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Guide to Finding the Right Size Skip for You

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Feb 03, 2023
5 minutes read
  • Which skip size is right for me?
  • Skip sizes available in the UK
  • What to consider before hiring a skip

When it comes to skip size, it pays to know what’s available and which size you’ll need. This will depend on what sort of job you have and how much waste you’re producing. If you are new to the skip hire game, you may not be familiar with which skip sizes are available. This article will look at the sizes you can hire in the UK and ways to assess which dimensions will be right for you.

A yellow skip in a driveway waiting to be filled

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Dimensions of Skip

Measured in cubic yards, skips start at 2 yards small. A cubic yard is 3 x 3 x 3 feet and can hold roughly 10 black bin bags, which is a handy measure to keep note of. While much bigger skip sizes are available for hire, households usually hire 2-8 yard skips for the size of jobs they tackle. Anything larger is more for commercial waste or industrial level jobs.

Skip Sizes in the UK

In the UK, households can hire many different dimensions of skip. More often than not, they will hire anything from a mini skip to a large skip.

Mini Skips

Mini Skip

Mini skip sizes are 2 or 3 yards. They are known as mini because they are small enough to fit on a drive or a parking space without taking up too much room. You’d hire a mini skip for a small removal project or the removal of waste from one room.

Midi Skips

The next size up is midi, which is 4 or 5 yards. This skip size is more suited to larger removal projects or a big decluttering job. They are also useful for renovations.

Builders’ Skips

Builders' Skips

Coming in at 6, 7 or 8 yards, they are perfect for building projects, hence the name. Garden waste can also be useful in this skip size. Due to weight limits, a builders’ skip is the largest size you can hire for soil and rubble, which is classed as inert waste.

Large Skips

Large Skips

These are 10, 11 or 12 yards in size. If you’re having significant renovation work done, a large skip size is more in line with what you need. For reference, these can fit around 120 black bin bags’ worth of waste.

The availability of skips varies by geographical location, which also affects the price you will pay. Skips in the north of the UK are cheaper than those hired in the south.

How much do skips cost to hire?

What Skip Size Do I Need?

When considering hiring a skip, there are several elements you need to think about. What skip size do you need for the job in hand? Are there any restrictions? Before you charge ahead with the skip size you think is necessary, take a look at the points below first to help with your decision.

Eye Up the Waste

The black bag guide is a rough estimate of what you expect to fit into a skip. You need to be mindful of how much waste you’ll actually be generating. If you overfill a skip, the skip hire company may refuse to take it back. Likewise, if you don’t fill up a skip, you’ll be wasting money. If the project is going to be larger than you expect, you’re better off hiring a bigger skip size.

How Much Space?

Skip Delivery Vector

Where is your skip going to sit once you’ve hired it? Will it be small enough to go on your drive? If you have the space, this shouldn’t be a problem. Skip hire companies are experts in delivering skips of different sizes to any acceptable area. If you don’t have room on your driveway, it can be placed on the road, but only up to a builders’ skip size. If you need a permit, they can also sort this for you.

Never hired a skip before? Read about the skip hiring process here.

Waste Type

Do you have inert waste or general waste? Some inert waste can be mixed with general waste, but there are weight restrictions for general waste. If you solely have waste that’s inert, i.e., will not break down, like sand or soil, this can be put in its own skip. Pure inert waste can be reused, but it is limited to a 6 yard skip size due to its weight.


Skip With Bricks

Are there any restrictions in place that will prevent a larger or heavier skip being used? Think about obstacles in the form of trees or a drive that can’t take as much weight. You also need to be able to access the skip once it’s been delivered. Most households won’t have the room requirements for a 20 yard skip, for example, but if you can only fit a 3 yard skip on your drive, then it doesn’t make sense to go for a bigger skip size, unless you have permission to use the road.


As with all things, the larger the skip size, the more they cost. Not only this, but there may be other costs associated with skip hire that you weren’t initially aware of. Restricted items can land you with a fine as these need to be charged separately and arranged at the time of booking. You may also have a budget that you wish to work towards, though it’s worth considering whether a larger skip than you planned to pay for is more worth your while if you have more waste.

Circular Economy

If you are considering whether your job is big enough to warrant even hiring the smallest skip size, it’s important to remember that skip waste is recycled as much as physically possible. Anything that can be reused will be. If you opt to take your waste to the household waste recycling centre instead, it could simply end up in landfill. Some waste can even be used to generate energy, so you can do the environment a favour by simply hiring a skip.

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