On this page:
How Much Does a Driveway Cost?
The national average cost of an asphalt driveway is close to $5,000. The price can rise or fall depending on many factors, including location, quality of material, depth of material required, and the size of your drive.
Asphalt driveway installation pricing across the country can be anywhere from $2,800 to $10,000, but most spend $5,000 on a typical 500 sq. ft. driveway. The amount varies depending on such factors as the cost of labor, the overall size of your driveway, and the general difference between pricing in different states.
The amount of differing figures can be overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here to help by providing you with accurate and thorough calculations for a range of sizes of a driveway.
First, though, let’s briefly examine the factors that determine the overall cost of an asphalt driveway:
Size of Driveway
This is the most obvious one. A bigger driveway will inevitably cost more, even if you opt for a lower grade of asphalt. The length is one thing, but don’t forget that the size of a drive also includes how wide it is.
Those who need to have parking space for a lot of cars will pay a much higher sum, as will those whose home is located further from the road. If you’re a homeowner who has just bought a new property and only have one car in your household, choosing a narrower driveway will save you a significant amount.
The cost of asphalt ranges from $5 to $7 per square foot for the material or $7 to $13 per square foot installed. It is easier to get a better idea of the total cost when you calculate it in tonnes, however, and that is how these calculations will be carried out.
The average price of good quality asphalt is $100 to $200 per ton. Asphalt pricing fluctuates with the price of oil.
An asphalt driveway is often composed of base layers and top layers, though the most stable form of asphalt driveway will be created using full-depth asphalt. In general, a 4″ thick asphalt layer is suitable for most driveways, but 5-6″ is recommended to support heavier vehicles and loads.
This means that the entire thickness of the driveway is composed of asphalt instead of having a substandard material for lower layers. Thus, once you grade it as discussed below, the entire driveway is made of the same material, reducing the risk of shifting and movement.
Grading and Base Preparation
Grading and preparing a solid base is a hidden cost of an asphalt project. For your driveway to be as stable as possible, you may need to ensure that the top 6 inches of soil (at least) is stable and 4 to 8 inches of crushed gravel for a solid base.
Never use topsoil as a base for any structures which require stability. Topsoil is the soil you use for flowerbeds. The type of soil you need to prepare your new driveway should be as free of organic compounds as possible. It is also known as ‘fill dirt’.
The cost of labor for general contracting work is usually between $40 and $55 per hour. Labor rates differ around the country, and some homeowners may know someone in the industry who may offer a reduced price. However, regarding averages, it is best to assume that labor will cost around $40 per hour, with most contractors charging $2 to $6 per square foot.
Existing Driveway Removal
Removing an existing driveway will undoubtedly add to the costs of a paving project. Removing existing paving may take considerable time for the crew, while also generating a significant amount of waste that needs to be disposed of.
Replacing an asphalt driveway has an average cost of $8 to $15 per square foot, with removal adding an additional $1 to $2 in labor costs. You may have additional costs for disposal, but as asphalt can be recycled, some contractors do not charge this fee.
How to Estimate Asphalt Driveway Installation Cost
While our asphalt driveway calculator can estimate materials and labor pricing for your project, you can also do some back of the envelope calculations to ballpark your costs.
Example Driveway Project Estimate
For example, let’s estimate the cost of a 20-foot wide by 40-foot long driveway that is 6 inches deep.
One ton of asphalt will cover 26.66 square feet of driveway at a 6-inch depth.
You find out the square footage of your driveway by just multiplying the length by the width. The square footage in this example is 20′ times 40′, which equals 800 square feet.
Next, divide this into how much asphalt we need per square foot. 800 divided by 26.66 equals 30 tons of asphalt.
At $100 to $200 per ton for hot-mix asphalt, the asphalt will cost $3,000 to $6,000.
Once labor costs, equipment costs, and grading and fill dirt costs are considered, it is safe to say that you should set aside at least $8,000 for this new driveway.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a new asphalt driveway increase home value?
This depends on the area you live in, as asphalt is not widely used in the south. It can increase home value as well as boost curb appeal in the north.
Is it cheaper to use asphalt or concrete?
In general, asphalt is less costly than concrete for driveways, but is only used in the north. In the south, concrete is more commonly used and less costly.
How much is a ton of asphalt?
A ton of hot mix asphalt runs between $100 and $200 on average.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.
- Enright Asphalt, The Factors Behind Asphalt Driveway Cost, https://www.enrightasphalt.com/asphalt-driveway-cost/
- Jeff Beneke, Pros and Cons of Asphalt Driveways, The Spruce, https://www.thespruce.com/pros-and-cons-of-asphalt-driveway-1398080