How much do driveways  cost?

2021 Guide

How much do driveways cost? This is a good question and shouldn’t be an after thought.

Choosing which driveway surface material and design (including thinking about functionality and aesethetics) is relatively straightforward.

Calculating your driveway cost is a little different.

Between £1,000 and £124,798 – and anywhere in between.

How does that sound?

Like nonsense, that’s how.

How Much Will My Driveway Cost?

On the serious subject of money, there are a number of things that determine how much your driveway will ultimately cost.

These include:

  • Type of driveway paving surface chosen;
  • Size of existing driveway area;
  • Drainage requirements;
  • Optional extras such as walling, lighting, fencing, driveway gates and CCTV!

Old Dutch Saying:

“Pay Cheap. Pay Twice.”

How Much Will My Driveway Cost – Surfacing

Choosing the right driveway surface for your driveway and/or patio is an all important initial decision to make.

It helps to ask yourself:

‘What am I looking to achieve?’

A contemporary look? Or sticking with tradition?

Keeping in style of with my home? Or doing something different?

Are my long term intentions to stay in my home? Or is my objective to improve to sell up?

Do I want to improve functionality? Or is my main objective to enhance the look of my home?

Are there existing driveway problems I need to resolve?

Once you know what you’re looking to achieve, an easy task to perform is to take a look at driveways in your local area and note down what appeals to you.

Size of Existing Driveway

If somebody tells you that size doesn’t matter – they’re lying.

It’s readily apparent that a larger driveway area will cost more than a smaller area – regardless of which surface finish you choose.

An easy way to visualise this is to think in terms of space for a car – which is the main use of a driveway!

And don’t be misled by simply thinking in terms of the size of a car. Allowances have to be made for the area around the car as well.

In general terms:

40 – 60 m² for 1 car

60 – 80 m² for 2 cars

80 – 150 m² for 2-4 cars

If you are looking to extend your existing driveway area there will be additional preparation, material and installation costs to factor in.

Don’t worry!

We’ve given some examples below.

 

brick edge tarmacadam

Tarmac Driveway Costs

As the original driveway surfacing product (around since the 1900s) the ‘ole black stuff’ has more than proven itself as a functional paving choice. Aesthetically, the story is somewhat different.

Are you improving your driveway for functionality or looks?

Advantages of Tarmac

  • Long lasting and little maintenance
  • Excellent choice for sloping or high gradient driveway areas

Disadvantages of Tarmac

  • Limited design, colour options
  • Quality of installation has huge impact on finish

The table below illustrates the potential costs of choosing tarmac. These driveways costs exclude extras such as walling, lighting and security.

Size Sq M Surface Cost (£)  Per Sq M Illustrative Cost (£)
1 car (40-60) Tarmac 80

60sqm x£80

=£4,800

1-2 cars (60-80) Tarmac 80

80sqm x £80

= £6,400

2-4 cars (80-150) Tarmac 70

150sqm x £70

= £10,500

block-paving-marshalls-drivesett-argent-and-natrale-slate

A Geometric Delight of Block Paving 

Block Paving Driveways Cost

Block paving has been a very popular choice for many years. Whilst concrete blocks are by far the most popular choice it’s also possible to opt for clay pavers for a more traditional look.

Advantages of Block Paving

Wide choice of colours, materials and design options

Installation possible all year round

Long lasting

Disadvantages of Block Paving

Quality of blocks varies considerably

Poor quality installation of sub base may cause sinkage

Regular maintenance (inclusive of sealing) to avoid unwanted weed growth

Taking into account how labour intensive block paving installations can be it can work out to be relatively expensive, especially if significant preparation is necessary and walling.

 

The table below illustrates the potential costs of choosing block paving.

These costs do not include extras such as walling, lighting and security. Costs also vary by which manufacturer chosen.

We’ve found the most competitive prices are available here (LINK to Bradstone).

 

Size Sq M Surface Cost (£) Per Sq M Illustrative Cost (£)
1 car (40-60) Concrete Block 100

60m x £100

= £6,000

1-2 cars (60-80) Concrete Block 100

80m x £100

=£8,000

2-4 cars (80-150) Concrete Block 90

150m x £90

=£13,500

Resin Driveways Cost

In general a costlier option. As a decorative and contemporary surfacing product an excellent choice.

Advantages of Resin

Contemporary design and variety of colour combinations

Creates a potentially permeable surface

Disadvantages of Resin

Shaded areas prone to organic/moss growth

Quality standards of resins and consistency of application of resin

Optimal weather conditions necessary

Ongoing debate over commercial vs residential suitability

Resin has proven to be a very popular choice.

Unlike other established paving products long term issues are (as of March 2021) unknown.

The table below illustrates the potential costs of choosing resin. These costs do not include extras such as walling, lighting and security.

 

Size Sq M Surface Cost (£) Per Sq M Illustrative Cost (£)
1 car (40-60) Resin 130

60m x £130

=£7,800

1-2 cars (60-80) Resin 130

80m x £130

=£10,400

2-4 cars (80-150) Resin 120

150m x £120

=£18,000

resin driveways or block paving

Resin Driveway Framed with Block Paving

Best imprinted concrete paving design ideas

Imprinted Concrete Driveway Costs

Advantages of Imprinted Concrete

  • Wide choice of colours and patterns
  • Established paving surface with solid track record
  • Minimal weed growth

Disadvantages of Imprinted Concrete

  • Reseals (every 2-3 years) are necessary to stop colour fading
  • Inconsistency with quality control of installations
  • Drainage solutions may increase costs

 

The table below illustrates the potential costs of choosing decorative concrete. These driveways cost exclude extras such as walling, lighting and security.

Size Sq M Surface Cost (£) Per Sq M Illustrative  Cost (£)
1 car |(40-60) Imprinted Concrete 120

60m x £120

=£7,200

1-2 cars (60-80) Imprinted Concrete 120

80m x £120

=£9,600

2-4 cars (80-150) Imprinted Concrete 100

150m x £100

=£15,000

 

An Elegant Sweeping Country Gravel Driveway

concrete drainage channel

Concrete Drainage Channels are for Larger Drives

Drainage Costs

Modern driveway surfacing such as permeable block paving and resin do not (usually) need the installation of drainage.

Other types of block paving (non permeable in the picture above) will need drainage and most pattern imprinted concrete installations also.

Tarmacadam (open grade type) will also allow water through, but tarmac isn’t generally regarded as a permeable paving surface.

Of course, if natural drainage to bedding areas of your garden is available there may not be any need for additional drainage at all.


Extra Driveways Cost –  Walls, Piers, Gates and Security

If you have existing walls and piers (entrance pillars/columns to driveway) and they are in good condition there shouldn’t be extra costs.

On the other hand if things are looking a bit shabby and worn replacement walls and piers will need to be calculated into the ‘all in‘ driveways cost.

These costs will depend on how many metres of walling and/or piers are needed.

It’s also useful to keep in mind that there are modern alterntives to traditional walling options such as exterior cladding (LINK).

driveway railway sleepers

Using Railway Sleepers Reduces Costs and are a Great option for Longer  Driveways

The height of any wall and type of brick will also play a part in these additional costs (as well as any additional features.)

This part of a driveway installation will need to be completed by a decent experienced bricklayer.

Usually a sub contractor will be used (or should be) and it is very important to inspect any previous work they have done. This gives peace of mind that they know how to lay bricks and don’t ‘snake’ bricks or make ‘sandy’ mortar joints that crumble!

Driveways Cost – Driveway Gates

Driveway gates provide security and privacy.

If your budget allows always go for electric; not only will these provide a welcome convenience (not having to get in and out of vehicle) but they just look so cool!

Who doesn’t like watching electric gates open?

Whether you opt for traditional hardwood gates or intricately decorated wrought iron you costs will significantly increase.

Hardwood driveway gate

An Electric Hard Wood Driveway Gate

Driveways Cost – Extra Security

If you’re unfortunate and live in a crime ridden area area, security needs may mean driveway CCTV is necessary.

If you’re more fortunate and live in an area where crime is less of an issue you may still desire ‘peace of mind’ with a decent security system!

Of course good gates, walling/fencing and a well trained dog will often do the job.

Ongoing Driveway Costs

Some driveways require less ongoing  maintenance than others. A gravel driveway will require very little and a block paving or decorative concrete driveway will require more (it’s especially important to reseal (LINK) both).

 

Still Undecided? Try some Grass?

Do you want to improve the environment and keep your costs very low?

If so, choosing grass is a very viable option and there is increasing demand for this type of driveway due to both drainage and environmental concerns.

Some careful planning is necessary, however.

Most companies specialising in grass driveways use high-density polyethylene reinforcement grids (these take the weight of vehicles and prevent sinkage).

Definitely worth considering if you’re happy with a more natural look.

Who Should Install my New Driveway?

It’s just not easy to provide a fixed price of driveways costs because there are so many variables including the type of material you choose or whether an extension of your existing driveway is required – as well as any extras.

It’s even more of an issue finding the perfect installer. 

In general, we’ve found that it’s very easy for companies (in all types of unregulated industries) to leave consumers ‘high and dry’.

As in any other type of business or industry there are sincere and decent professionals and there are rogues.

But you can filter quite easily.

Finding somebody to provide a quotation is easy but (like most things) a good referral and inspection of previous work (installations at different points in time) will serve you best.

This is achieved in the main by over promising and under delivering.

Effectively, it’s your lookout!

Useful pointers include:

Obtain a written quotation (by email is fine)

Understand any guarantees provided

View workmanship and talk to previous customers if possible

If using a limited company use accounts to gauge financial health of company

Avoid any type of pressure

Use as much of the information (for free) within this website to help you make an informed decision. 

There’s no hard sell here, no waffle and no lies.

We’re also gradually building a directory of professionals so you may want to start with your search for a professional there.

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