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New Vs Used Shipping Containers

Whether you need a shipping container for storage, export, or an exciting container conversion project, one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether to buy a New or Used Container.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and your decision will most likely depend on what you plan to with your shipping container.

New Shipping Containers New one trip shipping container in blue

The term ‘New’ may be misleading because it doesn’t mean you are buying a brand new, straight off the production line container.  A new container has been manufactured in China and completed a single trip overseas loaded with cargo.  Once unloaded the container is listed for sale.  You may have heard new containers referred to as ‘One-trip containers’ and that is what they are.

Used Shipping Containers

Our used containers are sourced directly from shipping lines or major shipping companies which means that they will have only been used for transporting goods, not long-term storage in a container yard.  For you, this means a used container of higher quality appearance and condition.

The pros and cons of new and used containers

Let’s break down the details on each type of container to give you a clearer idea of which is better for you.


New containers are expected to be delivered in tip-top condition, occasionally you may find the odd dink on one somewhere but even a single trip over a rough sea can cause the occasional knock.  We commonly advise our customers to expect 1 or 2 minor scuffs where the container might have rubbed against something or taken a slight bump during its journey.  Overall there will be very little sign of wear and tear because a new container won’t have been repeatedly exposed to extreme weather or kept in storage for extended periods of time.

New containers generally come in standard blue or green paint and are subject to availability when you place your order.  Other colours like grey or white are very occasionally available –if you need a specific shade there is the option of having your container repainted. offers an additional repainting service on our container sales which you can find out about here.

30ft used container in redUsed containers will generally come in their standard shipping livery or colours with some minor wear and tear, and whilst they will still be in good condition, they will have more dents, scuffs and some surface rust compared to a new container.  However, you can be assured that any units bought from are professionally checked over by our team and if necessary they will be repaired in our UK yards before sale.  All used containers that leave our depots are deemed by us to be completely solid and sound – all part of our trusted service!

It is likely that a used container will have undertaken some professional repairs during its service, so we officially sell them with ‘cosmetics not guaranteed’.

Security and interior

New containers come with a factory-fitted high-security lock-box.  These are fitted to the container doors and cover your padlock, enclosing it so that it is only accessible from the underside.  A lock-box makes breaking into your container incredibly difficult, even for a determined intruder.  You can find out more on lock-boxes here.

Used Containers can be fitted with a lock-box by us, which we would highly recommend if you are planning to use your container for storage.  This is charged at an additional £50+Vat with any of our used containers.  Find out more here. When used with one of our insurance rated padlocks, it should be a lot simpler to add the contents of your shipping container to any existing insurance policy already covering the site.


Whether you buy a new or used container from, we always include a full wind and watertight guarantee.

What does the guarantee mean?

  • If your storage container naturally springs a leak or other defect in its first 12 months, let us know and we will come and fix it for you free of charge.
  • If you cause the damage, this is not covered. We are still here to help, and we can still come and repair your container for you, but this will be chargeable.

New Containers come with the following:

  • A full wind & watertight guarantee
  • An additional 12-month warranty against natural water or weather ingress
  • For shipping and export use we include a circa 5-year CSC plate (if required)
  • For storage use we give a 12-month warranty against natural water or weather ingress (UK only)

Used Containers come with the following:

  • A full wind & watertight guarantee
  • For storage use we give a 12-month warranty against natural water or weather ingress (UK only)
  • For shipping and export use we include a circa 6-month CSC plate (if required)
  • All used containers are sourced directly from import use

What will you use your container for?

What you plan to do with your shipping container may help you decide between new or used.  New containers look better cosmetically, which makes them ideal for conversion projects like container offices, or a pop-up container business.  They come in one solid colour, with alternative designs that are not available with a used container e.g. side opening containers, tunnel containers, 8ft and 10ft containers (these types of container are not used by the major shipping lines to move freight).

If being used for storage, you can expect a new container to last 2-3 times longer than a used container. This offers more long-term value for your initial spend, and better resale value should you choose to sell your container on in the future.

If your container is needed for export or general storage and you don’t mind some wear to it, a used container could be the perfect choice for you.  You can always clean it up and give it a repaint, or you might be interested in our range of refurbished containers.

Whether you decide on a one-trip or a used container, a container from Budget Shipping Containers will be fully checked by our expert team and repaired where necessary.  You can be assured of a structurally sound, fully wind and watertight shipping container when you buy from us.

What next?

If you are still struggling to decide you can find plenty of information on our website on both new (one-trip) containers and used containers.  We can also offer plenty of advice and guidance over the phone so feel free to call our friendly and experienced team to chat through your requirements.

Once you have made your decision between a new or used container you can place your order with Budget Shipping Containers via our website, or by calling us on 0808 1234 215. offers the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale, which also includes our ranges of flat-pack sheds, container canopies and more. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 7pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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