Public Storage Brand Review: Pricing & Services

Bottom line: Public Storage isn’t one of our favorite companies. It’s widely available but costs more than average and has some worrisome security flaws.
publicstorage
Public Storage
Our Rating
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on May 14, 2021
5 min read

Public Storage has some things we love but doesn’t quite make the list of our best self-storage companies. It has more locations than just about any other company, so it’s easy to find. And no one focuses more on boat storage. But Public Storage costs about 5% more than the industry average—and it has a few security red flags that concern us.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Wide availability
Pro Bullet Climate-controlled storage
Pro Bullet On-site managers
Pro Bullet Boat storage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Above average prices
Con Bullet Below average security

See where Public Storage ranks on our Best Self-Storage Companies piece.


How much does Public Storage cost?

Public Storage costs approximately $190 per month. Move.org analyzed nearly 300 Public Storage quotes and found that Public Storage is about 5% more expensive than the industry average. Costs range from about $110 per month for a small standard space to $350 for a large one, while climate-controlled units start as low as $120 and go as high as $300. Vehicle and boat storage rates average about $400 per month.

Note: Costs vary widely depending on size, availability, and one-time sales, so we recommend you contact Public Storage for a quote in your area.

Public Storage pricing

Storage unit size
Standard storage unit
Climate-controlled storage unit
Small (5 x 5–5 x 10 ft.)$110$120
Medium (5 x 15–10 x 10 ft.)$190$190
Large (10 x 15–10 x 25 ft.)$350$300
Vehicle (20–50 ft.)$400NA

Data as of 2/25/21. Prices include online estimates for storage unit costs, insurance, and taxes. Size rangers, offers, and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Public Storage cost factors

Several factors affect the cost of storage units at Public Storage:

  • Size. Large units typically cost more than smaller storage spaces. You can often save hundreds of dollars by picking the right size.
  • Climate control. Climate-controlled storage units monitor the temperature in your storage unit. They’re ideal for storing items like leather furniture and books that don’t do well in extreme temperatures. Technically they cost more too, but our analysis of nearly 300 Public Storage quotes found that you can sometimes get them cheaper than regular units.
  • Availability. Storage unit prices are always in flux. You can often get incredible deals if the self-storage facility has lots of empty units, while you typically pay more if units at your location are in high demand.
  • Sales. Public Storage has online sales that can change from day to day. If you’re lucky, you can snag a climate-controlled unit at an even lower price than standard storage spaces.
  • Discounts. Public Storage gives new customers their first month’s rent for only $1. Whether you’re clearing out closet space in your current home or waiting to move things into a new one, the new customer discount is a simple way to save up to hundreds of dollars.
  • Fees. Public Storage charges a one-time $24 administrative fee, and mandatory insurance costs $15 per month.
  • Locks. You must purchase your own storage unit lock. While you can get cheap locks for around $20, higher-quality storage locks set you back about twice that much.

Interested in a new customer discount?

Public Storage coverage options

Public Storage offers storage unit insurance through the Orange Door Storage Insurance Program. Details may vary by state, but the program typically provides $5,000 worth of coverage for a monthly cost of $15. The insurance protects against several perils (consult your Certificate of Insurance for a complete list):

  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Water
  • Flood and windstorm
  • Burglary
  • Vermin and fungus (limited coverage)

Note: Public Storage also accepts homeowners insurance. Check with your insurance agent for more information.

Heads Up
Pro tip: Don’t ask Public Storage about insurance

We’ve never talked to Public Storage employees who could answer insurance questions. Save yourself some time and speak directly with the Orange Door Storage Insurance Program by calling 1-877-878-6730 and selecting option three.


Public Storage features and services

Climate-controlled storage

Public Storage has specialized climate-controlled units that monitor the temperature levels inside your storage space. The units are normally a bit pricey, but our analysis of nearly 300 Public Storage quotes showed that these babies often cost less than traditional storage units thanks to online sales. The storage company says that its climate-controlled units are ideal for valuables that don’t hold up well in hot, cold, or humid conditions:

  • Photos
  • Film
  • Cameras and lenses
  • Electronics
  • Wine
  • Wood furniture
  • Leather
  • Fabrics
  • Upholstery
  • Record albums
  • Magnetic media (like cassette tapes and hard drives)
  • Musical instruments
Info Box
How to prevent mold

Don’t pack your storage unit to the brim. Public Storage says there’s less chance for mold and mildew to grow if you leave space for air between your boxes.

Boat storage

Public Storage has the best boat storage we’ve seen. You can pick between a covered or uncovered parking spot—or go the full monty and reserve an expensive indoor unit big enough for your boat. The storage spaces sometimes cost less than dry-dock storage at a marina (dry dock storage prices vary widely, but you’ll often pay between $50–$200 per foot for a season). They’re also an easy way to reclaim your driveway for the family car or a good old-fashioned basketball hoop.

Public Storage caters to all kinds of watercraft:

  • Canoes
  • Jet skis
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards
  • Small watercraft
  • Surfboards
  • Trailered boats

It even has a web page devoted to water sports with helpful boat storage tips.

On-site managers

Public Storage has on-site managers to help with all of your storage needs (sometimes they even live in an apartment at the self-storage facility to keep a closer eye on things). In addition to helping you rent a unit, the managers can also hook you up (for a cost) with packing supplies like bubble wrap, boxes, and furniture covers.


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Things to know about Public Storage

Wide availability

You can find a Public Storage facility almost anywhere for a good reason: it claims to be the largest self-storage company in the nation. Moving across the country? Chances are you can find a Public Storage in your new city. Need two large units while you remodel your home? You probably don’t have to look far to find a Public Storage.

With more than 2,000 locations, Public Storage’s nationwide availability is its greatest strength.

Poor security

Public Storage could do a better job telling customers about its security features. There’s almost no mention of security on its website, and the company’s customer service reps struggled to answer our basic questions. We did verify that Public Storage has essential features like video surveillance and electronic gates, but that’s like proving that a burger joint sells hamburgers: everyone has those things.

Public Storage may not be the best option if safety is important to you. We’re concerned by how hard it is to get basic security information.

Above average prices

Public Storage typically costs about 5% more than the industry average. The price difference shakes out to around $10 per month. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it adds up to more than $100 over a year. That’s money you could use to hire a moving labor company to unload your rental truck.


Public Storage FAQ

Can I make a payment by phone to avoid a Public Storage late fee?

You can sometimes make a payment by phone to avoid a Public Storage late fee. However, you may have to pay a $20 transaction fee for each phone payment.

Does Public Storage have mini storage units?

No, Public Storage does not have mini storage units. While some of its facilities may have small storage lockers, the smallest size on the company’s website is a 5 x 5-foot unit.

What is the largest Public Storage unit size?

The largest Public Storage unit size is a 10 x 25-foot storage unit. The company also advertises a 50-foot parking space recommended for oversized vehicles.

Does Public Storage have cold storage?

No, Public Storage doesn’t have cold storage (or refrigerated storage). However, the company offers climate-controlled storage units that keep your belongings at a consistent temperature.

How can I reach Public Storage customer service?

New customers can reach Public Storage customer service by calling 1-833-814-3592. Existing customers can contact customer service representatives by calling 1-800-567-0759.

What are Public Storage’s customer service hours?

Public Storage’s customer service hours are Monday through Saturday from 5:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Pacific and Sunday from 5:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Does Public Storage have more locations than Extra Space Storage?

Yes, Public Storage has more locations than Extra Space Storage. While Extra Space Storage has more than 1,850 locations, Public Storage claims to have more than 2,000 facilities across the country.


Our recommendation

Public Storage is an excellent option if you need a place to store your boat. We’ve never seen a company pay more attention to people who own boats, kayaks, or jet skis. And with more than 2,000 nationwide locations, chances are you’ll find a Public Storage near popular boating spots. 

But the company is also a bit pricey, and its lack of attention to security is a red flag that keeps Public Storage off our Best Storage Unit Companies list.

Looking for the best boat storage?

Other self-storage picks

Check out our reviews of storage unit companies with better prices and security features:

Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.