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Useful Tips to Hire a Skip

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Apr 20, 2023
7 minutes read
  • What skip hire costs
  • Keeping prices down
  • Choosing the right size

When it comes to skip hire, you may not realise that there’s more to it than you might initially think. From how the skips are measured to how the region can affect skip hire costs, you might be surprised with the whole operation. Even what you place in a skip can affect what you pay.

This article will go through several skip tips to help you become more familiar with the whole process. It will help you choose the correct size skip and give advice on how you might be able to lower skip hire costs.

A full skip on a drive with waste visible from the top

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Cubic Yards

For starters, skips are measured in cubic yards. You’ll see sizes for skips that are anything from 2 yards to 20, and the bigger dimensions mean more expensive skip hire costs. A cubic yard is 3 x 3 x 3 feet, which is generally considered big enough to fit 10 black bin bags in. When it comes to estimating what size skip you’ll need, you can use this as a guideline.

Get the Right Size to Reduce Skip Hire Costs

It certainly pays to make sure you order the correct sized skip for the job in hand. There’s no point ordering a smaller skip than you need only to realise you then have to reorder or get a bigger size to finish the job off. Skip hire costs are tied to the sizes you choose, and ordering multiple skips will cost you more than getting the size right the first time.

Typical sizes that you might order can be seen below.

Skip Sizes Example

Guide to finding the right size skip.

Households will usually order anything from a mini skip (2 yards) to a large builders’ skip (8 yards), but even bigger sizes are available. If we use the black bin bag guide above, an 8 yard skip can hold around 80 bags of waste.

You will also get the economy of scale if you order the correct size. An 8 yard skip alone will be cheaper to hire than a pair of 4 yard skips, so when it comes to skip hire costs, it pays to be accurate in your dimensions.

What You Can and Can’t Put In a Skip

Black Bin Bags Vector

Despite thinking skips can hold all sorts of waste, there are items that you aren’t allowed to put in them. This is simply because the skip hire company recycles as much waste as possible. The skip doesn’t get tipped into landfill, so part of the skip hire costs are for the sorting and safe disposal of as much of the contents as possible.

You cannot put liquids into your skip, nor can you put fridges, freezers or fluorescent tubes. Restricted items need to be disposed of properly and some skip hire companies will charge you an additional fee if you arrange removal with them. Other companies might get rid of the contents and charge you for doing so, while some may return the restricted items to you. If you place restricted items in your skip, you may find the extra skip hire costs for disposal passed on to you.

Besides restricted items, almost anything else can go into a skip.

Don’t Hide Anything

You may feel tempted to hide a gas bottle, some tyres or a mattress in the middle of your skip and then cover it with the rest of your waste. You should never do this because it won’t go unnoticed. The company that provides the skip sorts through all the contents of returned skips to recycle the waste. Anything left can be chargeable to the company, so if restricted items are found, the disposal skip hire costs can be passed onto you anyway. In a worse case scenario, any restricted items will appear back on your doorstep.

How Much to Hire a Skip

Just like how getting a skip smaller than you might need will cost you money, getting a size larger than you need will waste money. You can see low and high skip hire costs in the interactive graph below.

Compare local skip hire prices by filling in your details.

Depending on where you live in the UK, you may be getting a better or worse deal. Skip hire costs in the north can often be £100 cheaper than the south, but competition in the area can also drive down what you pay. Local skip hire prices might be better for you, or you may find that there is only one company operating in your area.

How much does it cost to hire a skip?

Keep the Cost Down

Sofa Reuse Vector

Sometimes there are reusable bulky items that are placed in skips, but these take up room that could be used for other waste. Furniture, for example, can always be passed on to someone else if it’s in a good condition. Many reuse websites exist where members of the public can take these items off your hands. Local charities also offer collections on reusable furniture items that they can then sell in their shops. You can keep skip hire costs down by rehoming good quality items.

If you are using your skip for garden waste, you could prevent this need altogether by setting up a compost area. Although it means that the nutrient-rich plant food won’t be ready for at least a year, it can free up space and save bigger skip hire costs.

Compost Vector

Finally, you can reduce the amount that skip hire costs by being economical with your time. If you fill up your skip quickly and get it collected as soon as possible, you can avoid having to extend the duration of your skip hire. Forward planning is useful to ensure you’re not spending as much.

Do You Need a Skip Hire Permit?

If you don’t have room on private land for a skip to sit, you may need to apply for a skip hire permit. This is essentially permission from the council for a skip to be on a public highway for a set period of time. Permits can add at least £30 to skip hire costs, but this varies by local authority. Some skip companies will even apply for this permit for you if you need it.

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