Driveway extension costs in more detail

Off street parking is one of the top priorities for any homeowner and it becomes even more essential if you live in a crowded city or town where it can be hard to park anywhere near your home on the roadside. For many homeowners this benefit of parking near your home is worth the cost of extending driveways.

Whether you intend to just add surface material to your current driveway or tear it up and start again with something fresh and new, here are average costs of extending driveways for different driveway surfaces.

Driveway Material Small 30 m2 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 £8,000-£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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Factors which influence the cost of extending driveways

  • How much longer/wider do you want it to be?
  • Are you keeping the original driveway and adding to it or tearing it up and starting again with an entirely new surface?
  • The choice of driveway material
  • How much work needs to be done to excavate and create a sub-base
  • Whether you need a deeper or reinforced surface to support heavier vehicles and traffic
  • Access to the site
  • Planning permission charges
  • Professional fees if you are using an architect or planning consultant
  • Equipment hire such as a skip for waste disposal
  • Extras like new gates or lighting
  • Postcode – labour charges are a good 20% higher in London and the Southeast compared to the rest of the UK

Reasons for extending your driveway

Most households just can’t have enough parking. Houses which have lost some of their front garden several years ago may now be feeling the pinch and want space for several cars rather than just one or two. In the 1970s and 1980s when many householders paved over their front gardens to provide off road parking, the motoring needs of most families were quite modest compared to what they are today. Here are some reasons why a homeowners are thinking about the cost of extending driveways:

  • The number of drivers in the household has increased, typically as children become teenagers and pass their driving test
  • You have an electric vehicle and want to extend hardstanding to a convenient area beside the house where you can fit a charge point and leave the car to charge without it being in the way
  • You have acquired a work vehicle/s or have a car or van associated with your own business which you need to park
  • You have large cars – vehicles have got larger not smaller
  • You want to store a caravan, motorhome or boat on your driveway without restricting the vehicles which are in use on a daily basis
  • You have an old linear driveway and parking one behind the other is proving inconvenient as you all have different daily routines. Adjacent parking would make this so much easier or installing a circular or partially circulate driveway
  • Extra hardstanding is useful for all sorts of reasons, you might want to add a shed or a log store to take the pressure off the porch
  • You want more space for foot traffic
  • You want to lose the chore of looking after the front garden
  • A large, paved area can be a useful overspill for the kids particularly if there isn’t much of a back garden
  • More parking space makes it easier to load and unload the vehicles you already have particularly if you have small children and are always fitting car seats or stowing away pushchairs
  • Widening the driveway will make it easier and/or to enter/exit the property
  • You want to build a garage
  • Spare parking spaces can be rented out via platforms like JustPark, especially if your house is well located near a railway station, the underground or an airport
  • You want to improve the aesthetic appearance of your property and enhance kerb appeal
  • You want to increase the value of your house – a professionally laid and practical driveway can add between 5%-10% to the value of your home

How should you extend your driveway

The answer to this depends upon the size and shape of your front garden and your current driveway. There are some different options:-

  • Adding width to one side
  • Adding width to both sides
  • Lengthening towards the street
  • Building in added paving that leads towards the rear of the house
  • Paving sections that are not currently paved and are garden
  • Installing a circle or partially circular driveway with a new entrance/exit point

Extending your driveway may mean adding to what you already have or taking out the remaining garden and the existing driveway and completely redesigning the entire space. This can work well if the driveway is old and has seen better days and the design was installed last century when people just had fewer cars. This can turn out to be quite an involved project with a designer which would mean higher driveway extension costs but also higher return value.

Factors to consider when extending your driveway

Extending your driveway sounds quite easy but if you start with a blank piece of paper, there are a surprising number of things to take into account. Here are just some of them.

  • Plan ahead, if you have children heading towards their teens then you know that it won’t be long before you have added a couple of extra drivers and their cars to the household
  • Think about the layout that works best for your lifestyle. Do you all have different daily routines in which case adjacent or circular parking would work better to leave everyone free to come and go as they please
  • Allow enough space to open all the car doors and the boot when you are measuring up and working out how many cars you can fit in
  • Some vehicles are extra-long like 4x4s or pick ups
  • Some vehicles are heavier than your average domestic car, like a van for work loaded with tools or an LGV – this can impact on the quality and the depth of your driveway surface, some materials like resin can’t support the extra weight and will mark and indent
  • Think about a surface that works for everyone. Loose materials like gravel or surfaces that become slippery in the wet or which you cannot treat with de-icer because it causes damage are no good for small children or elderly people
  • Your driveway material may need to accommodate small wheels like pushchairs, bikes or wheelchairs
  • If you are storing a large vehicle which is not in regular use like a boat or caravan, then try and figure out a design which keeps it out of the way
  • Bear in mind that if you take up all your remaining front garden then it may be hard to find a point to drain to, essential if you are choosing a surface which is non-permeable or porous
  • Do you want to leave any decorative garden features like plants or a flower bed or two

Planning permission

Whether your driveway plans require planning permission will depend upon several different factors. Widening a driveway on its own may not trigger a requirement for planning permission however, certain scenarios do and these include:-

  • if you are demolishing part or all of a boundary wall or fence fronting the highway then this will require planning permission
  • If the driveway surface is not permeable or porous and there is no provision for drainage on the property
  • If you are removing garden or vegetation to extend your driveway
  • If you are raising the driveway above ground level

If you are widening your current driveway to the street, then you may need consent for a dropped kerb or to widen the dropped kerb that is already there. This is irrespective of whether the driveway needs planning permission or not and will increase the overall driveway extension cost.

If your house is listed and/or in a conservation area, then you will need to check your plans against the listing regulations. Listed building status doesn’t just apply to the house but the land around it. If you are located in a conservation area, then there may be restrictions on what you can add in terms of driveway style which must fit in with the other houses around you.

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How to find the right contractor to extend your driveway

Ask friends or family for a recommendation. You might have a neighbour who has recently replaced their driveway. If you know the surface that you want then you could find a specialist contractor, otherwise try and choose a driveway company that can offer you plenty of options.

Lots of people use social media to find tradespeople for home improvements but make sure that the names you take up are people who have actually installed a driveway for the person who is posting.

Trader platforms are a very popular way to find local companies and save the time and hassle of constantly trawling the internet and sending emails or making phone calls. It takes just a few minutes to key in some data with a rough guide on the area of the extension you want. If you don’t know then just equate it to how many more cars you want to park. You will receive quotations directly to your inbox from companies in your area who are available to do the work.

Questions to ask a driveway contractor

Always obtain at least three quotations and have a list of questions to ask each contractor. Never agree to a quote without meeting the company and having a site visit. No reputable installer will agree to do the work without first assessing your property and measuring up.

  • What is the best choice of material to extend my driveway?
  • Can you match the surface that is already there?
  • Will there be any issues blending the two surfaces together?
  • How long will the new surface last on average?
  • How long will it take?
  • Are there any services that run under the area to be excavated?
  • Do you foresee any difficulties with site access?
  • When can I walk on the driveway?
  • How soon can I park vehicles on the driveway?
  • How long have you been in business for?
  • Can you offer any testimonials from previous customers who have this driveway surface installed?
  • Are you correctly licensed and insured?
  • What guarantees and warranties do you offer for the workmanship and the materials?
  • Do you belong to any trade associations?

How to fund the cost of extending your driveway

Depending on how much you want to extend your driveway and what other features you are adding like lighting or gates, the costs can soon mount up. Meeting the cost can be done either by using savings or arranging finance.

Some householders use equity in their property to support a home improvement loan. Your lender has to agree, and you will need to pass their affordability test for the extra repayments. If you are looking to re-mortgage and have equity in your home, then this is also a good opportunity to raise some capital for your driveway project.

Some driveway installers will offer you finance via a third-party institution. It can be tempting to sign on the dotted line with the convenience of wrapping everything up as one package, but you could find a better rate elsewhere. These deals are also subject to status and credit checks.

How to save money on the cost of extending your driveway

If your current driveway is perfectly serviceable then with some restoration and care, you could keep this and just add to it with a matching or complementary surface. This saves the labour and waste disposal cost of having to remove it plus all the labour and materials associated with its replacement. It could cut your quote in half if you leave it in situ.

If you are determined to lose the old driveway and start again, then you could remove it yourself. This will save labour costs, but you might find you have to hire in a skip to dispose of the waste and possibly pneumatic equipment to break up the old material, so it won’t be cost-free.

If your chosen contractor is over your budget, talk to them about how you can reduce the quote. Maybe you can choose a cheaper driveway material, something like pressed or imprinted concrete which can mimic the appearance of a much more expensive surface. It is usually the labour costs which make up over half of the cost of the installation so choosing a surface which is quicker and easier to install will also make a difference.

If you have a large area to surface, then you could consider doing it in sections and spreading the cost.

Finding the right material to match your current driveway

If your current driveway has been installed for a long time, then it may be difficult to match the same material without creating an ‘old and new’ effect. Sometimes it is better to go for a completely different surface that complements. A poor match can look worse than something contrasting. If you have heavier or larger vehicles, then you can reserve this new area for these. A good designer can help you blend the surfaces to create an overlook that is pleasing and suits the front of your house even if the extension to your current driveway is with a different material.

Checkout this short video to see how a typical extended driveway looks:

The cost of extending driveways can be determined by many factors, but you can start your research by looking at the different materials used for driveways. 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 have a large area to surface, then you could consider doing it in sections and spreading the cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does extending the driveway add value to my home?

Adding more parking space is always appealing to prospective buyers. The parking at your house should be commensurate with the size of the property. Adequate car parking is always top priority for most buyers and a spacious and professionally laid front driveway can add between 5%-10% to the value of your home. If you don’t have a garage, then it is even more essential. Equally, if you live in a busy area where off street parking is also busy or restricted then your house will stand out if it can offer plenty of room.

Does the surface I install make a difference to the uplift in value?

It can do if you are going for something popular like brick paving. However, the key issues with any driveway extension are that it is professionally installed, suits the property, is practical and looks good. Remember, the driveway is the first thing people see as they approach your house. Most buyers are concerned with appearance, longevity, and maintenance.

Is it straightforward to apply for planning permission?

Speak to your local council, most local authority planning departments usually have a dedicated planning portal. If your driveway extension is complicated and forms part of a grand design for the front of the house, then you may need professional drawings to go in with the plans.

How much does planning permission cost?

The current fee is just over £200 but if you need to hire a designer, planning consultant or architect to advise and produce drawings then their fees can run into several hundreds of pounds.

How long does planning permission take?

Usually, around eight weeks if the application is straightforward and there are no objections.

I have extended my driveway and realised that I should have applied for planning permission, what should I do?

Speak to a planning consultant but you will need to apply for planning permission retrospectively. Even if you leave this, you will need evidence that the correct consent was sought when you come to sell the property as your purchaser’s solicitor will require it; this is unavoidable. You can also be prosecuted if the planning department is aware, you don’t have permission and you fail to make a retrospective application. If the driveway is outside planning regulations, then consent may be granted on condition that certain changes are implemented, such as drainage. The worst-case scenario is that you are required to remove the new driveway extension in its entirety.

Won’t the house look a bit bare without a front garden?

If you are worried about the impact of losing most or all of your garden, then you can integrate small flower beds into the design or use portable potted shrubs and trees to add some greenery. Planters and tubs which can be moved are ideal if you regularly use the driveway to work on vehicles or for home DIY. Small garden designs are low maintenance and will not significantly intrude into the space you want to create for cars. Hanging baskets or wall-mounted flowers are another way to soften a very plain area. If you are choosing a non-porous surface and your current driveway is also not permeable then you will need to provide somewhere for your drainage system to run to. This is a requirement of the planning regulations. Most people use a flower bed or lawn to disguise a soakaway so this will need to be factored in if you intend to pave over the whole area. You are not allowed to discharge surface water run-off to the public drain network. If your current driveway is permeable and your total extension is not going to be more than five square metres then you will not need planning permission.

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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