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Rent to Own Storage Containers: How Does it Work?

Storage containers are widely used across the world for a variety of storage needs. One of the reasons they are so popular among both commercial and residential customers is that they are very cost-effective, with many payment options available. Did you know that you can “rent to own” a storage container? Renting to own can be a great choice for customers who favor the monthly payment structure of rentals, but still want to ultimately own their container.

Storage Container Payment Options

When you decide you need a storage container, you will start by considering different storage container manufacturers and dealers. Most of these companies will present you with several options when it comes to payment:

  • Rent (aka lease): You will pay monthly premiums to rent the container. Your dealer will deliver the container and pick it up after the contract is up.
  • Rent to own: You “finance” the container, paying monthly premiums to eventually own it.
  • Buy: You pay for the container upfront, and then you own it.

Different options make sense to different kinds of buyers, business budgets, and industries. So make sure you consider each option! Learn more about renting a storage container.

What is “Rent to Own”?

“Rent to own” is a payment plan option for storage container customers. It works much like financing a car. Essentially, you will choose a storage container dealer, who will rent the storage container to you at a monthly cost. You will make monthly payments towards the container over a period of time of your choosing. Once the contract length is up and you’ve “paid off” the full cost of the container, it’s yours to own!

How Much does it Cost?

The “rent to own” option for storage containers is seen as a very cost-efficient option for those who intend to own their container. It’s also a popular payment option for buyers who plan to use their container for 3 years or more. In this case, renting to own can be more cost-effective than just simply renting, since you can own the container after about 2-3 years at roughly the same price as simply renting. However, you will then own the container, which has a resale value. This gives you the opportunity to put money back in your pocket.

Costs to consider

The overall cost of “rent to own” storage containers depends on several factors. You will have a few up-front costs as well as monthly premiums. It all depends on the storage container dealer and their rent to own contract structure. Here are a few price considerations to be aware of when looking to rent to own:

  • Down payment: Some dealers will require a down payment for a rent-to-own container. Others will consider it optional. Either way, a down payment can help you pay off the cost of your container sooner.
  • Security deposit: Some companies require a security deposit for the container while others do not. This may depend on your credit. However, keep in mind that there are many companies out there that do not require a security deposit.
  • Monthly rental premium: As with any storage container rental, you will have monthly rental payments. This is no different than the payments you would make if renting. Pay attention to the contract length, as this will influence the monthly premium. The shorter the contract, the higher the monthly premium and vice versa. Make sure the contract duration and monthly cost fits within your budget.
  • Interest rates: Interest rates are rare for rent to own containers, but some dealers may issue them. Pay close attention to this in the contract, as it will drive up the overall cost of the container. Note that there are dealers out there who offer interest-free options!
  • Delivery costs: Almost any container dealer will charge a delivery fee. This will be unavoidable, as you will need the company to deliver the container directly to your location. But make sure to ask the cost before buying and budget appropriately. 

Costs by container type

Of course, different types of storage containers will have different price tags. This applies to rent to own as well. Depending on the size, condition, and customizations of the storage container you choose, your monthly costs will be different. We encourage you to explore the cost of storage containers according to size, condition and add-on features further.

Typical Contract Options

As mentioned, the cost of your container’s monthly premium will depend on the length of your rental contract. The longer your contract, the less you will pay each month. The shorter your contract, the more you will pay each month. However, a shorter contract means you will pay off the cost of the container sooner, and therefore own it sooner. The contract length is largely up to you, but container companies offer a few typical contract length options:

  • 24 months
  • 36 months
  • 48 months
  • 60 months 

Should You “Rent to Own”?

Are "rent to own" storage containers right for you? That question depends on a few things related to your storage needs. Typically, renting to own is seen as a very cost-efficient and convenient option, which helps storage container buyers get a better lifetime value on their container compared to just renting. It also helps buyers budget better for their container, especially if they don’t have the cash to buy in full upfront. You will pay average rental prices for the container, but by the end of the rental contract you’ll have an asset to show for your payments.

Before deciding if “rent to own” is right for you, we recommend considering the following:

  1. Do you need a container for 2 years or more? If so, renting to own is the more cost-effective option. You’ll pay nearly the same amount as renting, plus your container will have a resale value after the contract is up.
  2. Do you have good credit? While many dealers don’t require credit checks to rent to own, good credit may drive down the cost of your monthly premiums. If you have poor credit and the companies you are considering require credit checks, purchasing the container outright may be the better route to go.
  3. Are you prepared to own or resell? Of course, renting to own only makes sense for buyers who either plan to own their container for the long haul or wish to resell it to make a profit. If you don’t plan to do either of these things, renting is the better choice for you!


There’s a reason why so many buyers choose “rent to own” storage containers! We’ve included a few benefits here so you can better understand the value in “renting to own.”

  • You own the container. First thing’s first, after your rental contract is up, you’ll own the container! You won’t have to make any more payments towards the container, and you won’t have to continue renting for the long haul!
  • Your money goes a longer way. Remember that renting to own does not cost much more overall compared to just renting. Why not get something out of all the payments you’re making? Since you’re paying $100 or more monthly, it’s best that you have something to show for your payments.
  • You can modify the container. Did you know containers can be modified in tons of ways? Tons of small businesses today are housing their operations in a storage container. Containers are also modified to act as classrooms, bathrooms, and even firefighter training units. However, these usually require modifications to the container, and oftentimes when renting, you cannot modify (since you will need to return the container). However, when you own a container you can modify it in whatever way you wish!
  • You can always re-sell the container. Remember that even if you do not wish to own the storage container forever, every container has a resale value. Storage containers are reused so they’re always in demand. Many buyers choose to rent to own so they can resell the container and put some money back in their pockets.

Learn More

When looking into storage container options, there are several things to consider before buying or renting. Here’s a few resources we recommend for your search:

Want to compare prices on a storage container? Our network of storage container suppliers offer rent to own, in addition to other payment options. Get started by comparing quotes for free.

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