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Our Tarmac Driveway Price Guide

By Quotation Check and Updated for 2021

Tarmac Drive Prices For 2021

Prices From Dozens of Specialists

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Part of Our Driveway Series

How Much Should You Pay For a Tarmac Driveway in 2021?

Tarmac driveways are a popular choice and if laid to a high standard will last for decades.

Key benefits:

  • A tried and tested product.
  • Choose from red or black tarmac or add white stones for effect.
  • Edging blocks look great next to smooth black tarmac.
  • Tarmac is usually cheaper than block driveways and quicker to install too.

We’ve been researching the cost to lay new driveways and so far have looked at concrete, gravel and blocks.

On this page, we’ll answer common tarmac driveway questions such as:

How much does it cost to lay a tarmac driveway?

How long does it take to construct a tarmac driveway?

What is the best material to use as a driveway surface – block pavers, tarmac, stones or patterned concrete?

Where can consumers find reliable driveway installers?

We Sourced Prices From 36 Tarmac Driveway Installers in the UK

See what the going rate for a new tarmac driveway is below and get your own custom quote online

It’s the number one question people ask when thinking about driveways and tarmac driveways in particular:

How much does a new tarmac drive cost?

There are two main options to consider:

  1. An overlay – this involves laying tarmac over an existing driveway and is only suitable if the driveway is in good condition.
  2. A complete overhaul of the driveway, digging out the existing material, installing a new base and finishing off with a layer of tarmac.

Most good quality tarmac driveways will be achieved by first digging out the existing driveway, but we’ve sourced prices for both a new driveway and an overlay.

We asked 36 installers to provide us with quotes for the following:

Tarmac Driveway Price 1 – 60 Square Metres Overlay

The figures below are an average of the prices given to us by the 36 installers we contacted in 2021.

The work includes:

  • Overlaying 60 square metres (driveway for 2/3 cars) with 35mm of tarmac overlay.
  • No new drainage channels or pipework required.
  • The driveway is in good condition with no cracks (movement cracks often transfer through to new tarmac).
  • The price includes a bonding layer and the removal of any waste material, not that there will be much.
  • The price assumes there is scope to raise the driveway by 35mm without fouling door entrances, drains or adjacent footpaths etc.

This is for a standard driveway overlay and excludes items listed further down the page under the title “extra costs to consider”.

London Area£1400£1700
South, SW and Midlands£1300£1600
Outer Region and North£1100£1300
Need a Custom Price?Get a Quote

Tarmac Driveway Price 2 – 60 Square Metre Overhaul

For our second project, we asked the 36 driveway installers to provide quotes for overhauling a 60 square metre driveway and laying tarmac.

This project is more complicated and perhaps more closely reflects the actual work that’s required when overhauling rather than overlaying a driveway:

  • Excavate the existing driveway material, including the base.
  • Level the ground.
  • Lay a weed proof membrane to prevent weed growth.
  • Bed edging cobbles onto concrete.
  • Install cobbles to driveway apron at the very front of the driveway.
  • Install adequate drainage channels that connect to existing soakaways.
  • Lay the sub-base material and compact.
  • Lay the 1st tarmac course (called a binding course) and then compact.
  • Lay the 2nd course of tarmac (known as a surface course) which is compacted with a roller to leave a neat finish.
  • Remove and dispose of all waste material leaving the site clean and tidy.
London Area£4500£4800
South, SW and Midlands£4200£4500
Outer Region and North£4000£4250
Need a Custom Price? >Get a Quote

Other Costs to Consider

As no two tarmac driveway projects are the same, it isn’t easy to provide an accurate price without inspecting the property first.

The figures we’ve published on this page are an average for a standard installation and exclude the following:

Kerb dropping/lowering – as public footpaths belong to the council, you’ll need to get their permission to lower a kerb if you need to create or widen access to your driveway. This isn’t always a simple process, but some councils are easier to deal with than others. If you live next to a busy road, or there are other health and safety issues, you may not be granted permission. We investigated the cost to lower a kerb, and the figures provided to us were eye-watering, so do look into this if you need to lower a kerb for access.

Drainage – it’s been 12 years since the government introduced new rules to help prevent flash floods. When laying a new driveway, you cannot allow rainwater to discharge onto the public footpath or highway without first gaining planning permission. Your options are to discharge the water into the ground within your boundary via channels and soakaways, by directing the water to flowerbeds, by using permeable materials or if you have no other option, gaining permission to discharge onto the public highway. Our price guide does not include the cost of soakaways or permeable tarmac and assumes a soakaway is already in place. See our guide to driveway drainage regulations here.

Tarmac Type – black tarmac is the cheapest, coloured tarmac needs to be made to order and for small amounts is very expensive.

Edgings – tarmac needs an edging to hold it in place and to stop it crumbling. How much edging, how wide and what type will affect the price.

Ground Levelling – if you want a driveway replaced on a like-for-like basis, the ground probably won’t need much levelling. If you wish to create an entirely new driveway or extend an existing one, you’ll need to level the ground which may create many tons of waste, or you may need to pay for hardcore to be delivered and laid. Either way, ground excavation and levelling isn’t easy, it’s time-consuming and adds to the cost of the tarmac driveway.

Any extra work required such as raising flowerbeds, tree or root removal, brick walls, steps or relocating underground pipes or cables etc. can add to the price of the tarmac driveway.

Tarmac driveway apron and edgings

Tarmac driveway with apron and edgings

Drainage channels

Discreet drainage channel – one of several options 

Permeable materials are one way to comply with regulations regarding the discharge of rainwater but cost more

Comparing Tarmac to Other Driveway Types:

If you’re undecided about which type of driveway to install, consider these points and check the prices we’ve researched:

Block Paving Driveways (see our block driveway price guide here) – these driveways are competitively priced, and you have the option to upgrade the blocks to something more expensive such as cobbles etc. Easy to repair, wash and maintain, it’s obvious why blocks are a popular driveway choice. There are also lots of different patterns that can be created so you can, with a little imagination, design something unique. Rainwater management will be required for non-permeable blocks.

Gravel (see gravel driveway prices) – there are many different gravel sizes and colours available so you can design a beautiful driveway that allows rainwater to drain away naturally. Gravel is noisy underfoot so deters many burglars, a good selling point, as is the price.

Stamped Concrete (see our concrete drive prices here) – patterns and coloured dyes are stamped into the surface of the concrete as it’s drying; this enables you to create a unique colour scheme and design. Sealed concrete can be slippery, and cracks can appear due to the weight of the material shifting the mass. Repairing concrete is difficult as once it has set, it can’t be adjusted or moved and it may need to be re-sealed periodically. Rainwater management will be needed as concrete isn’t porous.

Resin Bound (see resin driveway prices here) – resin, a gluey liquid, is mixed with gravel to form a hard, strong material that’s also water permeable. Resin drives have become popular over the last ten years but are still one of the most expensive options. We love them as they look like gravel but offer the practicality of a solid surface.

The Next Step

Get a Customised Price Online For Your New Tarmac Driveway

Get Your Tarmac Driveway Price Today

We hope you found our guide to the cost of tarmac driveways informative.

As no driveway projects are ever the same, the best way to get an accurate price for your property is to get a customised quote.

Our network of tradespeople can help you by:

  • Giving you a written quotation online.
  • Showing you verified reviews and feedback from past customers.
  • Presenting you with quotes from different firms so you can compare prices.

Tarmac Driveway Cost

Get a Free Quote Online For Your Driveway

Tarmac Driveway Q&A

When Were These Tarmac Driveway Prices Created?

We published this guide and prices in 2021. As tarmac prices are related to the cost of oil, the prices may change at any time.

Where Did You Get These Prices From?

We contacted 36 driveway installers from various places around the UK. We calculated an average figure to give our visitors a better-than-ballpark price estimate.

Do I Need Planning Permission When Installing a Driveway?

If your new driveway allows rainwater to discharge onto a public highway or footpath, you’ll need planning permission. For new or extended driveways, do note that kerb dropping will need the permission of the council and might be refused on safety grounds. Planning rules are complex and subject to change, so start with the government’s planning portal.

What Drainage Options Do I Have?

Rainwater shouldn’t flow onto a public footpath or highway, here are your options:

  • Design the driveway so it slopes to a flowerbed/lawn etc.
  • Install drainage channels connecting to a new or old soakaway.
  • Install permeable tarmac which costs more.

This video shows how three tons of water soaks through permeable tarmac in seconds. Expect to pay more for permeable materials but they work well at preventing flash flooding.

How Long Will an Tarmac Overlay Last?

Tarmac, whether an overlay or as part of a new driveway, will last for decades if laid onto a solid base. If the existing driveway has cracks in it, these will transfer through to the new tarmac and ruin it. Overlays have a bad reputation but this is due to the base not being sound.

Are There Any Installer Associations Where I Can Find Reputable Installers?

You can use our network of tradespeople to find a suitable installer and of course, there’s also Checkatrade, Trustmark, Which? and other general trade associations. We are not aware of any reputable driveway-specific associations where you can find vetted specialists. 

Where is the Best Place to Ask a Technical Question About The Installation of a Driveway?

The Paving Expert is by far the best place online for technical information related to the construction of paving and driveways. 

How Long Does it Take to Install a Tarmac Driveway?

An overlay can be completed in a morning while a full overhaul to 60 square metres will take several days and for 100 square metres, up to a week. Most of the time-consuming work is spent creating the base, edgings and drainage. It doesn’t take long to lay and compact tarmac once the foundation is complete.

More Home Improvement Price Guides:

By Quotation Check

Block Driveways

Let us show you the going rate for a block paved driveway in the UK and let us help you get a customised price online from our partner network.

Gravel Drives

We love gravel driveways; they’re cheaper than other types, look great and meet drainage regulations. Discover the cost of gravel drives here.

Resin Driveways

See how much a new resin-bound gravel driveway will set you back in the UK and discover why this type of driveway surface is so popular.

Your prices were spot on for us – we paid just over £4500 for our new driveway. Your insights into drainage were also helpful.

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 consumers 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!

We found a website called [Quotation Check] from a recommendation on the Money Saving Expert forum.  Their guides are extremely informative and helpful, a must for home improvers. 

I thought your prices were far too low, but after sourcing quotes from the Rated People site you recommended, I found an even lower price and am delighted with the quality of the workmanship.