Skip Hire Guide
Hiring a skip can be quite intimidating if you haven’t done it before. Skip companies seem to assume you already know how the process works and what sort of skip you need before you contact them.
Talk of ‘cubic yards’, ‘builders skips’ and other jargon can make the average skip hire newbie feel a bit at sea. To help make it all a bit easier, here is our Skip hire guide for beginners. You might also like our man & van rubbish clearance guide.
- Waste types – what can you put in a skip?
- Skip size – what size should you hire?
- Skip permits – what is a skip permit or skip license?
- CPZ suspension – what is a CPZ suspension fee?
- Skip hire cost – how much should I expect to pay for skip hire?
- Labour – can you help load the skip?
- Duration of hire – how long can I hire a skip for?
- Skip Collection date – When is the skip collected?
- Access restrictions – access requirements and firmness of ground for the skip lorry
- Skip Hire Level Loads – how high can I load a skip?
The easiest answer to what can be put in a skip is to list what cannot be put in a skip. Here are the most common items that cannot be disposed of in a skip:
- Clinical or medical waste, including syringes
- Electrical appliances & equipment
- Fluorescent tubes
- Fridges, freezers and air conditioning units
- Gas canisters and gas bottles
- Hazardous & toxic materials
- Oil, petrol, diesel
- Paint & Cans of paint
- TVs & computer screens
The ideal size of skip depends on the amount of waste and how much space you have to put the skip. The larger the skip, the cheaper it works out per cubic yard/metre of waste removed. But make sure you have enough waste to fill it, otherwise, you’ll end up paying for thin air. Also, bear in mind most councils do not allow skips larger than 8 yards to be placed on a public highway.
The skip size volume photos and descriptions in our Booking Funnel should help you choose the most appropriate skip size. Additional guidance on skip sizes can be found in our Skip Size Guide or if you would prefer to chat through your requirements, call our customer service team on 020 7819 9000.
If you put a skip on a public highway (often referred to as an ‘on-road skip’) rather than private land, you will need a skip hire permit from the council. This has to be organised before the delivery of the skip. Skip permits (or skip licenses) cost extra and take a few days to arrange. We organise the permit for – so it’s not and, if it’s in a controlled parking zone (ie. on a single yellow line or in a resident’s parking or pay & display bay), you will also need a parking suspension. Both cost money and take at least a few days to arrange.
For more information on skip permits and prices, visit our skip permit guide.
A controlled parking zone (CPZ) is a part of a road where you can only park under certain conditions. For example, it requires a residents’ parking permit, is a pay & display bay, or yellow lines. CPZs apply to skips too. So, if you are planning on locating a skip in a CPZ, you will need a CPZ suspension in addition to any skip permit. These add to the cost of your skip hire.
Skip prices differ substantially due to a range of factors including size of skip (larger ones cost more), geography (typically the South is more expensive than the North based on higher costs of disposal and operation), and whether or not you require a skip permit (ie. if the skip is located on or off-road).
The national average price for an off-road 8-yard skip is around £250 (£300 including VAT). Average price data across the UK can be on our national skip prices page. To check exact prices in your area, enter a postcode at the top of this page and click the red button.
Bear in mind that hiring a skip (before any permit fee) typically costs around 20%-25% more than having the waste removed by a man & van. This is because a man & van only need to visit your site once, whereas skip lorries come twice – once to deliver and once to collect. So, unless you have lots of very heavy, messy waste that needs to be contained, it will normally be cheaper and quicker using our man and van clearance service. You can compare the price of skip hire with the equivalent cost of a man & van collection in our Booking Funnel.
The skip hire service covers the delivery and removal of the skip, not any labour to load it. If you require help filling the skip then you may prefer our man & van clearance service instead.
The rates shown on our website cover hire for up to 2 weeks. If you need a longer hire period, just ask. If the skip is being placed on a street, bear in mind the duration of your skip permit and any parking suspension. Both cost money, so the longer you hire the skip, the greater the extra charges.
Your skip is collected when you tell us to collect it. You can either specify a collection date at the time of booking or tell us later once you know. The collection is normally within 2 working days of your chosen date.
Skips are normally delivered on large 7.5-tonne lorries that are wider than a car. Make sure there is enough space for the skip lorry to access the place you want the skip to be located or consider changing the location. If road or gate access is narrow, check with us beforehand that the dimensions of the lorry will fit. Note that when the full skip is taken away, the lorry will need the use of its stabilisers – metal legs which exert significant pressure on the ground and can dent soft tarmac or break paving stones.
Only fill your skip up to the height of its sides because otherwise, the skip driver may refuse to collect it. This is because transport laws make it illegal to move a skip which is not ‘level-loaded’.