, files, or small household items. They’re becoming popular for small business owners or homeowners who need an out-of-the-way spot to keep items safe. Costs range from $40 to $50 per month in urban areas.

5x10

Fifty square feet of storage space is enough to fill a room full of possessions and, possibly, a few miscellaneous items. Pricing is only slightly more than a unit half its size and ranges from $35 to $60 per month

10x10

A 10-foot by 10-foot storage unit can house a couple of rooms-worth of belongings or even the contents of a small apartment. The price for this size unit ranges between $80 and $160 per month. 

10x15

Large furniture or three rooms-worth of items can fit into a 10-foot by 15-foot unit. It’s not as large as a two-door garage, but you could likely get everything in your garage into it except the automobiles. Monthly pricing ranges from $100 to $200

10x20

If you need serious room for storage, a 10-foot by 20-foot unit is nearly the size of a two-door garage. The contents of several rooms or a small one or two-bedroom home can fit into it. Vehicle storage in this size unit also becomes an option at some storage facilities. Expect an average price range of $120 to $280 per month

How Much Does a Climate-Controlled Self-Storage Unit Cost?

You may find yourself in need of a storage solution for valuables such as musical instruments, art, photos, important documents, or fine furniture. If that’s the case, a climate-controlled self-storage unit is an excellent option for keeping these items safe and protected from outdoor weather elements. 

Climate-controlled storage units are primarily located in indoor storage facilities, and  mechanically kept at a temperature well above freezing and with humidity levels at or near 65%. 

Climate-controlled storage units offer an extra layer of protection for your valuables. Choosing that extra protection costs an additional $25 to $30 per month on average for the same-sized space. 

How Much Does Vehicle Storage Cost?

If you have vehicles that need to be stored, some self-storage facilities will allow you to use a standard storage unit for the purpose. However, it’s not an option at most storage facilities. Vehicles, especially large types such as trucks, RVs, or boats, usually require distinct self-storage solutions. 

Several options exist for storing vehicles, including:  

  • Outdoor storage

  • Covered outdoor storage

  • Indoor storage

  • Climate-controlled storage

Outdoor vehicle storage starts at around $45 per month. As you add more security and amenities, the cost rises to about $450 per month for indoor, climate-controlled, and secure storage.  

How Much Does Portable Container Storage Cost?

Traditionally, portable storage containers have been used more often for short-term storage rather than a self-storage option. Their use has become commonplace among moving companies, and their popularity is growing among general storage consumers. Choosing between a portable storage container and a storage unit will come down to personal preference, what you’re storing, and your budget. Portable containers are available in standard sizes measured by their length. 

Unit SizeApproximate Square FeetEstimated Cost Per Month
7-feet59$90
12-feet89$110
16-feet120$140
20-feet151$170–$250

How To Reduce Self-Storage Costs

Now that we understand the factors that determine the monthly cost of renting a self-storage unit, let’s review a few tips to lower your out-of-pocket commitment. 

1. Use Your Home Insurance to Protect Your Unit

Some self-storage facilities require you to purchase their insurance coverage in case of damage to your property. These policies can cost an additional $10 per month. However, many homeowners insurance companies offer storage insurance options that cost well below that amount. Ask your storage facility if you can use your homeowners insurance to save a few dollars each month. 

2. Cut Back on Features

Climate-controlled storage with an on-site security guard present 24 hours a day is nice to have, but it’ll cost you. However, if you’re planning to store items that don’t need temperature protection or high levels of security, the extra cost may not be worth it to you. Instead, rent a more basic self-storage unit to save money. 

3. Disassemble Furniture to Save Space

The most significant factor in self-storage pricing is the size of the storage unit. You may be able to save money by renting a smaller unit. Take the time to disassemble your furniture to save space, and consider packing small items together in boxes that can be stacked to lessen their footprint.  

4. Rent in a Less Expensive Location

One of the main reasons to rent a self-storage unit is the convenience of having access to your possessions when you need them. However, if you live in a major city, willingness to drive farther for access means you can rent a unit where the cost is significantly less than in the city. 

5. Wait Until Demand is Low

As with anything we purchase, supply and demand affect prices. Self-storage units are no exception. If you can wait until wintertime, when demand is low, to rent storage space, you’ll likely find better prices than in warmer seasons. 

Questions and Answers About the Cost of Renting a Self-Storage Unit

Are self-storage units secure?

The level of security varies by storage facility and between types of storage. When you’re shopping for a self-storage unit that fits your needs, there are several questions to ask the storage facility. Most importantly, get satisfactory answers about the facility's level of security before signing a rental agreement. 

Are there any additional fees?

Many storage facilities require a refundable security deposit, usually around $30. You’re also likely to pay additional one-time administrative fees at some locations. These usually are $15 or less and aren’t refundable. 

Shopping around for lower deposit requirements and lower administrative costs is an excellent way to save a few dollars before you sign a rental agreement.

Will my possessions get damaged in self-storage?

There are risks associated with renting self-storage. Damage can happen for several reasons, including weather, humidity, heat, cold, and negligence. Keep your belongings secure by choosing the best storage facility available to you, packing carefully, and placing items off of the unit’s floor when you can.