The number of cars in the UK has increased in all but one year since the end of World War II, according to government figures. Given that the vast majority of these cars spend most of their time stationary, it’s hardly surprising that parking is such a big issue when buying a property. But just how much value does a driveway add to a house? Is it worth the investment versus other home improvements? And would it make better financial sense to sell your house now rather than waiting for a driveway to be installed? Make your mind up by reading our in-depth guide.
Why it can be difficult selling a house without a driveway
Not having a driveway could turn some prospective buyers off. While postcode area is a bigger factor, some car insurers may offer a discount to drivers able to park off the street, due to the decreased risk of being bumped by passing vehicles. This can make a driveway an attractive feature to motorists looking for a new house.
According to one study, home-buyers are pretty unanimous when it comes to rating the importance of off-street parking, with 84% insisting they wouldn’t consider a property that doesn’t have a driveway. The research found that the top ten put-offs when buying a home are:
- Price / cost
- Condition and structure
- Size of the property
- Bad / nosy neighbours
- No garden
- High levels of crime in the area
- No parking / garage
- Too close to neighbouring houses
- Bad plumbing
On the face of things, this suggests that not having a driveway could be putting off a high proportion of potential buyers before they’ve even viewed your property.
However, it’s important to take studies such as this with a pinch of salt, as there is no context behind any of the answers. If a buyer has their heart set on a certain location – or specific style of property – that typically doesn’t include off-street parking, they’ll probably already be aware of this. Likewise, if your house is more desirable than other listed properties in your area (e.g. perhaps it’s better laid out, has a larger garden, or is in better condition), buyers may be happy to overlook the lack of a driveway.
How much does a driveway cost?
As with any construction job, there are a few variables at play here. When it comes to building a driveway, the following factors can all have an impact on price:
- Location – you’ll generally pay a higher cost for labour the closer you live to London
- Materials – there are a huge range of options available when it comes to choosing driveway materials, from block paving to concrete and asphalt. Some are cheaper to install, but may require more maintenance in future
- Size – unsurprisingly, size will also affect the final price, with larger driveways requiring more materials and additional labour costs
According to PriceYourJob, the average total cost of block paving a small driveway (with room for one car) is £3,500. Of this cost, more than two-thirds goes toward labour, with the remainder split between materials and waste removal. For a two-car driveway, the cost rises to £4,500, while a three to four-car driveway will set you back an average of £6,000.
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What ROI can you expect?
As with any home improvement, it’s important to consider the return on investment before you commit. If another upgrade – such as a refitted bathroom or a converted loft – could add more value to your property, then they should clearly be prioritised. This will naturally depend on the specifics of your home and the area in which you live. If other houses in your area do have driveways, this could make yours much less attractive. If they don’t, adding a driveway could make your property much more appealing, but will probably come at the expense of losing some – or all – of your front garden.
How much could the driveway add to your house price?
Unsurprisingly, there’s no set answer to the question “how much value does a driveway add to a house?”. The value of a property is affected by a huge range of factors; simply adding a driveway is unlikely to turn an unattractive property into one that’s in high demand. However, drawing on a variety of research and expert opinions can at least give us a good idea of the benefits of adding a driveway.
According to a study conducted by online parking marketplace YourParkingSpace.co.uk, creating a parking bay or driveway could add 10% to the value of a property. With the average UK house price standing at £231,422 as of July 2018, this suggests you could increase the sale price of your house by as much as £23,000 through adding a driveway.
Property expert Phil Spencer, the face of Channel 4’s Location Location Location, is even more positive about the impact of off-street parking. He estimates that paving over the front garden to create a parking space could add as much as £50,000 to the value of a property, provided it is located in a “prime city area” where parking is at a premium.
In another study, the Federation of Master Builders, the HomeOwners Alliance and the Guild of Property Professionals compared the profits to be made from adding a new driveway in six parts of the UK. The highest profit – more than £11,000 – was made in Surrey, but in North-East England the new driveway actually delivered a loss of £245. This highlights the point that any property has a price ceiling; if your house is already close to this figure, any improvements are unlikely to yield positive results.
Consider the rental value of your new parking space
As a final point, it’s worth noting that a driveway could be a money-spinner in its own rights. Figures from YourParkingSpace.co.uk show that homeowners in dozens of towns and cities across the UK make an average of more than £1,000 a year from renting out their empty driveway to other motorists. The highest earners live in Kensington and Chelsea, making an average of £3,367 a year from renting their driveway.
Want to find out more about increasing the sale price of your home? Check out our in-depth guide “What Adds Most Value to a Home“.
Ready to sell your house? Take the first step by requesting a free, no-obligation property valuation today!
Correct at time of publication (20th November 2018). The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chancellors Group of Estate Agents Ltd or its subsidiaries. References to legislation, best practice and other matters with legal implications such as fees, rules and processes are included for information and editorial purposes only and are not authoritative, nor should they be interpreted as advice. When in doubt you should only take advice from an industry professional or solicitor where appropriate. E&OE.