Tarmac is one of the cheapest materials you can use on a driveway, it lasts for decades, looks traditional and is a very popular choice.
But how much does a tarmac driveway cost in the UK?
We are tradespeople ourselves and have many years experience in the home improvement and construction industries.
We know how much driveway installers are charging customers for new tarmac, so explore our price and driveway guide on this page.
Tarmac is one of the four options you can consider when thinking about a new driveway.
Here are the other three:
(check these pages out to see how much each one costs)
- Block Paving – this is a popular option and there are many reasons why so many people prefer this material to any other. Check out our knowledge base and block paving price guide here.
- Pattern Concrete – not to everyone’s tastes but it does have benefits; weeds will never grow through this material, meaning it’s very low maintenance. It’s cheaper than block paving but more expensive than tarmac. See how much Pattern Imprinted Concrete costs here.
- Stones or Gravel – Visually appealing and traditional but leaves, twigs and dirt can reduce the long-term appeal. Also, can stones be used on steep driveways without the stones washing into the road? Explore our gravel price guide here.
How Does This Site Work?
If you are a first time visitor to our site then the good news is – it’s really simple!
Here’s the deal:
We conduct research into home improvement prices, such as driveway replacements and then publish the results on our pages, like the one you are reading now.
How can you use this?
That’s up to you but most of our visitors want to now how much a tarmac driveway will set them back because:
- they are saving up and need a target or;
- they are planning to get quotes soon and want to know what to expect or;
- they are comparing costs for similar work like blocks or gravel
The best part?
We offer this service for free and because we aren’t selling anything, our price guides are impartial (unlike many other sites that show a low price just to get your contact details).
But, before you proceed, can you…
Take a Moment to Answer Our Poll? (this is optional)
The following question is entirely optional but we are conducting research and would love to know your answer:
What’s Included in the Price Below?
We have provided two price examples for you to consider.
The first is for a new driveway including a new base.
The second figure is for an overlay. As the name suggests, an overlay means leaving the existing base in place.
More about overlays later.
Our prices for a complete replacement tarmac driveway include all of this:
- Site survey, including locating all services (gas water etc)
- Full dig out and removal of waste
- Drainage channel installed and connected to new soakaway
- Compact ground and lay weed prevention felt
- Lay a type 1 base and compact to between 150-175mm thickness
- Install new edging stones, cemented in place
- Lay and roll binding layer of course tarmac
- Lay and roll top finishing layer of fine tarmac
Cost Guide For Tarmac Driveway:
The table shows an approximate price guide for tarmacking a driveway to the specifications above:
|Tarmac 40 sq mtr||£3100.00|
|Tarmac 100 sq mtr||£7500.00|
Representative Example – 40 Sq Mtr Tarmac Driveway (inc base)
Waste disposal – £400.00
Weed membrane/felt – £30.00
12 tonnes of type 1 MOT for sub base – £290.00
Tarmac both binder and top layer – £600.00
Drainage channels, pipe and soakaway – £250.00
Drain covers and edgings – none required
Equipment hire – none, assume contractors have their own diggers and rollers
Labour, includes employer N.I. contributions – £550.00
Net profit £450.00
Total Cost -£3084.00
What About an Overlay?
An overlay is where a layer of tarmac is placed on top of an existing driveway, usually an older tarmac driveway that is structurally sound but is perhaps looking a little tired.
This technique is only a realistic option if the following apply:
- The extra layer won’t breach the damp course or wall vents on the house
- The base under the existing driveway hasn’t sunk.
- The base doesn’t have any cracks – these will continue to grow and will transfer to the new surface
- Any isolated potholes are first repaired to a depth of 300mm
Overlays are quicker to install and obviously much cheaper, you don’t need to lay any base, sub-base or binding course. Minor repairs are carried out first, then a primer is spray applied before a 30-40mm layer of fine tarmac is laid and rolled.
Not every driveway is suitable for an overlay, that’s why it’s so important you get a professional to inspect it first.
The table below is for both 40 and 100 square metre driveways that will be overlaid:
|Overlay 40 sq mtr||£1300.00|
|Overlay 100 sq mtr||£1950.00|
The overlay price doesn’t include any cost for drainage or additional work, just prime the existing driveway and lay 35mm of surface layer.
VAT – Does Everyone Pay it?
The price examples on this page include VAT at 20% but not all businesses have to charge this tax.
Smaller businesses that have a turnover below the VAT threshold are not obliged to register for or charge VAT on their labour and profit margins.
So, you can make a substantial saving by choosing a small business.
Any Other Ways to Save Money?
We have played it safe with the thickness of the base, binder and surface layers.
Some installers lay thinner layers to save money. We personally feel that’s it better to spend a little more and ensure that the driveway won’t sink.
What About Colours?
The tarmac prices on this page are for black tarmac only.
Red tarmac is also popular but can cost considerably more than black.
Other colours are available but the cost is usually through the roof, especially for a small area such as a driveway, so we haven’t priced for these options.
The reason why red and other colours are so expensive is because the manufacturer won’t be producing these variants in large numbers and will probably need to restart the production line just for you.
That’s not a problem if you’re laying coloured tarmac to a very large area like a road, but for a small driveway expect it to cost a small fortune.
The chart above shows where the money for a new tarmac driveway goes. We assume that the waste material is either taken away by skips or by grab lorry.
What About Planning Permission and Regulations?
Did you know that in 2008 the government introduced new rules regarding driveways?
With our help, there is no need to worry:
We have created a simple and easy-to-read guide to these new driveway regulations.
Don’t fall foul of the new rules – explore our two-minute driveway guide here.
Ideas and Inspiration
We often rant and rave about Pinterest and regular visitors to our site will know how much we love this site.
It’s a great place to get interior and exterior design ideas.
Even for driveways and patios, you’ll find tons of beautiful images, so if you are in need of a little inspiration, you could start with these two pages:
Below are some images we sourced from Pinterest:
For those of you that are considering block paving:
Get a Quotation Online
The prices on this page are based on our experience in the home improvement, we assume that the property is located in or near to Surrey.
If you want to compare quotes from local tarmac driveway installers, just hit the link below and fill out the form.
This form is for a nationwide service:
The key to a long driveway life is to ensure the ground is correctly compacted and the sub base of sufficient strength. Ensure this and the correct thickness of the binding and top layers and your driveway should last for decades assuming light use.
If you intend to use heavy vehicles on the driveway (3.5 tonnes and above) then consult the contractor about extra reinforcement.
Rainwater must be diverted away from the house and shouldn't empty onto public land such as a road or pavement.
There are several ways to achieve this; slope the driveway so water runs off onto flower beds or the lawn, connect a rainwater channel into an existing or new soakaway.
If neither of those options is possible, you may be able to discharge onto the public highway but you would need planning permission to do so.
Don't forget; there are permeable driveway and patio materials that are designed to allow water to pass directly through into the ground. Speak to your driveway installer if you have issues with rainwater ponding on your existing driveway.
Overlays are always completed in one day, regardless of driveway size. Although some preparation work beforehand might be required; cleaning the existing surface and making good any repairs to pot holes etc.
A full replacement including sub-base will take much longer. A 40 square metre driveway can be completed in a few days, a 100 square metre project will take longer. It all depends on much excavation of the existing ground is required, the type of material being dug up also affects the timescale. Tree roots and old cement can take a long time to remove.