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Price Your Asphalt Driveway in 2024

Snapshot of costs: fast and straightforward.

Breakdown of every cost to expect.

Pinpoint nearby experts for your project.

How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost Per Square Metre?

We’re old hands when installing asphalt driveways, so this article will reveal potential project asphalt driveway cost factors, the pros and cons and how this material compares to other surfaces commonly used for driveways in the UK.

How Much Does An Asphalt Driveway Cost Per M2?

For a standard asphalt driveway, you can expect to pay an average of £50-£80 per square metre.

Still, your outlay depends on several factors, such as the thickness of the Asphalt, who installs the driveway, if an existing driveway needs excavating and extras such as edging or a dropped kerb (which costs around £600).

Most homeowners invest in new windows and doors and garden landscaping to make the exterior of their homes look good, but the driveway is often ignored.

However, a well-finished driveway can transform your property’s kerb appeal and enhance visitors’ first impressions of your home.

What Is Asphalt Paving?

Asphalt paving is a semi-solid form of petroleum. This sticky black substance is a common choice for residential driveways in this country, along with roads, pavement, play areas and car parks.

Many people confuse tarmac with Asphalt.

However, although a tarmac driveway looks similar and is around the same price, tarmac is made from natural tar.

Asphalt uses an aggregate like crushed gravel and bitumen to bind it together. People often ask us what are the 3 types of asphalt, so we created this handy guide to explain. 

Is Asphalt Good for a Driveway?

Asphalt is an excellent surface for driveways as the crushed stone and bitumen are compacted to a smooth, durable surface that gives instant kerb appeal.

In most cases, you won’t require planning permission as long as you have appropriate drainage and the average asphalt driveway cost is less per square foot than most other driveway materials.

An asphalt driveway’s lifespan depends on its location and maintenance, but you can expect it to last between 10 – 20 years if properly cared for.

Why Asphalt Driveway Prices Can Vary

There are a few reasons why asphalt driveway prices vary, not least the quality of the mixture, the price of oil as this is a vital component of the binder and where you live in the country, unsurprisingly asphalt driveways cost more if you live in the South East of England. Below are some other cost considerations.

Porous Asphalt

Using a permeable surface such as porous Asphalt will eliminate the need to install drainage channels or apply for planning permission. Both can see costs creep up, so although porous Asphalt may cost a little more initially, it is the preferred option for most.

Stamped Asphalt Driveways?

Stamped Asphalt is a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to a traditional asphalt driveway. The process involves a plate compactor and grid to stamp a pattern into the Asphalt’s soft surface, creating various designs and mimicking different block paving styles.

Who's Installing the Driveway?

Installing asphalt driveways is not a job for the average DIYer or odd job man. It requires heavy equipment, which most homeowners or smaller landscaping contractors don’t have, and it can be dangerous work as the Asphalt is poured at 150 degrees.

Supply: The Cost Of Asphalt Per Tonne

Asphalt is typically priced per square foot or m2; however, it can be ordered directly from the supplier. The price of Asphalt per tonne can fluctuate massively as it depends on the oil price (the binder is oil or petroleum-based).

Labour Cost - How Much To Install An Asphalt Driveway?

A specialist driveway contractor will charge a daily rate of at least £800. This is down to the specific skills needed to install an asphalt driveway correctly.

Typically, asphalt driveway costs will be quoted per square metre or footage.

Additional Cost Factors

Driveway drainage

Not having appropriate drainage around your Asphalt could result in excess moisture building up underneath the surface, which will cause severe damage to your Asphalt. This can be avoided by using porous Asphalt or installing drains which will add to your overall costs.

Manhole covers

Replacing utility covers is another outlay you may not have considered. Of course, you can leave the original one. However, a recessed option will blend in much better with the driveway, and these can cost anywhere from £100-£250 installed.

Edging

Like gravel driveways, Asphalt is a material where edging is essential and this should be factored into the overall asphalt driveway cost. Edging supports an asphalt driveway and without it, the perimeter will crack. It also neatens the finished asphalt driveway making it more aesthetically pleasing.

Edging food asphalt driveways needs to be at a 45-degree angle and what you use, be it tumbled setts or concrete blocks, will add a substantial amount to the installation cost.

Waste removal & skips

If you are widening a single driveway or excavating a previous one, you will also need to factor in the price for removing any waste and rubble.

Waste removal and hiring a skip are not cheap, and your location may increase the price even further.

Cost of excavating old surfaces.

While Asphalt can be laid atop various surfaces, the condition of said surface will have a massive impact on just how long your driveway will last. Suppose you need to remove an existing driveway or change the area’s shape, perhaps to make room for another car. The increased labour will increase your tarmac driveway cost significantly.

Asphalt Driveway Cost Calculator

Below is a quick breakdown of how much you can expect to fork out for a newly laid asphalt driveway with the recommended thickness of at least 3 inches. One tonne of Asphalt will cover an area between 14 – 18 metres at a thickness of an inch:

Size of Driveway
How Many Tonnes of Asphalt
Approximate cost with installation
20 m2
3 – 4 tonnes
£1000 – £1500
40 m2
6 – 8 tonnes
£2000 – £2500
50m2
8 – 10 tonnes
£3000
100m2
20 – 25 tonnes
£5000 – £8000

Are There Different Colours Of Asphalt?

Whilst most of us associate Asphalt with the colour black, you may be surprised to learn that contemporary Asphalt comes in a whole array of colours, including  

  • Terracotta 
  • Green
  • Cream 
  • Grey 
  • Blue 
  • White 

This will increase the cost of a typical driveway. Alternatively, you can stick with standard black and apply a colour-tinted sealing coat as part of your proper maintenance routine six months later. 

Comparison - How Much Does The Average Driveway Cost?

As we’ve seen, the price per square foot can vary significantly depending on the material you choose for your driveway surface layer. Porous Asphalt and coloured varieties will cost more. Then on top of labour costs, there are things like installed drainage, planning permission if required, waste removal etc. Below we’ll look at how prices compare:

Driveway Material
Install Price Per M2
Tarmac
£70 – £80 per square metre
Cobblestone
£90 – £100 per square metre
Resin Bound
£90 – £100 per square metre
Block paving
£70 – £75 per square metre
Gravel
£40 – £60 per square metre

How To Hire The Best Asphalt Installer

Laying a new tarmac driveway is not a job for amateurs or local cowboy builders, as the installation will determine how long a new driveway lasts.

However, you can save money on your asphalt driveway cost by choosing a local specialist company rather than a big national as they will have higher overheads. It is essential to see a portfolio of their previous work and read reviews.

We always recommend Bark.com as the place to source reliable, trusted professionals, although we still advise you to get a few quotes so you can compare labour costs.

How Does The Asphalt Surfacing Price Compare?

Vs Tarmac

Tarmac and Asphalt are both used for driveways, pavements, and roads in the UK, and whilst they have some similarities, they are not the same. Asphalt is a mixture of aggregate and a bitumen binder, whilst tarmac is a combination of full and tar.

Neither requires much maintenance, although Asphalt is the more environmentally friendly option as it is recyclable and is slightly most cost-effective for a large driveway.

Get an average tarmac price for your driveway here.

Vs Concrete

Asphalt cost per square metre or square foot is much less than concrete for a driveway project. However, a standard asphalt driveway has about half the life expectancy at around 20 years compared to the 40 years+ you can expect from a concrete driveway. Both are relatively low maintenance, although they both benefit from sealing.

Vs Blocks

Block pavers are one of the most popular driveway surfaces. They are not cheap at between £70 – £75 per square metre, although you can save money by opting for concrete blocks instead of natural stone.

The fact is that alongside material costs, block pavers are much more labour intensive than other driveway materials and there may be additional costs like driveway drains if the pavers don’t have a porous surface and the water isn’t able to drain into a lawn or flower border.

Get an average block paving price for your driveway here.

Vs Resin

Resin driveway paving costs are significantly more expensive than either an asphalt surface or concrete driveway, and driveway costs vary hugely depending on the size, with around £4000 for a new driveway of 40m2 being the average. Whilst the price per square foot is a significant outlay, resin drives will outlast most asphalt driveways and are low maintenance.

Get an average resin price for your driveway here.

FAQs

Is Asphalt the same as blacktop?

Asphalt and blacktop are almost the same things as in they have the same composition; however, the ratios are slightly different. Blacktop has more aggregate than Asphalt and is heated to higher temperatures during mixing.

How thick should asphalt driveway be?

The average thickness of an asphalt driveway is 4-inches, but 6 inches will provide a more stable surface able to cope with heavier loads and the full force of a UK winter.
Some driveway installers will construct even thicker driveways but use a gravel base under the tarmac to save money.

How many years does an asphalt driveway last?

An asphalt driveway which is well looked after should last between 10 – 20 years. Although it’s not as long a lifespan as you would expect from concrete driveways or block paving, the initial driveway cost will be much less.

Last Word

Asphalt and tarmac driveways are a cost-effective option for those on a budget Asphalt is cheaper than block paving and concrete driveways;

The durability and glossy finish of a new asphalt driveway make it a desirable choice for a new driveway.

You should expect to pay between £50-£80 per square metre for a new asphalt driveway, with porous and stamped Asphalt being the more expensive options.

Whether resurfacing an existing asphalt driveway or installing a new one, getting in touch with trusted local tradespeople for a few estimates should be your first job.

Most tarmac contractors will quote an overall price; however, you may see this increase should you need to apply for planning permission or excavate the existing surface.

About The Author

John, owner of Easigrass North East for seven years, has lived and breathed landscaping. He evolved from running a leading paving and landscaping business to influencing the industry through online publishing. His real-world experience and hands-on background inform his genuine, insightful guidance for others navigating this space.

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Meet The Author - John

The former owner of Easigrass North East, a significant landscaping player known for leading successful paving and garden companies, is now sharing his expert insights.

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