Costs to replace a driveway/Resurface driveway in more detail

Driveway Material Small 30m2 Medium 60m2 Large 90m2
Tarmac £1,200-£1,800 £2,400-£3,600 £2,700-£5,400
Concrete £2,700-£4,800 £5,000-£9.500 £87,000-£14,000
Block paving £2,100-£3,000 £4,200-£6,000 £6,300-£9,000
Gravel £1,200-£2,400 £2,400-£4,800 £3,600-£7,200
Resin £1,500-£2,400 £3,000-£4,800 £4,500-£7,200

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What factors influence the cost of replacing a driveway?

  • The size of the driveway
  • Whether the driveway is an odd or unusual shape
  • The type of surface material you want to use in terms of unit price
  • How complicated the surface is to lay
  • Whether a sub-base is required and the depth of that base
  • The inclusion of a geotextile or weed membrane to prevent unwanted grass and weed growth
  • Is additional drainage required because the surface material is impermeable or there is a heightened risk of flooding
  • The labour of removing the old driveway
  • Equipment hire such as a skip for waste and machinery like a mini-digger
  • Access to the site, difficult access can slow down the workforce and means the whole project will take longer
  • Planning permission costs
  • Charges for a dropped kerb application
  • Where you live – labour charges are usually higher in towns and cities and also in London and the Southeast

What factors influence the cost of resurfacing a driveway?

The main factor which influences the average cost to resurface a driveway is whether the existing surface is in good enough condition and, to some degree, the surface you want to put on top of it.

Many people consider a re-surface to save money but if the old driveway is in poor condition and crumbling and cracking, it cannot act as a stable base for a new installation and the new material will quickly deteriorate.

Get a quote for repairs pre re-surface and also get a quote for a new installation, you might be surprised at how close they are. Some surfaces are very costly and time-consuming to repair so it can be easier to just start afresh.

Factors to take into account when researching the cost to replace a driveway

Most people resurface their old driveway due to wear and tear, appearance or a requirement for more space. A replacement driveway may be because you fancy a new and different surface or, you want to make the driveway longer and/or wider. Here are some things to consider as you plan the cost to replace a driveway.

  • If you want to resurface the driveway, is the old surface good enough to act as a sub-base?
  • If you are going for a new surface then you will be faced with a myriad of choices, should you choose a porous or permeable or non-permeable material?
  • You may need a drainage point if you have not chosen a SuDS compliant material, and this is usually to a lawn or flower bed
  • How much maintenance do you want to do?
  • If you are going longer and/or wider, do you need planning permission? This can be dictated by the type of surface – non-porous surfaces will usually require planning permission
  • Do you need additional drainage even if the surface is permeable because you live in a valley or an area which is prone to flooding?
  • If you are making the driveway bigger then there could be issues with widening the entrance/exit points
  • If you are increasing the size of the driveway and losing the front garden (read: turning front garden into driveway cost), make sure you measure the number of cars at the correct width. It is easy to mark out spaces with the car doors closed but you should opt for supermarket sizing for each vehicle which is with the doors open. This is 3 metres wide and 4.8 metres long for a single car parking space. If you have extra requirements and need more room like small children or specific loading requirements to the rear of the vehicle for a wheelchair, then factor these in as well
  • Do you require a dropped kerb, or will you need to make the current dropped kerb wider?
  • If you are doing the project in instalments, how do you plan to get the driveway surfaces to match?
  • Are you adding lighting? You may want to hide cabling underground even if you don’t plan to add lights until later on, but this will increase the average cost to resurface a driveway.
  • If your house is listed and/or in a conservation area, then there may be restrictions on the materials you can use and what the driveway will look like
  • Do you need to park heavier vehicles like a caravan, 4×4, motorhome or boat on a trailer? Do you run your own business and have a van which is regularly laden with stock or tools and equipment? Some driveways surfaces are less tolerant of heavier wear be that volume of traffic or just weighty vehicles
  • Consider how a design may best suit your household’s needs. A circular driveway or adjacent parking can work well for busy families with different daily routines. Linear parking is not always as practical
  • Think about the practicality of the surface. Those block pavers look lovely, but do you really want to pull out grass and weeds? Gravel is economic and quick to install but you do need to rake it as it can form ridges where the cars turn around
  • Some driveway materials are less stable for family members who have mobility issues or are elderly, i.e. gravel. Even having to push a buggy or wheelchair across gravel can be difficult

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Finding the right driveway contractor

If you know someone, perhaps a friend or family member, who has recently resurfaced or replaced their driveway then contact them for the details of their installer. They may be able to tell you the cost to replace a driveway that they paid their installer.

A post on a social media group is a good way of finding lots of recommendations but bear in mind, these will be from people that you don’t necessarily know personally. Lots of people will just give a name and you have no way of knowing whether that person has installed a driveway for them or not unless you ask. Some posters will just promote their friends or family regardless of the quality of their work.

Online trader platforms are very popular these days as a quick and simple method of obtaining an average cost to resurface a driveway without spending hours trawling the internet, sending emails and making phone calls. Just key in some simple data like the rough size of your driveway and what you want to do with it. Add your contact number or email and then just wait for the quotes to arrive. On some of these sites, you will be able to see genuine customer reviews for the traders who have contacted you.

Questions to ask a driveway contractor

Always get at least three quotes and never accept a quote from a contractor who hasn’t done a site visit. No reputable contractor would consider undertaking the installation of a new driveway without first assessing the site and also, measuring up. Here are some handy questions which you can ask each installer to make it easier to compare.

  • Does my old driveway need to be removed or can you use it as a base for a new one>
  • What driveway material would you recommend for this project?
  • Is it SuDS compliant?
  • How long will it take you to remove the old driveway?
  • Can you foresee any problems with access?
  • How long will it take you to install the new driveway?
  • How long do I need to wait before I can walk/drive on it?
  • Is there a requirement for additional drainage?
  • Do you think I need planning permission?
  • How long will this driveway last for?
  • Do you offer any guarantees and warranties for materials and workmanship?
  • Do you offer a sealing and cleaning aftercare service?
  • Are you correctly licensed and insured?
  • Do you belong to any trade bodies or organisations?
  • Do you have any past customers who can give you a reference?

Planning permission

You don’t normally need planning permission to replace your driveway unless you are using non-permeable materials. In 2007, new planning regulations required that driveways were either newly built or existing driveways renewed with SuDS compliant materials. SuDS stands for Sustainable Urban Drainage System. Increased severe weather events and a higher risk of flooding in the last two decades has put pressure on the public drain, especially in towns and urban areas where the entire landscape can be covered in buildings or roadways. If your new driveway material is not SuDs compliant then you may need planning permission plus the requirement to install a drainage system with a discharge point to a lawn, flower bed or separate soakaway.

Planning permission can also be required for a dropped kerb which is installed when a householder creates a new driveway from their front garden or when the existing driveway is made wider. Consent for a dropped kerb isn’t a given and can be refused in certain situations, such as if the house is located on a corner or opposite a bus stop. Permission for a dropped kerb is not dependent upon whether the driveway needs planning permission. Obtaining permission may also increase the average cost to resurface a driveway.

If you are resurfacing your current driveway, then this doesn’t usually require planning permission unless you opt for a non-permeable surface. Something else which can go under the radar is that a resurface can make the original driveway higher and this may trigger a requirement for planning permission. A driveway must be at or near ground level so always discuss this with your contractor and if necessary, take advice from the local planning officer.

Listed buildings

Listed buildings and/or houses in a conservation area are subject to additional regulations. Listing status doesn’t just apply to the house but the land around it. There may be restrictions imposed on the design of the driveway and the type of materials you can use. Houses in a conservation area can only have visible alterations if they are in keeping with the type and style of property around them.

How to fund a new driveway or the cost of resurfacing your existing driveway

A new driveway can be expensive, but many homeowners console themselves with the fact that they give an impressive return – an uplift of between 5%-10% on the value of the property. This can be even higher in congested urban areas where on-street parking is restricted or non-existent.

Some people use savings to fund their driveway project, or you can raise money from your home if you have enough equity, via equity release or a home improvement loan. Home improvement loans offer low repayments as they are usually spread across the remaining term of the mortgage. Equity can also be released on a re-mortgage with another lender. All of these options are subject to status and credit referencing and being able to satisfy the lender’s affordability test.

Some driveway installation companies will offer finance packages as an inducement to sign on the dotted line. It does seem so much easier to wrap the package up in one go rather than looking elsewhere for finance but always do your research. Most driveway companies are not offering the money themselves but have a link with a separate finance company. You could get a better rate/deal elsewhere.

How to save money on resurfacing or replacing a driveway

There are lots of ways to save money on a new driveway installation.

  • Do the work yourself so pick an easy surface like gravel which doesn’t require a huge amount of skill or experience to install
  • Remove the old driveway yourself before letting the professionals take over. This will save labour costs although you will still need to factor in the hire of a skip or grab lorry to take away the waste and possibly equipment hire to break up the old surface
  • If there are access issues, then resolve them before your contractor starts work. This can potentially cut down on the time taken to do the job and the labour charge
  • Choose a permeable surface material and avoid the need for planning permission which attracts a fee of just over £200 and possibly additional drainage
  • Do the work in sections, just plan how you will integrate surface which is laid later on to provide a uniform look
  • Choose a cheaper driveway material. If you have set your heart on a certain type of brick paver, then keep the more expensive option for edging or some sort of feature
  • Use your old driveway as a new sub-base. However, this only works if the surface is in good condition and not cracking or crumbling
  • Choose a surface which doesn’t really on a sub-base, and which can be laid on sand or soil
  • Leave all the finishing touches for another time, this includes gates, lighting and fancy edging or kerb stones. Plan them in the design so that the driveway is laid to accommodate later installation
  • Get together with your neighbours and do all your driveways at the same time, multiple installations are a great way to save money and also give some bargaining power when it comes to asking for a discount or a better price
  • Get multiple quotes, this is the best way to make sure you are not paying over the odds
  • Explain to your contractor what you would like the driveway to look like and see if there are cheaper options which can create the same effect. For instance, brick paving is lovely but very time-consuming and expensive to lay. Poured concrete which is coloured and then stamped can create just the same effect at a fraction of the cost

Checkout this video on driveway maintenance and restoration:

After doing your research on the average cost to resurface a driveway, the next step you want to take is to decide the type of surface you require. Surfaces like Indian Stone offer a high quality finish but at the expense of a high price tag, whereas permeable surfaces like Resin and Asphalt offer functionality at a lower cost.

If you know someone, perhaps a friend or family member, who has recently resurfaced or replaced their driveway then contact them for the details of their installer. They may be able to tell you the cost to replace a driveway that they paid their installer.

Frequently Asked Questions

By how much will a new driveway increase the value of my property?

A new driveway is one of those home improvements which sees a really good return on investment. Most data suggest an uplift of between 5%-10% but some estate agents would put this even higher, at around 20% for a really stylish driveway with lots of parking space, especially in an area where on-street parking is limited or subject to restrictions. A new driveway also offers kerb appeal, it is the first thing a prospective buyer sees as they approach your property.

What are the key things that influence choice of driveway material?

Aesthetic appeal, budget and practicality are the key factors in the choice of a new driveway. Longevity is also a consideration for some people.

I have installed my driveway and realise I should have applied for planning permission, what should I do?

You will need to apply for retrospective planning permission, and it is not a given that your new driveway will be approved. Usually, planning permission is granted retrospectively in many cases although often subject to conditions that require various changes to be made. The type of things that can trip you up on a planning application for a new driveway are drainage issues, especially if you are using a non-porous surface, and dropped kerbs. A dropped kerb usually requires a separate application. You are not allowed to remove or alter the kerb without consent, and this applies even if your new driveway doesn’t need planning permission.

There are so many different driveway materials on offer, how can I choose the best one for my home?

Think about the practicality of the surface first and foremost. Can it support your cars, is it easy to walk across? Do you have to spend a lot of time looking after it? If you can answer those questions, then it usually comes down to a question of design and aesthetic appearance and budget. If you are after a particular look then share this with your installer. There can be lots of ways to create this without necessarily having to buy the most expensive surfacing material.

How long will my new driveway last for?

This depends on three things, what type of material you have chosen, whether you look after it properly and how much use it gets. Longevity often comes with a higher price tag but not always. Also, don’t forget that alongside longevity comes appearance. No-one wants a driveway to last twenty years if it looks worn out and tired after the first ten.

How do you clean a driveway?

It depends upon what the surface is and whether you are opting for a routine clean or you have a specific stain to remove. Some driveways require little or no maintenance but if you have chosen a surface which requires care then discuss this with your installer before they finish the job. Some contractors will offer an annual check, repair and cleaning service although you can do this yourself. Only use proprietary products which are recommended for your particular driveway surface, particularly if you have to remove an oil or chemical spill. Also find out from your installer if your driveway doesn’t like certain products like the rock salt put on the road in the winter. Concrete does not respond well to de-icers which cause a chemical reaction which attacks the surface and ultimately causes deterioration. There are some products which are apparently safe to use on a concrete driveway but always check this out first with your installer and patch test on a small area first.

Sources and References

Paul Robinson
Hi I'm Paul. After years in the mathematical field, I went on to help rescue a flooring and driveways company and spent 10 years building the company. I’m a property expert with extensive driveway and home improvement industry knowledge.
Mike Alexander

I’m Mike – writer and part-time home improvement expert at Refurbb. Since owning and refurbishing my own property in 2018, I’ve since been developing rental properties, writing about my home improvement endeavours, sharing what I’ve learned and connecting readers to reputable tradespeople in the UK. I’m also head of marketing and technical at Raindancer Ltd

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