Gravel Driveway Installation Cost

Last updated 24th May, 2023

Want to know how much you’d pay to have a gravel driveway added to your home?

In this guide, we’ll discuss the various costs involved, added costs that you may incur, and other relevant topics such as what the work actually entails.

someone installing driveway

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How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost?

To fix a gravel driveway that is 20m², you’d be looking at spending a total of £1400 to £2000, while for a 40m² alternative, you’d be looking at a cost of £2300 to £2800, although your bill would land about £3500 to £4000 for a 60m² driveway.

But that’s not all…

Gravel Driveway Prices

The cost of installing a gravel driveway would depend on a variety of factors such as ease of access, the type and size of the driveway, and the specifics of the material used.

Size of Driveway Labour Supplies Overall Cost
20m² £400 to £700 £1000 to £1300 £1400 to £2000
40m² £500 to £800 £1700 to £2000 £2200 to £2800
60m² £600 to £900 £2800 to £3100 £3400 to £4000

Supply Costs

The material used to construct the septic tank is also a cost factor, as you would expect, the better quality and longer lasting materials are more expensive. But it really is a case of getting what you pay for, so if you can afford the extra initial outlay, it’s worth paying a premium as the tank will last much longer.

Cheaper tanks are made of concrete, whereas the premium models are made of a high-density polyethylene material which will last much longer so is more economical over the long term. Below is an average supply cost of either a single or multi-chamber septic tank when buying from an online retailer.

Type of Septic Tank Avg. Individual Cost
Single chamber £600-£800
Multi-chamber £1,000-£1,600

Additional Costs

As with any work, there are some extra costs that you may incur (or choose to, if you’d like to pay for some extra jobs). Let’s take a look at some popular examples.

Dropping a Kerb

On average, you can expect to pay somewhere between £800 and £1200 to drop a kerb. However, it is best to get in touch with your Local Authority for a specific quote. The price will largely depend on the number of kerbs being dropped, as well as the size of these kerbs.

dropping a kerb

While dropping two kerbs may cost between £330 and £530, dropping five is likely to land around £720 to £1,110, but dropping seven kerbs tends to come with a bill of approximately £1000 to £1500. Dropping a kerb involves inspecting the area, excavating it, and lowering the kerbstone to establish a ramp-style driveway.

External Painting of House

Should you wish to have the outside of your home painted, the cost could vary significantly depending on the type of house you have.

Here are some notable estimates:

  • Terraced House - £500 to £1000
  • Semi-detached House - £700 to £1700
  • Detached House - £800 to £2000

These costs will vary depending on the surface of the exterior, such as whether it is rendered, pebbledashed, or brick-based.

Cost Breakdown Calculator

Individual cost to install a 40m² gravel driveway - Total Cost: £2500






Waste removal

Labour Costs and Time Frames

Looking at the cost of labour in particular, you can expect to pay between £400 and £700 to hire tradespeople to install a 20m² gravel driveway. As for a 40m² gravel driveway, this is likely to cost around £500 to £800 in labour expenses with the installation cost for a 60m² gravel driveway being approximately £600 to £900.

The labour, supply, and any waste disposal expenses make up the overall cost of a gravel driveway installation.

Roughly, the time frame of installing a gravel driveway is as follows:

  • Excavation – Several hours
  • Install weed proof membrane – Several hours
  • Install a sub-layer – Several hours
  • Add the driveway gravel - 4-16 hours

The gravel driveway cost of labour and duration of the work will depend on factors such as ease of access and the size of the work area.

Cost Affecting Factors of Installing a Gravel Driveway

There are many factors that can shape the price of adding a gravel driveway, including the following.

Type/Size of Driveway

There are various forms of gravel driveway and of course a range of different sizes available. The most common types are pea gravel, stone dust, and crushed stone. In terms of sizes, surface areas that land in and around 20m², 40m², and 60m² are common choices for driveway installations.

types of driveway

Installation Area

The state of the work area will also be relevant to the price of adding a new gravel driveway. This is because some areas will be more challenging to work with than others and the longer the work takes, the higher labour costs would be. Other expenses, like that of waste disposal could also be affected by the state of the installation area.


The size and type of foundation added would also play a role in determining the total cost of a gravel driveway. The supply costs would differ based on these factors but the labour price would also vary based on how long it takes to add the foundation.

What Does Installing a Gravel Driveway Entail?

There are various steps involved in establishing a gravel driveway. In this section, we’ll take a look at the broad steps required. It should be noted that the specific nature of the steps will differ depending on factors like the gravel type being added. Don’t forget to consider a range of gravel driveway ideas also, such as a gravel driveway grid.

Finding a Professional

To start with, you’ll need to find the right contractor or company for the job. It is best to obtain around three quotes (if not more) from a range of individuals/companies as well as some references from each. This is a great way to ensure you get good value for money.

While you may know in advance what sort of gravel you want to use, it’s worth consulting with a professional for any advice they may be able to offer.

Excavation of the Work Area

It’s critical to make certain that there are no buried services below the ground before excavating (e.g. water or gas). A suitable professional will be able to locate these services for you. With the beginning of excavation, materials such as the topsoil will be dug up as well as any concrete or slabs present in the work area.

It’s critical that soft areas are removed because these areas would not suffice to bear the weight of parked vehicles. The excavation depth can vary but it's usually somewhere around 15-20cm.

Installing Weed Proof Membrane

This step is important as it will stop weeds from getting into the gravel. With that said, it will nonetheless allow drainage and rainwater to pass through.

Add a Sub-layer

Then the sub-layer could be installed. Most likely a MOT type 1 material will be used for this phase. Obviously there are different options and you may wish to consult with the hired professional(s) before the driveway is installed to talk about the various sub-layers. The sub-base may be compacted using a roller or compactor.

Adding the Gravel

For installing the gravel, it’s important that it is not laid too deeply (no more than 5cm in fact). If you’d prefer more depth, however, you can consider having more sub-base included. It is best for the gravel to have a size of approximately 2cm.

As for laying the gravel, this is a relatively simplistic aspect of the work. The area should be graded in a way that the gravel peaks at the middle of the driveway with a gentle incline on the sides. In essence, the central region of the driveway should be approximately 2-5% taller than the sides. This would essentially support water drainage. You may also want to consider driveway edging for gravel for when the driveway itself is installed.

DIY Gravel Driveway Installation

While it is usually better to pay professional(s) to lay a gravel driveway, if you’d like to understand it DIY, it’s important that you have the right skills and knowledge. After all, this is a fairly complicated job and very specific details need to be taken onboard if you are to pull the job off just right.

DIY gravel driveway

Even if you know how to lay a gravel driveway, it’s important to be aware of any potential hazards. The risks involved in this work include the dangers of heavy materials and equipment falling on you or otherwise resulting in injury (e.g. carrying heavy loads), as well as possible harm caused by services such as water or gas if you were to dig into the ground and unknowingly hit pipework.

Here’s another thing…

You’re quite likely to save over £1000 by undertaking this work by yourself, although you could end up saving several thousand pounds in total.

Although the exact tools required can vary, roughly speaking, the following are necessary:

  • Landscape stakes
  • Stirring
  • Shovel and spade
  • Rake
  • Suitable gardening gloves
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Excavator
  • Long tape measure
  • String + wooden pegs
  • Wacker-plate
  • Spirit level

It’s also important to consider safety clothing and equipment such as:

  • Protective eyewear
  • Protective shoes

Building Regulations and Planning Permission for Gravel Driveway

Thankfully, building regulations approval is usually not required before having a gravel driveway installed. The same goes for planning permission. So long as a new or replacement driveway employs permeable/porous surfacing (gravel being an example), then you have permitted development for the work to take place.

With that being said, if you have any doubts regarding whether special permission is needed in either regard, it is ideal to get in touch with the local council for confirmation.

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How to Find & Hire a Gravel Driveway Specialist

Unless you understand specifically what is involved and have the appropriate skills, it is best to hire a professional to add a gravel driveway. The average cost of labour for a gravel driveway specialist is around £14 to £25 an hour.

When trying to hire a professional, it is worth considering the following:

  • Do they have qualifications (if so, what?)
  • What experience and references do they have?
  • Does the specialist have any accreditation?
  • What about insurance?

While a specialist may not have qualifications, it is certainly possible that they will. You would be able to check their qualifications and certifications with their trades person registration number, where applicable.


It is possible, yes. However, future problems could emerge if you fail to remove the grass, as uneven areas may arise when the grass dies off.
While resin-based and resin-bound driveways are popular alternatives, plastic permeable pavers are another solution.
Thankfully, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to replace a gravel driveway (perhaps your descendants might if you passed your property on) as these driveways should last for about a century or more, if well-maintained!
In terms of maintenance, it’s possible to replenish these driveways by adding some gravel every so often. This can be achieved by adding the gravel in small amounts and raking it. Weed control is also important. While a weed proof membrane would protect the interior of the driveway, you’d want to remove surface weeds that could accumulate atop the gravel.
You’d pay around £30 to £40 to buy this sub-base and the cost of coverage is roughly £3 per m2.
On average, it’s likely to cost somewhere in the region of £30 to £70 per m2. It’s vital that you purchase the right amount of gravel to fit the area but once you know the amount needed, you could extrapolate a total estimated supply cost from there.


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