How Much Should You Pay to Tarmac a Driveway?

Welcome to Quotation Check and thank you for visiting our guide to driveway costs and prices in the United Kingdom. We last updated this page on the .

We have two quotes for your consideration:

The first quote includes a new base, so a lot of extra work is involved, such as digging out the ground.

The second quote is for a new layer of tarmac over the existing tarmac, which we assume is in good condition and doesn’t have too many dips or cracks.

The tarmac cost/price tables located further down the page are based on the data we received.

Where Did These Prices Come From?

The folks behind Quotation Check gathered quotes from driveway installers based in the UK and then calculated an average cost. This is displayed in the tables on this page.

It is our hope that visitors to this site can use our service to avoid unscrupulous traders that overcharge.

For more information about exactly how we go about gathering quotes, check out this page.

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tarmac being laid to driveway

Quote 1 Works Schedule

Below is a works schedule that details all the materials, labour and waste disposal elements of the tarmac driveway project we wanted completed for our first quote. We made sure that each of our chosen driveway specialists provided us with a similar costed quote/schedule.

  • Remove existing driveway and excavate existing base (it’s failed/insufficient for new tarmac).
  • Lay membrane to prevent weed growth.
  • Lay edgings onto sand/cement mix (we choose Tegula Kerb from Marshalls).
  • Lay drainage connecting into existing pipework which will be checked.
  • Lay sub-base/base and compact with a whacker/roller or both.
  • 1st tarmac course (binding course) laid by machine or hand then compacted with a roller.
  • 2nd tarmac course (surface course) is again laid by machine or hand then compacted with a roller to leave a neat finish.
  • Remove and dispose of all waste material leaving the site clean and tidy

The completed driveway will have a base of minimum 175mm and two tarmac layers totalling 75mm. The total area of the driveway is approx. 30 square metres. This price was last updated on the 25th February 2017.



Tarmac Prices

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarger Business (5+ employees)
Need a Custom Price? >Compare Up To 3 Personlised Quotes Here
London AreaN/A£2750.00
South, SW and MidlandsN/A£2500.00
Outer Region and NorthN/A£2000.00

Quote 2 – Works Schedule

Below is our tarmac driveway price guide for a simple overlay onto an existing tarmac driveway which is in fairly good condition. A bonding layer is first applied before the tarmac is then applied and rolled to a depth of around 35mm.

The completed driveway will have an extra 35mm of tarmac and the existing drainage will be raised to the correct position.

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarger Business (5+ employees)
Need a Custom Price? >Compare Up To 3 Personlised Quotes Here
London AreaN/A£1750.00
South, SW and MidlandsN/A£1500.00
Outer Region and NorthN/A£750.00

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Expect to Pay More if…

The above tables are for fairly simple driveways, average size and dimensions. You will typically pay more per sq metre if the area is very small. Contractors often prefer larger jobs, small jobs are rarely profitable if charged at the same per metre rate as larger projects.

Irregular shapes, poor access, unusual slopes/elevations can add to the driveway cost as can the installation of a new soakaway if it’s needed (to meet current surface drainage regulations for example).

Red coloured (or any colour other than black) tarmac also costs considerably more.

How Long Will The Work Take?

The total time required to dig out and excavate an area and then lay a tarmac driveway will depend on several factors, the shape and size of the driveway is important, as is the drainage and edging requirements. If there are shrubs, trees and/or tree roots then this will all add time. The weather is also a factor, tarmac can be laid in light rain but it’s best not to lay it when it’s pouring down. How many workers are on the project is also a factor, one guy may take 6 days, but with 2 people the time is halved.

There are too many variables to accurately predict how long it takes to lay a tarmac driveway without knowing more of the specifics.

As a general guide, our 30sq metre rectangular driveway should take a couple of days. Day 1 and 2 is excavating, and sub base, edgings and drainage, day 3 is tarmacing and finishing off. The actual laying of tarmac doesn’t take that long at all, it had to be done fairly quickly to prevent it cooling down to a point where the material is unworkable.

Overlaying a driveway is done in much less time, repairs to the existing surface can take an hour or so, as can lifting and securing the drainage channel and then a few more hours to lay the tarmac and roll over it.

Frequently Asked Questions

We did a lot of research into driveway tarmacing and then put a series of questions to our chosen driveway specialists.

Q) Do you recommend laying tarmac over an existing driveway?

A) If the driveway is currently block paved or made from concrete then no as these materials may move/shift/crack and this will be reflected in the surface tarmac – cracks/dips may appear. There are some circumstances when a layer of tarmac can be laid without a new base being installed, so ask your local specialists to inspect your existing driveway and provide you with their advice and the options available to you. It really depends on what the existing driveway is made from and it’s condition.

Q) How long must I wait before I can walk/drive on the tarmac driveway?

A) The tarmac can be walked on after a few hours. It’s best to wait a few days before driving a car on it and one week for a heavy vehicle such as a loaded van. While the tarmac can reach an acceptable strength after a few days, it can take several months for the driveway to reach it’s full strength. You should therefore take care to avoid wheel spinning and skidding in the driveway as this may lift/distort the tarmac.

Q) Can a driveway be patch repaired, to make good minor damage?

A) Yes but it won’t look great, it will be obvious that the driveway has had a repair carried out.

Q) How can I stop weeds growing through the driveway?

A) A layer of barrier membrane is laid under the driveway when a new base is installed, this allows rainwater to pass through but keep out weeds. Seeds may still settle into any small gaps in the tarmac surface, to prevent this simply treat the driveway once a year with a strong weedkiller such as Round Up. To keep moss from growing use a strong fungicide such as BAC50.

Q) Will oil/diesel damage the tarmac?

A) Yes, as oil and diesel work as a solvent and may weaken the tarmac, leading it to fail earlier then it otherwise would. Try to clean up any oil spills as soon as they occur. Crunched up cat litter can soak up excessive diesel/oil and detergents can dissolve them. Just be careful not to leave it on th tarmac for too long a period. Don’t forget that tarmac is made from oil too.


As tarmac is produced from by-products of the oil industry, the cost of this material fluctuates based on current world oil prices. That’s good news today (we originally wrote this article in Oct 2015) as oil prices are close to their lowest recorded levels.

It is also worth noting that tarmac is short for tarmacadam and should not be confused with a company called “Tarmac”.

Feedback – Cost to Tarmac a Driveway

We would love to hear your feedback on our page about the cost to tarmac a driveway.

Whether you are a homeowner or a commercial driveway specialist, feel free to share your thoughts with us and your fellow readers by leaving a comment at the base of this page.

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6 Responses to “How Much Should You Pay to Tarmac a Driveway?”

  1. RameshJune 23, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    First drive
    2nd drive

  2. B MillerJune 23, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    I followed the linkto get a quote for a new tarmac layer. I go to driveway services but the only option is I need help with brick/block paving. No option for tarmac!

  3. Mrs Joan TaylorAugust 12, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    I have just had an Overlay of tarmac on existing tarmac drive. My quote was to sweep drive remove any loose tarmac, apply weed killer. apply tack coat to existing tarmac apply new tarmac clean up and take site rubbish away. I Accepted this quote . to my regret. Weed killer was just sloshed at random in the rain, the men left and came back three days later at 10 to 4pm, no tack coat was applied tarmac was applied straight on to the old tarmac, they were gone at 20 to 5.It rained two days later and my drive pooled with water everywhere. the cost £2100vat.3 weeks later weeds are pushing the tarmac up. The foreman came back to discuss the problems with me and said would pour more weed killer to stop the weeds and because the drive has been laid all he could do was to drill holes over the drive to let the water out.I have taken pictures where do I go for advice as I don’t think this drive will hold up this winter

  4. Mr.Trevor WilliamsJune 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    Cost to replace concrete with tar macadam 2x3metres

  5. JamesJuly 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    how much would it be for 76m2 drive – 40mm bonding layer on to prepared Mot type 1

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