Skip sizes vary from mini-skips designed to hold as many as 20 bin bags to colossal industrial-sized skips that can hold some 440 bin bags. As such, the cost of hiring a skip varies greatly.
There are many skip hire companies around the UK as skips are required for practically all commercial construction and building work.
Companies will hire their skips to residential users and since many operate through large recycling and waste disposal networks, they offer excellent value for money compared to throwing away your own rubbish at a tip or recycling centre.
This article will cover what you can expect to pay for a skip hire, factors that affect the cost and common questions around hiring a skip.
Average Cost of Hiring a Skip in the UK
Skip hire costs vary primarily with the size of the skip. The average hire period is 2-weeks. Some skip firms offer ‘unlimited’ skip hire, where you can pay per day. This usually costs more and if you have a licence, that will expire at some point anyway.
By comparing quotes from 11 skip hire firms and 8 secondary sources, we found these average costs of hiring a skip in the UK.
Prices are highest in London and lowest in smaller towns, particularly in the North of England, Scotland and Wales, but are still typically higher in any and all cities around the UK.
|Skip Size||Number of Bin Bags||Hire Cost for 2 Weeks|
|2 Yard||15-20||£100 - £200|
|4 Yard||30-40||£130 - £250|
|6 Yard||50-60||£180 - £320|
|8 Yard||60-80||£220 - £390|
|10 Yard||80-100||£270 - £470|
|12 Yard||100-120||£330 - £570|
|14 Yard||120-140||£400 - £680|
|16 Yard||140-160||£450 - £800|
|20 Yard||220||£800 - £1250|
|30 Yard||330||£1000 - £1800|
|40 Yard||440||£1500 - £2500|
Do I Need a Skip Permit?
If you don’t have a driveway or other private area to place your skip and need to place it on the public highway (roads or pavement), then you’ll need to make sure the skip has a permit from the council. The government has a tool for checking this here.
Failing to apply for a skip licence or permit is a fineable offence – firms have had to pay out some £4000 or more with legal costs for failing to obtain a licence.
In general, it’s the skip hire firm’s responsibility to get the permit and they are the ones liable to be fined if they don’t, but it’s still crucial to check if you know that the skip will be placed on the road or pavement and not on a driveway or privately owned space. Some local councils will need you to apply directly.
The licence must usually be laminated and displayed on the skip. It typically takes 3 to 7 days to arrange a skip licence.
How Much Do Skip Permits Cost?
Skip permits cost between £15 and £65 depending on the council. They only typically last a maximum of two weeks, too. If you need a skip for longer than that then you’ll need to make arrangements with the council, or re-buy the licence.
You may be declined the licence if it’s not safe to place the skip anywhere reasonably near your home, or you may have to downgrade to a smaller skip.
Another thing worth noting is that if you rent your home or flat then you may need permission from the landlord prior to placing a skip on their land.
How Does Skip Hire Work?
Skip hire is pretty straightforward. There are many different sizes available ranging from mini-skips through to much larger skips with heavier weight limits. Once ordered, the company will deliver the skip to your house and pick it up after a period of time elapses, usually 2 weeks to a month.
Most, but not all waste can be thrown away in a skip. Throwing away prohibited rubbish can result in fines or even legal action being taken against the person who hired the skip. It’s very important to stay within the stated guidelines – breaking the rules regarding what you can and can’t throw away can create a difficult situation.
What Rubbish Can I Throw in a Skip?
Skips accept most types of ‘safe’ and non-hazardous rubbish that is easy to recycle or dispose of, including:
- Cardboard and paper
- Carpet and underlay
- Domestic waste and garden waste
- Empty tins
- Food and food packaging
- Garden waste
- Scrap metal
- Non-electrical fixtures and fittings
- Rubble and hardcore
- Sofas and furniture
- Solidified paint
- Tiles and ceramic
Some items you can’t put in a skip include:
- Electrical items
- Gas canisters
- Medical waste
- White goods
Some items may be accepted by some skip hire firms, such as:
- Gas cookers
If you’re found to be putting hazardous or prohibited items in a skip, you can be charged a fine as per the terms and conditions of the hire firm.
Always check if you’re unsure. Most firms will provide you with an information sheet or list of what you can or can’t do.
What Other Skip Hire Rules Are There?
- Skips must not protrude onto the road
- Skips on the pavement or road must have lights on them and be marked with cones and reflective paint
- Keep rubbish contained to the skip and not scattered around it
- Rubbish must not protrude from the skip
- Some councils also have a size limit for their permitted skips
Will a Skip Damage My Driveway?
Skips are exceptionally heavy and can damage driveways, particularly if the driveway is made from paving stones, bricks or resin.
This is relatively easy to remedy by placing chipboard planks underneath the skip prior to placement. Discuss this with the skip hire firm if you are worried about your driveway.
How Big Of a Skip Do I Need?
Skips sizes are still commonly measured in cubic yards. A small 2-yard skip is actually 2 cubic yards in volume.
Skips for domestic purposes will rarely need to be larger than 12 yards or 14 yards at the very most. Mini skips are as small as 2 yards. 6 yard to 10-yard skips are probably the average-sized skips for standard residential use.
16-yard skips will only be required for larger-scale renovation or building work. It’s possible to hire skips up to 40 yards in size, but these will require considerable space and are obviously expensive. They will not be permitted on the highway.
Types of Skips
Many people don’t realise that there are actually two different kinds of skips designed for different types of rubbish.
- Domestic waste skips
- Inert waste skips
The domestic waste skip is the most common skip for residential use and accepts all aforementioned typically accepted materials.
Inert skips accept inert building materials such as clay, bricks, sand, subsoil, chalk, hardcore, concrete and rubble. If you know you only need to dispose of inert materials only then you may get a slightly cheaper quote.
Inert materials are heavier, though, so the max skip size will be limited (probably to 8 yards max).
Will My Rubbish Be Recycled When I Throw it in a Skip?
Most reputable skip firms work with large-scale recycling schemes and will dispose of domestic rubbish using the same techniques as commercial rubbish from building sites, etc.
In the current regulatory climate, skip firms are highly encouraged to recycle as much as they possibly can before committing the remainder of rubbish to landfills.
Most, if not all skip firms will specify what they do to recycle rubbish and reduce their contribution to landfill. You can typically make the job easier by separating materials where possible and marking bags.
Choosing a Skip Hire Firm
Cowboy skip hire firms have been heavily penalised in recent years and the fines for improper waste treatment and disposal are colossal. Consequently, most reputable skip hire firms are now very transparent with their responsibilities and obligations.
Look for a skip hire company with a strong local reputation and clear guidance surrounding their business practices and waste disposal commitments.
Get Prices on Skip Hire Near You
We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay to hire a skip.
However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed quote specifically for you.
We work with all the best skip hire specialists ready to price your job. Get free, no-obligation quotes in your local area and compare prices using the form below.
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