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How Wide Should a Driveway Be? – Standard and Double Widths

In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about how wide should a driveway be and what’s likely to work best for you.

How many cars does your household own? If it’s more than one, you might benefit from at least a double driveway – but what is the standard driveway width for UK homes? As it turns out, there are some regulations to driveway paving you’ll need to keep aware of. As driveway contractors, we’re always keeping up to speed with the laws.

Keep reading, and we’ll help you work out what’s likely to give you enough space – and what’s within legal parameters.

What is the Average Driveway Width?

When it comes to the average dimensions of a private parking space in the UK, you are looking at a minimum width of 3m. That’s for a single car – for a two-car driveway, it’s naturally even wider at around 4.8m. This is also the average recommended length, minimum, for residential driveways in the UK.

However, when you search for information on driveway width applying to UK homes, you’ll likely find there’s a lot of American figures out there and not much in the way of British statistics.

The regulations for a single-car driveway or a space for two cars may vary depending on your local council, as well as on any potential abutting features. For example, if your parking spot abuts a fence or any walls, the figures are likely to change. It’s important you know the figures so you can calculate the overall outlay.

A good rule of thumb is to get in touch with your local council or authority for the details that apply to your area. On the whole, 3m or 9.8 feet wide seems to be the average – providing you have enough room to park up, open your car doors and get in and out, you’re golden. That’s not so easy to calculate on sight alone, so make sure you ask a local representative or planning expert.

Minimum Width of Driveway

Driveway TypeSize in Meters
1 Car Driveway Width 3.1m x 3.6m
2 Car Driveway Width6.2m x 7.2m
3 Car Driveway Width9.3m x 10.8m

Driveway Width Standards – Single Vs Double Car Drive Vs 3 Car Parking Pad

Obviously, a 2 car drive is going to be much larger than a single-car driveway width. However, as explained above, a double space doesn’t necessarily have to be double the width. Providing there is enough safe room for you to allow for car door swing on both vehicles, any extra space is yours to decide upon.

A more extensive driveway is, naturally, going to be a better option if you’re going to expect more than just the average family car driving up every now and again. In the US, for example, there’s often a need to make room for a pickup truck or an RV – in the UK, you may need to account for vans or 4x4s – if not larger.

A bigger driveway, or even a circular driveway, will be beneficial if you want a larger turnaround area or if you want to increase your property value.

Beyond the minimum driveway width, family home buyers will look for big spaces to comfortably park two vehicles.

That said, a smaller driveway can still enhance your home’s kerb appeal. A small, private asphalt driveway could entice buyers who don’t want to risk other drivers using their space as a turnaround point.

On top of that, many people choose basic concrete driveways at the average width to avoid unnecessary attention. You can always consider adding decorative bands to increase kerb appeal.

The choice is yours – providing there’s enough space for your to open car doors easily, and your parking area gives you enough room to manoeuvre.

4 Factors to Consider for Parking Space

Number of Cars

The number of cars likely to visit your home, or park up permanently, will probably be your first consideration. No one likes having to park a vehicle in single file, especially if both drivers have different lifestyles and routines.

If the only cars likely to park up at your property are those that belong to you, it’s worth planning for just enough space. Unless you lock your gates regularly, you’re going to want to avoid creating too much space and causing your private drive to turn into a parking lot.

Size of vehicles – A Standard Size Won’t Fit a 4X4

Driveway width standards discussed above only really account for the average family car – your driveway may need much more space if your vehicle is extra wide or if you’re likely to welcome vans and heavier vehicles regularly.

Larger vehicles such as 4x4s, for example, will probably be safer with the standard width recommended to double car driveways.

It pays to be safe rather than sorry here. A double driveway might seem like a lot of you only have one vehicle, but if it’s bigger than the average, play it safe. Go for an extra-wide driveway, so you have ample room to drive forward and open your doors. Again, turning circles are important, too.

The Land Surrounding the Driveway – You Can’t Use Greenbelt for Turning

Any green space adjacent to your driveway will suffer if your parking space isn’t big enough. Even if you have a garage installed at the end of your new driveway, you could run the risk of damaging your lawn if you don’t have enough room to turn around. See our guide on can I turn my front lawn into a driveway for all the laws and the best process on how to convert your garden to a parking space.

What’s more, it is always a good idea to consider boundaries. If installing a more extensive width driveway is on the cards and it potentially affects a neighbour’s right of way, you’ll need to negotiate. If all the land surrounding your driveway is yours, then it’s yours to build on as you see fit.

Google has a great app that can help you measure your driveway

Type of Surafce

It’s vital that you know what type of surface you want in terms of longevity and cost. You have the standard tarmac, concrete, gravel choices but you may also wonder what is the most environmentally friendly driveway option if your thinking about helping the planet. It all depends on how much you want to spend upfront and how much use your drive is going to get, is it going to have one car, maybe two, how regularly are cars driving on and off it, these are questions to consider.

Last Word

Before you install any kind of driveway in the UK, consider its width as a priority. Think about the number of cars parking on it and any potential ‘traffic patterns’ your new driveway will see from day to day. Is it worth making it a few more feet wide to allow for ease of movement and opening car doors? What about the long term benefits of having somewhere extra wide to turn around in?

A private driveway is private to your house and family; however – do you want to avoid creating too much attention? Do you need a drive wide enough for two cars – would a long drive with a garage suffice instead?

There are lots of things to consider. However, a good job to take on right away is to contact reliable driveway builders who can carefully plan your perfect space with you. Avoid driving over your lawn – consider driveways wide enough purely for your needs.