How Much Does Tarmac Driveways Cost? A Comprehensive Guide

If you are thinking of installing a new driveway for your residential or commercial needs, you might be wondering how much it would cost to have a tarmac driveway. Tarmac driveways are one of the most popular choices for residential and commercial property owners in the UK, as they offer a durable, low-maintenance, and attractive option for enhancing the curb appeal of your property.

However, the cost of installing a tarmac driveway can vary depending on several factors, such as the size and shape of your driveway, the quality and thickness of the tarmac, the preparation work required, and the contractor you choose.

In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how much a tarmac driveway costs in the UK, based on the latest market data and industry standards. We will also discuss the factors that influence the cost of a tarmac driveway, as well as some tips and suggestions for saving money on your tarmac driveway project.

What is a Tarmac Driveway?

A tarmac driveway is a type of paved surface that is made from a mixture of crushed stone, sand, and bitumen (a sticky black substance derived from crude oil). The mixture is heated and poured onto a prepared base layer, and then compacted and smoothed with a roller. The result is a smooth and solid surface that can withstand heavy traffic and weather conditions.

Tarmac driveways have many benefits for homeowners, such as:

– Durability: Tarmac driveways are resistant to cracks, potholes, and weeds, and can last for up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance.
– Low maintenance: Tarmac driveways require minimal upkeep, as they only need to be swept and cleaned occasionally. They can also be easily repaired by patching or resurfacing if damaged.
– Aesthetic appeal: Tarmac driveways come in various colours and finishes, such as red, green, or black. They can also be customized with patterns or edgings to suit your personal taste and style.
– Cost-effectiveness: Tarmac driveways are generally cheaper than other types of driveways, such as concrete or block paving. They also add value to your home by improving its appearance and functionality.

Factors Influencing Tarmac Driveway Cost

The cost of installing a tarmac driveway can vary depending on several factors, such as:

Size and shape:

The larger and more complex the shape of your driveway, the more tarmac material and labour you will need, which will increase the cost. For example, a straight driveway will be cheaper than a curved or circular one.

Quality and thickness:

The quality and thickness of the tarmac material will affect the durability and appearance of your driveway. Higher quality and thicker tarmac will cost more than lower quality and thinner ones. The standard thickness for a tarmac driveway is 50mm (2 inches), but you can opt for 75mm (3 inches) or 100mm (4 inches) for extra strength and stability.

Preparation work:

The preparation work required for your driveway will depend on the existing condition of your site. If you have an old driveway that needs to be removed or levelled, or if you need to install drainage systems or sub-base layers, you will incur additional costs. The average cost of preparation work for a tarmac driveway is £30 to £50 per square metre.


The contractor you choose for your tarmac driveway project will also influence the cost. Different contractors may charge different rates depending on their experience, reputation, location, availability, and overheads. It is advisable to compare at least three quotes from different contractors before making a decision.

Cost Breakdown of Tarmac Driveways

To give you an idea of how much a tarmac driveway costs in the UK, we have prepared a detailed breakdown of the different cost components involved in installing a tarmac driveway.

The following table shows the average costs of materials and labour for installing a 50mm thick tarmac driveway in the UK:

| Cost Component | Average Cost per Square Metre |
| ————– | —————————– |
| Tarmac Material | £25 to £40 |
| Labour | £15 to £25 |
| Total | £40 to £65 |

The following table shows the average costs of materials and labour for installing a 75mm thick tarmac driveway in the UK:

| Cost Component | Average Cost per Square Metre |
| ————– | —————————– |
| Tarmac Material | £35 to £50 |
| Labour | £15 to £25 |
| Total | £50 to £75 |

The following table shows the average costs of materials and labour for installing a 100mm thick tarmac driveway in the UK:

| Cost Component | Average Cost per Square Metre |
| ————– | —————————– |
| Tarmac Material | £45 to £60 |
| Labour | £15 to £25 |
| Total | £60 to £85 |

Please note that these costs are only estimates and may vary depending on the specific factors of your driveway project. They also do not include the costs of preparation work, which can range from £30 to £50 per square metre. Contact Dares Surfacing and know the actual cost of your tarmac driveways project.

Average Cost Range of Installing Tarmac Driveways

Based on the above cost breakdown, we can estimate that the average cost range for a tarmac driveway in the UK is between £40 and £85 per square metre, depending on the quality and thickness of the tarmac material.

To give you a more concrete example, let’s assume you want to install a 50-square-metre tarmac driveway with a standard 50mm thickness. The average cost of this project would be:

– Tarmac Material: £25 x 50 = £1,250
– Labour: £20 x 50 = £1,000
– Total: £2,250

However, if you want to install a 50 square metre tarmac driveway with higher quality and thicker 100mm material, the average cost of this project would be:

– Tarmac Material: £55 x 50 = £2,750
– Labour: £20 x 50 = £1,000
– Total: £3,750

As you can see, the difference in the cost of the tarmac material can have a significant impact on the overall cost of your driveway project.

Additional Cost Considerations for Surfacing of Tarmac Driveways

Apart from the cost of the tarmac material and labour, there are some additional costs that you should be aware of when considering a tarmac driveway. These include:


The standard rate of VAT for tarmac driveways in the UK is 20%, which will add to your total cost. However, some contractors may offer a lower or zero rate of VAT if they are registered under the Reduced Rate Scheme or the Flat Rate Scheme. You should always check with your contractor about their VAT status before hiring them.

Planning permission:

In most cases, you will not need planning permission to install a tarmac driveway, as long as it is less than 5 metres in length and does not cover more than half of your front garden. However, if you live in a conservation area or a listed building, or if you want to install a dropped kerb or alter the drainage system, you may need to apply for planning permission from your local council. The cost of planning permission can vary depending on your location and project details, but it usually ranges from £150 to £300.

Waste disposal:

If you have an old driveway that needs to be removed or disposed of, you will need to pay for waste disposal fees. The cost of waste disposal can vary depending on the type and amount of waste, as well as the location and availability of waste facilities. The average cost of waste disposal for a tarmac driveway is £100 to £200.

Tarmac Driveway Cost-Saving Tips

Installing a tarmac driveway can be a worthwhile investment for your home, but it can also be quite expensive. If you want to save money on your tarmac driveway project, here are some tips and suggestions that you can follow:

Compare quotes:

As mentioned earlier, different contractors may charge different rates for installing a tarmac driveway. Therefore, it is advisable to compare at least three quotes from different contractors before making a decision. This way, you can find the best deal and avoid being overcharged or undercharged.

Choose off-peak seasons:

The demand and supply of tarmac driveways can vary depending on the season and weather conditions. Generally, spring and summer are the peak seasons for tarmac driveways, as they offer favourable weather and longer daylight hours for installation. However, this also means that contractors may charge higher rates and have longer waiting times during these seasons. Therefore, if you want to save money and time on your tarmac driveway project, you may want to choose off-peak seasons such as autumn or winter, when contractors may offer lower rates and have more availability.

Negotiate discounts:

Another way to save money on your tarmac driveway project is to negotiate discounts with your contractor. You may be able to get discounts if you pay in cash or upfront if you book in advance or in bulk, if you refer other customers or leave positive reviews, or if you have a good relationship with your contractor. However, you should always be respectful and realistic when negotiating discounts, as contractors also need to make a profit and cover their costs.

Do some DIY:

If you have some DIY skills and experience, you may be able to save money by doing some of the preparation work yourself. For example, you may be able to remove your old driveway or level your site by yourself or with some help from friends or family. However, you should only do this if you are confident and comfortable with the task, as any mistakes or damages could end up costing you more in the long run. You should also leave the actual installation of the tarmac material to the professionals, as this requires specialized equipment and expertise.

How Does the Cost of a Tarmac Driveway Compare to Other Driveway Materials?

Tarmac is one of the most affordable driveway materials available in the UK. It is cheaper than concrete, which can cost between £50 and £80 per square metre, or block paving, which can cost between £70 and £100 per square metre. However, it is more expensive than gravel, which can cost between £20 and £40 per square metre.

The cost of a driveway material is not the only factor to consider when choosing a driveway option. You should also consider each material’s durability, maintenance, appearance and environmental impact. For example:

  • Tarmac is durable and low-maintenance, but it can fade over time and may need to be resealed every few years to prevent cracking or weed growth. It also has a uniform black colour that may not suit every style or preference.
  • Concrete is strong and versatile, but it can crack or stain easily and may need to be repaired or replaced more often than tarmac. It also has a plain grey colour that may look dull or boring unless it is coloured or patterned.
  • Block paving is attractive and customisable, but it can be prone to sinking or shifting if not installed properly. It also requires regular cleaning and sealing to prevent weed growth or moss formation.
  • Gravel is cheap and easy to install, but it can be noisy and messy as it tends to scatter or sink into the ground. It also requires frequent raking and topping up to maintain its level and appearance.

How to Choose a Reputable and Experienced Contractor for Your Tarmac Driveway Installation

Installing a tarmac driveway is not a DIY job that you can do yourself. It requires specialised equipment, skills and experience that only professional contractors have. Therefore, it is important to choose a reputable and experienced contractor for your tarmac driveway project.

Here are some tips on how to find and select a good contractor for your tarmac driveway:

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, family or neighbours who have had a tarmac driveway installed recently. They can give you honest feedback on the quality and service of the contractor they use.
  • Search online for local contractors who specialise in tarmac driveways. Check their websites, reviews and ratings to see their portfolio, testimonials and credentials. You can also use online directories or platforms that connect you with verified and trusted contractors in your area.
  • Get at least three quotes from different contractors and compare them in terms of price, materials, warranty and timeframe. Make sure that the quotes are detailed and include all the costs and specifications of the project. Avoid choosing the cheapest quote without considering the quality and reputation of the contractor.
  • Check the credentials and references of the contractor you choose. Make sure that they have the necessary qualifications, licences, insurance and accreditations to carry out the work safely and legally. You can also ask them for references from previous customers and contact them to verify their satisfaction and experience.
  • Sign a written contract with the contractor before they start the work. The contract should clearly state the scope, cost, duration and terms of the project. It should also include a payment schedule, a cancellation policy and a dispute resolution procedure. Read the contract carefully and make sure that you understand and agree with everything before signing it.


A tarmac driveway is a great option for residential and commercial property owners who want a durable, low-maintenance and cost-effective driveway. However, the cost of a tarmac driveway can vary depending on several factors, such as the size, shape, condition, quality, location and time of your project. Therefore, it is important to do your research and get several quotes from reputable and experienced contractors before making a decision.

We hope that this blog post has given you some useful information and guidance on how much a tarmac driveway costs in the UK and how to choose a good contractor for your tarmac driveway installation. If you have any questions or need any help with your tarmac driveway project, please feel free to contact us today. We are a professional and reliable tarmac driveway company that can provide you with high-quality workmanship and customer service at competitive prices.



8 Reasons Why Hiring Paving Experts is Essential for a Perfectly Driveway?

When it comes to creating a perfectly designed and long-lasting driveway, hiring paving experts is an essential step that cannot be overlooked. The expertise and skills of these professionals are crucial in ensuring that your driveway not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also withstands the test of time.

By hiring paving experts, you can benefit from their years of experience in the field. They have honed their craft through countless projects and have an eye for detail that allows them to create driveways with seamless finishes. Their knowledge extends beyond just laying down asphalt or concrete; they know how to properly grade the surface, ensure proper drainage, and address any potential issues such as cracks or potholes.

Here are 8 compelling reasons why hiring paving experts should be at the top of your list:

  1. Expertise and Experience: Paving experts have extensive knowledge and experience in handling various paving projects. They possess the necessary skills to assess your specific needs, recommend suitable materials, and execute the project with precision.
  2. Quality Workmanship: With their expertise and attention to detail, paving experts deliver superior craftsmanship that guarantees a durable and aesthetically pleasing outcome. Their skills ensure that your paved surfaces will withstand heavy traffic, weather elements, and remain intact for years to come.
  3. Efficient Project Management: Paving experts are well-versed in project management techniques that streamline the entire process from start to finish. They carefully plan each phase of the project while considering factors like logistics, timeframes, permits if needed,and budget constraints.
  4. Uses of Quality Materials – Using quality materials not only ensures the longevity and durability of your pavement but also enhances its overall appearance. A reputable paving expert will have access to top-notch materials that are specifically designed for various types of paving projects.
  5. Cost Savings in the Long Run: While hiring professionals may seem like an upfront investment, you will actually save money in the long run.Paving experts know how to optimise material usage, reducing wastage.They also ensure proper installation, resulting in fewer repairs or replacements down the line.
  6. LOCAL CODES TO REDUCE LIABILITY RISKS – By choosing a paving expert who understands and meets all local codes, you can significantly reduce your liability risks. Local codes are put in place to ensure that construction projects meet safety standards and regulations.
  7. Timely Completion: Paving projects can be time-consuming when attempted without professional help. Hiring experts ensures efficient execution within agreed-upon timelines.They understand how delays can inconvenience you, and therefore strive for prompt completion without compromising quality.
  8. Professional Advice: Paving experts can provide valuable guidance and recommendations throughout the process. From material selection to design options, they can help you make informed decisions that align with your budget and desired outcome.

In conclusion, hiring paving experts is essential if you want a seamless, durable, and visually appealing paved surface. Their expertise, experience, equipment,and efficient project management ensure that your project is completed to the highest standards. By entrusting professionals with your paving needs,you can save time,money,and enjoy peace of mind knowing that experts are handling every aspect of the job.

tarmac driveway exeter

What To Consider When Hiring a Paving Expert ?

  • Experience and Reputation
  • Licensing and Insurance
  • Cost Estimate
  • Local Knowledge
  • References and Testimonials
  • Guarantees and Warranties
  • Timeline and Project Schedule

Are you looking for Paving experts ?

Dares Surfacing provides paving installation services for both commercial and residential clients in the regions of Devon, Somerset, and Dorset. Our extensive product selection offers a diverse array of colour and texture choices, featuring natural aggregates, marble, and recycled materials. Don’t hesitate to request your complimentary, commitment-free quote today! Reach out to us at daressurfacingsomerset@hotmail.com.



8 Top Reasons for Choosing a Tarmac Driveway

A tarmac driveway is a popular choice for people looking to enhance the appearance and durability of their driveway. Tarmac, also known as asphalt, is a mixture of crushed stones, and sand,  and the materials used are macadam and bitumen. This material is known for its durability and strength, also making it ideal for highly trafficked areas such as forecourts, car parks, school playgrounds, and private roads.

Why Choose a Tarmac Driveway


Tarmac driveways are known for their exceptional durability. They can handle heavy vehicles and constant traffic without showing signs of degradation. This makes them an ideal choice for both residential and commercial properties.


Tarmac driveways are cost-effective compared to other materials such as concrete or block paving. The installation process is relatively quick and straightforward, significantly reducing labour costs.

Low Maintenance

Tarmac driveways require minimal maintenance compared to other options. Regular sweeping and occasional resealing can keep your driveway looking fresh and well-maintained for years to come.

Weather Resistance

Tarmac is designed to withstand various weather conditions, including extreme heat, freezing temperatures, heavy rainfalls, and even snowfall. It does not crack or warp due to temperature fluctuations like some other materials do. 

Quick Installation

Installing a tarmac driveway is a relatively rapid process compared to other materials such as concrete or paving stones. This means less disturbance to your daily routine during the installation phase.


Tarmac driveways offer a wide range of design possibilities with various finishes available to suit your aesthetic preferences. Whether you prefer a traditional black finish or something more decorative, tarmac can be customised to match your style.

Enhanced Safety Features

Tarmac driveways provide excellent skid resistance due to their smooth surface texture when properly installed with suitable aggregates mixed in during construction.

Environmentally Friendly

Tarmac is 100% recyclable which makes it an environmentally friendly choice for those who prioritise sustainability in their construction projects. Due to better drainage and consuming less energy compared to traditional tarmac, this is the best choice for everyone. 


In summary, a tarmac driveway is a durable and aesthetically pleasing option with numerous benefits. Whether you are looking to improve the functionality or enhance the visual appeal of your property, consider installing a tarmac driveway as an excellent choice.

At Dares Surfacing, we specialise in the installation of tarmac driveways using high-quality materials. All our projects are executed securely, quickly and with utmost efficiency. So, if you are in Devon, Dorset, or Somerset, contact us today to discuss your tarmac driveway requirements, and we will be happy to help! 



How Long Do Tarmac Driveways Last?

How Long Do Tarmac Driveways Last?

A tarmac driveway is a type of driveway that is constructed using a mixture of aggregate materials, usually crushed stone or gravel, and a binding agent, such as bitumen. Tarmac is also known as asphalt or blacktop, and is a popular choice for driveways because of its durability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. 

It is extremely durable and long-lasting, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a low-maintenance solution. The lifespan of tarmac driveways can vary depending on a few factors, such as the quality of the materials used, the amount of pit to use, and the level of maintenance it receives over time. 

On average, a well-installed tarmac driveway can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years or more. However, there are many factors that can affect this lifespan and must be taken into consideration when choosing materials for this driveway.

Factors to Consider when Installing a Tarmac Driveway

Choosing the best materials  

When it comes to installing a tarmac driveway, the materials that are used can have a major impact on its lifespan. Make sure that your contractor is choosing the best materials so you can be sure to get a long life span from your driveway. With the right combination of quality tarmacadam and proper installation techniques, it is possible for a tarmac driveway to last for up to 15 years or more.

Regular maintenance

Keeping your driveway in good condition is essential to its longevity. Regular maintenance can help ensure that it lasts for many years and remains attractive. Doing this cleans any debris or moss that accumulates over time. Additionally, it is important to check for any signs of damage such as cracks, potholes, or any other irregularities. By taking these steps to maintain your driveway, you can enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting surface for years to come.

The Climate

Tarmac driveways are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability and affordability. How long they last also largely depends on the climate. In areas with moderate temperatures and low levels of rainfall, tarmac driveways can last up to 20 years or more. However, in climates that experience extreme temperature fluctuations, high rainfall levels, and frequent freeze-thaw cycles, they do not last as long due to the damage caused by these conditions.

Using Sealant 

To extend the life of your tarmac driveway, you can apply a sealant to its surface to protect it. Applying this sealant will help maintain the look and feel of your driveway for longer. Depending on how well you take care of your driveway and reapply sealant as needed, it can last a really long time.

When it comes to the longevity of tarmac driveways, it’s important to keep in mind that different types of tarmac have varying lifespans.  With regular cleaning and sealing, you can extend the life of your driveway significantly beyond the time frame. If you are looking to add value to your house, then investing in this is a great option.

At Dares Surfacing, we are tarmacing specialists. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your needs today!



How to Clean Moss off Tarmac Driveways

Cleaning Moss off Tarmac Driveways

For many years, tarmac has been a popular choice for driveways. Tarmac is an enticing choice because the installation cost is often affordable when compared to other materials. While it is aesthetically beautiful and provides an excellent surface for parking automobiles, it may also be a breeding ground for moss. You may be all too familiar with this situation if you own a private tarmac driveway in Dorset.

The rough texture of tarmac makes it an easy breeding ground for moss, which thrives on damp surfaces that hold water. Its uneven surface provides the perfect environment for moss to thrive in tarmac driveways, in that car tyres cannot destroy them as they remain in the gaps.

To clean moss off tarmac driveways in Dorset, it is important to know the right cleaning agents and cleaning tools to use, and the ones to avoid, to prevent damage on the surface. Also, you will want to use a cleaning method that gets rid of it and prevents a comeback in the future.

Treating your driveway with chemical solutions, using washing powder, or removing sunlight blockers can be ways of killing or preventing moss on tarmac driveways in Dorset. Getting rid of them is easy, keep reading, while we give you detailed steps on how to achieve this on tarmac driveways in Dorset. 

Step 1

Prepare the surface of your driveway by using a brush or gardening rake to remove any surface growth and loosen its formation to enable an easier cleaning process.

Step 2

While working in small sections with a hard-bristled brush, to enable you to reach the gaps. Pour some water on the tarmac surface and use either baking soda or sodium per-carbonate to scrub the surface. These options are best for your tarmac driveways in Dorset, as they are brilliant at breaking down moss without causing damage to the tarmac surface or environment.

Step 3

Allow the cleaning agent to stay on the surface for about 20 – 40 minutes before rinsing. Use a hose to thoroughly rinse out your tarmac driveway surface. Repeat the steps as required to ensure total removal.

To prevent a future comeback, you will have to consider the following:

  • Do a pH level test of the soil on which your driveway is made. If it is between 6 and 7, it means it is not ideal for the growth of moss, if not consider using agricultural lime to control its acidity. 
  • Consider allowing direct sunlight on your driveway, to enable heat to dry the dampness of the area, as most tarmac driveways in Dorset are often close to lawns. This is a sustainable way to completely get rid of moss, as they thrive on wet surfaces as earlier stated. Look to trim trees and bushes to stop the blockage of sunlight, making sure that your driveway is void of any shade.
  • Avoid flooding your driveway when cleaning. You would want to consider washing it only when the sun is out during the day. This will keep it from being damp and allow for it to get fully dried.

 At Dares Surfacing, we are experts when it comes to building or maintaining tarmac driveways, especially in the Dorset area. Get in contact with one of our team today and let us help you create the driveway of your dreams! Call us now on 07970 027 614.



How To Maintain Tarmac Driveway

Maintaining Tarmac Driveway

As time goes by, your tarmac driveway may begin looking worse for wear. Or maybe you have recently moved into a house with a less-than-peak condition driveway. The good news is that this article will aid you in restoring your driveway to its former glory, as well as maintaining its new look in the future.

Before continuing to the article, be sure to contact Dares Surfacing for any enquiries on surfacing services. We design, supply and install all of our services, from tarmac driveways to paving slabs.

Maintenance, Cleaning & Repairs

One of the simple signs to look out for with driveways is it becoming cracked and the material getting loose. There are a variety of things that may cause this and you can do things to prevent it. If you start to notice cracks, make sure you clean them regularly and pull up any plant life. The roots may get deeper into the driveway and cause more issues in the future. If you have loose gravel like material, you may need to think about resurfacing or sanding and resealing.

You should always keep your drive as clear as possible and avoid the build up of things like leaves and standing water. If you get your hands on a good sealant you should find you don’t need to perform as much maintenance. A new coat of sealant can make your drive look refreshed again.

Protect Tarmac With Sealant

To extend the life of your tarmac driveway, you can apply a sealant to its surface. Most professionals will apply it after a year of its installation. The sealant works as a barrier to the elements that can cause damage to the surface and allow the driveway to stay fresh and clean.

By maintaining your tarmac driveway properly, you are protecting your investment. You are also allowing your property to look good and not have to think about replacing the driveway entirely for a long time to come. If you do not have time to do everything on your own, it is best to bring in a professional who can come in and check your driveway from time to time. They have knowledge and expertise to maintain your driveway in a way that it looks good all the time.

Different Forms Of Tarmac Damage

Tarmac scuffs

As tarmac driveway ages, the black part of the material will fade away. One of the reasons for tarmac scuffing is the turning of vehicle wheels while it is standing on the driveway. You can reduce the amount of beating that the driveway takes by simply avoiding turning wheels when it is stationary.

Spillage on tarmac driveway

Even though a small amount of spillage of gasoline or oil will not adversely affect your driveway, a large amount will greatly weaken the base and also cause cracks on the surface which then has to be repaired by a professional. It is best to remove any oil spillage using sand or sawdust that can soak it from the surface. If there is a gasoline spillage, it is best to use water to wash it.

Tarmac indentation and spot damage

A newly laid tarmac driveway will be prone to dents if heavy items are administered over it before it sets. Even after that, constant use of weighty products such as ladders, caravans, trailers, car jacks, and others can cause depression on the driveway. You can avoid it by using a piece of plywood before using heavy items so that the weight is more evenly distributed. Contact us for more detail .