Driveway Prices

Types and typical costs to have a new driveway built

Building a new driveway can be a very expensive experience and more worryingly it is a job that seems to attract more than its fair share of cowboy traders who charge over the odds for poor quality drives that will not last. So, lets have a look at the types of driveway, what should be involved in making one and have a look at some average costs.

Before anything is started where is the drive going and is it likely to go over any existing drainage channels? If so care has to be taken to protect them. 

You should always get a professional to lay your driveway, and Whatprice can help you with this, take a look at our easy to fill in form which provides you with drive laying quotes from up to 5 trademen. 


This is a surface that will probably have your car standing on it or driving over it every day for years and as such needs a good foundation so that it lasts. One of the most common things you see wrong with driveways built by 'cowboys' is the foundation is inadequate. For a drive its a case of beauty never being skin deep. If the drive is going to be at the same level as the existing ground then at least 6-12 inches or 150-300mm of earth must be removed prior to anything being added. A mini digger can be hired for about £130 per day or £160 for a weekend. If its going to end up higher than the existing ground then think about how the edges are going to be contained? The weakest area will be at the edge of the driveway so you would want to make the foundation wider than the actual drive surface so that it is well supported at the edges.

The removed soil will have to go somewhere so you may have to hire a skip. A drive of say 15m2 will require 3m3 of soil to be removed. A skip of sufficient size will cost about £80 plus you may need a permit depending on where the skip is located - this may be handled and purchased by your skip company, but check locally. Permits can cost £20-30.

On to the ground surface a weed mat or geotextile can be laid which will reduce future problems. These cost about 40p per m2 but are bought in big rolls.

A broken brick 'hardcore' or coarse broken stone/gravel and powder mixture is then laid in the excavated area. For a really solid base it is suggested that up to 200mm (8 inches) of hardcore is laid though 150mm or 6 inches is more common. Talk to your aggregate supplier for suggested coverage rates but as an idea 200mm thick and 1m2 in area will require about 0.47 tonnes of gravel or 0.4 tonnes for scalpings. Puchased in small amounts this aggregate can cost about £65 per tonne but in bulk this cost is reduced to about £35 per tonne. Of course you may be able to get it cheaper. This needs to be compacted down using a compaction plate which can be hired for £23 a day or £30 for the weekend. This will compact the hardcore down by 10-20% depending on surface ground level hardness and material density.

Assuming we hired a digger for a weekend, laid the textile protective matting and used scalpings then the foundations have so far cost £14.40 per m2 and fixed costs of £300 for equipment hire plus up to two days labour (your own). Hiring the equipment for one day could reduce this cost to £260 and using a 150mm thick foundation would reduce the materials cost to £10.50  per m2. If you can move the removed soil elsewhere (back garden maybe?) then you will save up to £110. If you charge your own labour at say £15 per hour then you can start to see why driveways can be expensive to build (though for a professional company the fixed costs and material costs would likely be reduced slightly)!


Types of Driveway 



Common Issues


Cost and Time 


"travis perkins .roll of goetextile membrane 450 square metres per roll 33p square metre."

creative landscapes

"People were sceptic why a i was putting a stone hard core for paveblock driveway,now visited your site am soo glad am doing the right thing. thanks a million...Best Regerds to your team."


"very plain and simple guidline. good sound advice thank you"

j brough

"thanks you... very handy tips, i'll be starting my new drive way later this year."


"thanks a cowboy is trying to do ours at £500 he wants the delivery man to put the hard core straight on to the grass with out digging out he said i know nothing im not a ground worker. whos the blond now i think i will let him pay for the delivery and then tell him he will not get paid if he not digging out"


"Well I really should finish this article! I started it 6months ago... Just looked and first driveway materials company I went to supplied "driveway weed matting" for 45p per metre squared - in big rolls. For a 100m2 driveway that would add 5 to price."


"Prices are well out of date here! 40p per meter for geo membrane?! Where dat?? ANy chance of an update here? Now wonder everyone's hiring the chancers with no overheads!"

NP Glasgow