When considering hiring a skip, many people’s first consideration is the cost of skip hire. This would indeed make sense, and it is an important question. However, how much does skip hire cost should not necessarily be the first question.
First and foremost, it’s important to look at the scale of the project for which skip hire is needed. There is a vast spectrum of skip sizes available and, naturally, skip hire prices are tied into size.
Skip Hire Prices Explained
It’s also very easy to either over or underestimate just what size of skip is required, so when contacting local skip hire firms, it’s a good idea to ask for advice. Simply outline the nature of the project and don’t try cutting any corners. A low skip hire cost may seem like an attractive proposition, but if the skip that’s hired proves insufficient, you’ll be looking at going back to the same skip hire company to either remove, empty and return the skip, or to remove and replace it with a larger model, all at additional expense to you.
As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of factors to be taken into consideration when looking at hiring a skip, and in order to present you with the ultimate skip hire price guide, we need to look at every element which will determine the cost of hiring a skip.
Let’s start with the fairly obvious – size. Skips are commonly measured in yards, and this measurement is not the length of the skip, but its cubic capacity. The most common sizes of skip for hire in the UK or either the 6 yard or 8 yard skip.
A 6 yard skip actually measures 8ft 6” by 5ft and is 4ft high. If you’re looking at an 8 yard skip, then they measure 10ft 6” by 5ft 9” and are the same height at 4ft. Some people find it easier to think of their cubic capacity in terms of how many filled bin bags could fit inside one. For a 6 yard skip that would be 50 bags, and for an 8 yard skip it’s 60 bags.
As a general guide, the cost to hire a 6 yard skip will be in the region of £210 and the price for hiring an 8 yard skip will be closer to £250. This figure does not take into account any permits, which we will talk about in more detail later on.
Of course, your project may well call for a much smaller or indeed, much larger skip, so let’s take a look at the lowest price skip hire, which also means the smallest size of skip available. The smallest skip you can hire is referred to as a mini skip or 2 yard skip. These measure 5ft by 3ft 4” and are 2ft 5” tall.
These skips are perfect for simple home renovations like bathrooms or smaller kitchen refits. They’re also particularly useful for garden clearances, including some light to medium garden work itself.
Given their small size, they will typically be put on a driveway or in a front garden, hence there is no need for any additional permits to be purchased from the local council. The cost of skip hire at this size is generally around the £130 mark. In many cases, a Google search for skip hire costs near me may well show a local skip hire company with a greater focus on smaller skips for the domestic market, and as such, may offer more competitive rates. To learn more about how differing skip sizes work, check out our Skip Size Guide.
Midi Skip Hire
Many people are concerned that, if the 2 or 3 yard mini skip options are just a little too small, that they will have to opt for the more standard 6 or 8 yard versions, which can often also mean the purchase of permits, hence seeing the cost of skip hire start to spiral out of control.
Fortunately, there is a mid way point, referred to as a Midi Skip. There are two sizes available, either a 4 or 5 yard model, but as you’ll see when we break down the sizes, there seems to be little point in opting for the 3 yard model that we spoke about in our Mini Skip section, apart from a moderate cost saving.
A 3 yard skip measures 5ft 11” by 3ft 6” and is 2ft 8” tall, whereas a 4 yard model measures 5ft 11” by 4ft and is 3ft 2” tall. This negligible difference in the overall dimensions is the difference between being able to dispose of 25 bin bags and 33 bin bags. For something like a small home office refurb or a new bathroom, those 8 bin bags can make a lot of difference.
Granted, this difference does come at a cost, and the cost to hire a 4 yard midi skip is generally around the £200 mark. Once again, if you have sufficient room on your driveway or front garden, then there is no need to be concerned with the cost of on road skip permits – the price of which will vary from region to region. That being said, if you are embarking on a DIY refurbishment, then it is always better to over estimate just what size of skip you’ll require.
Bear in mind that even though you may well have planned out your refurbishment thoroughly, skips have an interesting way of attracting junk from other areas in the home. The convenience with which this junk can be removed often means that lofts, sheds and children’s bedrooms enjoy a much needed clear out, hence that additional £60 – £80 can prove a small price to pay for all of that unexpected ‘spring cleaning’.
Quite a sizeable jump in length when we start to look at the 5 yard skip for hire. The same width and only 2” taller than it’s 4 yard counterpart, but the length here is 8ft, and this is where some people may need to start thinking about on road permits for their skip hire.
We’ll take a look at the cost of permits for skip hire a little later on, but as for the skip itself, a 5 yard skip holds only a little less than the more standard 6 yard version. As a consequence, this particular size proves rather difficult to find when searching for a skip hire company.
Indeed, many skip hire firms will group their skips into categories such as mini, midi, standard, large – also referred to as builder, and maxi. The majority of these categories will comprise two sizes. That is that mini will encompass 2 and 3 yard skips for hire, standard will be the 6 or 8 yard skips available for hire and maxi will be 10 or 12 yard. However, when looking at midi skips, many UK skip hire companies will only offer the 4 yard model, and will have such a small difference in price between their midi skips and the more standard 6 or 8 yard builder’s skips, that price becomes a secondary consideration to size, convenience and the need for additional permits.
As such, we’re not going to dwell on 5 yard skips for hire here, as they would appear to be fast becoming irrelevant. Let’s move on instead to the standard sizes, also referred to as Builders’ skips.
Chances are that if you are looking to hire a skip in the 6-8 yard size range, that the project is no longer DIY and you have professional builders on site. The good news there is that these people bring with them the wisdom of experience – they’ll know whether you’ll require either 6 or 8 yards, or they may even feel that you’ll need to look at the maxi range of skips, which are 10 and 12 yard models.
Once again, it pays to overestimate rather than be caught short. In addition, it’s worth taking a moment here to look at the time period over which skip hire usually takes place.
A skip is typically hired for a period of two weeks. If the building project is likely to take longer than that – and of course, the vast majority will – then it will be important to ask the skip hire company what they feel will be the best course of action.
The simplest option would be to just hire the skip for longer, and this works well for the skip hire company too, because the alternative is to arrange to have the skip collected once the initial two week rental period ends, have them arrange to dispose of the waste and then return the empty skip for another window of two weeks. Such an arrangement is impractical and expensive, and therefore best to avoid.
From this point on, rather than focus on the specific dimensions of each skip, we’ll focus on the price and the logistics involved. After all, you came here looking for the ultimate skip hire price guide, and so that’s what you’re going to get!
A 6 yard model will generally come with a hire price tag of around £210 and an 8 yard model will be closer to £250. Here, it’s important that we take a quick look at permits.
There are many places that you can store a skip whilst your building work is being carried out. The most obvious is a front driveway. Granted, you won’t be able to park your car in front of your house but then you also might not want to park your car on a building site anyway, so there’s no real loss there.
Skips can also be placed in back gardens, but it’s important to consider that access could prove incredibly difficult, plus any lawn would be destroyed as a consequence.
What this means for most people is that an on road skip hire permit is required. Now the most important thing about these permits is that it is NOT your responsibility to acquire the permit. That responsibility falls to the hire company themselves, as the local council will need to see proof that they are a licensed skip operator, as well as providing details of their public liability insurance, which should cover a minimum of £10million.
Be aware that some – and we should stress, not all – skip hire companies have been known to mark up the cost of their permits, and sometimes by some ridiculous margins. Whilst we would certainly expect them to factor in the cost of their insurance premiums into the permit charges, it’s a good idea to check just how much mark up they are putting on the job.
For example, at the time of writing this article, the price to hire a skip for two weeks in borough of Hertsmere was £39. One particular skip hire company was charging £60 for their permits. We would argue that this additional £21 would be a fair charge for a company to ensure that everything associated with the hire of a skip was legal and above board.
If you’re concerned about these charges, then a Google search for “price of on road skip permit near me” will usually take you to your local authority’s waste management pages where you’ll be able to see the prices for yourself.
The on road permit is not the only thing that your skip hire company will need in terms of licenses. They will need a Waste Carrier License and a Waste Management/Transfer License, as well as the Public Liability that we mentioned earlier. When looking to hire a skip, ask your skip hire company to show you this documentation. These licenses are not preferred add ons that some less expensive companies simply choose to avoid – they are a legal requirement that ensures that your waste is managed legally and responsibly, so make sure that they are in place.
The Maxi skip is for the biggest of projects. The difference between a 10 yard and a 12 yard skip is negligible, as indeed is the price. A 12 yard skip is only 2” longer than its 10 yard counterpart, but is 7” taller, and that increases its capacity from 80 bin bags’ worth to 100 – a substantial difference.
Cost wise, a 10 yard model will cost in the region of £330 to hire, and a 12 yard skip hire will cost closer to £370. Realistically, once a project has reached the levels of requiring waste management at this magnitude, the difference of £40 pales into insignificance.
So which skip is right for me?
The goal here is to over estimate. If you think a 3 yard model will be sufficient, then hire a 4 yard model instead. You’re bound to get more use of your skip than you first bargained for, and you’ll be glad for that extra space when you do.
As always, before embarking on any building project, ensure that you have the correct permits in place and consult with the experts to avoid any nasty surprises down the road. And whilst it may not be a legal requirement, consider letting your neighbours know that you’re putting a skip in their road – they’re bound to appreciate the courtesy of an early warning.