The Cost to Drop a Kerb

All you need to know about the cost of dropping a kerb including materials, labour and time frames.

Drop Kerb

What the job entails

The main reasons many want to drop a kerb are for domestic vehicle access and wheelchair access. It is important to note that in the UK if you intend to drive a vehicle over a path into your driveway off a highway, then you will need a dropped kerb. If you do not have dropped kerb and drive over the footway you are technically breaking the law and would likely be liable from any collision with a pedestrian or any damage to the path or utility apparatus under the path.

The cost to drop a kerb can vary greatly, but first you need permission from your local council and there will likely be a non-refundable application fee. In addition if the work is approved, you may have to pay the Local Authority a fixed fee and they will use their own approved contractors to do the work. Some councils will allow you to choose your own contractor to do the work once they have granted permission but you will probably still be given a list of approved contractors to choose from. The price will depend on the location, number of kerbs to be dropped, and the width of the pavement.

You may not be allowed to drop the kerb if the utility companies have cables or pipes underneath the pavement. In any case an on-site inspection will be carried out to check for any health and safety issues and the location of any drains, cables or pipes which may be affected. Any utility pipes and cables will need to be reinforced so they can cope with the weight of vehicles driving over them. Once the kerb is dropped the area is then covered in tarmac. If dropping the kerb for wheelchair access, you may be able to get the job done by your Local Authority for free or at a considerable discount - so always get in touch with them first before speaking to contractors.

If you are considering dropping the kerb for vehicle access, then you should also speak to the contractors doing the work to get a quote for building a driveway. If they are already dropping the kerb and laying tarmac, you may get a good price for adding a drive and they can do both jobs at the same time. But as with all such jobs, gather 2-3 quotes from reputable companies and compare before making any decisions.

Where planning permission is required, this is not automatically given so do not assume it is just a formality. Listed buildings will almost certainly be held up by the planning application process and converting a garden to a driveway is classed as “change of use” by many Local Authorities so will require additional planning permission consideration. The type of road adjacent to the kerb is also a major factor in granting planning permission. Assume that planning permission will be required in all cases.

Many assume planning is just a technicality. But doing the job without planning permission will leave you open to a number of problems. Bear in mind that if you employ a contractor who is not unauthorised to work on a public highway, that is effectively criminal damage to Local Authority property. No reputable contractor would consider dropping the kerb without permission from the Council as they know the consequences for all parties. So beware any contractor who tells you they have dropped hundreds of kerbs with no problems from the Local Authority, or those who claim some sort of special dispensation or a special relationship with the Local Authority which allows them to do work without first seeking permission. No matter what contractors tell you, always check first with the Local Authority!

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The Cost to Drop a Kerb

The average cost to drop a kerb is usually around £1000 for the installation. Although, we advise you to contact your local authority to get a quote as many councils may charge differently. Prices will vary depending on your location, width of pavement, number of kerbs to drop and if you want to extend an existing dropped kerb. The job itself could take up to a week as different parts of the job require different tradespeople.

Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for dropping a kerb - Total Cost: £1000

30%

Materials
£300

65%

Tradesmen
£650

5%

Waste Removal
£50

FAQ's

The work will usually be completed over several days and may involve a number of different contractors for different parts of the job depending on the Local Authority. One company may do the excavation/removal of existing kerbs, another may take care of the installation of the dropped kerbs and then filling in with new tarmac.
You really need to contact your local council to get a firm cost, but typically for a new installation with 5 dropped kerbs and a path less than 2 metres wide on a quiet road in a residential area, expect to pay around £1000. But many Local Authorities will have a fixed price if you use their approved contractors.
Yes, for a number of reasons. For example, if your property is on a bend in the road or near a road junction, if a tree/street lamp is in the way of the proposed vehicle crossing, or if there is a steep slope between your property and the road. Getting approval is NOT just a formality, despite what many unscrupulous builders will tell you! But generally speaking if your garden is a decent size and level, is not on a busy street or near a junction or traffic lights, if there is sufficient on street parking, and there are no trees, street lamps or other street furniture in the way – then you are likely to get permission.

There have been cases of people making a drive in their front gardens but not having a dropped kerb nor seeking permission from Local Authority, thinking this is a cheap way around the planning permission problem (though may not be cheap in the long run in terms of car maintenance bumping up kerbs every day). However, this generally results in action being taken against them by the Local Authority, which may include fitting concrete bollards to prevent using an unauthorised drive! Every ruse and trick in the book has already been tried and the Councils are wise to them, so don’t bother trying to get around it on the cheap, get planning permission and get a dropped kerb installed!