skip hire guide London

Skip Hire Guide

6 January 2022

Need to hire a skip? Here's what you need to consider

If you need a big container to put all your rubbish before it's taken away, you'll probably want to hire a skip. They are particularly good for messy waste like soil, bricks, rubble and tiles. In this blog, we cover all you need to know about skip hire, from skip sizes, skip prices, prohibited items and skip hire alternatives.

  1. Skip hire sizes
  2. Skip hire price
  3. How high can I load a skip?
  4. Skip location - on-road or off-road
  5. Skip permits and CPZ suspensions
  6. Prohibited items - what can I put in a skip?
  7. Skip hire alternatives


1) Skip hire sizes

The main sizes of skip for hire are 4 cubic yards, 6 cubic yards, 8 cubic yards and 12 cubic yards. The most popular is a six cubic yard skip, sometimes called builders skip because builders use it so frequently. For a deeper look into skip sizes and which one would be best suited for your bulky waste removal project, please read our comprehensive guide.

Table of skip sizes, their dimensions and what they can hold

Skip size Dimensions Wheelie bins equivalent Bin bags equivalent Best for..
 4 Yards H: 1m, L: 1.8m, W 1.3m 8 wheelie bins 30-40 bin bags Bikes, small fridges, Tv's, small sofas and chairs
 6 Yards H: 1.2m, L: 2.6m, W 1.5m 12 wheelie bins 50-60 bin bags Moderate amounts of bulky waste – kitchen, bathroom, and home renovations.
8 Yards H: 1.2m, L: 3.7m, W 1.7m 16 wheelie bins 70-80 bin bags Clearing entire house or major renovation work
12 Yards H: 1.7m, L: 3.7m, W 1.8m 24 wheelie ins 100-120 bin bags Large projects and, general construction waste

Source: LoveJunk December 2021

2.  Skip hire prices

Skip hire prices vary by region but they tend to be costly. Hiring a skip is likely to cost 50% - 150% more than using a man & van waste contractor to remove the waste instead. This is partly because it has a higher logistical cost. The skip vehicle comes to your site twice - once to drop it off and once to pick it up.

Reasons for these differences in rates between regions include:

  1. the cost of labour and rent
  2. cost of disposal, including proximity to a landfill site
  3. quality and cost of council bulky waste collection service
  4. strength of the local economy
  5. competitive landscape in that area
  6. congestion/traffic

Prices vary, but expect to pay £250 - £300 inc VAT to hire a skip for a week or so as a rough guide. For a more in-depth look into skip prices, please see our blog. We also cover skip hire costs specifically to London.

Table of average 6-yard skip hire price by city (incl VAT)

Location 6-yard skip
UK Average £240
price includes VAT
Birmingham £200
Bournemouth £275
Brighton £240
Bristol £245
Cambridge £210
Cardiff £245
Chester £200
Doncaster £195
Edinburgh £185
Exeter £275
Glasgow £210
Gloucester £240
Hemel Hempstead £235
Ipswich £225
Leeds £175
Leicester £215
Liverpool £185
London £270
Luton £275
Manchester £210
Middlesbrough £240
Milton Keynes £250
Newcastle £235
Northampton £185
Norwich £210
Nottingham £195
Oxford £260
Portsmouth £255
Reading £245
Sheffield £195
Southampton £290
Swindon £255
Tunbridge Wells £245
York £185
Note: prices include 20% VAT but exclude skip permit fee & parking suspensions if on road. 
Source: LoveJunk January 2022


3. How high can I load a skip

It is often confusing to know exactly how high you can load a skip. In general, the waste should not exceed the height of the skip. Overloading a skip is tempting but it is unsafe to passers-by as these bulky items are not secure and could fall off and cause injury. Also, if too overloaded, your skip could be refused removal, and you could be charged for the inconvenience.

Top tips for loading a skip

  • Break up items so they can fill the gaps between bulkier items
  • Put the lightweight objects - like cardboard and cabinet doors - along the bottom of the skip
  • Put heavy items on top to compress the lighter items as this saves

how to load a skip



4) Skip location 

The skip location makes a difference to its overall cost, both geographically (what region you are in) and whether your skip is on-road or off-road.

a) off-road skips

Off-road means the skip is parked and placed on private property that is away from the road. For example, in a driveway, garden or field and these do not require a permit.

b) on-road skips

On-road however means the skip is parked on a public road, roadside or pavement. On-road skips cost extra because they require a skip permit from the council. In addition, on-road skips may require a CPZ suspension in advance from the council.


5) Skip permits and CPZ suspensions near me

Skip hire permits were created by councils to stop skips from being left on roads forever. It is likely you will need one when hiring a skip. Plus, if your road is a controlled parking zone, you will also have to pay extra for a bay suspension.

The cost of a skip permit varies by:

  • The regulations of the local council you are in
  • Length of time you want to leave the skip on the road.

Average skip permit prices UK city per week

Region Charge
Birmingham skip permit £22
Bristol skip permit £65
Edinburgh skip permit £29
Essex skip permit £63
Exeter skip permit £60
Leeds skip permit -
Liverpool skip permit £25
London skip permit (average) £73
Luton skip permit £35
Manchester skip permit £32
Newcastle skip permit £31.50
Nottingham skip permit £36
Southampton skip permit £26.50

Source: LoveJunk January 2022

How do skip permits work?

  1. The skip supplier applies for the permit, and that additional cost is added to your overall hire price. 
  2. If the location in which you require the skip is within a controlled parking zone (e.g. residents' permit or pay & display), a CPZ suspension is also required. CPZ suspension fees also vary by length of time and local council regulations.
  3. The skip supplier will arrange the CPZ suspensions and will just charge you extra.

What are the rules around skip permits?

The permit will be given if the skip complies with the following rules and conditions:

  • The skip cannot be sticking out into the road
  • You must not leave any waste from the skip laying on the road
  • The skip needs appropriate lighting and traffic cones around the skip
  • Skip needs to be coated in paint to make it visible to oncoming traffic
  • Check the skip dimensions required for the region you are in. For example, Hammersmith and Fulham council require skips to be no longer than 5 metres and no wider than 2 metres
  • Skip must be removed at the end of the licence period



6) Prohibited items - what can I put in a skip

You cannot put hazardous or harmful items into a skip. These include but are not limited to TVs, computer monitors, asbestos, tyres, fridges, paint and paint tins (unless empty), plasterboard, batteries, medical waste, gas cylinders, liquids, solvents, oil, petrol, diesel and explosives.

Table of prohibited skip items 

Item Can I put this in a skip?
Paint Tins No, you can’t put paint tins in a skip unless they are completely empty. If you have tins with paint inside, contact your local council for disposal advice
Mattresses If you put a mattress into your skip, you will be charged extra at the time of collection to cover the skip operator’s additional costs. Prices vary by postcode.
Fridges & freezers You cannot put a fridge in our skips. Some councils offer a free collection service for these items
Plasterboard Legislation covering plasterboard or gypsum waste, states that it must be separated from other general waste
Tyres Tyres cannot be put in skips
Electrical equipment No, electrical equipment cannot be but in our skips as it is controlled by the WEEE directive
TV's No, televisions or computer monitors cannot be put in skips
Asbestos You cannot put asbestos in a standard skip and it cannot be re-used or recycled under any circumstances
Batteries No, batteries cannot be put in skips
Medical waste No, medical waste cannot be put in skips
Liquids, gas cylinders & solvents No, liquids, gas cylinders & solvents cannot be put in skips
Diesel, petrol and explosives No, diesel, petrol and explosives cannot be put in skips


7. Skip hire alternatives

If you have bulky waste you need to dispose of, and you cant / don't want to hire a skip, you have three options:

  1. Use a Hippobag. These are essentially small skips, so a good option, if you have less rubbish to dispose of and don't want the hassle of skip hires and permits. Once you have filled it you can then pay a local man & van rubbish clearance company to collect and empty it. Check out our complete guide hippo bag collection for full info.
  2. Depending on the size and weight of the waste you are trying to dispose of, you could take a trip to your local household waste recycling centre
  3. Use LoveJunk to find your cheapest (and closest!) available waste collector. In most regions skip hire is often a lot more expensive than hiring a man & van to dispose of your waste. Many councils recommend us. Check us out! We also have a how to dispose of rubbish guide, which has details on every way you could get rid of your junk.


Recent examples of rubbish cleared via the LoveJunk Marketplace

Tiles, Plasterboard, Wood, £175

Builders waste & kitchen units for collection, £250

40-50 bags of rubble and soil, £160

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