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5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Mini Digger Hire

Mini diggers are an extremely useful bit of kit, and if you’ve got a DIY project on the go involving some major excavation work, hiring a digger instead of toiling away with a spade can be the perfect way to get the job done quickly. But, hiring a mini digger isn’t as cheap as you might think, and though there are some reasonable daily rates, upfront deposit costs can be a nasty surprise.

In this article, we’ll be covering:

  • How much it costs to hire a mini digger
  • What affects the cost of hiring a mini digger
  • How to save money on hiring a mini digger
  • How to find and hire a mini digger and driver

If you want to get your home project off the ground with the help of a mini digger, then keep reading to find the most cost-effective ways of doing just that.


How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Mini Digger?

Depending on the size of digger you need and the scope of your project, what you can expect to pay will differ. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most common sizes and other equipment you’re likely to need, along with their prices.

Please note that these prices exclude VAT.

Micro Digger (0.8 tonnes) £75 to £130 £75 to £175 £40 to £60 £210 to £250
Mini Digger (1 tonne) £70 £80 £65 £230
Mini Digger (1.5 tonnes) £95 to £145 £70 to £195 £50 to £60 £220 to £250
Electric Mini Digger (1.8 tonnes) From £550
Mini Excavator (2.8 tonnes) £95 to £250 £95 to £340 £85 £300 to £420

As you can see, the cost of hiring a mini digger ranges from £210 per week for a micro digger, to as much as £550 per week for an electrically-powered digger.

If you need a mini excavator, the cost usually varies between £300 and £420 per week.

In addition to the cost of hiring the digger, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of digging accessories such as augers, breakers, and buckets.

You can hire a riddling bucket or a drainage bucket for as little as £20 per day. Screening buckets are more expensive and cost roughly £75 per day.

If you need an auger for a project like digging fence post holes, you should expect to pay around £55 per day to hire one.

Fence post knockers cost approximately £75 to hire. You can also expect to pay around £75 per day to hire a tree stump planer for your mini digger.

If you need to break through concrete or if you’re doing demolition, then you’ll need a breaker for your mini digger. Hiring a breaker costs roughly £100 per day, on top of the cost of hiring a digger.

To hire a micro digger (0.8 tonnes) on a weekday, you’ll be expecting a charge of between £75 to £130.

A mini digger (1 tonne) on a weekday will be around £70, and a mini digger (1.5 tonnes) will come in between £95 to £145.

Moving into a slightly bigger territory, a mini excavator (2.8 tonnes) will cost between £95 to £250 for the day.

Having equipment over the weekend is a good way of making the most of your money and getting work done at the same time.

Micro diggers (0.8 tonnes) will cost between £75 to £175 to hire, while a mini digger (1 tonne) will come in at around £80. Slightly larger at 1.5 tonnes, a mini digger will cost between £70 to £195.

Mini excavators (2.8 tonnes) come in at between £95 to £340.

Moving onto weekly charges, a micro digger (0.8 tonnes) will be between £210 to £250, and a mini digger (1 tonne) £230.

A 1.5-tonne mini digger lands between £220 to £250, and an electric mini digger (1.8 tonnes) starts at £550 for the week.

To hire a mini excavator (2.8 tonnes) for a week, you’ll be looking at a charge of £300 to £420.

If for some reason your project doesn’t run to schedule and you need your equipment for a little bit longer, you can seek out extra day charges from your hire company. These will always be bad value for money, so in all cases, it’s best to try to get your timeline estimate locked down and stuck to as closely as possible to avoid these pesky extra charges.

A micro digger (0.8 tonnes) will set you back by £40 to £60 per extra day of unplanned hire, while a mini digger (1 tonne) will cost you £65, and one of 1.5 tonnes between £50 to £60.

Finally, the extra day charge for a mini excavator (2.8 tonnes) is £85.

You’re likely to also need some extras to complete your job, all of which can be hired at daily rates.

  • Riddling bucket from £20 per day
  • Drainage bucket from £20 per day
  • Screening bucket from £75 per day
  • Auger from £55 per day
  • Tree stump planer from £75 per day
  • Post knocker from £75 per day
  • Breaker from £100 per day.

On top of the base hire fee, you’ll also need to factor in labour costs for digger operators, which can be anywhere between £150 to £300 per day per operator, depending on the size of the machinery.

Are you ready to start your excavation project? HouseholdQuotes can help you find the right mini digger for hire.

What Affects the Cost of Hiring a Mini Digger?

Several factors will have an impact on the final cost of hiring a mini digger. Let’s take a closer look at these factors so you know what to keep in mind when setting a budget for your project.

The Size of Digger You Need

The digger size you need usually depends on how deep you need to dig.

  • Micro diggers can dig to a depth of approximately 1.6 metres
  • Mini diggers can dig up to 2.3 metres deep, depending on their specification.

If you need to dig deeper than that, you may need an excavator rather than a digger. You must get the right size from the beginning to save you from the potential of two hire charges!

When You Need to Hire a Digger

As we can see from the price comparison table above, weekday rates are usually more affordable than weekend rates, so if you’re able to be flexible with your workday terms, it will reward you to get the work done midweek wherever possible.

If You Need a Digger Operator

Another cost affecting the price of your digger hire will be whether you need an operator, too. Typically, operators will be £150 to £300 per day, depending on the size of the machinery, and whether you need one or two operators.

Insurance and Fees

There are several additional fees to be aware of when hiring a mini digger:


This is usually required for customers who don’t have an account with the hire company, and it’ll typically be a percentage of the daily hire rate.

Plant Hire Insurance

While tradespeople can check whether this is already included in their public liability insurance; individual homeowners may need to purchase a standalone policy for the hire, which could cost upwards of £350.

Damage Waiver

This fee is usually between £20 to £50.

Delivery and Collection Fees

Finally, delivery and collection fees are normally between £20 to £30.

Fuel Costs

Much like normal vehicle hire, you’ll receive the machinery with at least half a tank of fuel, and you’ll be expected to return it with the same amount of fuel in the tank, which will be another fee to add to the list.

Attachments and Accessories

Most mini diggers come with 12, 24, or 36-inch buckets, but depending on your project you may need other attachments – such as breakers, augers, tree stump planers, or post knockers – which again will come at an additional cost.

You may also want accessories such as ground protection mats, which can prevent the digger from getting stuck in the mud. These are normally £20 to £40 each per week, depending on the size.

How Can I Save Money on a Mini Digger?


Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your excavation project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple mini digger hire companies near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.

Click the button below to get started:


At the moment, we’re quite au fait with how mini digger hire can be expensive. So, let’s balance it out and look into the ways you can save money on their hire, too.

The further away you are from the supplier, the more you’ll have to pay for the digger to be delivered. This makes it essential that you do your homework and choose a hire company as close to your home as possible.

Delivery fees will either be calculated by the round-trip mileage or from a predetermined banding system. If your preferred supplier uses the latter, they will normally have a map on their website which clearly shows the banding for estimated delivery costs.

Most firms will calculate expenses for every 10 miles, and up to a distance of 40 miles. On average, it’ll cost you £30 if you live within 10 miles, with prices rising to £60 for properties further afield.

It can be tempting to hire the biggest digger you’ll need, but this is a false economy. It’s far better to hire a slightly smaller machine because the hire rates are likely to be less. Smaller diggers are ideal for small DIY residential projects such as landscaping, excavating a pond or removing soil for foundations.

Though most firms will advertise a fixed day rate, there will normally be discounts available. If you’re unsure how long a project will take, opt to pay for an extra day. This is far better than having to send the digger back and rent it again, effectively doubling the delivery fees.


The idea of driving a digger around your garden might sound like a lot of fun, but those pieces of equipment are a lot harder to operate than they look. It can take quite a lot of practice to use them efficiently, and you might find half your day is wasted simply trying to operate the machine properly.

It might seem a waste of money to pay for an operator as well as the digger, but it can save you money. Skilled drivers will get the job done far quicker so you don’t have to pay as much in hire costs.

In addition, most contractors will offer some friendly advice on other project aspects too, like drainage problems or soil disposal, for example.

One of the most unexpected mini digger hire costs is the deposit. This can be pretty hefty, and you shouldn’t be surprised if a firm wants to charge a refundable fee of £750 before you’re allowed to take delivery of the equipment.

One of the easiest and obvious ways to reduce the cost of mini digger hire is to do without the equipment altogether. These are big pieces of machinery that come with a costly hire fee, so if you can get the work done yourself with a shovel, you can save a lot of money.

Of course, there will always be projects when you can’t even consider manually excavating the soil yourself. However, if you’re making a small pond or building some garden landscaping, doing the manual work yourself can save hundreds of pounds.

How Do I Know If Hiring a Mini Digger Is Right For Me?

With the costs of mini diggers reaching into the hundreds, it can be tempting to wonder if you can just get away with a spade and a wheelbarrow instead for your excavation. While this might be possible in some scenarios, there are larger jobs that will require the use of machinery.

To help you make your mind up, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a mini digger.

Eliminates manual lifting and digging Costs more than trying to dig the space yourself
Easy to use Can be tricky to get into smaller spaces, and ease of access can cause issues
Less expensive than larger diggers  
Gets the job done quickly and easily Can cost more over weekends and if hire periods need to be extended this can cause extra fees

The main advantages of having a mini digger is the ease it gives you – there’s little to no manual lifting or digging required, making your excavation far easier than if you were to do things by hand. On the flip side, you will encounter limitations to what a mini digger can do, and may need larger machinery if you try to take on larger projects.


While mini diggers are easy to manoeuvre, you can come into problems if your ease of access is limited at your property, such as not having a back door or an alleyway to reach your garden.

What’s Involved In Hiring a Mini Digger?

The hiring process is relatively simple when it comes to mini diggers. You’ll need to get in touch with your preferred vendor and enquire about availability, and whether or not you want a digger operator along with your machinery.

Some companies will sort out the necessary insurance for you, but it’s best to always double-check this as you don’t want to be without that when it comes to operating machinery. Safety training may also be given if you are operating the machinery yourself.

You’ll set a day or period of time for the hire, and agree delivery times. If there are any ease of access considerations to be aware of, they’ll be discussed at this point to make sure both parties know what to expect.

A collection date will be agreed to return the mini digger back to the vendor, and any final costs will be settled.

How Do I Find and Hire a Mini Digger and Driver?

Finding the right mini digger driver can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to mini digger companies in your area.

One of the best courses of action is to seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbours. This tactic can help save you from searching for a trader yourself, and of potentially having an exchange with a rogue trader who you would rather avoid from the get-go.

Or, if you have seen someone on your street who is either currently hiring a mini digger or going to be hiring one shortly, asking if they can extend their hire period to visit your property too can help to reduce costs between the two of you, as it’s just the one location the digger is being delivered to.

Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit

An essential part of any project is getting hold of an itemised, written quote. This way, you can dispute any confusion at the beginning of the job instead of waiting until the end to settle up and being hit with lots of extra lines you weren’t originally made aware of.

Within your quote, be sure to find out what the minimum hire period is, and if you need insurance personally. It’s also good to ask if any other fees might crop up, further to the actual cost of hire.

If you’re hiring a digger operator, seeking out their experience can be a good use of time as it will help to certify if they’re right for your job, and have adequate experience of using the type of digger you’re looking to hire.

Finally, it’s always good to double-check that the hire company has adequate insurance in place before you get started on anything to make sure you are covered in the event of any troubles.

Final Checklist

If you’re wanting to get your project off the ground and need to hire a mini digger as soon as possible, take note of our final checklist to make sure you have everything taken care of.

  • What size digger do you need? Make sure to hire the right size based on the depth of digging you need to do
  • Do you need a digger operator? If you don’t have a licence, then the answer will be yes
  • Try to hire during the weekdays as charges are less than that of weekends – and always tab on an extra day to allow for any leniencies or hold-ups
  • Use HouseholdQuotes to find local mini digger companies and potentially save money on your excavation project
  • Remember to get a written quote, and ascertain any hidden fees (such as the minimum period for hire, permits, or insurance)
  • Check the hire company’s location to make sure it’s near to your home to reduce your call out fee
  • Ensure the hire company has a good reputation

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need a Licence To Hire a Mini Digger?

You will need a licence to operate a mini digger, so if you don’t have one, you’ll need to look into hiring a digger with an operator, too.

What’s the Smallest Digger You Can Hire?

The smallest digger we have compared here is the micro digger (0.8 tonnes).

Can You Get a Mini Digger Through a Door?

Some micro diggers are just 690 millimetres (or 27 inches) wide, so they can fit through standard doorways. This makes them especially suitable for projects in your back garden, provided you have side access.

Can a Mini Digger Remove Tree Stumps?

Mini excavators are best to remove tree stumps, but their efficacy lies with how big the tree stump is to begin with, and for larger, more stubborn roots, you may need attachments on your excavator to get the job done.

How Much Does a New Driveway Cost?

tarmac driveway will cost between £50 to £65 per square metre, but the actual price will depend on determining factors of your specific project. For full information on driveway costs, see our guide here.

Is Building a Retaining Wall Very Expensive?

Retaining walls start at around £240 per square metre and can rise to £450 per square metre, depending on the type you want to have installed. For full information on retaining wall costssee our guide here.

How Much Does It Cost To Build a Concrete Shed Base Cost?

Building a concrete shed base can cost anywhere between £215 for concrete slabs to £586 for pouring concrete over a space of 8 by 10 metres. For full information on concrete shed base costssee our guide here.

What’s the Cost of Hiring a Skip?

Skip hire prices vary depending on their size – mini skips can be anywhere between £90 to £130 for a week’s hire, while large skips can command between £350 to £340 for the same time period. For full information on skip hire costs, see our guide here.

Ready to start your project? We can help!