All you need to know about the associated costs of tarmacing a driveway including materials, labour and time frames.
This article is intended as a guide to tarmac driveway costs and prices. We have gathered quotes from driveway specialists from all over the UK and averaged out the prices for typical tarmac driveway jobs. Though it is worth noting that tarmac is produced from by-products of the oil industry, so the cost of tarmac fluctuates based on current oil prices, which at the time of writing are at almost their lowest recorded levels ever! So bear that in mind, as tarmac prices may not be this low in the future. Tarmac is short for tarmacadam and nothing to do with the company "Tarmac".
The job itself typically involves removing the existing driveway and excavating the base, putting a membrane down to prevent weed growth, laying edgings onto sand/cement mix and drainage connecting into existing pipework, putting down sub base/ then first tarmac binding course, then second tarmac surface course, which is then compacted with a roller for a neat finish.
For all the prices provided we have assumed fairly simple driveways of average size and dimensions. You will find that it will typically cost more per square metre for very small drives as contractors prefer larger jobs, small jobs are not profitable for them if charged at the same per square metre rate as larger projects. Other factors which can affect the price are irregular shaped driveways, poor access to the site, unusual slopes and the requirement for a new soakaway to meet surface drainage regulations. Coloured tarmac (anything other than black) also costs considerably more.
The weather can affect installation too, tarmac drives can be installed in the rain, but if the rain is excessive it is advisable that the work is suspended as heavy rain can cool the material down too quickly and can also leave standing water. Once the drive is installed it will be ready to accept vehicles driving and parking on it after a few days to give the surface a chance to harden and cool. Different coloured tarmac products are available but these are specialist products and very expensive, most commonly used only on small areas.
Weeds are a natural process that cannot be fully prevented no matter what you do. They like to break through surfaces, especially near lawn or plant bed areas, the best way to try to prevent them is treat the area of the proposed driveway regularly with weed killer for at least a full week before the driveway is to be installed. This will give the driveway a fighting chance against the weeds.
After the driveway is done, if weeds eventually penetrate the surface, then use a water based weed killer to kill the weeds and when they have died off you can carefully remove the remaining foliage. You should then consider patching the tarmac in the area where the weeds have broken through. Do not just try and pull weeds out though the tarmac, sometimes a small weed poking through can have large roots attached, attempting to pull this out can actually further damage the tarmac surface.
The average cost to tarmac a 2-car driveway is typically around £2000. To overlay existing tarmac or to retarmac the average cost will be around £700 due to no excavation costs. The average price can vary greatly depending on location, size of the area to be excavated and tarmacked, and labour costs.
A driveway specialist will often charge in the region of £100 to £150 per day and will likely work in pairs or groups to tarmac a driveway. As such you should usually expect around £250-£400 per day in total labour costs, however this does help get the job done quicker.
Below are some estimated costs of hiring a driveway expert to tarmac a driveway:
|Driveway Size||Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Small (20 sq m)||Space for 1 car||£1400||2-3 days|
|Medium (40 sq m)||Space for 2 cars||£2000||3-4 days|
|Medium (40 sq m)||Just Overlay Existing Tarmac||£700||1 day|
|Large (80 sq m)||Space for 3-4 cars||£2500||4-5 days|
Individual costs of laying tarmac for a medium-sized driveway - Total Cost: £2000