What is the Going Rate For a Pro to Tarmac a Driveway?

Welcome to Quotation Check and our guide to driveway prices in the United Kingdom. This page contains a handy price guide for a new tarmac driveway.

We know that outdated price lists can be frustrating, that’s why we last updated this page on the .

On this page, we have two quotes for your consideration:

The first quote includes a new base, this involves a lot of extra work, 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. This type of driveway is known as an overlay.

Where Did These Prices Come From?

The folks behind Quotation Check gather quotes from tradespeople and businesses based in the UK and then calculate an average cost.

The results are then displayed on the price guide pages (see the full list here)

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.

Quotation Check is a popular site that’s visited by thousands of people every month:

tarmac being laid to driveway

Quote 1 Works Schedule For a New Tarmac Driveway

Below is a works schedule that details all the materials and labour required when installing a new tarmac driveway.

We made sure that each of our chosen driveway specialists provided us with a similar quote/schedule.

  • Lift the existing driveway material and excavate the base (it’s failed/insufficient for new tarmac).
  • Lay a weedproof membrane to prevent weed growth.
  • Secure edgings onto sand/cement mix (we choose Tegula Kerb from Marshalls).
  • Install adequate drainage that meets current building regulations for new and refurbished driveways.
  • Lay the sub-base/base and compact with a whacker or whacker.
  • Lay the 1st tarmac course (binding course) by machine or hand and then compact with a roller.
  • Lay the 2nd tarmac course (surface course) which 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 our driveway is approx. 30 square metres.

Tarmac Prices

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarger Business (5+ employees)
London AreaN/A£2775.00
South, SW and MidlandsN/A£2550.00
Outer Region and NorthN/A£2100.00
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Quote 2 – Works Schedule For a Tarmac Overlay

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 laid before the tarmac is then rolled to a depth of around 35mm.

The completed tarmac 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)
London AreaN/A£1700.00
South, SW and MidlandsN/A£1600.00
Outer Region and NorthN/A£950.00
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Expect to Pay More if…

The above tables are for a fairly straightforward driveway construction and assume an average size and dimension.

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.

Odd shapes, driveways with poor access and 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?

It’s always a good idea to ask your driveway installer how long the work will take to complete.

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
  • drainage and edging requirements.
  • If there are shrubs, trees and/or tree roots that need digging up.
  • 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 and very rough guide, our 30sq metre rectangular driveway should take a couple of days.

Day 1 and 2 is spent excavating, laying the 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 a task that can be completed in a fraction of the time, repairs to the existing surface only take an hour or so, as can lifting and securing the drainage channel. It only takes a few more hours to lay the tarmac and roll over it.

Frequently Asked Questions

When gathering prices for a new tarmac driveway we 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 its 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 the tarmac for too long a period. Don’t forget that tarmac is made from oil too.


As tarmac is made from by-products of the oil industry, the cost of this material fluctuates and is based on current world oil prices.

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

Further Reading

This page complements our recently updated guide to new driveway costs, which also looks at other materials such as concrete, resin and gravel.

Feedback – Cost to Tarmac a Driveway

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

Are you a consumer? What prices have you been given for a tarmac driveway?

Are you a business? What is the going rate to lay a driveway in your area?

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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7 Responses to “What is the Going Rate For a Pro 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

  6. D. BoydMay 15, 2018 at 6:08 pm #

    I have a Drive 306 sq metres which requires a top lay in Buff Tarmac.
    Existing tarmac base is sound.Tack coat must be applied.Edging Stone is in very good condition.
    Please quote for hand lay and machine lay.

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