How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost?

Personally, I love the appearance of gravel as a driveway surface, it looks simple but traditional.

I also like the fact that you can hear the footsteps of anyone walking on it and I genuinely believe that thieves want to stay quiet when breaking into houses, and they try to avoid alerting homeowners and neighbours to their presence with noisy footsteps.

The downsides are few and minor; it’s not easy to clean as leaves need to blown off with a tool rather than swept up with a brush. Small pea shingle can get caught in the tread of car tyres and need up everywhere, including down the street, hence why larger gravel is recommended.

I guess you could say I have a love-hate relationship with gravel but it’s still one of the nest driveway surfaces in my opinion.

Regardless of how you feel about this material, on this page, you’ll discover:

  • A poll so you can let us know how much you think a gravel driveway will cost (and you can see how much other people think gravel should cost).
  • A works schedule so you can see the steps involved with laying a gravel driveway.
  • A gravel driveway price guide.
  • Tips and products on how to stop gravel from migrating onto the footpath and road.
  • Alternatives to gravel.

gravel driveway

We are tradespeople ourselves and have many years of experience within the construction industry. In recent years we have also renovated several properties in the UK, so we know how much various projects such as driveways cost.

Gravel is one of four popular materials you can use on a driveway:

Block Paving – This is one of the more costly materials but is very popular in the UK. See how much block paving typically costs here.

Pattern Concrete – A concrete slab but with a patterned and coloured surface, this is cheaper than block paving and similar in price to tarmac.

Tarmac – Black is the most popular colour but red is an option. Tarmac can also be laid around other materials such as blocks, to create a unique pattern. Tarmac is quick to lay and if done so correctly can last for decades but how much does it cost?

The page you are currently reading is all about gravel/stone driveways and how much they cost.
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What’s Included in Our Gravel Driveway Prices Below?

This is a “works schedule” for the installation of a gravel driveway, our prices on this page include the following:

  • Excavate the area to a depth of around 180mm
  • Compact the existing soil sub-base with a vibrating plate, ensure there is adequate provision for drainage that meets current Buiding Regulations.
  • Lay a weed proof material to the surface.
  • Compact MOT type 1 base material to a depth of between 125 and 150mm.
  • Lay gravel to a depth of around 40mm.
  • VAT is included in our price example below.

Representative Cost Example for a New Gravel Driveway

The three examples below are for 40 and 100 square metre driveways.

We have made some assumptions when calculating these costs, so keep reading to see if they apply to your driveway.

The third price is to remove and dispose of an existing gravel driveway and then replace it with new decorative gravel at a depth of 40mm:

40 Sq Mtr£2360.00
100 Sq Mtr£5500.00
40 Sq Mtr Gravel Replacement Only£1200.00
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Quote Breakdown

Here is a list of the material costs for a typical 40 square metre driveway:

Weed proof membrane – £40.

Sub-base (to be compacted t0 150mm) – £450 delivered in large bags.

Decorative gravel (variable as it depends on choice) – £350.

Waste disposal (depends on the existing driveway, what type of material and its weight but will be several tonnes after excavation) – £325.

Edgings, rainwater channels and drainage – No allowance made, we assume it’s already in place.

Labour (inc employer NI contributions) – £400.

Net profit for the company – £400.

VAT – £393.

Total £2360.

How to Reduce the Cost of Your Driveway (read this to save £££)

Our price guide above makes several assumptions; the first is that the contractor is a medium-sized company that charges for labour then expects to make a profit as well.

Most smaller firms have fewer overheads and many only expect to cover wages. You could save several hundred pounds by going with a smaller firm.

Also, many smaller businesses operate below the VAT threshold, meaning they don’t need to charge the tax and thus you can make a further saving.

More information about how you can legally avoid paying VAT can be found here.

Don’t forget; our price includes a new base and that involves a lot of excavation work and waste disposal. If your existing driveway base is in good condition then you may not need to replace it, saving more money. Some people also recycle their excavated soil by re-using it in their garden, such as in raised flower bed, this cuts down on waste disposal costs too.

Have You Been Given Prices For a New Driveway?

This is your opportunity to let other visitors to our site know how much you’ve been quoted for a new driveway.

The feedback section below includes prices f0r gravel driveways as well as concrete, block and tarmac:

Warren Sidaway (West Midlands)Excavate to levels required (sloping driveway), lay 150 mm Type 1 MOT, lay membrane weed control. Hand lay 50 mm of 20 mm base course black tarmac, hand lay 40 mm of 6 mm dense black SMA wearing course. Driveway area 300 square metres. 5-year guarantee. (2021)£13,000 inc VAT
Adam (Cardiff)160 sq m tarmac overlay residential driveway (2020)£6500
Margaret (Manchester)Driveway 18m2 Ecogrid £270 Sub base £90 Under gravel £90 Sand and cement £60 Machinery £70 Edging £50 Waste removal/skip £140 Labour 3/4 days £950 Not including the gravel (2020)£1720
Mrs Paige (South London)Driveway for three cars. New tarmac. (2020)£3900
Clara (unknown)Old stone driveway removed and replaced with tarmac with white speckles. raised edges. 10m long and 4m wide roughly (2020)£5600
mr angel (newcastle)tarmac topup over original four-car driveway that was looking tired but otherwise in good condition (2020)£2300
Kalpesh (Essex)Concrete imprint driveway 48m2 @ £100 per m2. Agreed the price @ £4,500. Was expecting between £4,000 and £4,500. (2019)£4500
Adam Lawrence (Newport)237M2 of Printed Concrete. 6 car drive at the front of the house with a 2.5m strip running 35m to the garage at the rear. Just completed in printed concrete. (2019)£13000
Cindy (Gateshead)117 square meters stamped concrete (2019)£7000
SLI Driveways (Dudley)In our are which is Dudley West Midlands (includes Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Halesowen) Block paving is anything from £45.00 m2 by bodgit and scarperand upto and beyond £120.00 m2 by reputable companies like ourselves. The upper price includes all excavation work, removal of spoil, supply, lay and compaction of hardcore, supply and screed sand and lay blocks. All work should always come with a no quibble guarantee of at least 5 years. (2019)£120 per m2 inc VAT
Ann Haywood (Nuneaton Warwickshire)WANT TARMAC DRIVE. STONED DRIVE AT PRESENT. DRIVE IS ROUGHLY 25 X 22 METERS (2019)£5000
Joshua (Plymouth)Gravel drive way 4.8 x 2.4 including removal of wall (2017)£5605
Kevin (W London)Small driveway for just two cars (blocks) (2017)£3250
Mike (Sunbury)Tarmac to driveway for three cars (2017)£2750
Kelly Kitson (Midlands)Tarmac driveway (2017)£2000
Daniel West (Poole)Gravel driveway including new drainage soakway (2017)£2250
Derick (S East)Block pavers including drain channel and edges. 95 square metres (2017)£12500
[redacted] (Somerset)Your prices are too low. At [redacted] we charge around £120 per sq mtr for large block paving driveways all inclusive. Sure, you can get the work done cheaper with poor quality materials but why would you wnat to choose the cheapest? You get what you pay for, also how long s a peice of string? Every job is different, that's why driveway installers like don't like publishing our prices online not because we have anything to hide. (2017)£120 per sq mtr for a typical project

You can add your own prices by filling out this form (no email required).

Any Extra Costs to Consider?

Gravel mat for drivewayYes, the prices above assume that the driveway doesn’t need any new edgings or entrance humps, these are used to prevent the gravel from migrating out of the driveway area, they will cost more and add extra time to the project.

Gravel mats can also be used to keep the material in place, they are best used on driveways with a slight slope but do work well in all situations.

Also, there is no provision for additional drainage in our prices. To meet current Building Regulations you may need to install water channels to prevent rainwater from spilling onto the public highway. These channels usually divert rainwater into a soakaway, which would cost extra too.

What is a Rough Price to Lay Onto an Existing Base?

If you already have a sound base under your driveway then the top layer could be replaced with gravel, you just need to calculate the square metres and the required depth. Don’t forget to add in the cost of removing and disposing of the existing material (most likely one large skip if you’re not digging out a base).

Many aggregate suppliers offer calculators on their websites, similar to this one here.

Can I Lay Gravel Without a Base?

No, without a suitable base, the weight of the vehicles using the driveway will cause the ground to sink into the soil, large grooves will appear and hold water making the area boggy and susceptible to even more sinking.

Also, laying gravel to a deeper level won’t compensate for not having a base as the gravel will be difficult to walk on.

Gravel should only be laid without a base if it accepts foot traffic only, no vehicles, even then a base is preferable.

Are You in Need of Inspiration?

We love Pinterest as it’s such a great place to find ideas and suggestions.

Below is a selection of images we sourced from Pinterest (see more here).

This product prevents gravel shift. Sourced from Core Landscape Products

A driveway apron helps to prevent gravel migration and also provides grip when pulling off the driveway

Edge lighting as featured in Architecture and Design

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We hope you found our research into gravel driveway prices helpful.

How many edgings, thresholds, gravel mats and how much waste disposal is needed etc will ultimately determine how much your gravel driveway costs.

Tap the button below to get a custom price that’s based on the specifics of your project:

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It's reasonably cheap, especially if you can lay it over an existing base. There is a wide variety of choice and you can also mix-and-match different colours to form your own patterns. Because the gravel isn't binded to the base material, you can easily change the gravel and replace it with a different type or even an entirely new material such as tarmac or blocks. Oil and solvent spills can be easily cleared up, unlike on tarmac.
The gravel does tend to shift and often moves off the driveway, onto the road or pathway. Even with edgings and road humps, the material still relocates and needs to be swept back into the drive frequently. It's also noisy underfoot.
For most cases in the UK, no. The primary consideration is drainage, you must ensure rainwater is diverted either into a lawn, flower bed or soakaway via a drainage solution. If this isn't possible and rainwater will flow onto the public highway or path, then planning permission will be required.
Gravel driveways are very quick to install. The removal of the existing driveway material, excavation to 180mm and installation of the sub base takes the most time. The actual spreading of the gravel doesn't take long at all. For a 40 square metre driveway, we allowed a time of 2 days maximum.

Below you can find a link to our recently updated trade day rates page:

Day Rates For Tradespeople

This guide was written by and was last updated in April 2021.

Don’t forget; we have price guides for hundreds of home improvement projects.

Explore our full list of detailed price guides here.

Danny Woodley
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