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See How Much a Gravel Driveway Costs
Gravel Drive Prices For 2021
Prices Sourced From Dozens of Firms
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Gravel and stones are cheaper than any other type of driveway material and are perfect for very large drives that would cost tens of thousands of pounds to cover in tarmac or blocks.
Gravel is also quick to lay, allows rainwater to drain away naturally (thus meets regulations for driveway drainage), and there are hundreds of colours, types and sizes of gravel to choose from.
Just to be clear and to avoid confusion; this price guide is for loose gravel and not resin-bound gravel – that’s gravel held together with a glue to form a solid surface.
On this page, we’ll cover topics and questions such as:
How much does it cost to create a gravel driveway?
How long does the work take?
What is the best material to use as a driveway surface – blocks, tarmac, gravel or concrete?
Where can consumers compare prices from local driveway installers?
The key questions:
How much does a new gravel driveway cost?
What is the cost for a small driveway? And a larger one?
What is the average cost on a per square metre basis?
As home improvement and landscaping prices vary from location to location around the country, we contacted 42 firms from different places in the UK. We asked each of them to quote us for a typical driveway at 60 square metres and a larger driveway at 100 square metres.
As a general guide to sizes – two to three cars can fit on a 60 sq metre driveway while a 100 sq metre can fit four to five depending on driveway shape.
The average of the driveway prices we gathered is shown below, you can use this as a better-than-ballpark guide, but note the following:
- All prices include VAT where applicable.
- Excavation of the original driveway or ground material.
- Minor levelling and installation of weed blocking barrier.
- Compact a sub-base layer of suitable material (MOT Type 1).
- Edgings to contain the gravel at the driveway boundary, including an apron/threshold at the entrance to the drive (see photos for explanation)
- The gravel supplied and laid at a depth of no more than 50mm.
- All waste material is taken away and disposed of.
Gravel Driveway Example 1 – 60 Square Metres
The gravel driveway prices shown below are an average of the figures provided to us by the 42 installers we contacted in 2021.
These prices are for a standard gravel driveway installation as described above. You may wish or need additional work done, such as brick walls, front doorsteps etc.
|South, SW and Midlands||£4000||£4300|
|Outer Region and North||£3700||£3900|
|Need a Custom Price?||Get a Quote|
Driveway Cost Example 2 – 100 Square Metres
The next batch of prices we requested was for a 100 square metre driveway.
As with our first project, this is a standard installation using 10-20 driveway gravel, edgings and an entrance apron.
|South, SW and Midlands||£5700||£5900|
|Outer Region and North||£5300||£5500|
|Need a Custom Price?||Get a Quote|
Average Gravel Driveway Cost Per Square Metre
The figures below are an average of the figures given to us, displayed by region.
These prices, like the previous two examples, include a sub-base, weed mat, edgings, apron and the gravel – all items you would expect to see in a standard installation.
|London Area||£68 per sq mtr|
|South, SW and Midlands||£63 per sq mtr|
|Outer Region and North||£59 per sq mtr|
Other Costs to Consider
Our prices are for a standard installation and do not include any of the following:
Kerb dropping/lowering – if you’re creating a new driveway, or extending the entrance to a new one, you may need to lower the kerbs along the public pavement. As the council owns this land, you’ll require their permission, and they don’t always grant it. You’ll also need to pay application fees, use their preferred contractors and foot the bill. We looked into the costs of lowering a kerb, and the results were a surprise, often over £2000, although some councils were much cheaper.
Driveway Drainage – since 2008 and as a result of repeated flash floods in the UK, all new driveways, including refurbishments, must not permit rainwater to discharge onto the public footpath or highway. The good news is that most gravel driveways will not need drainage channels or expensive soakaways as the water will disperse naturally through the gravel. See our guide to driveway drainage regulations here.
Gravel Type – standard driveway gravel isn’t expensive, but coloured gravel costs more. Our prices assume the consumer wants standard driveway gravel.
Edgings and Apron – edgings and aprons (thresholds) keep the gravel on the driveway, but your choice of edging/apron material can affect the price.
Levelling – if you want a driveway replaced on a like-for-like basis, the ground probably won’t need much levelling. However, if you wish to lay an entirely new driveway or extend an existing one, you’ll need to level the ground which may create a lot of waste, or you may need to pay extra material to be delivered and laid. Either way, extensive ground excavation and levelling isn’t cheap, but the cost will depend on the specifics of your project.
Gravel Grids – these are plastic grids (see examples) that stop the gravel from moving around the driveway. They add additional cost to the project and are an optional extra although we recommend them for driveways that aren’t flat and level (i.e on a slope).
Any extra work required such as raising flowerbeds, tree removal, brick walls, large doorsteps or relocating underground pipes or cables etc. can add to the cost of the gravel driveway.
Driveway thresholds/aprons help with tyre grip and like just edgings, prevent annoying gravel migration.
Pea shingle is narrow and gets caught in the tyre treads. Choose a bigger gravel/stone, 10-20mm is popular.
We’ve excluded the cost of gravel grids like this but they are recommended for driveways on a slight slope.
How Does a Gravel Driveway Compare to Other Driveways?
Gravel is just one type of driveway material, there are several other options although all are more expensive::
Blocks (see how much a block driveway costs here) – more costly than gravel but you can be much more creative with patterns and the type of blocks you choose; cobbles are popular. Block drives are easy to repair, wash and maintain. Rainwater management will be required for non-permeable blocks. Why not mix and match gravel and blocks? Perhaps a wide block border and apron with the centre of the driveway made from gravel?
Tarmac (see tarmac driveway prices here) – traditional and popular but can look bland, especially after a few years when the colour dulls. It’s obvious when a repair has been carried out, and tarmac often cracks, leading to weed penetration. The price is similar to that of a block driveway. Rainwater management will be required for non-permeable tarmac.
Resin (see resin gravel driveway prices) – if you’re considering using gravel as a driveway surface, do take a look at resin. Gravel is bound with a glue/resin to form a solid surface that’s water permeable, looks stunning and doesn’t suffer from shift/migration. The downside? It’s one of the most expensive driveway materials.
Stamped concrete (see concrete driveway prices) – patterns and coloured dyes are stamped into the concrete as it dries meaning you can choose from lots of different colours and designs. Drainage management will be required for concrete driveways, they can also be slippery and it’s difficult to repair or alter them once the concrete has hardened. The price is similar to that of block driveways but costs more than gravel as fewer firms can complete this work; it’s a specialist industry. Concrete may need to be re-coloured or sealed every 5-7 years to keep it looking fresh.
Get a Custom Driveway Price Online
We hope you found our guide to the cost of gravel driveways insightful.
As we are sure you can appreciate, no two projects are the same and it’s impossible to provide a fixed price without first seeing the property.
Our network of vetted tradespeople can:
- Provide you with an accurate custom price based on the specifics of your property.
- Present you with verified reviews and feedback from past customers.
- Supply you with quotations from three local driveway specialists.
Gravel Driveway Installation Cost
Get a Price Online For Your New Driveway
Gravel Driveway Q&A
When Were These Driveway Prices Sourced?
We sourced these driveway prices in 2021 and updated this page to replace the previous research we did several years ago. We’ve found that prices haven’t changed much during the last few years.
What Types of Businesses Supplied the Prices?
We contacted both driveway specialists and landscape gardening firms that undertake “hard” landscaping projects.
What Do I Need to Know About Planning Permission?
Planning rules are complex and always subject to change, so start with the government’s planning portal. As a general rule of thumb; if you aren’t increasing the size of the driveway, lowering kerbs or discharging rainwater onto public land, then you shouldn’t need planning permission unless there are restrictions on your property.
Can't The Installer Just Lay Gravel Onto the Existing Driveway or Soil?
A sub-base is required to help spread the weight of any vehicles otherwise gravel will sink into the soil. A good quality gravel driveway should be laid onto a solid, water-permeable base.
Also, if you lay a very thick layer of gravel, perhaps to cover an existing driveway, you’ll find it difficult to walk on the surface and channels will appear where the tyres have shifted the gravel.
Are There Any Driveway Associations Where I Can Find Reputable Installers?
There are very few driveway associations and none that we recommend. You can use our network of tradespeople to find a good quality installer and of course, there’s also Checkatrade, Trustmark, Which? and other general associations you can search.
Where is the Best Place to Ask a Technical Question About The Installation of a Driveway?
Tony McCormack’s The Paving Expert is by far the best place for technical information related to paving and driveways in the UK. The site has also been updated recently and is now much easier to use.
How Long Does it Take to Create a Gravel Driveway?
While it only takes minutes to spread gravel onto a surface, the preparation work typically takes two or three days for a typical driveway with space for two to three cars. The amount of time also depends on the edgings and threshold apron, what materials are used and how big that area is. How many workers are on the project also dictates how long it will take.
What Size Driveway Gravel is Best and How Deep Should it be?
Too small and the gravel will get caught in the tyre treads. Too big and it will be difficult to walk on.
- 5-8mm is very small and may get trapped in the tyre tread.
- 10-15 is a popular choice.
- 20mm is quite large but can still be used on driveways.
- Above 20mm can be difficult to walk on and may cause damage if flicked up by spinning tyres.
The depth should ideally be around three times the size of the gravel, so 10-15mm gravel can be laid to a depth of 30-45mm.
If the gravel is too deep, you’ll soon see tyre channels and footprint marks and it can be difficult to walk and drive on.
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Your guides to driveway prices have been very helpful, we chose a local company to create a brick driveway for us and we love the look of our new drive now. So much better than the cracked cement we had before!
We recommend comparing the prices you’ve been given by contractors to those published by Quotation Check and other price comparison websites.
Experts say that consumer should get three quotes for their home improvement projects but [Quotation Check] gathered hundreds of quotes and published them online, what a great idea and time-saver!
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