How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost? (2023)

The average driveway gravel cost ranges between $300 to $4,500, including labor and installation materials. The national average is around $1,500. Since gravel is more affordable than asphalt and concrete, it’s a popular paving choice for driveways. Let’s break down its costs so you can make an informed decision before making home improvements.

How to Calculate Gravel Driveway Costs

How to Calculate Gravel Driveway Costs

The gravel you need for a driveway is usually calculated per square foot. The average gravel driveway cost per square foot is around $1 and $3. Consider that you’ll need at least three layers of crushed gravel. Each one must be 4 to 6 inches deep. 

If you plan to work on a gravel driveway, you can use an online gravel driveway cost calculator to estimate how much gravel you’ll need in volume and weight. 

Gravel Driveway Costs by Material

The overall gravel driveway cost will depend on the types of stones or other materials you select. 

Rock Pebbles

This type of rock costs around $1.50 per square foot. Rock pebbles have a variety of colors and a smooth texture. They don’t get slippery when wet. However, they can be susceptible to shifting, which is not ideal for the driveway’s top layer. 

Crushed Granite

The cost of crushed granite is around $0.50 per square foot. With extensive and fine pieces combined, granite compacts and gives the driveway a sturdy surface. 

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel cost per square foot is around $0.80. It’s versatile and has drainage skills. 

Crushed Stone / Limestone

Crushed limestone is a rock that costs around $2.00 per square foot. Limestone comes in a variety of tonalities and is highly durable and attractive. It’s recommendable for draining stormwater. 

Crushed Shell

The average cost of crushed shell per square foot is around $0.60. It’s an environmentally friendly material. It maintains a stable driveway surface since they break down into smaller pieces with every drive. 


This crushed mineral has an average price of $0.45 per square foot. It’s a popular choice for low-cost driveways. It can also be used as a sub-base material.

Gravel Driveway Cost Breakdown

The cost to install a gravel driveway breaks down into different variables and processes. Consider that depending on the layout of your house driveway, the total price can go higher than the average. 

Material Type

Prices of gravel can vary depending on the source and type of the material, the supplier’s cost and the minimum weight that they will sell to you or a contractor. For example, crushed shells price can vary since it’s not easy to get in some parts of the country. 

Driveway Size

Average driveways have a measure that ranges from 12 to 48 feet wide and 20 to 36 feet long. The number of cars parked usually calculates the width. Here’s an estimate of the most common driveway measures:

  • 20-foot driveway size. The price ranges from $480 to $1,920. The lowest amount goes for one car, and the highest for four cars. 
  • 36-foot driveway size. The price ranges from $860 to $3,500. The lowest amount goes for one car, and the highest for four cars.  


The average price for the gravel driveway installation is around $40 per hour. You can expect to pay between $20 and $60 for the installation workforce. The total time of the installation will depend on your driveway size. In general, the installation doesn’t take more than two hours. 


Installing proper drainage on your gravel driveway, like a low-end surface crowing, costs an average of $100. You’ll need better drainage if you live in an area with heavy rainfall. You add an extra layer of gravel. This can cost between $2,000 and $5,000


The cost of a permit for a gravel driveway will depend on your geographic location, tax rates and prices in the area. The average for a permit is around $500 and $2,000. However, the cost is lower if you want to make a minor improvement or repair. It ranges between $45 to $90

Additional Costs to Consider

The needed materials for a gravel driveway are cheaper than the ones for a concrete or asphalt driveway. However, additional services can elevate the final cost of a gravel driveway. 

Land Preparations

Installing a gravel driveway can have additional costs depending on your house land.

  • Building a long road or driveway costs $400 per hour if your house doesn’t have clear access.
  • Removing a concrete driveway can cost between $2 to $6 per square foot if you already have one.
  • Your driveway may need a tree removal service. The average price of tree removal ranges between $150 to $500 for trees up to 30′ tall. For trees between 30 and 60 feet, the price is between $300 to $1,000. The prices for trees over 60 feet go from $650 to $2,000


The average cost of re-sloping the land is around $400 and up to $5,000. The national average is around $1,900. Resloping is vital because it directs the water away from the foundation of your house. 

Delivery Fees

Material companies calculate their delivery fees depending on how long they transport the gravel and how much it is. The average price is between $50 and $100 for delivery. The further you live from them, the higher the cost will be. 

Bottom Line

Besides their affordable installation, gravel driveways provide a steady road for the entrance of your house. They are porous and will mitigate issues caused by heavy rainfall.  Gravel allows small car wheels to roll easily and withstand heavy vehicles’ weight. Getting an average price or the installation of a gravel driveway is easy when you have all the measures of material and what your land requirements set. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How do I know I need a new gravel driveway?

Gravel driveways need maintenance when they have an uneven surface, bare spots and pooling water. You may not need a new gravel, but a better crowned draining system. Consider changing your gravel every 2 to 4 years. 

Is a gravel driveway less expensive than a concrete one?

Yes, gravel is less expensive than concrete. While the average driveway gravel costs between $300 to $4,500, the concrete ranges from $1,885 to $6,475. 

What is the cheapest gravel for a driveway?

The cheapest gravel for a driveway is caliche. It costs around $0.45 per square foot, $25 per cubic yard, and $32 per ton. The material is as strong as limestone and contains fossilized clay and sand. To save money, consider buying it in bulk and skipping the delivery.  

How do you estimate a gravel driveway?

You need to calculate your driveway space to estimate the cost of getting a gravel driveway. Consider you’ll need at least three layers of crushed gravel. To calculate the amount of gravel in cubic feet, multiply the layers’ depth by the driveway area. This process is easier with an online gravel driveway cost calculator. Consider factors like the type of material you’ll use, permits, labor, delivery fees and land preparation.