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Last updated on July 4th, 2023

Asphalt driveway cost guide

It’s easy to see why asphalt driveways are popular. They’re affordable and offer a smooth, uniform appearance. And if properly installed, an asphalt driveway is low maintenance and very durable.

Asphalt and tarmac are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Where tarmac uses natural tar, asphalt is made from crushed gravel and bitumen.

How much does an asphalt driveway cost?

The cost of a new driveway doesn’t only depend on the surface material. You’ll also need to budget for excavation work and laying the foundations.

How much is asphalt per square metre?

Here are some average costs per square metre for asphalt driveways in the UK:

Asphalt driveway cost per square metreLow costHigh costAverage cost
Standard asphalt driveway£80£112£96
Porous asphalt driveway£85£120£102.50
Stamped asphalt driveway£90£120£105
Resurfacing asphalt driveway£20£30£25

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

It can cost more if you’re installing an irregular shaped or very large driveway. But if you’re only overlaying an existing asphalt driveway, you can expect the price to be cheaper.

Because of the specialist plans and skill required, a lot of the cost is due to deliveries and having a particularly skilled gang on site. Surfacing companies often charge a minimum day rate of around £800.

For maximum effect, look to replace any driveway drains, gullies and manhole covers as part of the work. Re-using an old gully or manhole cover can often take the shine off a new drive.

You will need to make sure to use the correct loading on any manhole covers, particularly if your drive has heavy vehicles on it at any point. Similarly, look to use new kerbs/edgings and consider a linear drain to remove any water from the driveway in the long term. Hiring a professional will solve this problem for you as they will know exactly what they’re doing. This can cost around £100 per linear metre.

Make sure you also factor in the cost of disposing of any soil. It might not look much but will be a large cost to get rid of! Expect to pay circa £170 - £380 for a 4 wheel grab truck taking away 7-9 tonnes of waste.

You can expect to pay around £80 – £112 per square metre for a standard asphalt driveway.

Asphalt cost per square foot

If you’re looking for asphalt driveway cost per square foot, the costs will vary depending on the type of asphalt that you choose. Below are the average costs of asphalt per square foot in the UK:

  • Standard asphalt driveway – £7.45 - £10.40 per square foot
  • Porous asphalt driveway – £7.90 - £11.15 per square foot
  • Stamped asphalt driveway – £8.36 - £11.15 per square foot
  • Resurfacing asphalt driveway – £1.86 - £2.80 per square foot

Porous asphalt driveway cost

Porous asphalt allows water to drain through the surface to the stone and soil below, providing drainage. It can cost from £85 – £120 per square metre.

Stamped asphalt driveway cost

Stamped asphalt offers all the same benefits as standard asphalt, like durability and low maintenance. But it also has the added bonus of a greater decorative appeal. It can mimic the effect of more expensive driveway options, such as block paving. It involves ‘stamping’ a pattern onto the asphalt surface using a grid and a plate compactor. This can cost between £90 – £120.

Cost to resurface an asphalt driveway

If you already have an asphalt driveway but it’s seen better days, you can have it resurfaced. This means a new layer of asphalt will be installed over the top. It can be considerably cheaper than having a new driveway installed. This is because all the excavation and foundation work has already been done when the first driveway was installed.

You can expect to pay around £20 – £30 per square metre for asphalt driveway resurfacing.

Stamped asphalt driveway in progress

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How long does it take to install an asphalt driveway?

It should take around one to two days for a single driveway, but this can extend to around four to five days for a more substantial area.

How long until I can drive on my new asphalt driveway?

You’ll need to be patient for around one to seven days before parking your car on your new driveway. Just to be on the safe side, it’s recommended to leave it at least three days.

Do I need planning permission for an asphalt driveway?

Whether or not you need planning permission for a new driveway often depends on the drainage situation. If you haven’t installed drainage or don’t use porous materials, and excess water will drain onto public space, you’re likely to need planning permission. It’s best to speak to your local authority for more advice.

Is asphalt cheaper than tarmac?

When used on relatively small surfaces, such as a driveway, asphalt is typically slightly more expensive than tarmac. That said, asphalt is more durable and resistant to weather damage so, in the long run, it’s often more cost effective to install an asphalt driveway when compared to tarmac.

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Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

Our estimators are Chartered Members (MRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). See full disclaimer.

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