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The 7 Secrets to Successful Skip Hire

Read on for our successful skip hire guide in the form of a list of the 7 top “secrets” for skip hire selection. Our research suggests that there are over 17 million skips hired in the UK every year for domestic use alone!

That's a lot of skips, and if you've ever looked in the Yellow Pages, you'll see that there are a lot of skip companies out there to choose from, with no real way of knowing what kind of service you're going to get before it turns up!

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This page was first published in 2010, but is just as useful as ever! And, it has been fully updated for 2018.

If, like us, you've ever hired a skip, chances are you will have had a good experience with a professional, licensed waste collector with no hassles or grief.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you called more than one company before you actually hired a skip you may have found that some of them:

  • won't quote prices over the phone
  • won't tell you what time it will be dropped off, or picked up
  • will only accept cash payments to the driver.

You might have even had a bad experience where the driver has refused to take away your skip without throwing some of the rubbish back in your garden, demanded more money before taking it away, damaged your property by bad handling of their wagon and the skip…

This guide is for you: It answers all the most common questions associated with a successful skip hire so that you know exactly what you're getting into when you hire a skip and understand the whys and wherefores involved in skip hire, so you never have a bad experience… EVER!

7 Secrets to Successful Skip Hire

1. How can I tell which skip companies in the Yellow Pages are the good ones?

Unless you personally know the company, you can't. Any fool with a wagon and a skip can get an advertisement designed and printed to entice you to call them, but mainly it's a lottery, not just in terms of prices and service, but also in terms of what actually happens to your waste – something that depressingly few of us actually think, or even care about.

Skip companies are not actually regulated at the time of this writing. The good ones operate their own licensed waste transfer stations (regulated by the Environment Agency) and are members of the Institute of Waste Management (a professional body that promotes education and raises standards in waste management).

The bad ones are just cowboys that often fly-tip your waste and therefore add to your council tax bill because the council is the one who has to clean it up! (Fly-tipping is now costing local councils over £2.5 million a year! That's our tax money!)

Did you know? “Every 35 seconds, somebody, somewhere is fly-tipping in the UK”.

2. Why do skips cost so much money?

No one is pretending skip hire is cheap, but think about the overheads involved:

  • Skip Wagon £35,000+
  • Skips £500/each for standard builders skip
  • Vehicle Insurance £2000/year per vehicle
  • Public Liability: £1250/year per vehicle
  • Employer's Liability: £1250/year per vehicle
  • Skip Wagon driver: £25,000/year
  • Fuel £20,000/year
  • Office staff: £18,000/year per member of staff
  • Landfill taxes in England and Wales are £88.90/ton increasing every year.
  • Recycling costs Cost of buying shredders, trommels, weighbridges, picking stations, etc – £millions.

Soon adds up doesn't it? Getting rid of waste is not a cheap business, but it has to go somewhere!

3. Why isn't my skip dropped off and picked up when I ask for it?

This isn't always the skip company's fault – too many people don't understand that hiring a skip is not like calling a taxi.

Just think about what goes into the average skip lorry driver's day. It's heavy haulage we're talking about here. Lots of things can go wrong on a pick-up or drop-off, that will slow down the whole day's schedule.

One example is when a customer puts what looks like hazardous waste in a skip, and the driver has to check with whoever filled the skip, before accepting the load.

Another delay, which is all too frequent, is when a skip has been overfilled, or maybe earlier in the shift, the driver was given incorrect drop-off, or collection details, by a customer.

We publish a national trade magazine for the industry called “The Skip” ( and through this, we are pushing for more skip companies to incorporate new technology like Vehicle Tracking to improve delivery schedules and take-up of this kind of improvement is increasing all the time.

In the meantime, you should be patiently waiting for your skip because it's rarely a case of deliberately bad customer service.

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4. Why won't they take the skip away if the rubbish is just over the fill line?

It's not the skip driver being unreasonable—it's the law! They are legally bound to not carry unsafe loads, and unfortunately, many people order smaller skips than they need in order to save a few quid. Our advice – order a larger skip than you think you need because you will always fill it – just don't go over the line!

5. What actually happens to my rubbish when they take it away?

If you're not asking this question, you should be. Landfill space in the UK is running out fast. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be virtually no landfill space left in Britain and the government is increasing the landfill taxes that waste management companies have to pay every year.

The best skip companies are investing heavily into new plant and technology, to the point that many of them recycle over 90%! Using these companies will eventually reduce prices and massively increase recycling rates – something we should all be interested in.

The bottom line is – the cheaper the skip, the less likely it is that the waste is being responsibly managed. You'll be unlikely to gain a successful skip hire if you have knocked the price down too low…

6. Why won't my local skip company take a credit card or even tell me prices over the phone?

This is mainly a historical thing. Most skip hire companies have evolved over the past 25 years from construction and demolition companies, and the traditional way they do business is either by issuing invoices or cash-in-hand! Also, a lot of companies still charge for waste disposal by the tonne and won't always quote an exact price because they don't know exactly how much it's going to cost them to get rid of until it comes in.

7. Why do I get quoted so many different prices for the same service from different companies?

The answer to the question – you don't get the same service from different companies! You get different levels of service from different companies. Most of the time, you get what you pay for. After you've had a bad experience, you'll wonder whether it really was worth saving £20 by going with the cheapest you could find.

Plus, there are other factors, such as skip permit prices. All skip companies are supposed to tell you that you need a permit if the skip is to be on a public highway. These permits are provided by the local council – sometimes the company by law has to sort it out for you, and sometimes you'll have to go directly to the council yourself.

The variances in skip permit prices across the UK are staggering: some councils charge nothing and issue them the same day, some charge £70 and make you wait weeks before issuing.

The 7 Secrets to Successful Skip Hire – Conclusion

In the end…

It's up to you. You now know pretty much everything necessary to make an informed choice about which skip hire company to use.

If you want all the guesswork taken out of the job and a guarantee of successful skip hire, via:

  • excellent customer service levels
  • fully online, secure payment system
  • a free phone number so it won't cost you to enquire about anything
  • responsible waste management and a commitment to recycle at least 70% of waste collected
  • fixed, published prices
  • full UK-wide service.

Then you could always use We have over 400 agents throughout the UK that go the extra mile to please our customers because, most of the time, WE are their biggest customer!

Successful Skip Hire means Happy skipping!

Mark Attwood

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  1. We would love to have pdf files of this. You could e-mail them to us or you can find our Facebook page address on our website. Thank you!?

  2. Excellent, thank you. I am going to use this for my recycling and pollution topic with my year 3 class.?

  3. Less landfills, more recycle, less polutionfor residential recycle, you can check out at allcanfresh, No smells, no fliers, no maggots, no worries?

    • Sandra Reyes
    • 29 April 2018

    You do a lot of good things but did you know. You can do much better with your design? Coordinate your web page colour and design choices as carefully as you would your wardrobe choices for an important date. You need to make a certain impression. It’s not just your words that will make that impression. The words will combine with background colors, graphics and other features to make your entire blog work.

    • rmsskips
    • 18 July 2018

    Thanks for mentioning how skip hire services can be useful in all ways. I am going to undertake a construction project next month. Moreover, I am planning to hire a skip bin service for disposing of the construction waste. You have given very useful information in your blog about the rates and other things. It is a good blog helpful to everyone out there.

  4. its a good page. its very useful. Now to call my skip man fully armed.

  5. A skip hire service is most widely used for the rubbish collection and clearance solutions as a part of waste management. The key to proper waste management is to ensure that you extract resources from the waste produced and process them for recycling.

  6. Great post on skip hire. Have just bookmarked this page so I don’t miss any more of these. Thanks for sharing the useful content.

  7. Nice Blog! Thank you so much for sharing this kind of wonderful things.

  8. Great article. This really helps people understand the costs and difficulties that skip businesses face. The upfront charge is infuriating though, refusal to give an accurate price on websites is crazy. Its just bad business.

  9. My brother is going to be doing a home renovation project soon and he needs to hire a skip bin company. Thank you for explaining why the skip won’t always be dropped off and picked up when asked for. I’ll be sure to pass this tip onto my brother so he can make an informed decision.

  10. Thanks for sharing this kind of useful information. To hire a skip bin, tips are good and unique. Keep posting.

  11. I didn’t realize that many skip bin companies are recycling more than 90% of what they bring in. Cheap service sounds nice, but I think I’d be willing to pay a bit extra to have my waste be responsibly handled. Thanks for helping me put some of the cost in perspective to know what I should look out for.

  12. Nice blog ! Thank you for provide such a nice information

  13. Great information shared! One would definitely get help before hiring skip services for the waste. Many online sites will serve you with best skip Hire services, but there are some things to consider before calling that prospect skip hire company. The first of them is what type of materials are you planning to dispose of, and secondly, how much is the volume. These two important questions, when answered, will determine what type of skip size or sizes will you be needing.

  14. Nice Blog! Thank you so much for sharing this kind of wonderful things.

    • TJCtransport
    • 1 June 2020

    Very detailed explanation of the 7 steps required to make successful skip hire and yes a lot of cheap companies out there. We actually have a blog surrounding the same topic here ( thought it was relevant so posted it.

    • Emily Bennette
    • 27 June 2020

    This summer my grandmother wants to move into a retirement house. However, she is a bit of a hoarder so we need to get rid of a lot of her stuff before we can sell her house. It is good to know that we should get a few quotes on how much it will cost to rent a skip bin. We don’t want to spend too much because we want my grandmother to waste any money getting out of the house.

  15. Thanks for sharing Tips For Choosing the Right Skip Hire Company. Most likely you are a busy person, a homemaker, or working full time; which often makes it difficult to dispose of household rubbish on your own, particularly the hard ones. That’s why many people search (online or in their locality) for the best skip bin provider, to efficiently remove rubbish without getting into too much trouble.In your article you mentioned number of tips like Type of waste and Size of your skip/bin which is really good. We also wrote an article covering 5 TYPES OF WASTE; DO YOU KNOW THEM?(Here is the link

    • Kevin
    • 9 August 2020

    Can you confirm that your website address is [link deleted] as mentioned in your blog

  16. Kevin

    We welcome comments (and are happy to add a link to your relevant website) when people take the time to contribute to the discussion about our articles. Kevin didn’t and the linked website wasn’t even an English language website, so we deleted the link, and always do, in such instances.

  17. I didn’t know that the driver will need to check with who loaded the skip bin before taking in case of hazardous waste. I’d love to hire one of these services for my house cleaning project. I’ll see what I can do with some of the hazardous material I have though.

  18. Thank you for your wonderful tips. I agree that having a clean space in our home makes room for a healthier lifestyle. It will also inspire us to work harder since our mind and body feels at ease. I appreciate this content. Thank you for sharing. I am glad that we have companies that have dumpster rental and junk removal services.

    • Coney Wells
    • 24 June 2021

    Trash bins should be covered to prevent the entry of bugs and other creepy crawlies, as well as to reduce the odour produced.

    • Will Niam
    • 9 July 2021

    A skip bin business is an excellent concept for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

  19. Indeed. It’s one thing to read it in a good book.

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