Tarmac vs. Block Paving: Which Is Ideal for New Build Driveways?

Introduction: Choosing the right driveway material is crucial when constructing a new driveway. Tarmac (asphalt) and block paving (also known as brick or concrete paving) are popular options, each with its own advantages and considerations. In this blog post, Ashford Driveways will help you weigh the pros and cons of tarmac and block paving to determine which is ideal for your newly built driveway.

Tarmac Driveways:


  • Cost-Effective: Tarmac driveways are often more budget-friendly than block paving, making them an attractive choice for cost-conscious homeowners.
  • Durability: Tarmac is known for its durability and resistance to cracking. It can withstand heavy loads and frequent use, making it suitable for driveways.
  • Low Maintenance: Tarmac requires minimal maintenance. Regular sealing can help prolong its lifespan and maintain its appearance.
  • Quick Installation: Tarmac driveways can be installed relatively quickly, reducing construction time.
  • Smooth Surface: Tarmac provides a smooth and even surface suitable for driving and parking vehicles.


  • Limited Aesthetic Options: Tarmac driveways have limited aesthetic options compared to block paving. They come in a standard black or dark grey colour.
  • Susceptible to Oil Stains: Oil or vehicle fuel leaks can stain tarmac.

Block Paving Driveways:


  • Aesthetic Variety: Block paving offers various colours, patterns, and shapes, allowing creative and customised designs.
  • Easy Repairs: If damaged, individual blocks can be replaced, making repairs relatively simple and cost-effective.
  • Permeable Options: Permeable block paving allows rainwater to pass through the surface, reducing the risk of puddles and flooding.
  • Enhanced Curb Appeal: Block paving can significantly enhance the curb appeal of your property with its versatile design options.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Block paving driveways are generally more expensive upfront than tarmac.
  • Maintenance: To keep the blocks in place, block paving requires periodic maintenance, including weeding and re-sanding.
  • Installation Time: Installing block paving driveways can take longer than tarmac.

Conclusion: The choice between tarmac and block paving depends on your specific priorities and budget:

  • If you prioritise cost-effectiveness, durability, and low maintenance, tarmac may be ideal for your newly built driveway.
  • Block paving could be the better option if you value aesthetics and customisation options and are willing to invest in long-term curb appeal.

Both tarmac and block paving can create functional and visually appealing driveways. Consider your preferences, budget, and maintenance capabilities when making your decision.

This is a photo of a resin patio installed with a brick border

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