What Does a Tar and Chip Driveway Cost?

Margaret Wack
Written by Margaret Wack
Updated January 24, 2022
Tar and Chip Driveway
© gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images

The typical cost of a tar and chip driveway is between $650 and $3,050.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

If your driveway is cracked and crumbling, or if you want to transform a dirt or gravel driveway into something sturdier, a tar and chip driveway could be an affordable solution to your problem. Sometimes also known as chip and seal driveways, they typically cost $1,850 on average.

How Much Does a Tar and Chip Driveway Cost Per Square Foot?

With a tar and chip driveway, you can park your car in style—and without breaking the bank. This type of driveway costs around $1 to $5 per square foot, making tar and chip a super affordable option for all budgets. All told, they can cost as little as $650 to install, though pricier options can go up to $3,050.

Tar and chip driveways are also sometimes referred to as chip seal, oil and stone, or macadam driveways. But no matter what you call them, they’re an attractive, affordable way to upgrade your driveway and provide a smooth surface for your cars. But because this type of driveway can sometimes produce loose stones and chips, it’s a good fit for low-traffic areas where cars don’t move too fast.

How Much Tar and Chip Driveway Can I Get on My Budget?

Here are some common price ranges for a tar and chip driveway, based on the size of the are you’re covering:

  • $750: 250 sq. ft.

  • $1,500: 500 sq. ft.

  • $2,250: 750 sq. ft.

  • $3,000: 1,000 sq. ft.

This type of driveway is a great choice for rural areas, or if you want to upgrade from dirt or gravel. They’re low-maintenance and easy to repair, so whether you have a country chalet with a long, winding drive or just want an attractive and affordable paving option, a tar and chip driveway has many benefits.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Tar and Chip Driveway Yourself?

Adding a tar and chip driveway requires specialized equipment and materials, so it’s usually not a good idea to try installing one yourself. Even if you have a handy streak, you should leave this project to the professionals. You can contact a driveway company near you for a personalized quote.

Tar and Chip Driveway Cost Breakdown

Though the average tar and chip driveway costs $1,850, knowing where your money goes can help you plan.

Materials and Installation

Materials and installation are the main costs of a tar and chip driveway. A professional driveway company will need to purchase the materials and install it, typically at $1 and $5 per square foot total.


You may need to get a permit if your driveway connects to a residential street. A permit can cost between $500 and $2,000.

Clearing Land

If your driveway is uneven, you may need to clear and level the land before you can install a driveway. Preparing the site can cost anywhere from $450 to $9,000.

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Tar and Chip Driveway?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all fee for a chip seal driveway. The final cost depends on your terrain and the size of the driveway.

Tar and Chip Driveway
© cveltri / E+ / Getty Images.

Driveway Size

The main factor that influences the cost of a tar and chip driveway is size. The bigger your driveway, the more you’ll have to pay to get it paved. You can expect to pay about $1 to $5 per square foot.

Terrain Type

A tar and chip driveway could cost a little more if you live somewhere hilly. This is because professionals have to clear and level the land before they can properly install your driveway.

FAQs About Tar and Chip Driveways

How much does it cost to repair a tar and chip driveway?

Tar and chip driveways are fairly easy to repair, and the typical cost to repair a driveway is $300 to $4,500. If it only has a little bit of damage, you may be able to patch or repair your driveway instead of totally replacing it. Contact a driveway repair company near you for a personalized quote.

How much does a gravel driveway cost?

The cost of a gravel driveway is slightly more affordable than tar and chip, at about $1,500

How much does it cost to pave a driveway?

The cost to pave a driveway with asphalt is more expensive than installing a tar and chip driveway, at about $4,500. Asphalt might be a better option if you’re looking for a smoother surface or if your driveway is in a high-traffic area. If you’re interested in an asphalt driveway, you can contact an asphalt driveway contractor near you for a quote.

Chip seal vs. asphalt: which costs more?

Asphalt driveways are more expensive than chip seal driveways. A typical chip seal driveway costs about $1,850, while an asphalt driveway costs around $4,500.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.