When it comes to choosing gates, choosing swing or sliding gates is one of the key decisions you’ll have to make.

You may have a preferred option, but it’s worthwhile looking at the pros and cons of both before going ahead. 

Depending on the size of your driveway, the location of your home and the space you have available, one may be more appropriate than the other. 

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Swing gates

Swing gates remain popular due to their affordability.

They’re a great option if you’re looking for cost-effective security.

The possibility of problems developing because of parts failure is reduced.

They also only need a pair of hinges to open and close.

This simplicity also means that they’re easier to install, further reducing the overall cost.

Another installation factor to bear in mind is that you don’t need to dig the driveway for a concrete footing.

Swing gates don’t need side space for the gates to run into, so can be fitted into properties with narrower frontages.

It’s also possible to fit simple gate motor systems onto existing swing gates.

So, if you opt for manual gates initially, and feel you’d like to automate them, then it’s relatively easy to do so.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • an easy way to safeguard your property and loved ones
  • no steel beam or concrete work may be required
  • they have strong aesthetic appeal
  • they’re ideal for lots of different properties
  • can be opened outwards (if still on private property) as well as inwards
  • affordable, simple and adaptable

Sliding gates

Swing gates are still the most popular option when it comes to adding extra security to a driveway. They’re not always the best solution, however, and in some cases they’re not practical.

Sliding gates offer an excellent alternative, and the cost difference is often much smaller than you might at first think.

If you have limited space in front of and behind the gates, they are the obvious choice.

Sliding automatic gates operate on tracks, or on a trackless cantilever system.

This makes it the perfect option when it comes to maximising space.

If your driveway opens out onto a busy pavement or road, and you have limited space to open inwards, they are the safest option.

Sliding gates can be installed on driveways of all sizes, but they’re often the best choice for larger driveways and in commercial settings.

They are a practical choice for sharply sloping uphill driveways where opening inwards is not possible. 

If you live in a windy or exposed area, sliding gates are a more practical option than swing gates. It’s worth remembering however, that the track will need to be free of leaves and other debris if they are to work properly.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • sliding gates are incredibly secure
  • less vulnerable to extreme weather than swing gates
  • require less space in front and behind but need space for the gate to slide into
  • can be installed on sharply sloping driveways
  • generally need only one motor operator

Things to consider

Which option you go for will depend not only on your own personal taste, but also on the layout at your property.


What space do you have at your property? 

Is there enough room for a pair of gates to swing back into the driveway without hitting any other parked cars, or other solid objects such as trees or walls?

If the gates are going to open outwards, what risk is there that they may hit a pedestrian or a moving vehicle?

If a swing gate is 4m wide, it will need a comfortable 4m of space to swing into when it opens.

Can this be done safely and reliably?

If sliding gates are your preferred option, there will need to be enough space to the side of the gates for them to run into.

If your garden has established shrub and flower borders by the side of the driveway, these are likely to need modification and even uprooting.

How much of your garden are you willing to sacrifice?

If you’re installing gates as part of a wider landscaping project, garden design can take account of the gates from the beginning.

Power and Speed

To open fully, swing gates move a shorter distance than sliding gates.

As a result, swing gates tend to be slightly quicker to open than sliding gates, but the differences can be marginal.

The motor your installer chooses for either slide or swing gates will depend on the size of the driveway they are covering, the amount of usage they will have and their location.

Swing gates take more power to move in windy conditions, so if your driveway is exposed, they will need a more powerful motor to be viable.

Aesthetic Appeal

While it’s important to consider the practicalities of swing versus sliding gates, how they look is an important factor as well.

You are making a considerable investment into your property, one that you’ll have to live with for years.

Many homeowners prefer the more traditional look of swing gates.

Double swing gates have a symmetry about them which is pleasing to the eye.

That said, modern sliding gates come in a wide variety of finishes and styles and can even be made to look like double gates.

Take a look at the full range of both swing and sliding gates and see which you prefer.

Making a choice

Ultimately, the choice you make may be dictated by the practicalities of your driveway.

That doesn’t mean your choice of finish and style is restricted.

If you’d like further advice about which option may be best for you, give us a call today on  033 022 34800, or use our online enquiry form.