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What is the best surface for my driveway?

It is important to consider the options for your driveway surface

Having a new driveway installed can quickly give your home a clean fresher updated look. Many underestimate the effect that this can have on the overall appearance of your property exterior. When you are thinking about installing a new driveway surface and wondering which material to use, it is necessary to consider the climate of the location, the size of the area that you need to cover, the aesthetic of the property and how the materials will compliment it. A period property could actually lose value with a tarmac driveway surface rather than paving or brick that match the period so it isn’t always cost effective to go for the cheapest option. Some driveway surface options might cost more upfront but be longer lasting and need little maintenance whereas other materials might be cheaper and quicker to install but will deteriorate faster. At Redline we are happy to advise and give you a free quote for any work, but for a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of driveway surfaces you can refer to this handy guide.


Concrete Driveway Surface

Concrete is a popular driveway surface, and for good reason. It is durable and low-maintenance so once installed you won’t have to give much thought to a concrete driveway. It may not earn as many compliments as upscale alternatives and can often stain quickly but concrete is a dependably solid choice with a mid-range price.


  • Requires little maintenance
  • Copes well in hot climates
  • Complements many styles of property


  • Can stain easily
  • Cracks with extreme weather conditions
  • Moderately expensive

Tarmac Driveways

Often considered one of the most cost-effective solutions on this list, although limited by the colour options. Tarmac driveway surfaces are great for large areas that will deal with a lot of traffic, and will need very little maintenance once installed.


  • Needs very minimal upkeep
  • Quick and easy to install. Cover large areas quickly
  • Copes with a lot of traffic and weight as hard wearing


  • Can be damaged by diesel, oil or petrol which will decay the tarmac
  • Can cope with heat but UV light can cause it to degrade
  • Limited colour choice


Asphalt Driveway Surface

With a durable, firm surface and relatively inexpensive installation cost, asphalt is an attractive option as a driveway surface for homeowners with long driveways and budget constraints. It’s well suited to colder climates rather than hotter climes and will need to be resealed regularly to extend its lifespan.


  • Performs well in cold temperatures
  • Cost-effective for large driveways
  • Easy to resurface and repair


Requires regular maintenance

  • Driveway surface can become soft in hot weather

  • Can crack if not maintained adequately


Paving Stone Driveways

The main benefit of using paving stones as a driveway surface is the wide choice of colours and styles to create your own unique effect on your driveway. They require more investment upfront as they take longer to lay but they will outlast other materials and create a high-end look that compliments and enhances your home exterior.


  • Extensive design choices
  • Requires little maintenance and very long-lasting
  • Can add to resale value of the property


  • Expensive to install with cost of labour
  • Need to manage weeds that may grow in the gaps
  • Stones can come loose if not installed professionally


Brick Driveways

Brick driveways not only look attractive, particularly with historic homes, but can last as long as the property if well installed. This attractive option however comes at a price as the bricks cost a lot to buy and then are time consuming to install so the labouring cost will be high; however, many still choose a brick driveway as a design choice as they will add value to your home.


  • Copes well in all weather conditions
  • If needed a single brick could be easily replaced
  • High-end, classic look


  • Can loosen and shift with wear and tear
  • Less options than paving
  • Expensive material and time consuming to install


Gravel Driveways

Gravel is often the driveway material of choice if you are concerned about cost as it is usually the cheapest material, so is commonly used for long driveways, commonly seen in rural areas, but it will need regular maintenance and replacing every few years.


  • Cheapest option for driveway surface
  • Gravel can come in many sizes and colours
  • Good in wet conditions


  • Makes cars dirty
  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Will need to be replaced every few years

Resin Bound Gravel Driveway Surface

Resin bound gravel driveways are becoming one of the most popular driveway surface choices as there are so many designs to choose from so it is easy to match your home and enhance the exterior of your property. Although the installation process is tricky it can be laid over an existing surface and the resin can be incorporated with bricks or paving to create an edging to the driveway surface.


  • Wide variety of colours to choose from
  • Can be installed over the top of the existing driveway
  • Fantastic drainage properties even in heavy rain the water will drain instantly


  • Attracts weeds, grasses, and moss
  • Complex installation process
  • Very expensive material

block paving driveway surface in Preston Lancashire on a detached property


Driveways installed in Preston and Lancashire

If you’re not sure whether you are ready to replace your driveway surface take a look at our guide How do I know when to replace my driveway? Redline has been working in Preston and the Lancashire region for the past 25 years and has built up a good reputation for excellent workmanship, offering a reliable and professional service, which can be seen by our many 5 star reviews- see our Testimonials page. Call 0800 2927908 if you would like to discuss your driveway, we can evaluate your specific location and give you expert advice.


Preston Office

Office 501
City House
131 Friargate


Leyland Office

317 Golden Hill Lane,
PR25 2YJ


Contact us:

Mob: 07903 937995
Tel: 01772 977 866

Tel: 0800 2927908
Tel: 07903 937995