Dropped Kerbs: A Look At Prices

Updated in 2023 – Expert Advice – Get a Quote Online

Written by Daniel Woodley. Fact Checked by Paul Farley. Published to Prices. Updated: 9th March 2023.

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Welcome to my guide to kerb dropping, I have worked in the construction and landscaping industries for over 18 years and have overseen several projects where the kerb needed to be dropped for driveway access.

Kerb lowering is also known as kerb dropping, but most councils and contractors refer to it as “vehicle crossovers” or as a VCO for short.

There are several reasons why one may want or need to lower a kerb:

  • To extend the access point to an existing driveway.
  • For access to a new driveway.
  • To upgrade an existing entry point so commercial vehicles can be used.
  • Access for wheelchair users.

Just so we all know that we’re on the same page, here is a photo of a dropped kerb:

Dropped kerb

Each council in the UK will have its own list of approved contractors and based on my experience, they all charge vastly different rates. There’s no universal price for this type of work and as the land belongs to the council, you’re at their mercy, to a degree.

If you’ve never dropped a kerb before, these are the steps you need to take:

  • Contact the council and check their process.
  • Arrange an initial inspection which will look at suitability, health and safety, any services (cables, pipework and so forth) under the pavement etc.
  • Make a formal application.
  • Arrange for the work to be completed by a council-approved contractor (or arrange your own, if your council allows this). The work will involve new lower kerbs, new lowered tarmac pavement and possible reinforcement of the pavement to protect services from the weight of vehicles.
  • Final inspection by the council or representative and signing off of the paperwork.

I contacted dozens of councils in the UK by email as part of my research for this guide, the prices displayed below are an average of the figures given to me by them or their approved contractors.

You can use this as a rough guide to kerb lowering prices in the UK:

Dropped Cost Kerb For a Driveway

The figures below are the total cost for lowering a kerb and pavement and include any fees that are charged separately. For example, many councils charge an initial inspection fee and an application fee, both of which are in addition to the actual cost of the construction work.

Also bear in mind that the costs vary wildly from council to council and in the last three years I’ve seen some nearly doubling the cost for this type of work.

Location:Price inc VAT:
London and South£1750 - £2000
Midlands and North£1250 - £1500

Based on my experience, the cost to extend an existing crossover is usually less than this but most of the projects I have been involved in cost between £750-£1000.

Additional Costs to Consider

The prices above do not include the cost of relocating street furniture such as street lights, cable cabinets or pipe rerouting.

Based on my experience, other things that will almost certainly increase the price:

  • If the street requires traffic lights to manage the traffic during the works.
  • If the dropped pavement leads to commercial premises.
  • The size and gradient of the vehicle crossover being non-standard.
  • The driveway leads directly onto an A or B classed road (some councils charge extra, some don’t)

I’ve heard of the total costs reaching over £6000 in some cases, but this is quite rare. Most of the projects I have been involved in cost between £1000 and £2000, while only a few years ago, the work rarely cost more than £1500.

Reasons Why A Dropped Kerb Application Could Be Rejected

As there are hundreds of councils in the UK and each has its own policies regarding kerb lowering, I can’t list all the reasons why an application might be rejected, and I have personally experienced only one rejection.

Here are other reasons I’ve heard of:

  1. Too close to a tree.
  2. The street has designated on-street parking.
  3. Street furniture cannot be moved and is too close to the driveway.
  4. Too close to traffic lights, roundabouts or junctions.
  5. Drivers using the driveway will not have a clear line of sight in either direction along the road (distances vary from council to council so check).
  6. If the road is busy and the driveway is too small for the vehicle to turn around (i.e. needs to reverse in or out of the driveway).
  7. The driveway is too small, and any vehicles are likely to overhang onto the pavement or highway (I’ve found that exact measurement requirements vary by council).

In short, kerb lowering can be a fairly simple process that costs between £1250 and £2000, or it can be a difficult project costing many thousands if the council even accepts the application.

Get in Touch With Your Local Council

Many local councils have published information packs for kerb lowering, you might able to find them by searching Google for “vehicle crossover” along with the name of your council.

Final Thoughts

I hope I haven’t put you off your kerb dropping project; in fact, many are completed each year without too much fuss at all. I’ve personally project-managed many developments where we lowered the kerb without issue.

Also, do consider that many homebuyers will pay a premium for off-street parking, especially if the property is located in an urban area with limited parking.

You might be able to recoup the costs of the project should you go on to sell the home in the future, this is something my team, and I always looked into when we worked on projects near or in London.

Get Advice From a Qualified Driveway Installer

Driveway installers often extend or build new vehicle access points, and most will have plenty of experience in dealing with councils in their work area.

Tap the button below with details of your kerb dropping project and a price for the work:

Why You Can Trust This Guide

This guide was written by Daniel Woodley, who has personally worked on several projects where the kerb was lowered to create or improve driveway access.

The advice on this page is based on his knowledge and experience, but the prices are an average of figures given to us during our research.

To ensure accuracy, we also asked Paul Farley to fact-check the important statements made in this guide.

Author: Daniel Woodley

Daniel has over 18 years of experience in the construction, home improvement, and landscape garden industries, including a spell working as a project manager.

In his spare time, Daniel enjoys gardening, hiking and scrambling. He frequently posts videos to his popular YouTube Channel and is well known in the hiking community.

More About Daniel Woodley.

Daniel Woodley

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