U-Haul Self Storage Review
When you think about U-Haul, you probably envision moving trucks and vans. However, U-Haul also offers self-storage options for individuals and businesses. All in all, U-Haul self-storage can be a convenient and inexpensive option.
U-Haul Storage Overview
U-Haul Storage offers four types of storage: climate-controlled, outdoor/drive-up, vehicle, and commercial and business. Climate-controlled storage units are typically the most sought after but also more expensive than outside storage units.
The various unit sizes allow you to store a small amount of stuff, a house's worth, or somewhere in between. The company offers various payment methods and doesn't charge a deposit at its thousands of nationwide locations. Some locations offer 24/7 access.
Self-storage customers are responsible for transporting their items to the facility and for loading and unloading. Most of the time, that requires renting a truck, which is convenient since most U-Haul storage facilities also rent U-Haul moving vans. We can handle the loading and unloading for you, though, and make sure your stuff is safely packing into your storage unit.
U-Haul Storage: Pros and Cons
With somewhere around 2,000 self-storage facilities across the US and Canada, U-Haul is an obvious choice to consider when shopping for a storage unit. But how does U-Haul stack up to the competition? Let's take a look at some pros and cons of U-Haul storage:
- Thousands of locations
- Consistently low prices
- Prices remain the same across all channels (online, in person, etc.)
- No deposit or administrative fees
- Many locations have 24/7 access
- U-Haul trucks and trailers can be rented at their storage facilities
- A reputation for poor customer service
- Unit rental prices can increase since contracts are month-to-month
- Customers may have to dig a little to find pricing info at some locations online
U-Haul Storage Reviews
U-Haul Storage reviews are generally negative, with many customers having bad experiences. For example, reviewers on Consumer Affairs write about poor customer service, difficulty with payment, unavailable loading dock spaces, and not enough elevators for large facilities. Some customers had bad experiences with pests and vermin, attributing them to U-Haul Storage due to holes in the unit.
In fact, finding reviews themselves can be cumbersome. On BBB, you have to find the individual storage or moving locations to read reviews. On TrustPilot, they are lumped in with the moving truck/van rental options.
Consumer Affairs offers a better experience, but there is a lot of lumping in too. More differentiation between the storage and moving aspects of U-Haul would be helpful for customers who search for public storage reviews.
U-Haul Self-Storage Cost Factors
The biggest cost factor is the specific location you want to store your stuff at. For example, if you choose a unit in Yakima, WA, prices could start at $69.95 per month. In Los Angeles, prices vary considerably, with some units starting at $74.95 at one location and those at other locations starting at $154.95. Bottom line, more convenient locations will have higher monthly rental prices.
The tighter the availability at a facility, the higher the price you pay. Overall, though, U-Haul Storage costs a bit less than other big name storage facilities, like Public Storage and Extra Space Storage.
Additional cost factors include whether the unit rent goes up over time, the unit's size, and whether you qualify for a special promotion or discount, such as one month's free rent with a regularly priced truck rental. U-Haul Storage does not lock customers in long-term contracts, instead opting for month-to-month agreements. While this adds flexibility all around, it comes with the potential for price increases.
Fortunately, U-Haul Storage prices are the same online, in person, and over the phone. You don't need to worry about missing out on a great deal if you reserve your storage unit online versus going to the facility in person.
Of course, the difference among unit sizes can be significant. If you think you won't be able to fit your items into a small-sized or medium-sized unit, we can help and properly pack your storage unit so that everything fits.
If the cost difference between a small and medium unit is, say, $30 a month, that adds up to significant savings. On average, consumers rent storage units for at least a year. Many rent them for much longer.
You also have to pay for a lock. As with all self-storage facilities, insurance is required when renting a unit. U-Haul Storage partners with Safestor, and insurance rates start at $7.95 per month for $1,000 worth of coverage.
U-Haul Storage Unit Sizes
U-Haul offers eight different storage unit sizes. As far as self-storage prices go, their units cost about 10% less than comparable units from competitors.
Sizes from 5 x 5 feet up to 5 x 10 feet (up to 50 Sq Ft)
Recommended for storing miscellaneous household items like sports equipment, seasonal decorations, closet or dorm room gear
Sizes from 5 x 15 feet up to 10 x 15 feet (50-150 Sq Ft)
Recommended for a small home or apartment, transitions such as military deployment, home renovation or downsizing
Sizes from 10 x 20 feet and up (150+ Sq Ft)
Recommended for storing items from an entire home, townhome, or large apartment
U-Haul Storage: Services and Features Available
The storage facilities at U-Haul offer numerous services and features as far as the selection of unit sizes, payment flexibility, and security. As touched on earlier, the different unit sizes can meet many needs. You can choose to store a small room's worth of stuff or an entire house. Unit sizes range from 5 x 5 feet to 10 x 30 feet.
- The various payment options include in person, over the phone, and online. Online offers auto-pay, which is especially helpful in avoiding late payments. U-Haul Storage accepts major credit cards, cash, checks, and ACH. The fees for late payments vary depending on location.
- Pay no deposit or administration fees. Only the first month of rent is due upon signing your contract.
- One month's free storage at some locations may be available with certain truck or trailer rentals.
- Month-by-month rental agreements are used (no long-term contracts).
Security features vary by facility but the self-storage location you choose will likely include some or all of the following:
- Fire sprinklers: Even a small fire can be devastating. Fire sprinklers at the storage facility help to limit possible damage to your stuff.
- Security cameras: Strategically placed cameras offer around-the-clock monitoring to deter trespassers and thieves and to help law enforcement if something happens.
- 24/7 individually alarmed rooms: The alarm will go off if someone enters your unit without authorization. The only way to disarm it is through your code or access card. Even vacant units have alarms.
- Electronic access for customers: Use unique access codes and cards to enter the storage facility and the individual unit. The codes and cards help create electronic records of who entered where and when, which adds to the security.
- Intercoms for two-way communication: Press a button close by if you ever need to talk with someone in the storage facility office. This feature is available at most locations but not all.
- Limited access to your floor or building: Customers can access only the floors or buildings where they have units. Someone with a unit on the third floor would not be able to access the second floor where you have a storage unit.
U-Haul Self-Storage is worth considering, especially if you value low public storage prices and the flexibility of month-to-month contracts. Reviews do mention difficulties with customer service and payment, so choosing U-Haul to store your items might work better if you have the ability to visit your location in person to resolve potential issues that arise.