Storage Units

Compare self-storage providers in New Zealand with Canstar Blue. National Storage, Kennards, Kiwi Self Storage and Storage King, were compared on value for money, customer service, safety & security, accessibility, quality of storage, convenient location and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | National Storage

National Storage are the national favourite for storage!

National Storage are the national favourite for storage!

For New Zealanders in the market for storage units, it seems that convenience and price are the main drivers when making decisions on which one. Most people found their self-storage because it was close to where they live.  But, when it came to signing on the dotted line, 50% of people said price was the main factor and 65% said it was down to convenience. This year’s Canstar Blue survey has seen National Storage take the Most Satisfied Customer Award for 2018 with five stars in value for money, customer service, safety & security, accessibility and convenient location, and a respectable four stars for quality of storage.

What is a storage unit and what can I store?

Basically, self-storage lets you hire a space or unit that you can store your stuff in.  There’s not a lot to it! More interestingly, what can you store and what can’t you store? According to the National Storage website, things you can put in storage include furniture, books, appliances, vehicles, clothes, sporting equipment and collectibles.  Now for things you can’t keep in self-storage, paint and paint thinner, solvents, petrol, medical supplies, fresh food, animal food, animals, plants, weapons and of course illegal substances or items. Needless to say, if it’s living, you can’t put it in storage.

Storage units have been used for many weird and wonderful things and amazingly, some people forget they have them.  Some of the more unusual contents of abandoned units have been:

  • James Bond’s submarine car.  One unsuspecting man in 1989 paid less than $100 for a storage unit in the United States, and when he cut the bolts and opened his new unit the next day he found a white sports car covered in blankets.  He later found out that the car was one of the submarine cars driven by James Bond in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’.
  • A human leg.  It was not a normal day when a man who purchased a storage unit in 2007 at an auction found a meat smoker with a human leg inside it.  The original owner of the unit, John Wood, lost his leg in a plane crash in 2004. He was keeping it in storage but lost the unit when he fell behind in payments.
  • A rocket.  During popular American TV show Auction Hunters, Allen Haff and Clinton Jones bid $1500 for the contents of a storage unit.  Later they found a NASA countdown clock and a NASA rocket. They sold these and NASA never asked for their rocket back.

So, assuming you’re not the owner of one of the above, what are other reasons people need a storage unit?

Being between homes is the most popular motive, followed by not having enough space at home, moved to a different area for work, having the house renovated and travelling overseas.

Things to look out for when looking for a self-storage unit.

T’s and C’s. Make sure the self-storage facility’s rules and regulations suit your wants and needs.  Different people have different wants and needs and it’s important to make sure the facility has what you need.  Is it dry? It’s best not to invest in a damp space to keep your things if they are vulnerable to moisture. You wouldn’t want a collection of books sitting in a wet room.  Try to make sure the storage unit you’re looking at is a suitable size for whatever you’re planning on putting in it. Make sure your storage unit is lockable and is locked.  As you can imagine, storage units are often full of goodies which attract burglars.

How long do people use self-storage units for?

Surprisingly, not as long as you might expect.  When asked how long people have used their self-storage unit, for the majority of people (51%) it was up to six months.  Most people (70%) use storage units for less than a year. This is likely because the most popular use for self-storage seems to be founded from temporary situations.  Things like being between homes, renovating, travelling and relationships ending. Some people, although the minority, use storage units long term. This is often to store valuables, collectables, heirlooms, and things that don’t need to be used on a daily, or even yearly basis.

What happens if you abandon your self-storage unit?

Specific details may vary with different storage providers, but here is an overview of what usually happens.  When a storage unit is considered abandoned, the contents become property of the storage facility. It doesn’t matter if the contents are worth more than the entire facility itself, that’s how it works, so make sure you don’t forget about yours!  Of course, there is a period of trying to contact the owner, but if they are unable to make contact, the facility will often conduct an auction for the contents in an attempt to cover the rent arrears. The auction’s time and place have to be publicised and the owner will receive a certified notification that this will be happening.  So, rest assured, your unit will not be auctioned off without you knowing about it.

And, what did the people we spoke to rate about their storage unit experience?

Customer service

Although the customer service for a storage facility isn’t going to be a daily need, it’s nice to know that it’s there when you need it.  National Storage and Kiwi Self Storage received five stars, Storage King and Kennards four.

Value for money

This subject is somewhat subjective and different people may have different experiences, that said, this is a fairly good ‘rule of thumb’ guide to follow if you’re in the market.

National Storage registered five stars, Storage king and Kiwi Self Storage scored four stars and Kennards scored three.

Quality of storage

The reason why you’ve stored your possessions is because you want to keep them safe, this means clean and dry too.  It’s always worth checking out the storage units before you sing the contract. Be aware of water stains or a damp smell in the air as this could be a sign that the unit is not weather tight.

Storage King was awarded five stars in this category, National Storage gain four and the other operators all scored three.  

Safety and security

Safety and security is important for almost everyone, if you’re paying for a storage service you want it to be safe and secure.  The good news is that all four self-storage facilities scored a perfect five stars, so your things will be safe no matter who you choose.


Being able to gain easy access to your unit is pretty important.  Having limited hours of opening may not fit well with your availability so make sure that if you need access outside of regular hours, your storage facility provides that service.

National Storage again scored five stars with all other operators registering four.

Convenient location

It’s no good paying a bargain price but having to drive hours to get to your unit, especially if you will be wanting regular access.  Check out the locations on the websites before you’re tempted to sign up to make sure it’s going to work for you.

National Storage were again the only operator awarded five stars in this category, with Storage King taking four and the remainder all being awarded three stars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have used a self-storage service in the last 2 years, in this case, 375 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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