The self storage industry is a fast-growing one in the UK, accounting for a massive 47% of the total European storage market. There are 1430 storage facilities in the UK, offering a total of 42.2 million square feet of storage space – that is the equivalent of 15,000 tennis courts or 50 Buckingham Palace’s worth! The UK is also the European country with the greatest number of new storage units in 2016.
There are probably a combination of reasons for this, one being that the UK has, on average, smaller homes than many other European nations, the average UK home being just under 72 sq metres (775 square feet), compared to 79 sq metres (850 sq ft) in France, 91 sq metres (980 sq ft) in Spain, 92.6 square metres (997 sq ft) in Germany and a whopping 108 sq metres (1162 sq ft) in Italy. The high cost of housing in the UK leading to people living in shared accommodation or with their parents until they are much older are likely to also be factors.
The most common reason stated for needing to use self-storage, by 40% of respondents (surveyed by the UK Self Storage Association) was lack of space for items at home, with a further 11% saying they needed to create space. Only 21% of respondent were moving or between homes with 6% using storage to de-clutter their home in order to sell it. These statistics point to the use of self storage facilities being more than a short, stop-gap solution to a temporary lack of space for a lot of people.
As with any growing, competitive industry, it is always a good idea for consumers to compare what is on offer as rates and terms will vary, however, a huge percentage of self storage users (68%) became aware of their current storage unit because they saw it from the road, proving that store visibility and a prominent location is a huge driver for business into storage units. We would always recommend that you choose a storage provider who is registered with the UK Self Storage Association and meets the European standard. The UK SSA was set up to promote the industry, define industry standards and represent Self Storage operator.
The same applies to self storage insurance. A growing storage market means growing demand for ancillary services such as storage insurance. With a number of self storage providers now offering either their own policies or that of a storage insurance provider as part of the deal, as well as a host of options available from specialist storage insurance providers, the onus is on the consumer to ensure that they are getting, not simply the best deal on their storage insurance, but the best storage insurance for their circumstances, taking into account cover limits, exclusions and the value of cover they require.
For more information on our storage insurance product, have a look at the summary of cover on our website, as well as our FAQ's, you can also get an instant quote and instant cover.