Should Driveway Gates open in or out?  A question that we are often asked.

There are lots of things that you need to take into consideration when installing pair of driveway or garden gates. The type of material, the design and whether you want them automated or not.  However, you also need to consider how you want your gates to open.

There are three main ways that your gate can open: it can swing inwards towards your property, it can swing outwards away from your property or it can slide to the right or left behind your boundary wall.

Traditionally, gates open inwards towards a property and can be considered more welcoming. Sliding gates need to have room either side of the gate entrance so you may just not have the room or do not want to pay the more expense installation costs of having an automated gate. If a gate open outwards there is the law to take into account. The Highways Act 1980 governs that gates cannot open outwards onto a public pavement or highway.   

Can gates ever open outwards?

Although the law is quite clear regarding opening onto a highway, this doesn’t mean that a gate cannot open outwards. It is possible to locate the gate further up your drive so that it does not create any obstruction when it is fully open. For instance, one reason you might consider having your gates open outward is that they are located on an upwards sloping driveway. You may have a narrowing access which means less room inward opening gates.

The layout of your driveway, as well as the legal implications, may mean that some gate designs are not feasible for your driveway.


Unless the gate you are installing is automated hanging gates to open outwards will require the hinges to be attached to the outside of the gate. So will not look so attractive

Outward opening gate    Stafford gate with hinges on outside

So, in conclusion to the question “Should Driveway Gates open in or out?” As long as you are not contravening the highways act and have the room it is entirely up to you. For more details on how to hang gates please click here.