How Much Does a Tarmac Driveway Cost in 2021?

Tarmac is one of the most affordable materials you can use as a driveway surface, it lasts for decades, looks traditional and is a very popular choice with UK homeowners.

But how much does a tarmac driveway cost in the UK in 2021?

We are tradespeople ourselves and have many years of experience in the home improvement and construction industries.

We know exactly how much driveway installers are charging customers for a new tarmac driveway, so explore our recently updated price guide.

But First:

Our Tarmac Pricing Poll (Optional)

Our site’s visitors often tell us they really like our polls as they’re insightful and often yield surprising results.

This poll has received tens of thousands of responses.

Answer the question and see how others voted:

Tarmac is one of four options you can choose from when considering a new driveway.

Here are the other three:

(check these pages out to see how much each one costs)

  1. Block Paving – this is a popular option and there are many reasons why people often prefer this material to any other. Check out our knowledge base and block paving price guide here.
  2. Pattern Concrete – not to everyone’s tastes and we don’t like it 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.
  3. Stones or Gravel – Visually appealing and traditional but leaves, twigs and dirt can reduce the long-term aesthetic appeal. Also, can stones be used on steep driveways without the stones washing into the road? Explore our gravel price guide here.

How Much Are Other People Paying For a New Driveway?

In addition to our poll, we also allow our site’s visitors to let us know about any prices they’ve received for a new driveway.

These prices are shown in the table below.

Beneath the table, you’ll find a link to a form where you can add your own prices.

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

We invite and encourage you to add your own prices by filling out this form (no email required).

Our Tarmac Driveway Price Guide

In addition to the poll and feedback table, we have also conducted our own research into tarmac driveway prices.

Below you’ll find two price examples.

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 a new soakaway (more about drainage legal requirements here)
  • Compact the ground and lay weed prevention felt
  • Lay a type 1 base material 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 a top finishing layer of fine tarmac

Cost Guide For a Tarmac Driveway:

A typical 40 square metre driveway can hold two cars with plenty of space on either side to open doors and some extra space for perhaps a path to the front door.

A 100 square metre driveway is much larger and can hold up to 4 cars with plenty of space left.

This is how much it costs to tarmac a driveway to the specifications stated above.

Tarmac 40 sq mtr£3700
Tarmac 100 sq mtr£8300
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Representative Example – 40 Sq Mtr Tarmac Driveway (inc base)

Waste disposal – £400

Weed membrane/felt – £40

12 tonnes of type 1 MOT for sub-base – £300

Tarmac both binder and top layer – £700

Drainage channels, pipe and soakaway – £300

Drain covers and edgings – none required

Equipment hire  – none, assume contractors have their own diggers and rollers

Labour, includes employer N.I. contributions – £600

Net profit £500

VAT £568

Total Cost £3400
Quote for driveweay

What About an Overlay?

An overlay is a great option for those of you with driveways that are structurally sound but still want to improve the appearance.

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 or dipped too much.
  • The existing driveway doesn’t have any deep cracks as these will continue to grow and will transfer through to the new tarmac surface.
  • Any isolated potholes are first repaired to a depth of at least 300mm.

Tarmac 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 sprayed onto the surface before a 30-40mm layer of fine tarmac is laid and rolled.

Not every driveway is suitable for an overlay, hence why it’s so important you get a professional to inspect it first.

Overlay Tarmac Driveway Price:

The table below is for both 40 and 100 square metre driveways that will be overlaid with tarmac:

Overlay 40 sq mtr£1500
Overlay 100 sq mtr£2400
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The overlay price doesn’t include any cost for drainage or additional work, just to prime the existing driveway and lay down 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.

Do bear this in mind as you can make a substantial saving by choosing a small business that doesn’t need to register for VAT

Check out our VAT page for more guidance.

Are There Any Other Ways to Save Money?

Overlaying an existing driveway is a great way to save money but only if the existing driveway is sound enough and won’t sag or transfer cracks into the new tarmac.

The thickness of the base and the tarmac layers also affects the price but there’s little point in trying to save money by laying a thinner driveway.

Be wary of tarmac layers that offer below-average prices, there’s almost always a catch.

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 that 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 on a new housing development, but for a small domestic driveway, expect it to cost a small fortune.

Cost Breakdown

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, which cover drainage – 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:

25+ driveway ideas on Pinterest

Driveway lighting ideas

Below are some images we sourced from Pinterest:

Cobblestone kerb and edging. Image sourced from Brackley Landscapes

Sourced from Pinterest

Porous tarmac and concrete. Image from Pervious Pavement

For those of you that are considering block paving:

Block paving ideas on Pinterest

Get a Quotation Online

We hope you liked our research into how much a tarmac driveway costs.

To get a customised quote for your driveway, tap the button below and fill in the online form – it only takes a few minutes:

Get a Quote Online


When replacing driveways in excess of 100 square metres, the price per metre will reduce. We suggest sourcing customised quotes for driveways larger than 100 sqm.
Yes, the prices you see on this page are inclusive of VAT.

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.

In most cases in the UK; no. However, if you want to drop the kerb to allow access to a new driveway or you need to discharge water onto the highway then yes planning permission would be required.

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.

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

Day Rates For Tradespeople

This guide to tarmac driveway prices was written by and was last updated in April 2021.

Don’t forget; we have price guides for hundreds of home improvement projects and we update them every 2-3 years.

Explore our full list of detailed price guides here.

Danny Woodley
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