Price Difference Between Asphalt and Concrete Driveway

Asphalt is processed by adding the right proportion of stone and sand with petroleum products as an adhesive base. It binds and softens the mix in high temperatures to become a solid highway.

Concrete is formed with a mixture of cement bound with sand and rock. It is hardened through the chemical combination of aluminum, silicon, calcium, and iron. Let’s compare the price difference between asphalt and concrete driveway.

A standard asphalt driveway can be cheaper than a concrete one, costing around $3 to $7 per square foot. Concrete typically costs around $4 to $8.00 per square foot. The price difference is due to the fluctuating prices of crude oil, and asphalt is generally considered more affordable and cheaper than concrete. 

While concrete does not require frequent maintenance, asphalt needs to be sealed for its prolonged lifespan although asphalt is much easier to install and repair due to its softer consistency.

Let us see the price comparison of both asphalt and concrete driveways as per the latest market value and the factors to consider to calculate the price.

Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway Cost Comparison

The cost estimate of the driveway is calculated on the basis of the size and material you choose. The bigger the driveway, the higher the cost will be. For the asphalt installation, the cost depends on the material and the geography location whereas the concrete prices depend on the thickness, size, and design.

For example, the cost of material per square foot of asphalt comes between $3-$7 and concrete driveway ranges between $4-$8. The total cost of asphalt per square foot including installation and material will be $7-$13 and for concrete, the cost will be $8-$14.


There are various factors to consider in calculating the cost of asphalt and concrete driveways. Some of them are size, shape, type, thickness, square foot, and location.


The type of asphalt or concrete chosen will determine the material cost. The asphalt type includes hot mix, recycled, porous, stamped, and cold-mix. Of these, the hot mix is the common type of asphalt suitable for all-weather surfacing.

Hot Mix$100-$200 per ton
Recycled$10-$20 per ton
Porous $8-$15 per sq ft
Cold Mix$10-$50 per bag
Stamped$12-$17 per sq ft,

On the other hand, concrete types contain plain and stained, and stamped versions. The stained driveway is comparatively expensive as it has a decorative feature.

Plain$6-$8 per sq ft
Stained$6-$12 per sq ft
Stamped$8-$15 per sq ft


The labor cost can be calculated on the basis of installation and machinery. If the driveway is in a hilly area the labor cost will be higher. For asphalt, the labor cost ranges between $2-$6, and for concrete ranges between $2-$3. 

An additional payment will be charged for extra services including repairing, replacing, excavation, grading, sealing, and maintenance.

Size and Thickness

The size and thickness is the primary factor of concrete cost and 10 to 20 feet could cost $800- $1600 while a 24-foot driveway will cost an average of $2500-$4800. The standard thickness of concrete would be 4 inches and the average cost per yard is $125 to $150.


Asphalt prices vary according to the cost of living and fuel cost of a particular location. The average price is high in California ($5000-$13,000), Connecticut($4500-$10,500)  and the lowest price range is available in New Jersey($2900-$6500) and Minnesota($3400-$6500).

Design And Shape

A stamped asphalt [attern can be installed in the shape of bricks or stones with a price range of $3-$9 per square foot.

Concrete driveways are customizable and can be installed in rectangles, squares, circles, or L- shapes depending on the space of the driveway. A curved design will cost more to install as it needs extra time and labor to complete the driveway.

Site Condition

The site preparation and overall condition are important factors in paving driveways. If the house is built on a slope the installation of concrete or asphalt needs more time. 

It is also common to remove any trees or stumps to build driveways that require heavy equipment and result in extra payment. An average cost of $750 is needed per tree to remove, however it can cost up to $2000 for larger trees. Stump removal can cost $350 per stump.

Old Driveway Removal

The existing asphalt driveway removal cost can be calculated by the complexity of the job, location, and the size of the driveway. Any extra work like adding drainage or moving landscape features may cost you up to $5000.

If the asphalt driveway pad is in good condition the cost will go down by $1800. Additionally, the house in a rural area will cost you between $4500-$5500, and the work in an urban area cost ranges from $5500 to $6500.

The total cost of concrete driveway replacement depends on the size and shape of the cement. The price range is between $2400 to $7500. It will include the removal of the old driveway at a cost between $550 to $1500 and installing a new one with a price range of $1800 to $6000.

Visual Appeal

As concrete complements tinting, it is easier to apply stamp patterns, color, or stain to achieve a textured look.

Asphalt has only limited color options including black and grey. It is not easy to personalize and it has rough edges.

Driveway Project Cost Estimate

The length and width of paving the driveway determine the average or total cost of the project. If the number of cars in a household is less, a narrow driveway can be built which helps to save significant money.

For example, a 50-foot long, 30-foot wide, and 6-inch deep driveway will have 1500 square feet. Since one ton of asphalt cover 26 square foot of the driveway, you need 57 tons of asphalt to build the driveway at a cost of $5700-$11,400 with the $100-$200 average price of hot mix asphalt.

For a 1000 square foot concrete driveway, an estimated total of $10,000-$14,000 will be needed for the project. It includes the concrete mix that cost up to $8000, labor cost that ranges up to $5000, and equipment and job supplies at a cost of $700. The national average price would be $6500.

Affordability And Durability

The cost of an asphalt driveway is cheaper than a concrete driveway ranging between $3-$7 whereas concrete cost is between $4-$8 for a standard installation.

For example, to install a concrete driveway of 1000 square feet, the total cost would be $7600 to $9100. For a 1000 square foot asphalt driveway, the cost would be $3500 to $7000.

Installation Labor$5,085$6,164
Job Supplies$228$259
Equipment Allowance$88$142
Total Cost$7,629$9,116
Material Cost$800$1,600
Labor Cost$2,300$3,000
Equipment $110$290

With proper maintenance and the right care, both asphalt and concrete are durable for a long time. But concrete has a greater lifespan that can last around 30 to 40 years whereas asphalt can last around 20 years.

By frequently repairing and maintaining, concrete can last 50+ years. The life expectancy depends on the climate, installation quality, foundation base type, and maintenance.

Although asphalt is cheaper than concrete, when considering other factors like durability, eco-friendliness, and less maintenance, concrete is a great choice that is worth the money.

Favorable Climate And Weather

When installing asphalt or concrete on driveways you need to consider the climate factor of the location. Concrete is more suitable in tropical areas whereas asphalt is a better option in cold places. 

Concrete is a wise option for people living in tropical areas as it as t reflects light and absorbs less heat. It is prone to cracking in cold temperatures and is sensitive to snowplows and road salt.

Since asphalt is a porous material, it is less prone to cracking during cold weather. But it is not ideal in hot temperatures, especially when the temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit the mix can become sticky.