London Skip HireGetting rid of the debris after a summer clean-out is a bit of a nightmare if you live in the capital. Nearby communal tips are often difficult to find in the centre, and they're often beset with long, sweaty queues that eat into your precious spare time.
It seems a little counterintuitive, but your best bet of getting around this issue is often to hire your own personal skip where you can dump all - or most of - your rubbish without even having to leave your driveway.
Skip rental firms generally favour hires of a week or two rather than a single day or afternoon - so expect prices and collection times to be optimised towards this kind of deal.
This can be a little frustrating for those who want to get rid of the skip-shaped eyesore sitting outside their home immediately, but the upshot is that it gives you more time to finish renovating or clearing out the attic.
It's also worth keeping mind that just because you've paid to hire the skip for a week it doesn't always mean you're duty-bound to give it a home for the entire time. Generally the hiring company will be more than happy to take it back off your hands a couple of days early if you give them some reasonable notice.
Skip sizes and price guide
Figuring out which size skip to go for can be tricky if you're hiring for the first time - mostly because rental firms insist on using somewhat outmoded measurement systems.
For the sake of ease, the three main skip sizes can be handily broken down as small, medium and large.
Small skips are advertised as having a volume of around four cubic yards, which in more plain language means they're about a metre deep and around 1.3 metres in length and width. For some context, they can probably accommodate about 40 to 50 full-sized rubbish bags. Average price: £150 per week
Medium skips are about eight cubic yards in volume and a smidgen taller than small skips at about 1.2 metres. The difference though is in the length - they measure about 3.5 to 3.7 metres across, and can hold roughly 90 rubbish bags if you pack them really tightly. Average price: £300 per week
Large skips are 12 ore more cubic yards deep and stand at about 1.7 metres from the ground. Length-wise, you're looking at about 4 metres across and in terms of capacity think somewhere in the region of 130 to 150 rubbish bags. Average price: £400 per week
If you're doing a smaller job, you can also grab yourself a so-called mini skip which is generally less than two cubic metres deep and will probably pack in 20 rubbish bags at a push. Average price: £100 per week
Dos and don'ts
Contrary to popular belief, skips are not an open invitation for you to dump anything and everything you find lying around in or outside of the home. There are some rules to follow - for example:
- Don't exceed the maximum load. This one should be fairly obvious - skips should only be filled to the brim (unless otherwise stated) and if you go over that you may be asked to remove stuff at collection time.
- Be wary of restricted items. Each rental firm will vary on which items are off-limits for their skips - so keep a note of this when you're loading it. Generally speaking electrical appliances - particularly those with screens - are a big no-no.
- Protect your driveway. Skips are big, heavy units, and unlike your car they aren't equipped with rubber wheels to stop the harsh metal from meeting with your newly-paved drive. If you can, stand it on planks of wood instead of putting it directly on the ground (ask your rental firm if in doubt).
- If you're keeping it on the road, get a permit. Not all of us are blessed with a spacious driveway. If you do have to keep your skip at roadside you'll need to obtain a permit from your local council to avoid picking up a hefty fine.
The UK's capital isn't short of companies renting out skips - so make sure you do some shopping around to find out who can give you the best quote. As a starting point, here are some of our top picks: