Skip Permit & License Overview
A skip permit is issued by your local council which allows a skip to be placed on the public highway, such as the street in front of your home or business. There are usually terms attached to the permit including start and end date, lighting and signage requirements and in almost all cases a charge is levied.
A skip permit and skip license are the same thing.
A skip permit is needed any time a skip is placed on the public highway. This means any land which is not private - so the street in front of your home or business will usually be considered the public highway. This includes roads, pavements and verges. In contrast a private car park or your driveway would be considered private land and a skip permit would not be required.
It is illegal to place a skip on the public highway without a skip permit.
A skip permit is issued by your local council. Depending on where you live it could be the town council or the county council who issue the skip permit.
Whilst a skip permit may be issued by the local council, it will usually be the skip company who will liaise with the local council to get the permit issued. Many councils will only deal with skip companies directly. When booking the Clearabee Skip Hire Service, we will normally organise the skip permit for you.
A skip permit varies in cost significantly from area to area. The average cost across the country is £45 in 2019 but with costs as high as £165 in some parts of London to as low as £9 in Sheffield.
Most operators will charge more than the cost of the permit to allow for the administration involved. This includes liaising with the council to get the permit issued (assuming the operator is handling this for you, which is often a requirement) and to allow for the cost of providing lights and cones to ensure the skips are legal when placed on the highway. Because of this costs can be 20-30% on top of the official rate in many cases, and VAT will usually be added.
Skip permits are often issued within 1 business day, but some councils can take up to a week or even longer. Because of this it does take longer to fulfil a skip which will need a permit and more advanced planning will be required.
If you are in a rush off road skips are often available next day, or if you do not have space for an off the road skip, our rubbish clearance service is available on the very same day on most occasions for which a skip permit is not required.
A skip permit is issued for a fixed period of time. The length of the permit varies by area but the most common permit periods are 7 - 14 days. Most skip companies will hire a skip for at least 14 days, which means if you intend to utilise the full hire period, you may need an extension.
If your permit expires it will be illegally on the highway. You must request an extension before it expires and allow enough time for the extension to be processed, or you could be liable for a fine. In some cases a skip company will come and collect the skip when the permit is due to expire, but this is not guaranteed and you could be liable for a fine.
Placing a skip on a public highway always requires a permit, but if you live in an area with parking restrictions you will likely need at least a parking restriction too, which will add further to the cost and administration burden. Remember to avoid this, consider a clearance service.
Parking restrictions include pay and display spaces and residential and business parking in controlled or permitted areas. Depending on how many restrictions are in place, there could be a delay in issuing the suspension. For example if a number of your neighbours are also placing a skip outside their home on the road, the council may choose not to issue another suspension to ensure there is enough parking available.
The law requires the skip operator to have a minimum insurance cover of £5m, so you will not need any additional insurance in almost all standard cases, but your local council will provide full terms and conditions.
Skips placed on the road must meet specific criteria and usually means the largest skips are not suitable for the road without additional permission. Standard permits require each skip to not exceed 5m in length by 2m in width.
Skips placed on the road must comply with the The Builders' Skips (Markings) Regulations 1984 with specific rules on markings, as detailed here.
Lighting and signage
Additionally skips must be clearly display the skip owners name and number.
Other rules on skips?
Skips should never be overloaded but this is even more important when on the road and is a specific requirement as part of your skip permit. Do not be tempted to build up the sides or overload the skip, as this could make you liable if there are any problems and the skip may not be removed.
Skips can be fly tipped and it will be your responsibility to ensure the skip is used in line with the permit. It is recommended that you fill the skip as soon as possible and have it collected quickly, or consider a man and van service when the waste can be cleared in one go.