Should You Use Tarmac Or Concrete For Your Driveway

If you are looking for a new or driveway replacement, then two popular options include a tarmac driveway and a concrete driveway. Tarmac and concrete are both excellent choices for your home or business. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of each, including crucial buying information such as cost, lifespan, appearance, and durability.

Tarmac Driveways

A tarmac driveway has a dark classic and traditional look created by mixing sand, gravel, crushed rock, and a binder, such as bitumen.

A tarmac driveway will need more maintenance than a concrete driveway over its life. However, maintaining and repairing tarmac is extremely easy. The projected lifespan of a tarmac driveway is less than one made from concrete.

So, in summary, a tarmac driveway offers the following:

  • Cost of installation: One of the cheapest forms of driveway to install.
  • Finish and appearance: A traditional look that withstands stains better than concrete.
  • Maintenance: More frequent, with a reseal recommended every two to three years.
  • Cracks and repairs: Good temperature resistance but will soften at extremely high temperatures. However, holes and cracks can be repaired and sealed efficiently.
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years if maintained.
  • Environmental impact: Harmful gases are released when it is heated due to the use of bitumen binders.

Concrete Driveways

Concrete is a mixture of sand, cement, water, and other aggregates, offering a smooth grey appearance. The surface can be stained, stamped, and polished, changing its aesthetics and colour. You can even create the look or a tarmac driveway with concrete.

A concrete driveway is more expensive than tarmac in both installation and any future repair work. However, concrete generally needs less maintenance, hardens with age, and will have a longer lifespan.

  • Cost of installation: More expensive to install than tarmac, although because of its durability, the lifetime cost will be less.
  • Finish and appearance: It can be stamped and chemically stained (Creteprint Driveways) to give a wide range of finishes.
  • Maintenance: Little maintenance is required.
  • Cracks and repairs: Repairs need to be made by an expert and can be more costly than tarmac.
  • Lifespan: Up to 40 years – with sealing once every five years.
  • Environmental impact: Made from readily available materials such as water and limestone.

The most crucial part of any driveway construction is the installation, be it tarmac, concrete, or Creteprint. A solid base layer or foundation is the key to a long life with the lowest amount of maintenance. Ensure you choose a reputable driveway installation company to avoid future pitfalls such as potholes, tree root incursion, drainage issues, cracking, and subsidence.

If you are looking for a new or replacement tarmac driveway or concrete driveway, please contact our team for a quote on 01543 229143.


You are guaranteed a service like no other at Staffordshire Driveways. Not only do our driveways come with a 15-year guarantee, you are also assured of the best customer service, quality materials and workmanship. Staffordshire Driveways boasts an unrivalled reputation for carrying out the best work at the best price and we promise to give you a driveway to be proud of.

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