Last Updated: February 13, 2023

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Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Storage Containers

2. How Much Does a Storage Container Cost?

3. What Type & Size Containers Are Available?

4. Extra Storage Container Features to Consider

5. New vs Used Storage Container Considerations

6. Storage Container Delivery and Installation

7. Compare Buying vs Leasing a Storage Container

8. Questions to Ask Your Storage Container Dealer

Storage container costs vary dramatically based on size, modifications, location, and whether you buy new or used. You also have the choice to rent, lease, or purchase outright. With so many variables, budgeting can be a challenge. We offer the following estimates and averages based on a variety of factors and storage container types, but for definitive pricing, you need to talk to a dealer to discuss your unique needs.

Buying, Leasing, and Rental Options

If you need a storage container, you have three options: buying, leasing, and renting. If you plan to use the container for two years or more and you have the cash reserves, buying it outright makes the best choice. Containers last for years (at least a decade) and can be sold to recoup costs or even rented out when you no longer need them. You may also look at used containers, especially if you don't require heavy modifications. A used storage container may save you thousands of dollars.

Leasing works well if you need the unit for a month or more, or if you don't have the cash on hand or available credit to purchase one outright. Renting is your best bet if you only need the container for a month or two. Most companies rent by the month rather than daily or weekly.

How Much Does a New Storage Container Cost?

These are the most difficult units to estimate, as there are so many variables. Size, special features, modifications, and your location play a huge role in determining price.

A standard 20' storage container, with zero modifications, averages between $2,800 and $3,400. Expect to pay between $5,000 and $6,000 for a 40' container without modifications. Add a couple of hundred for a 40' high cube container.

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As you add modifications, prices rise. Modifications vary, but common items include:

  • Shelving: Costs depend on the number of shelves or brackets, averaging around $85 per pair of brackets.
  • Doors: Varies depending on the door type. Personnel doors run between $100 and $400, while roll-up doors start at around $600.
  • Enhanced security: Lockboxes cost around $90.
  • Awnings: Permanent awnings run anywhere from $100 to $1,000, while retractable awnings start at around $1,500.

Some vendors offer discounts for the unit or delivery if you order more than one storage container.

How Much Does a Used Storage Container Cost?

Pricing on used storage containers is dramatically lower than for new units. As with new, much depends on the container's size and whether the model has modifications, but you can expect to save around 30 to 50 percent over what you pay for a new container.

  • Used 20' standard containers in good condition average between $2,000 and $2,500. Older units may sell for as little as $1,200.
  • Used 40' standard containers sell for around $2,600 to $3,300.
  • Used 40' high cube containers sell for around $2,700 to $3,400.

As with new units, modified used storage containers come with a higher price tag, depending on the modifications.

Look carefully at used models. Chipped paint leaves the steel vulnerable to rust and corrosion, especially if the container began life in transportation. All that time on shipping boats exposed it to plenty of salt water.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent or Lease a Storage Container?

Rental and lease costs vary by location, size, and length of the contract.

  • Daily rates range between $3 and $8 per day
  • Standard containers rates range between $75 and $300 per month, depending on size
  • Modified containers rates range between $125 and $500 per month

Most companies require a one-month minimum (some offer 28-day contracts), even when renting instead of leasing.

Lease rates depend on the length of the lease, with longer leases typically getting you a reduced monthly payment. Expect to spend between $75 and $150 per month for an unmodified container, with the average lease running for 24 months.

Special Size Container Costs

Traditional storage containers are either 20' or 40' long, as this was the standard in the shipping industry. However, some vendors offer non-traditional sizes, such as 10' and 48' containers. These units are specially constructed using 20' and 40' models, which are either cut into smaller units or welded together to make a larger container. The cost to create these containers is higher, but if you have a very specific need, you may decide it's worth the extra cost.

High cube containers are another popular choice, particularly in the construction industry. These also cost a bit more than their standard sized counterparts, especially if you also want to customize the length.

Don’t Forget the Delivery Fee

When comparing prices, always ask about delivery rates, as it usually adds substantially to the overall price of the unit. You'll pay less for delivery if you choose a local vendor, so it may be worth paying a bit more for the unit if you can save hundreds on delivery.

The cost to transport and install your container varies dramatically, from less than $100 to more than $500 for local delivery. It all depends on distance and weight. Some vendors have a minimum fee and others have a maximum distance. If you lease or rent, you also want to ask about the fee for pick-up.

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