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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Skip?

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
8 minutes read
  • Skip hire costs
  • Process to hire a skip
  • Skip hire sizes

If you have a lot of waste to get rid of, you’re probably thinking about skip hire. It’s the most useful way of removing rubbish on a medium to large scale that won’t take you hundreds of trips to your local waste and recycling centre.

All councils offer a bulky waste removal service, but skip hire can be the most cost-effective option if you’re having a good clearout. There may also be restrictions on specific items the council won’t take from you. When you hire a skip, you can fill it up over as long a period as you need and it will get collected again when you’re ready.

image of a skip being transported

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Average Price to Hire a Skip

Skip hire is offered at fixed rates for certain volumes, and there are usually only four options. All skips are measured in cubic yards. This is the equivalent of three feet high by three feet wide by three feet deep.

Average prices to hire a skip are mainly geographically dependent and can look like any of the following.

With skip hire, you’re effectively charged per tonne of waste. While it’s useful to go for a larger size than you might need, it’s important to fill your skip so you’re not wasting money.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Skip Hire

Where You Live

The main factor that affects the price you’ll pay for skip hire is your location in the UK. Generally, the north is cheaper than the south, sometimes by up to £100. London is only slightly more than the national average, but this is due to relatively healthy competition.

Disposal Costs

The company you hire a skip from needs to consider local disposal costs. This may come under the availability of landfill or if there is space for the waste in energy incinerators. It’s also affected by how close nearby sites are. Greater distances to cover means greater transportation costs for the skip hire company.


The availability of competition drives prices down for skip hire as different businesses compete for your custom. The more companies around, the better prices can be. If prices are high, it can mean one company has started to buy out others in order to raise their costs. This can come down if another skip hire company pops up.


If skips are readily available and demand is low, costs can be on the bottom end of the scale. Hire periods can also spike prices. You can typically hire a skip between 1 and 14 days, although it’s normal to have a 7 day contract with extensions from your skip hire company if need be.

Skip Hire Permit

The costs outlined above don’t include a skip licence or skip hire permit, which only needs to be purchased if your skip can only go on a public highway. You can apply for this through the council and it grants you permission to keep a skip on the road for a specific length of time. If you don’t have a drive or the skip is too large for your drive, you will need to apply and pay for a skip hire permit.

Skip Hire Process

The reason to hire a skip is for the safe and legal disposal of your waste at a licensed facility. The company you’re hiring a skip from should have suitable accreditation as you are ultimately responsible for your waste. Once you’ve filled up your skip, they will collect it from you.

Skip hire companies need to sort the waste they collect back at their depot before they can dispose of it. Some materials can be recycled, while the rest might be burned to make energy or disposed of in landfill. Incineration plants will charge to have your waste. Landfill sites will also charge, but this will be a higher cost due to landfill tax.

Restrictions for Skip Hire

While skip hire is the perfect solution for clearouts and household renovations, there are some restrictions on what you can and cannot place inside a skip.

The following restrictions usually apply when you hire a skip:

  • Asbestos

  • Aerosols

  • Food waste

  • Animal waste

  • Carpets

  • Cooking and engine oil

  • Electronic equipment and appliances (WEEE)

  • Explosives

  • Fluorescent tubes

  • Fridge freezers

  • Gas cylinders

  • Hazardous materials

  • Household and car batteries

  • Liquids

  • Mattresses

  • Medical and clinical waste

  • Paint and paint tins

  • Petrol and diesel

  • Plasterboard

  • Solvents

  • Tyres

These items are restricted with skip hire because some of them contain hazardous waste that can be a risk to humans and the environment. Other items need to be recycled but can only be done so in a specific way. The good news is, all of the prohibited items can be taken to your local waste and recycling centre. While there may be a charge for some of these items, the majority will be taken free of charge.

If any of these restricted items are found in your skip when the waste is sorted, you are likely to be charged, so it’s important to keep an eye on it.

Which Size Skip Is Best for Me?

Skip hire comes with so much choice so it can be hard to know which skip to choose. You should only hire a skip that fits your needs. To be more helpful, we’ve put a little guide together below.

4 Yard Mini Skip

The smallest skip you can hire, the mini skip is the most compact and ideal for small domestic jobs.

6 Yard Small Skip

The next size up is good for medium projects, such as home clearouts. It is also able to fit on most driveways.

8 Yard Builders’ Skip

The traditional builders’ skip is the largest for soil and rubble due to weight limits. It’s ideal for large domestic clearance and is also the biggest skip you can have on a public highway.

12 Yard Skip

While larger skips are available, this is ideal for the biggest items that aren’t too heavy and for large clearouts.

See our Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Skip.

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