Bromley Trading Standards is advising residents who are considering having work done on their drive to take extra care in choosing the right trader.

Whilst this advice applies to hiring any trader, the warning about choosing the right trader for driveway work follows a number of unrelated recent incidents, prompting the latest warning.

In one of the examples, a trader only gave a price of cleaning the drive per square foot of the driveway, leading to a huge bill for the Orpington resident. In another example, a resident asked a trader to carry out some repairs to their drive, but these costs massively increased beyond the original quote, mainly because of the inclusion of additional and unnecessary work. After the resident objected to these costs, the trader threatened to dig up the drive if they were not paid.

Whether it is for maintenance, repairs to replace the entire drive, residents are being advised to always be certain of what work is needed or wanted and to get a quote for this work, with any additional work agreed, including the price, before this work commences.

Residents are also strongly advised and encouraged to carefully select the right trader for the job, with this advice applying equally to all home maintenance work. Residents can use the Trading Standards Checked directory, Bromley's trader approval scheme consisting of traders who have been vetted and approved, so that residents can hire with confidence.

It is always a good idea to read reviews and trader history, but regardless of this, always get a written quote before works begin, and be confident to say no to additional work. It is wise to be cautious and thorough, with the advice being to only accept quotes that include a complete total price as opposed to a quote which offers a rate for a particular job.

Residents are reminded as well that they should try not to feel compelled or 'swayed' to accept an offer just because someone is being highly persuasive or pressurising.

Follow the advice below on what to do when hiring a trader:


  • Do get a minimum of 3 written quotes - prepare a clear detailed brief beforehand.
  • Do seek references, read reliable reviews, ask to visit previous jobs.
  • Do check directly with any reputable organisation named or whose logo is shown on a leaflet/website to make sure the trader is affiliated - if not, report to Bromley Trading Standards.
  • Do get a contract in writing before works commence. Check the terms and conditions. You should be entitled to a 14-day cooling off period - with full written cancellation information and not just a mention on a leaflet or a tick box to say you agree.
  • Do check and verify a trader's insurance.


  • Don't contact traders via leaflets that are delivered through the door - without making thorough checks beforehand.
  • Don't pay large sums of money in advance - schedule payment as works progress.
  • Don't be rushed into deciding - seek advice first from someone you trust.


Protect yourself and others by reporting incidents.

If you, a neighbour, or someone you know is being affected by rogue traders, please contact our Rapid Response line on 07903 852090.

If the cold caller is persistent and refuses to leave you can call Police on 999.

Contact Citizens Advice for help and advice on 0808 223 1133 or on the Citizens Advice website.

Bromley Trading Standards

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Bromley Trading Standards also runs a fair-trader directory to help you find a safe, reliable trader that you can trust, visit to learn more.

Published: 7th May 2024