How Much Does a Tarmac Driveway Cost in 2020?

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 2020?

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.

Tarmac is one of 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)

  1. 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.
  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 Does This Site Work?

If you are a first time visitor to our site then we hope you find our tarmac driveway cost guide helpful.

We also ask our visitors how much they think a new driveway will cost, we ask for details about prices supplied by driveway installers to consumers, we publish our own prices and we can point you in the right direction should you want a fully customised quote from a local driveway installer.

In a hurry? Get a custom quote here, otherwise continue reading to see how much a tarmac driveway costs.

Our Tarmac Pricing Poll (Optional)

Our site’s visitors tell us they really like our polls and feedback sections and find them insightful.

This poll has received over 27,000 responses.

Answer the question or jump straight to the results.

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 a Tarmac Driveway:

The table below 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
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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 – £650.00

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

VAT £524.00

Total Cost -£3140.00
Quote for driveweay

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 or dipped too much.
  • The base doesn’t have any deep cracks – 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 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.

Overlay Price:

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
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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 if the existing driveway is sound enough and won’t sag or transfer cracks into the new tarmac.

The thickness of the layers, both the base and the tarmac 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 – explore our two-minute driveway guide here.

What Prices Have You Been Given For a New Driveway?

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

You can also see what others are being charged.

Our site’s visitors have told us they really like this section as it provides an insight into what others are being charged for a new tarmac driveway in various places around the UK.

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).

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 May 2020.

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

Explore our full list of detailed price guides here.

Danny Woodley