SEE HOW MUCH A GRAVEL DRIVEWAY COSTS
Our editors publish helpful guides and insights learnt from years of experience and recent research. They also test, review and suggest home and garden products. If you buy something via links, we may earn a commission, but we never accept products or incentives from manufacturers. Learn about our editorial process.
Gravel and stones are cheaper than any other type of driveway material and are perfect for very large drives that would cost tens of thousands of pounds to cover in tarmac or blocks.
Gravel is also quick to lay, allows rainwater to drain away naturally (thus meets regulations for driveway drainage), and there are hundreds of colours, types and sizes of gravel to choose from.
Just to be clear and to avoid confusion; this price guide is for loose gravel and not resin-bound gravel – that’s gravel held together with glue to form a solid surface.
On this page, I’ll cover topics and questions such as:
How much does it cost to create a gravel driveway?
How long does the work take?
What is the best material to use as a driveway surface – blocks, tarmac, gravel or concrete?
Where can consumers compare prices from local driveway installers?
About These Prices
I used to work as a project manager and part of my role was sourcing prices from driveway installers and overseeing the projects.
For this price guide, I contacted 42 firms from different places in the UK and asked each of them to quote me for a typical driveway at 60 square metres and a larger driveway at 100 square metres.
An average of the driveway prices is shown below, you can use this as a better-than-ballpark guide, but note the following:
- All prices include VAT where applicable.
- Excavation of the original driveway or ground material is included.
- Minor levelling and installation of weed blocking barrier included.
- Compact a sub-base layer of suitable material (MOT Type 1).
- Edgings to contain the gravel at the driveway boundary, including an apron/threshold at the entrance to the drive (see photos for explanation)
- The gravel supplied and laid at a depth of no more than 60mm.
- All waste material taken away and disposed of.
Gravel Driveway Price 1: 60 Sq Mtrs
The gravel driveway prices shown below are an average of the figures provided to me by the 42 installers I contacted in 2023.
These prices are for a standard gravel driveway installation as described above. You may wish or need additional work done, such as brick walls, front doorsteps etc.
|Location:||Price inc VAT:|
|London and South||£5250 - £5750 inc base|
|Midlands and North||£4500 - £5000 inc base|
Gravel Driveway Price 2: 100 Sq Mtrs
The next batch of prices I requested was for a 100 square metre driveway.
As with our first project, this is a standard installation using 15-20mm driveway gravel, edgings and an entrance apron.
|Location:||Price inc VAT:|
|London and South||£7750 - £8250 inc base|
|Midlands and North||£6750 - £7250 inc base|
Gravel Driveway Cost Per Sq Mtr
The figures below are an average of the figures given to me, displayed by region.
These prices, like the previous two examples, include a sub-base, weed mat, edgings, apron and the gravel – all items you would expect to see in a standard installation.
|Location:||Price inc VAT:|
|All Areas||£70 - £100 per sq mtr inc a new base|
Other Costs to Consider
The prices I’ve displayed are for a standard installation and do not include any of the following:
Kerb Dropping/Lowering – if you’re creating a new driveway, or extending the entrance to a new one, you may need to lower the kerbs along the public pavement. As the council owns this land, you’ll require their permission, and they don’t always grant it. You’ll also need to pay application fees, use their preferred contractors and foot the bill. I looked into the costs of lowering a kerb, and the results were a surprise, sometimes over £2000, although some councils were much cheaper.
Driveway Drainage – since 2008 and as a result of repeated flash floods in the UK, all new driveways, including refurbishments, must not permit rainwater to discharge onto the public footpath or highway. The good news is that most gravel driveways will not need drainage channels or expensive soakaways as the water will disperse naturally through the gravel.
Gravel Type – standard driveway gravel isn’t expensive, but coloured gravel costs more. These prices assume the consumer wants standard driveway gravel.
Edgings and Apron – edgings and aprons (thresholds) keep the gravel on the driveway, but your choice of edging/apron material will affect the price.
Levelling – if you want a driveway replaced on a like-for-like basis, the ground probably won’t need much levelling. However, if you wish to lay an entirely new driveway or extend an existing one, you’ll need to level the ground which may create a lot of waste, or you may need to pay extra material to be delivered and laid. Either way, extensive ground excavation and levelling isn’t cheap, but the cost will depend on the specifics of your project.
Gravel Grids – these are plastic grids (see examples) that stop the gravel from moving around the driveway. They add additional cost to the project and are an optional extra although I recommend them for driveways that aren’t flat and level (i.e on a slope).
Any extra work required such as raising flowerbeds, tree removal, brick walls, large doorsteps or relocating underground pipes or cables etc. can add to the cost of the gravel driveway.
I took these photos, you may find them insightful:
Driveway thresholds/aprons such as this help with tyre grip and like just edgings, prevent annoying gravel migration
Pea shingle is narrow and gets caught in the tyre treads. Choose a bigger gravel/stone, 10-20mm is popular
How Does Gravel Compare to Other Driveway Materials?
Gravel is just one type of driveway material, there are several other options although all are more expensive:
Blocks – more costly than gravel but you can be much more creative with patterns and the type of blocks you choose; cobbles are popular. Block drives are easy to repair, wash and maintain. Rainwater management will be required for non-permeable blocks. Why not mix and match gravel and blocks? Perhaps a wide block border and apron with the centre of the driveway made from gravel?
Tarmac – traditional and popular but can look bland, especially after a few years when the colour dulls. It’s obvious when a repair has been carried out, and tarmac often cracks, leading to weed penetration. The price is similar to that of a block driveway. Rainwater management will be required for non-permeable tarmac.
Resin – if you’re considering using gravel as a driveway surface, do take a look at resin. Gravel is bound with a glue/resin to form a solid surface that’s water permeable, looks stunning and doesn’t suffer from shift/migration. The downside? It’s one of the most expensive driveway materials.
Stamped concrete – patterns and coloured dyes are stamped into the concrete as it dries meaning you can choose from lots of different colours and designs. Drainage management will be required for concrete driveways, they can also be slippery and it’s difficult to repair or alter them once the concrete has hardened. The price is similar to that of block driveways but costs more than gravel as fewer firms can complete this work; it’s a specialist industry. Concrete may need to be re-coloured or sealed every 5-10 years to keep it looking fresh.
Get Your Custom Gravel Driveway Quote Today
I hope you found this guide to the cost of gravel driveways insightful.
As I’m are sure you can appreciate, no two projects are the same and it’s impossible to provide a fixed price without first seeing the property.
Our network of vetted tradespeople can:
- Provide you with an accurate custom price based on the specifics of your property.
- Present you with verified reviews and feedback from past customers.
- Supply you with quotations from three local driveway specialists.
Gravel Driveway FAQS
When Were These Gravel Driveway Prices Sourced?
I sourced these gravel driveway prices in 2023 and updated this page to replace the previous research I did several years ago.
I’ve found that prices have changed a lot recently with the cost of the materials skyrocketing since 2019.
What Types of Businesses Supplied the Prices?
I contacted both driveway specialists and landscape gardening firms that undertake “hard” landscaping projects.
What Do I Need to Know About Planning Permission?
Planning rules are complex and always subject to change, so I recommend you start with the government’s planning portal. As a general rule of thumb; if you aren’t increasing the size of the driveway, lowering kerbs or discharging rainwater onto public land, then you shouldn’t need planning permission unless there are restrictions on your property.
Can't The Installer Just Lay Gravel Onto the Existing Driveway or Soil?
I’ve met customers over the years who felt that gravel can be laid directly onto the soil, but this isn’t practical.
A sub-base is required to help spread the weight of any vehicles. I’ve seen gravel sink into the soil under the weight of the cars and grooves/channels soon appeared that filled with water.
Based on my experience, a good-quality gravel driveway should be laid onto a solid, water-permeable base.
Also, if you lay a very thick layer of gravel, perhaps to cover an existing driveway, you’ll find it difficult to walk on the surface and channels will appear where the tyres have shifted the gravel.
Are There Any Driveway Associations Where I Can Find Reputable Installers?
There are very few driveway associations and none that I recommend. You can use our network of tradespeople to find a good quality installer, and of course, there’s also Checkatrade, Trustmark, Which? and other general associations you can search.
Where is the Best Place to Ask a Technical Question About The Installation of a Driveway?
Tony McCormack’s The Paving Expert is by far the best place for technical information related to paving and driveways in the UK. The site has also been updated recently and is now much easier to use.
How Long Does it Take to Create a Gravel Driveway?
While it only takes minutes to spread gravel onto a surface, the preparation work typically takes two or three days for a typical driveway with space for two to three cars.
In my previous role as a project manager, I oversaw driveway installations, and the amount of time it took the crews to get the job done also depended on:
- The existing driveway, what it’s made from and how difficult it is to lift.
- How many edgings are needed.
- The size of the driveway apron.
- How many workers are on the project.
What Size Driveway Gravel is Best and How Deep Should it be?
I’ve worked on projects where small gravel was used and it got stuck in the tyre treads on the cars and was deposited down the street.
However, if the gravel is too big and it may be difficult to walk on.
Here’s my opinion, based on my experience:
- 5-8mm is very small and may get trapped in the tyre tread.
- 10-15 is a popular choice.
- 20mm is quite large but can still be used on driveways.
- Above 20mm can be difficult to walk on and may cause damage if flicked up by spinning tyres.
I feel that the depth of the gravel should ideally be around three times the size of the gravel, so 10-15mm gravel can be laid to a depth of 30-45mm.
I’ve seen cases where DIYers or unskilled tradespeople laid the gravel too thick, it was difficult to walk on and car tyres caused deep grooves.
Why You Can Trust This Guide
This guide was written by a construction and home improvement project manager with over 18 years of experience, including several years in the landscaping industry.
The prices displayed were sourced from firms in the UK, and an average figure was then calculated.
To ensure accuracy, key statements in this guide were fact-checked by Paul Farley prior to publication.
As with any online price guide, assumptions about the project have been made – the only way to get an accurate price is to get a quote based on the specifics of the project.
Author: Daniel Woodley
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.
Explore More of Our Guides Below:
Our garden and home improvement price list here at DIY Gardening. Get a price for a new lawn, patio, roof, and much more. Our prices are always kept up to date. Start Here
Concrete Drive Price Guide
Concrete is a popular alternative to resin and comes in many colours and design patterns. See how much a concrete pattern driveway costs here.