Exterior Curb Appeal

How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost?

A new asphalt driveway is smooth to drive on and makes your home look better. The typical asphalt driveway costs $4,200 to $9,000, with a national average of $4,740.
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Visual 1 - HomeAdvisor - Asphalt Driveway Cost - Cost Range + Average - April 2024
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Highlights

  • The typical cost to install an asphalt driveway ranges from $4,200 to $9,000, with a national average of $4,740.
  • The main factors that affect the total cost of asphalt driveway installation include the driveway location on the property, the geographic location of the home, the size of the area to be paved, the type of asphalt used, and the cost of labor.
  • An asphalt driveway has many benefits, including increased home value, durability, a clean look, easy repair and maintenance, and resistance to low temperatures.
  • A homeowner with professional experience installing asphalt driveways may be able to tackle this as a DIY project, but most homeowners will want to hire a professional to ensure the driveway is installed correctly.
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Asphalt driveways are common in temperate and continental climates because the material’s color and durability can stand up to harsh weather. Asphalt is also less expensive than a concrete driveway and is typically easier to maintain than gravel. Asphalt paving offers a convenient and safe driving or walking surface with minimal upkeep compared to other driveway options. According to Angi, paving a driveway with asphalt costs $4,740 on average, with a range from $4,200 to $9,000. Since this job requires a lot of specific equipment and heavy labor, it’s best done by a professional.

Additional Costs of Asphalt Driveway
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Key Cost Factors

How much does an asphalt driveway cost? Asphalt paving costs $7 to $15 per square foot, including minimal grading services. Homeowners can review the following factors or refer to an asphalt driveway cost calculator to get a sense of the potential project cost.

Driveway Size

Paving a driveway costs between $2,500 and $7,028 for a 600-square-foot surface. Asphalt manufacturers often sell new material by the ton, averaging $100 to $200 per ton. One ton can cover about 30 to 80 square feet, and the total amount needed depends on the thickness of the layers. A driveway 2 inches thick can run 80 square feet per ton, and a 4-inch-thick driveway can run 40 square feet per ton. An average driveway will need 7 to 15 tons. Most prices are determined by the ton, and some are calculated based on cubic yards.

Asphalt Type and Grade

The standard asphalt for most projects is hot mix asphalt. This type typically costs $100 to $200 per ton. Cold mix asphalt costs $10 to $50 per bag, but it’s usually used only for repairing a driveway temporarily. It isn’t designed for an entire driveway because it typically lasts for only one or two seasons. Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) will end up costing less money than brand-new asphalt and has the advantage of being environmentally friendly. A reclaimed or recycled asphalt driveway runs between $10 and $20 per ton. Colored asphalt is hot mix asphalt with pigments added; it can cost $12 to $17 per square foot. Driveways that are stamped also cost $12 to $17 per square foot. Lastly, porous asphalt costs $8 to $15 per square foot and is topped with a layer of crushed stone that improves drainage.

Asphalt comes in a variety of grades, which have different compositions and can withstand varying levels of wear. In most cases, driveway installation will include the application of layers of at least two asphalt grades. Base I-2 is the most common first layer and is mostly made up of gravel. This layer costs $1 to $2 per square foot. Top I-5 has a smoother finish and can withstand more direct traffic. Top I-5 costs about $1 to $4 per square foot. Areas with heavy traffic can benefit from finishing with commercial top I-4, which is the strongest layer and costs $3 to $5 per square foot.

Asphalt GradeCost per Square Foot (Materials Only)
Base I-2$1 to $2
Top I-5$1 to $4
Commercial top I-4$3 to $5

Asphalt Depth

Asphalt driveways will need to be at least 2 inches deep, but the thicker the application, the longer-lasting the driveway will be. For maximum longevity, some homeowners will opt for a driveway with a depth of up to 6 inches. The deeper the asphalt, the higher the cost because of the increase in materials and increased time needed for installation. For reference, a standard driveway will require between 7 and 15 tons of asphalt, and asphalt costs about $100 to $200 per ton.

Asphalt DepthCoverage per TonAverage Cost (Materials Only)
2 inches80 square feet$750 to $1,500
4 inches40 square feet$1,500 to $3,000
6 inches30 square feet$2,000 to $4,000

Labor and Geographic Location

Labor costs for asphalt driveway installation fall between $5 and $7 per square foot. The size and scope of the project will impact how many hours will be required to complete the project. Labor costs may be higher if the driveway is on a hill or has curves, or if additional services like tree or stump removal are needed. Flat land makes for an easier and less expensive process.

Asphalt driveway paving costs can vary due to geographic location. The overall price will depend on fuel costs and the local cost of living. It’s also a good idea for homeowners to consider the climate in their location before installing an asphalt driveway, as this material is more hearty in cold or mild climates. In hotter regions, warm weather can soften the asphalt, making it more vulnerable to damage, which may result in more frequent repairs.

State Cost Range
California $5,050 to $13,500
Connecticut$4,700 to $10,200
Florida$2,050 to $5,400
Minnesota $3,350 to $6,550
New Jersey$2,900 to $6,550
Texas$4,200 to $10,250

Additional Costs and Considerations

When homeowners are budgeting for asphalt driveway costs, there are usually additional price factors and considerations for them to keep in mind. Additional blacktop driveway costs can include the cost to clear land during surface preparation, installation of a heated or widened driveway, gate installation, sealant, and maintenance.

New vs. Replacement Driveway

Putting in a new asphalt driveway costs $7 to $13 per square foot. This cost accounts for any minor land preparation that is needed, materials, and labor. Costs may be higher if the area needs significant grading or leveling. Replacing an existing driveway can cost $8 to $15 per square foot, which includes removing and disposing of the old driveway.

Asphalt Overlay

It is possible to install a layer of asphalt on top of an existing concrete driveway, although this is generally a temporary solution. This can prolong the time until full driveway replacement is necessary and costs about $3 to $7 per square foot. It’s worth noting that since concrete is prone to cracking, damage that occurs on the concrete layer may appear in the asphalt coating as well.

Excavation and Grading

Excavating land can cost between $1,500 and $5,100, depending on the number of cubic feet that needs to be moved. Grading, or leveling the area to make the driveway smooth and well drained, costs between $5 and $10 per square foot for professional graders, but steep driveways may cost more.

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Asphalt Driveway Cost Types
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Driveway Repair

If a driveway is simply looking old and faded, basic resurfacing can give it a much-needed refresh. The cost to resurface asphalt driveways is usually between $3 and $7 per square foot. However, if the driveway has potholes or cracks and is sinking or crumbling, more extensive asphalt driveway repairs or replacement could be necessary. Asphalt driveway repair costs around $300 on average, but if the driveway is very large, costs could reach up to $3,000.

Sealing and Maintenance

Driveway sealing costs $3 to $7 per square foot. Asphalt driveway sealer is a thin coat that is applied to protect the driveway surface. Homeowners can learn how to seal an asphalt driveway themselves or hire a professional to do it for them. The total cost to seal an asphalt driveway is around $499 on average and can be done 6 months after the driveway is installed. Sealant provides a layer of protection to avoid cracking in the asphalt and environmental damage. Homeowners will want to consider using one of the best asphalt driveway sealers for a long-lasting result. Experts recommend sealing asphalt driveways every 2 to 5 years. Any cracks or other types of damage that appear will need to be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Driveway cleaning might also be necessary occasionally to remove any oil, rust, paint, or dirt that have left unsightly stains.

Customizations

Adding customizations to an asphalt driveway can improve convenience and security. Heated driveways reduce the need for shoveling snow and applying ice melt in the winter. A heated driveway usually costs $12 to $25 per square foot, depending on whether it’s a new one or a replacement. Widening a driveway may involve removing trees or stumps, grading, installing a base, and paving. Gates ensure cars and trucks don’t use the driveway as a place to turn around, which will help the driveway last longer. The average cost to install a driveway gate is $850 to $3,600.

CustomizationAverage Cost 
Heated driveway$12 to $25 per square foot
Driveway widening $7 to $15 per square foot
Gate installation$850 to $3,600

Types of Asphalt

Asphalt driveway costs can vary due to the type of asphalt used. Most asphalt driveways use a hot mix that contains some recycled content. There are other options, and they will have different pricing per square foot.

Asphalt TypeCost (Materials Only)
Cold mix$10 to $50 per bag
Hot mix$100 to $200 per ton
Porous$8 to $15 per square foot
Recycled or reclaimed$10 to $20 per ton
Stamped or colored$12 to $17 per square foot

Cold Mix

Cold mix asphalt costs $10 to $50 per bag, but it can be used only for temporary repairs. Cold mix shouldn’t be used for a whole driveway because it doesn’t last more than one or two seasons.

Hot Mix

Hot mix is most commonly used in driveways, and it is inexpensive, flexible, and easy to work with. Different mixtures of aggregate material and oil can produce a finer or rougher texture, depending on the homeowner’s preference and needs. Hot mix costs between $100 and $200 per ton.

Porous

For homeowners who live in a rainy climate and want to make sure the driveway drains properly, porous asphalt is the best choice. Rather than staying on the surface and running off, water drains through the asphalt. A layer of crushed stone is added under the asphalt to assist with the draining. Porous asphalt also helps save money on leveling and grading. This type of asphalt isn’t the best choice in freeze-thaw climates because expanding ice can rupture the pavement. Porous asphalt costs $8 to $15 per square foot.

Recycled or Reclaimed 

Most asphalt driveways contain recycled material. Asphalt is 100 percent recyclable, so it’s very common for older driveways and roads to be reused in newer applications. This keeps costs down compared to using newer materials. Homeowners are advised to ask the contractor what percentage of material is recycled; it’s also helpful to know that it’s typically possible to request more recycled material. A recycled crushed asphalt driveway costs between $10 and $20 per ton, compared to $100 to $200 per ton for brand-new asphalt. Using recycled asphalt can save $675 to $2,700 on driveway materials if it’s available in the area. Sometimes an installer can mill the old material onsite, cutting down on transporting supplies to the home.

Stamped or Colored

A stamped asphalt driveway costs $12 to $17 per square foot. If only the topcoat is needed, it runs about $5 to $10 per square foot. Asphalt in a unique shape adds interest to a property, and it should be sealed to keep it in good condition.

While asphalt is traditionally black, it can be colored by adding a pigment to the hot mix. The colors can be matte or more dimensional, depending on the homeowner’s preference. Colored asphalt can be utilized for safety reasons and is also a great way to add a decorative touch. It costs between $12 to $17 per square foot.

Do I need a new asphalt driveway?

A damaged or old driveway can reduce the curb appeal of a home and become a safety issue. There are several common signs that may signal to a homeowner that it’s time to install a new asphalt driveway.

Cracks, Buckling, Warping, and Crumbling

A cracked asphalt driveway can be made worse with gas, oil, and salt. Superficial cracks can be repaired, but deep cracks are a sign that a driveway likely needs to be replaced. Wavy or warped asphalt can happen due to an insufficient base or heavy vehicle use. Often the area can be leveled with asphalt, but sometimes both the asphalt and base will need to be replaced. Asphalt driveways that are not protected on their edge with concrete gutters or curbs can experience crumbling edges. These edges will need to be removed and replaced.

Faded Color

Over time, sunlight and frequent use can turn asphalt from black to gray. Older pavement is prone to cracking since it becomes brittle as it ages. Strategic repairs and regular seal coating can protect this faded pavement from more extensive damage.

Sinkage

Asphalt is poured on crushed stone or another solid base. If this base erodes, there may be sinkage, especially near other buildings. Sinkage often indicates that downspouts are depositing water too close to the structure, increasing the impact on the pavement below. In addition to asphalt services, repairs to gutters may be necessary.

Age

Most asphalt driveways last up to 20 years. If the driveway is past its prime and showing its age, it’s time for a replacement. To completely resolve asphalt driveway issues, a replacement is the way to go.

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Asphalt Driveway Cost DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
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DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Although a homeowner can patch an existing driveway using one of the best asphalt driveway crack fillers, installing a new driveway is a job for a pro. Homeowners may be able to rent machinery to prepare the soil or remove the old driveway, but this work is difficult, so it’s better for them to find local asphalt installers by searching for “asphalt paving near me.” If the driveway is installed incorrectly, it may not last very long. By comparison, a professional can do a stellar job in just a few days. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that installing a DIY asphalt driveway without the necessary experience could end up costing more in the long run. For homeowners who don’t know exactly how to install an asphalt driveway, hiring one of the best driveway paving companies is recommended.

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How to Save Money and Pay for an Asphalt Driveway

The average cost of an asphalt driveway is not insignificant, and the additional costs associated with the installation can quickly add up. One way to save money is to install the driveway with the cheapest options available, but there are other ways to save without compromising on quality. The money-saving tips below can help you save on asphalt driveway costs.

  • Get multiple estimates. It’s important to get multiple estimates from professional asphalt paving companies before starting this project. Professionals in your zip code will know the cost to repave an asphalt driveway, and getting multiple estimates means you can shop around for the best price.
  • Remove the old driveway yourself. If you’re handy and capable, rent a jackhammer and remove the old driveway. To stay within budget, this is a part of the process that lends itself to DIY. Ask your contractor to bid out the demolition process to see how much money you can save.
  • Research. Interview and talk to more than one contractor. Their experience level with this kind of project can help you choose the right one for your needs.

It typically isn’t necessary to pay the full price for driveway installation out of pocket up front. It’s a good idea to consider the project budget and decide what payment or financing options are the best fit. 

  • Zero percent interest credit card. Zero percent APR credit cards allow cardholders to borrow without interest. However, the interest-free period is often temporary, so it’s important to plan accordingly. 
  • Driveway contractor financing. In some cases, the asphalt driveway company will offer financing options so customers can pay for the project over an extended period with interest. 
  • Home equity loan. Homeowners can dip into their home equity to pay for driveway installation. The best home equity lenders (like U.S. Bank and Flagstar Bank) are trustworthy options and have options for a variety of loan amounts. 
  • Personal loan. A personal loan can be used at a borrower’s discretion, including for projects like asphalt driveway installation. 

Questions to Ask a Pro

Asking an asphalt paving professional the right questions can help minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. There are some important questions homeowners can ask when getting bids for asphalt driveway replacement.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Is your company licensed and insured?
  • Do you carry workers’ compensation insurance?
  • Does your company have unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Can you provide me with references and photos of past work?
  • How do you handle unexpected delays?
  • Does the project need a permit, and if so, will you obtain it?
  • Are there additional costs that are not on the bid?
  • How many workers will complete the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
  • How will the sub-base be done?
  • What materials will you use?
  • How will you protect the yard and the landscaping?
  • How will you handle cleanup after the project is complete?
  • Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on your work?

FAQs

Deciding on an asphalt driveway and keeping the overall asphalt driveway cost down can be a daunting process. What follows are some frequently asked questions about asphalt driveway cost to help guide homeowners.

Q. Which is cheaper: a concrete or asphalt driveway?

Many homeowners look into the differences between concrete vs. asphalt driveways—specifically regarding cost. Paving with asphalt is generally the more budget-friendly option. Concrete driveways cost $3 to $18 per square foot, while the asphalt driveway cost per square foot is $7 to $15. Concrete holds up well in extreme heat but can crack in freezing temperatures. Asphalt, on the other hand, stands up exceptionally well in the cold but may become malleable in the heat of the sun. Choosing the right driveway material for the region a homeowner lives in might reduce future repair costs. These factors are essential for homeowners to consider when comparing asphalt vs. concrete driveway costs.

Q. Is 2 inches of asphalt enough for a driveway?

It’s recommended to have at least 2 inches of asphalt for a driveway, and the majority of homes have 2 to 6 inches.

Q. How long does an asphalt driveway last?

An asphalt driveway can last up to 25 to 30 years with proper maintenance. Asphalt driveways in mild climates can last longer.

Sources: HomeAdvisor, Angi, Fixr