Last Updated on January 15, 2022

Asphalt Driveway Cost – UK Prices for 2022

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton

Construction expert and founder of Loftera.

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Did you know that asphalt is 100% recyclable?

Not only does this make an asphalt driveway a sustainable option for the eco-conscious, but asphalt is also relatively cheap to lay, leaving you with more cash left in your pocket than other options, such as a concrete driveway.

While many of us invest in beautiful gardens, new windows and doors, it’s easy to ignore the driveway, despite it being a key part of our home. Having a well-finished driveway installed can transform visitors’ first impression of your property. 

For the average standard asphalt driveway, you can expect to pay an average of £50-£80 per square metre, but the exact cost depends on several factors.

This article will explore these project cost factors and the benefits associated with asphalt driveways, and how this driveway material compares to others commonly used in the UK.

asphalt driveway cost

Table of Contents

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What Is Asphalt?

Asphalt is a sticky, black substance, and is a semi-solid form of petroleum. This material is a popular choice for residential driveways, and use of asphalt is also commonly deployed in the construction of roads, car parks and play areas.

Asphalt is often confused with tarmac. While the two are similar, and the cost of tarmac driveways is almost the same, tarmac and asphalt have some notable differences. Where tarmac driveways use natural tar, asphalt driveways use crushed gravel and bitumen as their key components.

Benefits Of Asphalt Driveways

Low Cost

Asphalt is a cost-effective choice, proving cheaper than other driveway options. The only consideration to take into account when opting for asphalt is the fluctuating price of oil, which could have an impact on driveway paving costs.

Appearance

Asphalt gives driveways a smooth and uniform appearance, adding a clean aesthetic to the front of your property.

Low-Maintenance

If properly installed, and if proper maintenance is regularly undertaken, a new asphalt driveway is a low-maintenance option.

Durability

Asphalt is an incredibly durable material, and is capable of withstanding varying temperatures and weather conditions. The flexibility of an asphalt driveway ensures that it will last through all four seasons for many years before you have to consider a replacement. Most asphalt driveways boast a lifespan of at least 20 years.

Sustainability

Asphalt’s environmental credentials are something to note. Because asphalt is a 100% recyclable material, you can opt for a recycled asphalt driveway of your own if you’re shopping around with sustainability in mind.

asphalt driveway prices

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Asphalt Driveway Costs

The average asphalt driveway paving cost is based on several factors, including labour costs and surface material costs. If you’re installing a brand new driveway, you’ll need to consider the added average cost of excavation and laying the foundations.

You can expect to pay more for your asphalt if you’re covering an area much larger than the average driveway, or an area that is irregularly shaped.

However, if you’re simply hiring a contractor for driveway resurfacing or asphalt overlay on an existing driveway, this will reduce the typical cost significantly. Resurfacing simply involves installing a new layer of asphalt over the top of your driveway, so fewer materials and less time are required.

How Are Asphalt Driveway Costs Calculated?

Many driveway contractors charge a day rate of at least £800, due to the specific set of skills required for properly installing an asphalt driveway.

Typically, driveway installation costs are charged either per square foot or per square metre.

What Is A Stamped Asphalt Driveway?

Stamped asphalt offers the same durability and other benefits of a traditional asphalt drive, but with a more decorative appearance. The stamped asphalt effect can mimic the look of other driveways with features like block paving. The stamping process involves stamping a pattern onto the asphalt surface using a grid and a plate compactor.

How Much Does An Asphalt Driveway Cost?

The table below outlines the average cost of various paving options.

Standard asphalt driveway cost per square metre 

£50-£80

Resurfacing asphalt driveway cost per square metre

£15-£30

Porous asphalt driveway cost per square metre

£60-£90

Stamped asphalt driveway cost per square metre

£70-£100

If you’d prefer to know the average asphalt driveway cost per square foot, for a standard driveway, you’d expect to pay between £4 to £7 per square foot.

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Additional Costs

For the best appearance, consider replacing driveway drains, gullies and manhole covers as part of your driveway project. Additionally, using new kerbs and edgings as well as a linear drain will remove excess water from the driveway in the long term. These additions can incur a cost of around £100 per linear metre.

Another option for better drainage is to have porous asphalt installed. This type of asphalt allows water to drain through the surface to the stone and soil below, providing drainage and avoiding the need for planning permission. This typically comes in at a higher cost than a standard asphalt driveway.

Make sure that your contractor allows for the disposal of any spoil. You can expect to pay between £200-£250 for a grab truck to remove one load of spoil, with the average driveway creating one-two loads.

If you’re wanting to reduce the cost of your driveway installation, enquire with your contractor about recycled asphalt driveway cost. Recycled asphalt cost is moderately less per square foot.

Planning Permission

Whether or not you will require planning permission to build a new driveway depends on your particular draining situation, as well as the expected size of your driveway.

If the driveway is smaller than five metres squared, you won’t need to apply for any planning permission.

However, in any scenario where excess water will be draining into public space, planning permission will be necessary. This is likely in situations where you haven’t installed drainage or don’t use porous materials, or where the excess water can’t be directed to a lawn where it can naturally drain.

To avoid this issue, opt for porous asphalt, which requires an additional layer of crushed stone that improves the drainage potential. Porous asphalt incurs greater costs, but can save you time and money by removing the need to apply for planning permissions.

If in doubt about the need for planning permission for your project, it’s advisable to speak to your local authority for confirmation.

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FAQs

Will my asphalt driveway be affected by weather conditions?

Asphalt is naturally durable, meaning it should easily be able to withstand winter freezing and thawing cycles. However, if your asphalt has any cracks or holes, these should be repaired before winter sets in to avoid water getting into the asphalt and turning to ice.

De-icing salt can be used on asphalt without adverse effects, as long as it’s used in moderation.

Is it normal to leave tire tracks on asphalt?

It’s common to find tire marks on your asphalt driveway during the first year while the asphalt is still properly curing. This isn’t a cause for concern and these marks will typically fade over time.

How long does the average asphalt driveway take to install?

Asphalt driveway installation takes one to two days for a single driveway, but this can extend up to five days if the area is particularly large.

How does asphalt differ from other driveway materials?

Asphalt drives differ from other driveway options aesthetically and in terms of cost and durability. Cobblestone driveways, for example, give a more authentic, traditional driveway surface finish than asphalt. However, the cost of cobblestone driveways is significantly more than asphalt driveways.

The price of heated driveways is also high, but these drives give the added benefit of melting snow and ice in the winter, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

Concrete driveways boast better durability than their asphalt counterparts and can be printed and coloured to give the effect of different block paving styles; a popular aesthetic for many homeowners. However, the increased durability comes at an extra cost, and concrete is more prone to cracking, which can lead to repair costs down the line.

Can I change my existing driveway to asphalt?

If you have a concrete driveway but would like to change materials to asphalt, you can resurface asphalt over your existing concrete driveway with safe and attractive results.

How can I properly maintain my asphalt driveway?

Asphalt drives require regular maintenance to keep them in top condition. Luckily, the cost of cleaning your driveway is relatively low, meaning you can keep your driveway looking as good as new without your wallet taking a hit.

It’s recommended that you seal coat your asphalt every few years. Seal coating is a treatment that is applied to the top of driveways, and helps to avoid asphalt cracks or holes. Cleaning and seal coating your driveway will cost between £200 and £400 depending on its size. If you own a power washer and want to attempt the cleaning yourself, it will reduce costs further.

How soon after installation can I drive on a new asphalt driveway?

To be on the safe side, it’s smart to leave your new driveway empty for around five days before parking your car on it. Some asphalt drives can take seven days to cure, so check with your contractor for how long they would recommend.

Does my existing asphalt driveway need replacing or resurfacing?

It can be tricky to know if your existing asphalt driveway simply needs resurfacing or if you need an entirely new driveway installed.

The first factor to consider is the age of your driveway. If it’s an old asphalt driveway, approaching the end of the typical lifespan, then a replacement is likely the smarter option. Additionally, if the driveway requires major repairs, it may prove cheaper to replace the driveway completely than attempt to repair it.

For newer asphalt driveways that remain in great condition, a seal coat application and deep clean of the existing surface are sufficient.

The Bottom Line

An asphalt driveway is an extremely economical option for people wanting to save money. The durability and clean finish of asphalt drives make them a desirable choice for a new driveway. The added option of stamped asphalt allows people to have the decorative effects that come with other pavings while retaining the benefits associated with asphalt driveways.

Whether you’re replacing an old driveway or simply resurfacing it, getting in touch with local tradespeople for a quote should be your first port of call.



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