UK Skip Hire – The Ultimate 2018 Guide

October 25, 2018

Common Questions for Skip Hire

How Much is it to Hire a Skip?

Using ClickaSkip’s quote form, you will see prices for skips ranging from around  £160 to over £280, depending on the size and type of skip that you require. Generally, larger skips cost more and smaller skips cost less. You may see skips of the same size costing different amounts, but that will depend on the shape of the skip whether it is enclosed or not and the delivery location.

Who Hires Out Skips?

Skip hire companies range from small, family-owned operators, up to national companies with complete coverage. Generally, the larger companies double up as waste management companies and will process and recycle the waste themselves, whereas the smaller companies operate a skip hire service and use partners dispose of the waste they collect. A third option is that you will find waste management companies who subcontract skip brokers to bring them waste.

Waste brokers are a fourth option, as they are well-connected agencies who piece together all of the dots, finding the best deals for skip hire and waste management. It’s common to find that this is the cheapest option, as they receive advantageous rates from their waste service providing partners. Finally, there are skip lead generators, which are platforms for skip hire companies to join and publish their prices. The generator then gets the skip hire companies to bid on jobs against each other, so that the customer gets the best price. The skip hire companies pay a fee to be members and to bid.

How Do I Avoid Using a Cowboy skip Hire Company?

The Environment Agency is the best resource for sniffing out cowboys and unlicensed waste carriers. It’s important to know that skip hire and waste management companies MUST have a license to carry waste, or you will be breaking the law by working with them. Ask for their waste carrier license number and check it here for England, or here for Scotland. If they are not there, or their license has expired, we strongly advise you to avoid them.

Public liability insurance is important too, as you need to be protected from potential damages to your property, in case something goes wrong during the drop-off or pick-up of your skip.

What Can I Put in a Skip?

Skips are versatile and can take all sorts of objects and materials, but they do come with some restrictions. It’s better to inform you of what cannot go in the skip, rather than what can. This is because certain types of waste are hazardous to the team emptying the skip and processing the waste, or need different kinds of disposal. Here are some common hazardous materials that are forbidden from our skips:

  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • 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
  • Liquids
  • Large mattresses
  • Oil, petrol, diesel
  • Paint & Cans of paint
  • Plasterboard in large quantities
  • Tyres
  • TVs & computer screens

Avoid these materials and you will be fine, but also be careful not to overfill your skip, as this may break your terms with your skip rental company. Skips must be a ‘level load’, not overflowing with waste or having things poking out of the sides. In these instances, you may either be asked to remove items from the skip or face extra charges.

What Skip Size Should I Hire?

Here at ClickaSkip, we offer five different sizes of skips, from very small, to very large. Whilst it may be a little confusing for some, the skip hire industry uses cubic yards as a measurement. One cubic yard is 92cm, or 3 feet, deep, high and wide. This is about the size of a large dishwasher.

Our sizes are:

  • 4 yard
  • 6 yard
  • 8 yard (open)
  • 8 yard (enclosed)
  • 12 yard

A 12 yard skip would fit about 130 large filled bin bags, whereas a 4 yard would take about 40. It is important to note that skips larger than 8 yards may not be allowed to be placed on public highways whilst they are being filled.

Different skip hire companies will visualise the amount of space in a skip in different ways – we opt for wheelbarrow loads and bin bags. It’s advantageous financially to order a skip one size larger than you need, as it will reduce the risk of overflow, or having to find a solution for the surplus waste. However, you must consider that if you don’t fill the skip, you will effectively be paying for that empty space, as skip prices are fixed to the size of the skip hired, not the contents collected.

There are mini skips, industrial skips, builders skips and enclosed skips. The odd one out is enclosed skips, as these have doors on them to protect the contents and prevent unauthorised dumping in the skip you have hired. The other three are more or less the same thing but different sizes and capacities.

How Long Can I Hire a Skip For?

Here at ClickaSkip, hire skips for 2 weeks, but if you fill your skip in less time, we can come and collect it upon request. If your skip is going on private property, you will have fewer problems keeping it there for longer, but if it’s going on a public highway, you must observe your skip permit limitations. You don’t want to overstay your welcome or upset other residents, as both come at a different cost!

What Happens to The Stuff I Put in a Skip?

Ideally, it gets sorted and recycled. It depends, however, on what the contents of the skip are. Some building materials may get turned into aggregate, plastic, paper, metal and glass can usually be recycled, and other items could be pulled out for refurbishing. At ClickaSkip, recycling rates are vitally important to us, so we have excellent partners ready to take our waste streams, even the trickier ones. Landfill taxes and good common environmental sense mean that well over 95% of what is put in the skips we hire is diverted from landfill and a very high proportion is recycled to find another use.

As mentioned before, larger skip hire companies often have their own waste management and sorting facilities, whereas the smaller ones will use their trusted partners. There’s no advantage or disadvantage to either method, as it all comes down to how good the waste management company are at recycling.

If you’d like more detail of what happens to your waste, ask the skip hire company and they should be happy to tell you where it is all being diverted to, and what the landfill diversion rates are.

Are There Any Access Issues for Skip Lorries?

Our skip hire lorries are roughly 9 feet wide, so bare that in mind if we have to come through alleys or gates to reach the drop-off point. Our lorries are also up to 312 feet tall. If your entrance point is not wide and tall enough, we will have to place the skip on the road, which will mean you need a permit from the local council. If none of the above are feasible, you might want to look into a man and van clearance for your needs.

What if I Require Labour to Load the Skip?

Skip hire companies generally do not include labour, though some may offer it as an additional service. If you are not able to lift and shift the contents yourself, it may be better to look for a man and van service who will almost certainly provide labour. Alternatively invite your friends to a skip filling party!

What is a Skip Permit or Skip License?

A skip permit is a document allowing you to place a skip on the road for a temporary period of time. If it is being placed in an area with paid parking, you will also need to purchase a parking suspension for the spot.

Who Issues Skip Permits and Parking Suspensions?

Skip permits and parking suspensions both cost money and must be arranged with your local council. Allow at least three or four days to get this arranged, as the council will need time to organise it. Fortunately, the majority of councils now allow skip hire companies to apply for the permits on behalf of their customers, although this is a more recent thing.

How Much Do Skip Permits Cost?

There is no uniform price for skip permits in the UK, and they vary from as little as £10 to as much as £55 or more, depending on where you are. The price may also vary depending on how long you need it for, and whether you decide to extend it or not. Whilst the council has their costs, be aware that having your skip hire company organise it for you will incur an extra admin fee, usually around £10. Although VAT is not payable on skip permits, skip companies are obliged to add VAT when recharging the cost of the permit to their customer.

Here are some estimates:

  • Birmingham skip permit £13
  • Bristol skip permit £13
  • Edinburgh skip permit £25
  • Glasgow skip permit £55
  • Leeds skip permit £20
  • Liverpool skip permit £10
  • London skip permit £50
  • Manchester skip permit £20
  • Newcastle skip permit £20
  • Nottingham skip permit £15

How Much Are Parking Suspension Fees?

Parking suspension fees must be paid when the skip is placed on a yellow line, or a pay & display area. In these controlled parking zones, the fees will vary massively depending on where you are. Bigger cities may charge £50 or more per day, and small towns might have no charge at all. Weekly discounts could be available.

Things to Think About Before Hiring a Skip

Asking questions is a good start, but here are some of the things you need to think about before you actually go and hire a skip.

Know the Size You Need

Hiring a skip that is too small is going to cause you problems because all of your waste won’t fit inside. This means you’ll have to go and get a second skip, hire a man with a van, or find somewhere to responsibly remove the waste to yourself, like a local tip.

If you hire a skip that is too big, you end up paying too much for it, as you will pay a fixed price for the skip without managing to maximise the available space inside it.

We recommend you search google for skip hire calculators and try a few of them to estimate what size skip you will need for the amount of waste you have. Once you’ve figured it out, come back to us to book!

Avoid Restricted Items

The government introduced some rules about what can and can’t go in a skip, to avoid contamination and the possibility that people could get hurt. All of the following items are restricted:

  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • 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
  • Liquids
  • Oil, petrol, diesel
  • Paint & cans of paint
  • Plasterboard in large volume
  • Tyres
  • TVs & computer screens

Don’t be tempted to try and hide these things in the skip, as they will be found, and you will likely be fined or surcharged. It is breaking the law to put these things in skips, and nobody wants the ugliness or hassle of legal proceedings. There are other items that your skip hire company may not accept, but you should ask them before you hire a skip as to what they are. It’s often the case that there are percentage limits on certain construction wastes.

Don’t Go Over The Weight Limit

Each skip has a weight limit so that when the collection lorry comes, it can lift the skip safely and not cause any damage to the vehicle or its surroundings. Another reason for the weight limit is that some public highways have a load bearing limit, usually 7.5 tonnes. A good guideline is that 4, 6 and 8 yard skips can be filled with heavy items, but 12 year skips should not have more than 50% heavy items.

Unlimited Time Skip Hire

You may, in your pursuit for a good skip, find offers that will let you take a skip for an unlimited period of time. Now, unless you know for absolutely certain that filling your skip will take more than 2-3 weeks, this is a waste of money. Skip hire companies have a finite number of skips in their yard, and if they rent them all out for an unlimited time, they aren’t going to make much money, so they whack a nice extra margin on top and let people figure that out for themselves. Filling a skip usually takes days, not weeks, so don’t get caught out.

Clearance Services Instead of Skip Hire

At the end of the day, we are a skip hire company, and we want to rent skips to customers who need them. The key phrase there is ‘who need them’. We don’t want to rent our skips to people who need a house clearance or a man and a van service, because although it makes us money, it’s dishonest.

If it’s the case that you want a skip to do a house clearance, and the stuff in the house is reusable but unwanted, you should get a house clearance team. If you’re frail or injured and you can’t fill a skip yourself, get a clearance team in, as they generally come with labourers included who are trained in the arts of lifting and shifting bulky goods.

The other advantage to a clearance service is that they are experts at reusing objects like wardrobes, sofas and bed frames, and often have partners in the shape of charity shops and furniture warehouses who will refurbish items. It’s better to see these items reused than sitting wastefully in a skip.

Everything Else You Need to Know

We’ve covered a great deal, but there are a few more things that you should be wary of…

Where Can Skips Be Placed?

95 % of residential ClickaSkip customers have their skip on their driveway, as it saves them the hassle of getting a road permit, and it allows for easy access. Commercial customers will often have the skip close to their loading bay, in their car park, or in a convenient place in their yard, wherever makes the most sense and provides the fewest difficulties for delivery and loading access.

For our larger skips, which are 6-12 cubic yards in volume, we need a minimum of around 3.0m of width, or 9ft 10 inches, just to be sure. For our smallest skip, the 4 cubic yard option, a clearance width for access should be at least 2.0m, or 6ft 7 inches.

Two other things to consider for private placements are the strength of the ground surface, as both our vehicles and skips are very heavy, and height clearance, as our vehicles are tall. We don’t want any issues with cracks or sinking on your property, and neither do you.

For road placement, see below.

If I Can’t Have the Skip on my Property, Can it go on The Road?

Yes, it can, but you will need a road permit from your local council. When getting a quote or renting a skip, make sure with your skip hire company first, as they will usually handle this process for you, for a small fee (around £10). It is rare for these road permits to be rejected, but they can be if the road is very busy, there are double yellow lines, or space is very limited.

In some cases, you will require a parking suspension. It may be the case that the road you’d like to place your skip on is residential, council owned, or part of a pay & display setup. In this case, a parking suspension will be paid in order for you to use the space. The cost of this varies massively.

How Quickly Can I Have the Skip?

If your skip is being delivered to a private location, off of public highways, you can normally have it delivered the next working day or the day after, subject to availability. However, if your skip is going on the road, you will need to wait three or four working days while the permit is acquired, and another working day for the logistics to be solved.

What Happens if I Overload the Skip?

Skips must be a ‘level load’, not overflowing with waste or having things poking out of the side. In these cases, you may either be asked to remove items from the skip or face extra charges. Skip hire companies reserve the right to refuse to collect overloaded skips, and so you may pay a daily charge until it is a safe load to be collected.

Collecting an overloaded skip presents several dangers to the skip lorry driver and to public safety. It is also a breach of your contract.

Hidden Charges

Hiring a skip is simple, we’ve made it very easy to do, but other skip hire companies make it deliberately confusing in order to maximise profits. One way they do this is through hidden charges for:

  • Keeping your skip longer than the agreed time limit
  • Using your skip beyond the road permit time limitations
  • Overloading your skip
  • Being quoted excluding VAT, and being charged with VAT
  • Prohibited item charges

Prices by Region

From county to county, city to city, skip hire costs will change. In the south of England, and especially in Greater London, you will expect to pay more. In the Northwest and Northeast of England, you will find prices as much as 20-30% cheaper, depending on the company you use.

What if I Fill My Skip and Need Another One?

Get in touch with the skip hire company that you used, and ask for an exchange skip as you may be entitled to a discount for the second one. It’s also good for your carbon footprint to use the same company, as they can bring an empty skip at the same time they collect your full one, saving an additional journey. It is possible to change the size and terms of the second skip to suit you ClickaSkip can help with this.

For this reason, we always recommend getting a skip bigger than you think you need, in case you have more waste than estimated.

What Do I Have to do to Get My Skip Collected Once I Have Loaded it?

You can book the collection when you order, call us to arrange collection or book the collection online. The collection will usually come in 1-2 working days, but it may take longer in extremely busy times.

How Do I Book a Skip With ClickaSkip?

You start by visiting our easy-to-use and friendly ‘skip chooser’ quoting tool, which will take you through three steps and can be completed in less than a minute. The tool will first ask for your postcode, and whether you want the skip on the road, or on your private property. Step two will show you our five different skips, with their dimensions and prices – select the perfect one for you, or click ‘What if I order the wrong size?’ to learn more. Next, add on any extras – this will be dependent on the previous selections, and may not show any available extras.

The rest is up to us. We look forward to hiring you a skip!