'Horses for courses' - as they say.
It's an easy thought process to trap yourself in, which starts with the question of 'I need a long term car storage solution', and normally ends in the answer of 'well I'll just go to a normal big-brand self storage provider'. Whilst conventional self-storage houses (think National, Kennards etc) are fantastic at providing solutions for domestic storage, they don't normally immerse themselves around providing vehicle storage.
Whilst car storage is big business in the more congested parts of the world (United Kingdom, Hong Kong, New York), the concept of specialised car storage is still a young and somewhat unique concept, not only in Brisbane, but across Australia. If you are considering the storage of your vehicle, its important to know the key differences between the two types of storage before embarking on either one. You may recall we pointed out the key differences between the two concepts a little while back, so building on that, here are 5 reasons to choose a specialist storage operator over a traditional self-storage provider -
1. They Are Usually Far More Affordable
For most, this is where the decisive difference is - professional storage is normally a convenience or luxury for most, so price points play a big part in the decision making process. Whilst most self-storage pricing represents fair value for the storage of multiple items, it usually doesn't stack of for the storage of singular vehicles. This is because their storage units are individual, with partitioning walls between them normally secured by roller doors. A vehicle storage provider normally runs off a single bulk space, of which they manage the storage of vehicles themselves. This means no expensive fit outs or space taken up by partition walls and doors, which ultimately means a much lower price available to the consumer. How much cheaper? We did a price comparison exercise last year, that demonstrated that Autohouse Storage's prices (for indoor car storage) were between 55% and 136% cheaper than selected Self-Storage companies in the local area.
2. Everything is Under One Roof
At a Self-Storage Outlet, you can obviously expect storage space, perhaps along with the availability of packaging materials, and an array of trolly's and handcarts to use. What you can't expect, is the storage units to have power points to plug your battery charger into, as well as aftermarket services such as car grooming, transportation and regular engine start-ups. A specialist car storage outfit will normally offer all the services a vehicle requires to maintain its condition whilst off the road, meaning you won't have to contend with dead batteries, dusty paint and flat tyres.
Expect the following after-market service-offerings from a Vehicle Storage Specialist:
Regular Engine Start-Up Services
Supply of Storage Products (Fuel Stabilisers, Oil Drip Pans)
Ability to organise transport, roadworthy certificates and basic maintenance and repairs
3. Arrive & Drive
The better car storage providers will encapsulate a valet-style system, where with prior notice, you simply drop your car and keys to a staff member, and let them safely put the vehicle away for you. When it comes to collection, the provider will ensure your vehicle is ready for your arrival, making the pick-up process as quick and painless as possible. Conversely, the provider will normally be able to organise local tilt-tray transport, if the vehicle can't be driven on the road.
4. Choice of Indoor & Outdoor Options
As we mentioned previously, storage is often a luxury for most, so being able to offer a more cost effective option is certainly appealing. Have an old project car that has seen better days? Aren't worried about the elements or UV damage? Then outdoor storage will suit as a cost effective storage solution, that will still keep your (future) pride & joy safe and secure. Most outdoor storage environments are still very secure, and offer a value-for-money storage alternative to secure indoor storage.
5. They Can Take Care of Everything
Most of the more credible vehicle storage operators out there will have a reliable network of service providers to rely on for any maintenance the vehicle may require, which will typically include:
Mechanical Workshops or Mobile Mechanics
Body & Panel Repairers
Car Carriers (Both Local & Interstate)
A healthy network of trusted contacts will mean a true, 'one-stop-shop' experience for a specialist car storage customer for any work required on their vehicle, something a conventional self-storage provider is unlikely to offer.
To be fair to all, there are some benefits to utilising conventional self-storage for vehicle storage, which can include:
Better choice of location due to the sheer volume of self-storage outlets
Unrestricted access without prior notice (during the operators opening hours, which can vary)
The ability to storage loose items in any excess space the unit may have
Whilst the above factors are somewhat attractive, they will certainly come at cost, with a self-storage unit with the capacity to house a large vehicle (3 x 6m) costing 50-150%* more than a non-premium car storage facility (assuming price points circa $45-55 per week).