By Emily Rivers
Last updated 31st January 2024

A gravel driveway is a great addition to your home. Made from layers of gravel applied on top of a sub-base and weed-proof membrane, it’s a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance option for your driveway.

But how much should a gravel driveway cost? We’ll explain everything in this guide.

How much does a gravel driveway cost?

A standard-shape 50m2 gravel driveway costs an average of £3,125. This includes your driveway specialist’s labour and all materials, including a weed-proof membrane and sub-base materials.

The exact cost of your gravel driveway will vary depending on a range of factors:

  • Size: As you’d expect, the bigger the driveway, the more it will cost. However, you may pay less for materials per m2 if you have a particularly large space to cover

  • Shape: Unusually-shaped or difficult-to-access spaces will cost more, as it will take a driveway specialist longer to install your new gravel driveway

  • Gravel type: The price of gravel types vary based on durability, look and size

  • Foundations and condition of the space: If you need to excavate an area for a new sub-base or the area is in poor condition, your driveway company will charge more for labour

  • Whether you have an existing driveway: If you have an old, deteriorated driveway that needs to be removed before the new gravel can be laid, you’ll need to pay removal costs including a skip

  • Your location: Where you live will affect the cost of your driveway, with areas in the south east of England and London being the most expensive. Check our price estimates further down the page to get an idea of how much a new gravel driveway will cost in your area

Gravel driveway cost

Is a gravel driveway cheaper than block paving?

Yes, a gravel driveway is much cheaper than block paving. Block paving is one of the most expensive types of driveway material, with an average driveway costing £5,140, but it requires less maintenance and generally lasts longer than gravel.

However, repair costs will be much higher as you’ll need to replace blocks or even entire sections of blocks, whereas gravel driveways tend to just need topping up with more gravel over time.

Pros and cons of a gravel driveway

Pros

  • Affordable: Gravel is one of the most budget-friendly materials to use for your driveway

  • Easy to maintain: You just need to sweep loose stones back into place every now and again

  • Fast installation: A contractor can lay an average 50m2 gravel driveway in as little as 2 days

  • Permeable: Rainwater will drain right away through the stones and into the ground, reducing water pooling and preventing flooding

  • Can act as a burglar deterrent: Since gravel makes a sound underfoot, intruders may be less likely to walk up to your home in case they’re heard

Cons

  • Susceptible to weed growth: Even with a weed-proof membrane, you’re likely to have to do some weeding to keep your gravel driveway tidy

  • Can develop holes: Turning cars around and even general movement across a gravel driveway can cause dips and holes that you’ll need to sweep over to keep it level

  • Difficult to clean: If you spill something like oil over gravel, it’s tricky to clean it off as you can’t pressure wash gravel driveways in the same way as other types

How much gravel do I need for my driveway?

How much gravel you need for your driveway will depend on the square metreage of your driveway and how deep it is. Most driveways need to have a depth of at least 50mm. For an average 50m2 driveway at 50mm depth, you’ll need around 6 850kg bulk bags of gravel, or 5.1 tonnes. You may be able to buy gravel for your driveway in tonne bags too.

Make sure you ask your driveway specialist about how much gravel you need for your driveway if you’re buying the materials yourself.

How long will a gravel driveway last?

You may have seen people claiming that gravel driveways can last up to 100 years. While it’s true that the surface and foundation could last this long with proper maintenance, it’s important to note that you will need to top up your driveway’s gravel every 2 years or so.

Gravel will naturally disappear on people’s shoes and car tyres and will scatter around your property with movement. If you never topped up the gravel, it certainly wouldn’t last 100 years! Regular sweeping and weeding of your driveway will ensure that it lasts for as long as possible.

How do you prepare the ground for a gravel driveway?

To save money, you may want to prepare the ground for your gravel driveway yourself. It’s a labour-intensive task that should only be carried out if you’re fit and able and have some DIY knowledge.

There are a few steps to preparing the ground for a gravel driveway:

  1. Measure up: Measure out the area that needs to be dug – it’s a good idea to mark it with string and posts so you can use them as a guide.

  2. Prepare the area: Remove any turf, topsoil or any other debris from the space.

  3. Dig out the area: Dig the area for your driveway down to a depth of at least 50mm for the gravel to sit on, and at least 150mm for the sub-base if your driveway specialists are creating one.

Now you’re ready for your driveway contractors to create the sub-base, add a weed-proof membrane and add your gravel!

Can I lay a gravel driveway over tarmac?

There is some argument over whether you can lay a gravel driveway over tarmac. Some driveway companies say that you can lay ‘gravel grids’ over tarmac (or concrete) to allow the surface to act as a sub-base, then add the gravel on top.

However, other experts say that this method could be dangerous as the gravel could roll around a lot, causing slips and falls. It’s best to get a range of quotes from different driveway companies to hear their opinions.

How to clean a gravel driveway

Gravel driveways can be difficult to clean, but there are a few things you can do to keep your gravel driveway looking as good as new:

  • Use a gentle detergent: If you’ve got stubborn dirt or stains on your gravel, you can use specialist detergents. Usually, you simply apply to the area, leave for a few minutes then gently wash away using a hose or pressure washer on the lowest setting

  • Rake regularly: Raking your gravel driveway will keep the stones looking tidy. It’ll remove leaves and other build-up and will help you to even out the stones. It’s a good idea to build up the gravel in the middle of your driveway to allow water to run off

  • Keep weeding: Weeds will inevitably find their way into your gravel driveway, so keeping on top of your weeding will keep your driveway looking fabulous and protect the surface from damage

  • Fill gaps: If you notice gaps in your gravel driveway after raking, it’s time for a top-up. Keep some extra bags of gravel handy to rake into your driveway when you notice holes forming

Do gravel driveways need planning permission?

No, gravel driveways usually don’t need planning permission. As permeable surfaces, they are SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) compliant, meaning that they help water drain in a way that mimics natural drainage to prevent flooding. If you’re unsure, speak with your local planning authority.

Now that you know how much a new gravel driveway should cost, it’s time to get some more accurate quotes. Post your job on HaMuch now and we’ll put you in touch with driveway specialists available in your area.


Estimates for common driveway specialist jobs;

Rates for other trades

Gravel driveway cost in the UK
Gravel driveway cost in the UK (excluding VAT or callout charges)
Location in UKGravel driveway cost
Gravel driveway near Aberdeen£2936
Gravel driveway near Amber Valley£2648
Gravel driveway near Angus£2672
Gravel driveway near Arun£2720
Gravel driveway near Ashfield£2664
Gravel driveway near Aylesbury Vale£2808
Gravel driveway near Barnsley£2744
Gravel driveway near Basildon£2752
Gravel driveway near Basingstoke & Deane£2808
Gravel driveway near Bassetlaw£2648
Gravel driveway near Bath & North East Somerset£2752
Gravel driveway near Bedford£2880
Gravel driveway near Belfast£2032
Gravel driveway near Birmingham£2536
Gravel driveway near Blackburn£2536
Gravel driveway near Blackpool£2432
Gravel driveway near Bolton£2536
Gravel driveway near Bournemouth£2800
Gravel driveway near Bracknell Forest£2864
Gravel driveway near Bradford£2576
Gravel driveway near Braintree£2712
Gravel driveway near Breckland£2448
Gravel driveway near Bridgend£2464
Gravel driveway near Brighton£2704
Gravel driveway near Bristol£2736
Gravel driveway near Broadland£2384
Gravel driveway near Broxtowe£2648
Gravel driveway near Bury£2552
Gravel driveway near Caerphilly£2480
Gravel driveway near Calderdale£2520
Gravel driveway near Cambridge£2840
Gravel driveway near Canterbury£2560
Gravel driveway near Cardiff£2488
Gravel driveway near Carmarthenshire£2488
Gravel driveway near Charnwood£2544
Gravel driveway near Chelmsford£2744
Gravel driveway near Cheltenham£2752
Gravel driveway near Cherwell£2752
Gravel driveway near Chester£2560
Gravel driveway near Colchester£2624
Gravel driveway near Conway£2400
Gravel driveway near Coventry£2496
Gravel driveway near Crewe & Nantwich£2568
Gravel driveway near Dacorum£2856
Gravel driveway near Derby£2632
Gravel driveway near Doncaster£2608
Gravel driveway near Dover£2528
Gravel driveway near Dudley£2536
Gravel driveway near Dumfries & Galloway£2248
Gravel driveway near Dundee£2720
Gravel driveway near East Ayrshire£2560
Gravel driveway near East Devon£2488
Gravel driveway near East Dunbartonshire£2704
Gravel driveway near East Hampshire£2760
Gravel driveway near East Hertfordshire£2880
Gravel driveway near East Lindsey£2472
Gravel driveway near East Riding£2568
Gravel driveway near Eastleigh£2704
Gravel driveway near Edinburgh£2848
Gravel driveway near Elmbridge£2864
Gravel driveway near Epping Forest£2832
Gravel driveway near Erewash£2640
Gravel driveway near Exeter£2448
Gravel driveway near Falkirk£2608
Gravel driveway near Fife£2960
Gravel driveway near Flintshire£2544
Gravel driveway near Gateshead£2648
Gravel driveway near Gedling£2656
Gravel driveway near Glasgow£2720
Gravel driveway near Gloucester£2688
Gravel driveway near Guildford£2904
Gravel driveway near Gwynedd£2224
Gravel driveway near Halton£2504
Gravel driveway near Harrogate£2528
Gravel driveway near Havant & Waterloo£2696
Gravel driveway near Highland£2520
Gravel driveway near Horsham£2776
Gravel driveway near Huntingdonshire£2912
Gravel driveway near Ipswich£2536
Gravel driveway near Isle of Wight£2704
Gravel driveway near Kings Lynn & West Norfolk£2552
Gravel driveway near Kingston-upon-Hull£2544
Gravel driveway near Kirklees£2576
Gravel driveway near Knowsley£2496
Gravel driveway near Lancaster£2504
Gravel driveway near Leeds£2552
Gravel driveway near Leicester£2504
Gravel driveway near Lisburn£2080
Gravel driveway near Liverpool£2504
Gravel driveway near London£2840
Gravel driveway near Luton£2848
Gravel driveway near Macclesfield£2560
Gravel driveway near Maidstone£2816
Gravel driveway near Manchester£2544
Gravel driveway near Mid Bedfordshire£2880
Gravel driveway near Mid Sussex£2736
Gravel driveway near Middlesbrough£2656
Gravel driveway near Milton Keynes£2832
Gravel driveway near Neath Port Talbot£2472
Gravel driveway near New Forest£2776
Gravel driveway near Newbury£2808
Gravel driveway near Newcastle-under-Lyme£2552
Gravel driveway near Newcastle-upon-Tyne£2648
Gravel driveway near Newport£2528
Gravel driveway near North Ayrshire£2760
Gravel driveway near North East Lincolnshire£2592
Gravel driveway near North Hertfordshire£2864
Gravel driveway near North Lanarkshire£2664
Gravel driveway near North Lincolnshire£2480
Gravel driveway near North Somerset£2728
Gravel driveway near North Tyneside£2688
Gravel driveway near North Wiltshire£2672
Gravel driveway near Northampton£2712
Gravel driveway near Norwich£2432
Gravel driveway near Nottingham£2656
Gravel driveway near Nuneaton & Bedworth£2512
Gravel driveway near Oldham£2560
Gravel driveway near Oxford£2776
Gravel driveway near Pembrokeshire£2192
Gravel driveway near Perth & Kinross£2808
Gravel driveway near Peterborough£2856
Gravel driveway near Plymouth£2664
Gravel driveway near Poole£2800
Gravel driveway near Portsmouth£2696
Gravel driveway near Powys£2384
Gravel driveway near Preston£2512
Gravel driveway near Reading£2848
Gravel driveway near Redcar & Cleveland£2680
Gravel driveway near Reigate & Banstead£2872
Gravel driveway near Renfrewshire£2832
Gravel driveway near Rhondda, Cynon, Taff£2472
Gravel driveway near Rochdale£2552
Gravel driveway near Rotherham£2784
Gravel driveway near Salford£2536
Gravel driveway near Salisbury£3032
Gravel driveway near Sandwell£2528
Gravel driveway near Scarborough£2416
Gravel driveway near Scottish Borders£2960
Gravel driveway near Sefton£2496
Gravel driveway near Sevenoaks£2840
Gravel driveway near Sheffield£2808
Gravel driveway near Slough£2872
Gravel driveway near Solihull£2504
Gravel driveway near South Ayrshire£2584
Gravel driveway near South Bedfordshire£2880
Gravel driveway near South Cambridgeshire£2872
Gravel driveway near South Gloucestershire£2736
Gravel driveway near South Kesteven£2552
Gravel driveway near South Lanarkshire£2568
Gravel driveway near South Oxfordshire£2816
Gravel driveway near South Somerset£2792
Gravel driveway near South Tyneside£2664
Gravel driveway near Southampton£2704
Gravel driveway near Southend-on-Sea£2696
Gravel driveway near St Albans£2864
Gravel driveway near St Helens£2504
Gravel driveway near Stafford£2592
Gravel driveway near Stockport£2560
Gravel driveway near Stockton-on-Tees£2688
Gravel driveway near Stoke-on-Trent£2552
Gravel driveway near Stratford-on-Avon£2552
Gravel driveway near Stroud£2664
Gravel driveway near Suffolk Coastal£2528
Gravel driveway near Sunderland£2648
Gravel driveway near Swale£2680
Gravel driveway near Swansea£2528
Gravel driveway near Tameside£2560
Gravel driveway near Teignbridge£2536
Gravel driveway near Tendring£2584
Gravel driveway near Test Valley£2704
Gravel driveway near Thamesdown£2632
Gravel driveway near Thanet£2432
Gravel driveway near The Wrekin£2648
Gravel driveway near Thurrock£2792
Gravel driveway near Torbay£2584
Gravel driveway near Trafford£2544
Gravel driveway near Vale of Glamorgan£2504
Gravel driveway near Vale of White Horse£2744
Gravel driveway near Vale Royal£2568
Gravel driveway near Wakefield£2584
Gravel driveway near Walsall£2544
Gravel driveway near Warrington£2536
Gravel driveway near Warwick£2512
Gravel driveway near Waveney£2464
Gravel driveway near Waverley£2888
Gravel driveway near Wealden£2704
Gravel driveway near West Lancashire£2488
Gravel driveway near West Lothian£2728
Gravel driveway near West Wiltshire£2672
Gravel driveway near Wigan£2544
Gravel driveway near Windsor & Maidenhead£2872
Gravel driveway near Wirral£2504
Gravel driveway near Wokingham£2856
Gravel driveway near Wolverhampton£2544
Gravel driveway near Wrexham Maelor£2592
Gravel driveway near Wychavon£2560
Gravel driveway near Wycombe£2856
Gravel driveway near York£2496