How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost in 2024?

The national average cost of installing a gravel driveway is $1,500, but you can pay as much as $60,000 or as little as $300.

If you’re in the market for a new driveway, you may want to consider one made of gravel. The national average cost of installing a gravel driveway is $1,500, but you can pay as much as $60,000 or as little as $300.

Gravel driveways look great and are much more affordable than traditional concrete or asphalt driveways. The average square foot cost of a gravel driveway is $1 to $3 per square foot, but the price depends on the size of the driveway and the amount of land preparation needed. 

In this cost guide:

Average Gravel Driveway Costs in 2024

National Average Cost$1,500
Typical Price Range$600 – $1,800
Extreme Low End Cost$300
Extreme High End Cost$60,000

If you are looking to save money, you may want to consider a shorter driveway. Long driveways require more materials and labor, so short driveways are more budget-friendly.

Gravel Driveway Cost Estimator by Size

The average square-foot cost of a gravel driveway is $1 to $3 per square foot. This includes the average cost of materials (usually sold by the ton) and the average cost of labor (usually charged by the hour).

Driveway SizeTypical Cost
Single car $600
Two car$1,500
Three car$2,000

The size of the driveway is the biggest factor impacting the cost of the job. The bigger the driveway, the more materials required to cover the space and the more labor required to install it.  

Other Factors That Affect Cost

These are the other significant factors that impact the cost of a gravel driveway:


Just like with length and width, the depth of a driveway will affect the cost of materials. The deeper the driveway, the more gravel is needed to fill it. A gravel driveway should be at least 4 inches deep, but experts recommend 8 to 12 inches. 

Opting for more depth and additional layers will require tons more gravel (literally). The average gravel price of $30 to $100 per ton can increase costs by hundreds or even thousands of dollars the deeper you go.

Land Preparation

If your driveway installation requires grading, excavation, or re-sloping, these services will add to your overall expenses. The more land preparation that’s needed, the steeper the price tag. 

ServiceTypical Cost
Grading$100 – $3,400
Resloping$400 – $5,000
Excavation$500 – $6,000

Type of Gravel

There are many different types of gravel to choose from when it comes to building your gravel driveway. They range from $0.40 to $2.00 per square foot but are often sold by the ton or cubic yard. 

Here are the typical cost of some of the most popular gravel options for driveways. 

Type of GravelTypical Cost / Ton
Pea Gravel$25 – $50
Crushed Granite$25 – $50
Crushed clamshell$25 – $60
Crushed marble$25 – $65
Crushed limestone$30 – $40
River rock$35 – $50
Blue stone gravel$50 – $100
Quartz gravel$70 – $100

The price of pea gravel, as well as its size, shape, and texture, make it one of the most popular choices.

Gravel Color

The color of the gravel can also impact the overall price. Colored gravel is more expensive than gravel with natural colors. Keep in mind that dark colors retain heat, while white reflects it.

Additional services may need to be completed before a new driveway is installed. These services may include:

You may also want to take a look at the cost of an asphalt driveway.

Tree Removal

If you’re installing a completely new driveway or expanding on an existing one, landscape features like trees or bushes may be blocking your path. If that’s the case, you’ll need them removed.

If your contractor focuses primarily on driveways, you may have to hire a separate tree service or landscaper to remove trees and bushes. The cost of removing a tree depends on the plant’s size, root system complexity, and accessibility. 

National Average Cost$630 
Typical Price Range$385 to $1,070
Extreme Low End$150
Extreme High End$1,935

Land Clearing

You may have to clear room for your new driveway, and clearing land typically costs $1.18 to $2.00 per square foot.

National Average Cost$2,580
Typical Price Range$1,270 – $3,900
Extreme Low End$560
Extreme High End$8,310

Concrete Removal

Homeowners that are removing an existing concrete driveway will need to factor in the cost of concrete removal and disposal. Expect to pay about $2 to $6 per square foot of concrete, but concrete removal costs can vary.

National Average Cost$1,445
Typical Price Range$680 – $2,850
Extreme Low End$260
Extreme High End$7,700


In areas with heavy rainfall, you may need additional drainage to ensure your driveway remains intact. Proper drainage will also reduce the risk of potholes, keeping your family safe while lowering maintenance costs. 

A low-end surface crowing can cost as little as $100, but if you need an extra layer of gravel, expect to pay $2,000 – $5,000. Do you already have water standing in your yard? Check out ways to improve drainage in your yard before installing a new driveway.

Asphalt Driveway vs. Gravel Driveway 

You may be considering other driveway materials, such as asphalt. The typical asphalt driveway cost is about  $3,090 to $7,910.

National Average Cost$5,000
Typical Price Range$3,090 – $7,910
Extreme Low End$1,670
Extreme High End$10,900

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

Although it will involve some heavy lifting, handy homeowners may be able to install a gravel driveway as a DIY project. Project costs will include the following:

  • Equipment rentals
  • Gravel
  • Hand tools
  • Measurement and site preparation supplies
  • Erosion control materials. 

Keep in mind that contractors typically get bulk discounts that save them money on supplies.  Expect DIY materials to cost you more than they would a pro.

Please see typical equipment costs in the table below.

EquipmentTypical Cost
Jackhammer$90 per day to rent
Mini excavator$250 per day to rent
Skid steer$300 per day to rent
Plate compactor$86 per day to rent
Truck rental$130 per day to rent
Sledgehammer$20 – $50
Landscape rake$40 – $70
Hand tamper$35 – $80

Please see typical material costs in the table below.

MaterialTypical Cost
Gravel $300 – $1,200
Wooden stakes$4 – $8
Nylon string$3 – $12
Erosion-control mats$50 – $150

At around $20 to $60 per hour, professional labor costs can add up, but so can heavy equipment rentals. As a result, small jobs can see significant savings. However, large jobs requiring long-term rentals will see minimal (if any) cost savings.

How to Build a Gravel Driveway DIY in 6 Steps 

Here are the basic steps to building your own gravel driveway:

Step 1: If needed, begin your prep work by breaking up your existing driveway and clearing the debris.

Step 2: Excavate the topsoil to your desired depth using a mini-excavator and skid steer.

Step 3: Grade and level the land using a plate compactor.

Step 4: Lay down erosion control mats, then spread and compact the base layer of gravel.

Step 5: Spread and compact the middle and top layers of gravel or crushed stone.

Step 6: Shape the top layer of gravel, forming a crown.

Cost of a Gravel Driveway by Location

Your location also influences the total cost of your new driveway in the following ways:

Soil Type and Climate

Locations with hard or heavy soil types, like clay, will see increased costs for excavation and grading. Areas with steep slopes will be more expensive. Regions with heavy rainfall or a high risk of flooding will pay additional costs for drainage. 

Taxes and Permits

Taxes and permits are a potential expense for homeowners. Expect to pay $500 to $2,000 on taxes and permits for this project (if you live somewhere that requires them).

Labor Costs

Areas with a high cost of living tend to have higher labor costs. For example, Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, and New York have the nation’s highest cost of living. In contrast, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Alabama have the lowest cost of living. If you live in one of these states, don’t be surprised if your gravel driveway cost is significantly lower or higher than the national averages we covered here.

FAQ About Gravel Driveways

Is a gravel driveway cheaper than concrete?

In most cases, a gravel driveway will cost much less than a concrete driveway. A gravel driveway is one of the least expensive driveway types and is typically less than half the cost of a paved driveway. Only gravel driveways that use the most premium types of gravel will come close to the price of a paved driveway surface.

What size gravel is best for driveways?

Ideally, the size of your gravel will vary by layer. Each gravel layer should contain four inches of gravel. The best gravel sizes for your base layer are base gravel #3 (one to two inches in diameter) and #4 (golf-ball sized). Your middle layer should be slightly smaller, and your top layer should be the smallest.

How long does a gravel driveway last?

Gravel driveways are incredibly resilient. A gravel driveway can last for as long as 100 years when installed correctly and maintained properly. 

What are the disadvantages of gravel?

There are a few disadvantages to gravel driveway installations:

  • When you drive on gravel, dust and debris can get into the air and soil your house. 
  • Driveways made of cobblestone or pavers have much better curb appeal than gravel.
  • If not properly maintained, a gravel driveway can be an eyesore. 
  • It is tough to shovel snow off a gravel driveway.

Final Thoughts

The only thing that sounds better than the whoosh of pulling out of a driveway is the crunch of pulling into a gravel one. Now you can confidently contact a landscaping professional near you to get estimates on a new gravel driveway for your home.

Main Photo Credit: Jeff Herman / LawnStarter

Michelle Selzer

Michelle Selzer

Michelle Selzer is a witty writer with a passion for plants and outdoor power tools. When she's not out in the yard, Michelle enjoys fishing, hunting, and chasing waterfalls.