Driveway costs in more detail

This table analyses the types of driveways and costs in the UK for a new driveway in more detail. A small driveway assumes there is room for one or two cars.

Material Small, One Car, 11.5m² Small, Two Cars, 25m² Average, 50m² Large, 100m²
Tarmac £625-£775 £1,100-£1,450 £2,100-£3,100 £4,000-£6,000
Gravel £475-£1,050 £850-£2,000 £1,700-£4,600 £3,200-£9,000
Resin £750-£950 £1,400-£2,000 £2,500-£4,000 £5,000-£8,250
Concrete £800-£1,200 £1,450-£2,050 £3,000-£4,100 £6,500-£8,750
Concrete Imprint £900-£1,350 £1,600-£2,500 £3,200-£5,000 £7,000-£10,000
Paving/Brick £1,000-£1,500+ £2,100-£3,300+ £4,200-£6,600+ £8,400-£13,000+


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What factors affect the types of driveways and costs in the UK of a new driveway?

Working out the area of your new driveway will give you quite an accurate guide on the potential cost, however, there are some factors which can influence this, and which may fluctuate according to economic conditions, where you are in the country and even the weather!

  • Larger projects often have lower bulk material costs with economies of scale, but the converse is that the labour costs are likely to be higher as the project will take more time
  • Some driveways will require total excavation or the removal of the old driveway before work can begin. This will impact labour costs and also the charges for waste removal. A lot rests upon whether your current driveway can be used as a base, and this depends upon what type of surface you have chosen
  • Drainage is an additional cost and the requirement for drainage will depend upon whether you have chosen a porous surface and how much run-off is expected. Most driveways have drains either incorporated into the driveway itself or constructed to either side
  • Weeds and grass growth can be a problem with surfaces that are made up of bricks, cobbles or paving slabs that have joins or gaps between them. It is possible to lay a weed prevention mat before the new material is placed on the excavated surface, but this is an additional cost

Reducing the costs of a new driveway

One of the main costs can be the removal of the old driveway if it cannot be used as a base for the planned new surface. Tarmac and asphalt can be laid on concrete, and concrete can be laid or tarmac and asphalt which saves money. Resin can be laid on concrete or tarmac. However, paving will usually require the excavation of the existing driveway so, to save costs and come within budget, you could opt for a different surface.

Why not take a view from a contractor as to whether any remedial works could salvage your old driveway and improve it? This can end up being a lot cheaper, it just depends on how much remediation is required. Most contractors can advise on the types of driveways and costs in the UK to fit them based on a simple description of the style and finish you’d like to achieve.

Sometimes, getting together with your neighbour, particularly if your property is terraced or semi-detached, can create economies of scale. A shared driveway project can be much cheaper on the cost of materials, but you are only still paying the labour costs for your own driveway.

If you have a large area, then why not divide it up into sections and just do one area as you can afford it?

New Driveway Options

Most driveways are chosen based on householder preference, budget and any restrictions to the site, for example, you can’t lay a gravel driveway on a slope for obvious reasons. Let’s look at the different new driveway options in more detail, starting with the cheapest first.

Tarmac/Asphalt Driveways

The average cost of a tarmac or asphalt driveway per m² is £35 – £50 which is the average materials cost. Tarmac and asphalt are similar surfaces but not quite the same thing although the names are used interchangeably and often just referred to collectively as tarmac. Tarmac is made up of stone aggregate mixed with tar whereas asphalt uses bitumen instead of tar. Both look the same with a characteristic black appearance.

Tarmac is one of the cheapest driveway materials, that is why it is such a popular choice for roads. It is durable and hard-wearing but does require maintaining, usually around every five years.

Tarmac/Asphalt Driveways Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
  • Suitable for large driveways
  • Looks smart with stone edging
  • Copes with slight inclines

Tarmac/Asphalt Driveways Cons

  • Requires resealing with tarmac paint every five years or so
  • It is more likely to break up or be liable to serious damage at any point between 10 and 20 years
  • Not suitable for steep inclines
  • Messy and smelly to install
  • Can look too ‘road like’ and urban
  • Not environmentally friendly

Gravel driveways

Gravel driveways are a good mid-range cost option with an average cost per m² of £25 to £35 for material costs. Gravel can be very aesthetically appealing and gives a natural finish which is perfect for period and rural properties. It has high permeability, offers grip for winter use and is cheap to top up or replace.

It may be necessary to add driveway skirts and gravel mats to your driveway quote to keep the gravel under control as it is prone to scattering and dispersing.

Gravel Driveways Pros

  • It looks good with traditional and contemporary properties
  • Material costs are cheap, and the overall driveway cost can be extremely competitive if there are no excavation works required
  • Easy to maintain
  • Ice-resistant and offers good grip in severe weather
  • Noisy for added security particularly at night

Gravel Driveways Cons

  • Requires frequent attention to keep the gravel level and to avoid it piling up as cars manoeuvre
  • The base price is not as attractive once you add the cost of gravel mats or edging skirts to the quotation
  • Not suitable for slopes with a real incline
  • Difficult to roll dustbins over
  • Prone to weeds and grass growth so does require regular spraying and hand weeding
  • Does scatter and disperse
  • Is noisy for cars regularly coming and going

Concrete Driveways

Concrete has a cost per m² of £50 to £100 for material costs. Concrete is similar to tarmac, but it is more durable and can look more natural. There are quite a lot of creative choices with concrete and nowadays, there are ranges of imprinted or stamped concrete which is designed to resemble brickwork and paving, just without the price tag.

Concrete prices can vary quite widely depending on the type of design. There are some really artistic and stylish choices out there, for instance, some feature compasses or sundials; these would be towards the higher end of the price range.

Concrete Driveways Pros

  • Solid and hard-wearing, probably one of the best options which lasts for decades with just minimal maintenance
  • Imprinted or stamped concrete options offer creative and unusual design options
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Can handle steep inclines relatively easily

Concrete Driveway Cons

  • Concrete can be susceptible to damage from the cold and crack in severe frosts, over time this can cause the surface to split and decay and it could need to be patched
  • Durability is reasonable, 30+ years with the right care and repair
  • Concrete can be installed on an incline, but this is tricky and may impact the cost
  • Concrete is one of the most expensive materials to consider for a new driveway

Resin Driveways

Resin driveways have a cost per m² of £50 to £80 average material costs. Resin is made from mixing stone aggregates with resin which produces a result that looks like static gravel, almost like it has all been glued together. Resin driveways have a reasonably traditional appearance but also give a clean and modern aesthetic which is popular for all styles of property.

There are two types of resin driveway, resin bonded and resin-bound. Resin bonded is where the resin is spread first onto the prepared surface and the stones are scattered across the top and bond to the resin layer. Resin-bound means that the stones and resin are mixed together off site. Resin-bound systems are usually permeable and porous so are a good choice for driveways which are sloped and prone to ice coverage during the winter.

Resin Driveway Pros

  • Gives the effect of gravel without the noise or gravel scatter
  • There are lots of different styles and colours to choose from
  • Porous with good drainage and excellent winter grip during frost and ice
  • Semi-natural with good environmental credentials
  • Handles sharp inclines and slopes well

Resin Driveway Cons

  • Susceptible to frost damage
  • Requires quite hands—on and regular maintenance
  • Expensive for large areas
  • Quality can be variable depending upon which resin system is used
  • Only lasts around twenty years, and can crack and peel

Paving/Brick Driveways

The paved driveway cost is £60 to £100 per m² average material cost. This is the classic driveway look, durable, straightforward to maintain with a huge amount of bespoke and creative options. These driveways consist of bricks, paving stones or cobblestones laid in a pattern. This is time-consuming, labour intensive and the materials are costly, so this is one of the most expensive options for a new driveway.

Paved Driveways Pros

  • Literally hundreds of design options
  • Attractive to suit all types of property, traditional and contemporary
  • Minimal machinery during installation so less noise and mess
  • Environmentally sound
  • Good drainage

Paved Driveways Cons

  • Time consuming and expensive to install
  • Prone to weed penetration so a weed mat is essential
  • Can crack
  • It can be difficult to source matching replacements if a brick or stone does crack and break

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Funding the cost of a new driveway

Size really is a factor when analysing the types of driveways and costs in the UK. Large driveways can represent a significant cost just based purely on their size. If savings are not an option, then some people will raise the money via a Home Improvement loan on their property or equity release on a re-mortgage. This is an affordable way to manage large capital expenses as the payments are spread over the remaining term of the mortgage. Further advances, re-mortgages and Home Improvement Loans are all subject to status and an affordability check.

Some new driveway options offered by installation companies will offer finance which is accessed via a third-party institution, a bit like buying a car or double glazing. It can be tempting if you are short of funds, to sign on the dotted line but you may find a better rate elsewhere.

If your funds just won’t quite stretch on the quotation you want to accept then ask your preferred installer if there are ways you can bring the work under budget, perhaps by changing the choice of materials or making the driveway a little bit smaller.

The advantages of a new driveway

A new driveway can be an attractive option for a homeowner with lots of practical and financial advantages plus there is an option to suit every property and budget. Here are some of the advantages:-

  • Lose garden and save time on regular gardening chores and maintenance
  • Add between 5%-10% to the value of your home
  • Increase kerb appeal and attract buyers when you go to market
  • Add more parking space and, depending upon the surface, park heavier vehicles
  • Improve the aesthetic of your home
  • Remove an old and unattractive driveway which may be costing you regularly with constant repairs
  • Personalise your home with a look and design that is unique to your house

Finding the right driveway installer

New driveways and landscaping surfaces are big business, and a quick online search will reveal plenty of different companies keen to win your order.

A personal recommendation is always viewed as the ideal route to take but just bear in mind that the driveway your friend or work colleague has installed may be quite different to the one you are planning which will have its own unique groundworks and choice of materials.

Asking online, in a community or neighbourhood group on social media is another potential option but, bear in mind, people often recommend their friends or family members, and this is no guarantee of their reliability or the quality of work they produce. If you do go down this road, make sure you ask for comments from people who have actually used the contractor they are recommending.

Trader platforms are a great way to get some quotes from local suppliers really quickly and straight to your inbox. Just key in a few details of your project – it really helps if you have the size and area, you want resurfaced or paved – and then just wait for the quotations to land. Always make sure you use a reputable portal – some traders pay to be on these platforms – and check out the reviews on contractors to ensure they are genuine.

Here are some questions to ask a potential new contractor when considering your new driveway options.

  • Do they need to remove the existing driveway, or can the new surface be laid on top of the old?
  • Are there any third-party costs not on their quote like skip charges or machinery hire?
  • Are there any potential planning problems they foresee with this project?
  • How long will the work take?
  • If the surface is reasonably specialist like cobblestones, how much experience do they have working with this type of material, and can previous clients give them a reference?
  • Are there any maintenance costs associated with this type of driveway?
  • How resistant is it to weed and grass growth?
  • How long will it be before you can park on the new driveway?
  • Are there any potential weather issues which might delay the work?
  • How long will the surface last and does it require any maintenance?
  • How long has their company been in business for?
  • Is the business fully licenced and insured?
  • What warranties and guarantees are offered for the materials and the workmanship?
  • Are there any recent customers locally who can recommend them?

This short video is a handy guide to the different driveway surface types:

There are many factors that influence the different types of driveways and costs in the UK. If you are interested in find out more about the different types, then take a look at Asphalt drives, Tar and Chip Driveways and Pressed Concrete Driveways


If your funds just won’t quite stretch on the quotation you want to accept then ask your preferred installer if there are ways you can bring the work under budget, perhaps by changing the choice of materials or making the driveway a little bit smaller.

Frequently Asked Questions - Types of Driveways and Costs UK

How do I measure my driveway to get an accurate quote?

In order to obtain a reasonable idea of how much your new driveway might cost, knowing the square meterage will help. You can find this out by measuring the length and width of your driveway and multiplying them together to find the total area in square metres. Any contractor who you invite out to quote will also take an accurate measurement. Working out the area of a shaped driveway is more difficult than a standard rectangle or oblong. The best way to do this is to break the driveway up into different segments and calculate the area of each one and then add them all together.

How long does it take to lay a new driveway?

Anything from two days to two weeks depending on the size of area, the choice of materials and design and the weather. Remember, some surfaces have to bed in or cure and so even when the driveway is finished, you may need to wait for a specified period before you can drive cars over it. In most cases, footfall is permitted within a few hours after the surface has been installed. Jobs which require a lot of manual work take the longest.

Will I need planning permission for a new driveway?

Whether you need planning permission or not for your new driveway will depend upon the individual circumstances of your project. If it falls under what is called ‘Permitted Development’ or PD, then there is no requirement to ask your local authority for consent. Even if planning permission is not required, there could be other regulations which apply if your house is sited in a conservation area and/or is a listed building so always check first as there could be restrictions on the materials you choose and what the driveway looks like. Listing building consent is separate from planning permission (you could need both) and doesn’t just apply to the house but the land around it. PD does not apply to homes that were previously commercial buildings and have been converted into dwellings. There are also some areas of the country where Permitted Development rights have been removed across the board for all houses in a designated area. In both these cases, you will need to apply for planning permission for your new drive.

Do you need planning permission to turn your front garden into a driveway?

You can grub up a garden and install a new hard surface in front of your home without needing planning permission if the area is less than five square metres. These are commonly called ‘wheel tracks’ driveways where there are literally two paved tracks where the wheels of the car go. Anything larger than that will require planning permission because of the drainage burden. The way around this is to lay a porous or permeable surface like gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, with the rainwater directed away to a nearby lawn or flowerbed to drain naturally. If you need to drive over a pavement to access the new driveway, then you will almost certainly need a licence and/or planning permission from the local authority for a dropped kerb.

Do you need planning permission to widen an existing driveway?

If the current driveway is in front of the house, so between the road and the principal elevation of the property, then you will still need planning permission to widen it in theory. However, in reality, this only applies if you are extending to more than five square metres of driveway that is impermeable and does not allow water to run into a permeable area like a flower border or lawn. This concept is usually quite straightforward but with some properties, it can be hard to determine the principal elevation, especially if the house is on a bend or the orientation of the house in relation to the road is not standard.

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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