The Cost to Hire a Skip

All you need to know about the costs of hiring a skip.

Hire a Skip

What the job entails

This article is all about hiring a skip and is part of our guide into the average UK costs involved in having construction work carried out. Skip hire prices will obviously depend on size and your location. Standard sizes range from 2-yard mini-skips, up to 20 yard skips and 40 yard containers. For smaller jobs there is the option of the HippoBag, not technically a skip, more a very big, very robust bag - but it does the same job. Whatever the skip size, if you place it on a highway or footpath then you will need a permit from your local council.

In normal skips which are recycled rather than simply emptied in landfill, there are some restrictions and certain items such as plaster board, electrical equipment, TV's, computer monitors, fridges and freezers, tyres, batteries, old paint cans, oil & fuel containers (even empty ones), and any hazardous waste such as asbestos or solvents. Check with your skip hire company for an exhaustive list of items on their restricted list.

Skip hire companies all have a maximum weight limit for their skips so if you intend to fill the skip with heavy materials such as bricks or earth, you should clear this with the skip company in advance. As a general rule of thumb, you can only partially fill skips with heavy items (up to around 30%) and the remaining space can then be filled with less heavy items.

The skip hire industry consists of lots of relatively small operators with no real national players. However, if you search online you will find websites offering a nationwide skip hire service, but these will be skip brokers who don’t actually operate skips but just take your money and then subcontract the job to a local skip hire business in your area, charging you a price that covers the actual skip hire cost plus a profit for them.

Some skip hire companies offer a fixed price for two weeks, with additional costs for extra time billed for each additional day. Some companies are less strict with time limits but they generally charge more. Under no circumstances should the skip be filled higher than the height of the sides, as the skip cannot be safely transported to the recycling facility safely if overloaded. If you are concerned about others fly tipping in your skip, you can hire enclosed skips which can be locked. You can also report fly tipping to your local council.

If you need the skip placed on your driveway then you need at least 10 feet of clearance for the truck, otherwise you can try alternatives such as the HippoBag which is suitable for up to 1.5 tonnes. Standard skip hire costs include delivery, 1-week rental, free collection and recycling. If for some reason you cannot have a skip overnight, then some companies will offer a wait and load service where the driver will wait for you to load up the skip, but you have to be quick as they are unlikely to wait longer than half an hour. Hiring a skip long term is possible with many companies and they can even offer regular collections to suit your project.

The smallest skip is the 2-yard mini skip which is ideal for small amounts of household or garden waste with a black bag capacity of around 22 bags. Next up we have the Midi Skip (4 cubic yards) which is popular for bathroom and kitchen renovations, but is also good for larger amounts of general household and garden waste. Some midi skips also have front doors for easy loading of heavier objects. The Builders Skip is a 6 cubic yard skip for medium amounts of general household waste. Some of these skips also have drop doors and this size can take around 70 full black bags. The 8-yard skip is a good choice for house clearances and larger loads often used by builders. If the site is up a very narrow lane or really steep hill and you think access might be a problem, please let the skip hire company know in advance to check if they can deliver the skip to your site, if not thy may offer a HippoBag service instead.

Lockable, enclosed skips offer security and peace of mind by suppressing dust, stopping lighter materials from blowing away, preventing theft of valuable scrap, keeping people away from dangerous waste to meet your legal requirements, and to prevent others from dumping waste without permission in the skip you paid for! Enclosed skips with easy-to-use locks are normally available in 10, 12 and 14 cubic yard sizes.

Cost to Hire a Skip

The average cost to hire a skip for a week is typically around £200 to £250 with the price fluctuating depending on the size of the skip. If you're hiring for a longer period the price per day will usually drop. Your location will also play a large part in the cost of the skip as prices in major cities are up to 50% higher than the average. Additional charges may apply due to coucil permit charges in order to place skips on a public road.

The labourer costs to deliver the skip will be included in the price. Councils often have a list of waste contractors who are properly licensed to move waste so this is a good starting place to find local contractors from which to hire a skip.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a skip:

Skip Size Avg. Cost Hire Duration
2 Yard Skip £125 7 days
4 Yard Skip £150 7 days
8 Yard Skip £200 7 days
12 Yard Skip £250 7 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs of hiring an 8 yard skip - Total Cost: £200

70%

Materials
£140

20%

Tradesmen
£40

10%

Waste Removal
£20

FAQ's

Permits are required by all local councils for skips that need to be placed on a public highway, path or road. Permits are normally arranged by the skip hire business upon request. Prices vary from council to council but most charge around £30. You do need to apply in good time however as some councils take up to 4 working days to grant a permit.
Well obviously personal recommendation is best, if you know someone who has used a skip hire business recently and they were happy with the price and service, then that's a good place to start. Your local council website may also be worth a look as they often have a list of waste contractors that operate in the area and are properly licensed to move waste. The law requires that all skips placed on a public highway must have the name and contact details of the skip operator clearly marked, so you can also keep your eyes open and simply make a note of the name and number then give them a call.

Avoid using "cowboy" skip hire companies by checking with the Environment Agency that the skip operator is properly licensed, always ask prospective skip hire companies for their waste carrier license number then check it on the Environment Agency website to see if it matches the company and is valid. You should also check their public liability insurance in case they accidentally damage your car or property when delivering or collecting the skip.