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Cremation costs in the UK

The cost of cremation depends on several factors including where the funeral will take place and the arrangements you choose to make. For this reason, cremation costs can vary significantly across the UK.


How much does a cremation cost in the UK?

In the UK, the average cremation cost £3,885* in 2020. However, cremation costs vary significantly depending on where in the UK the funeral takes place.

Total cremation costs will also be determined by whether a Funeral Director will arrange the cremation for you, or whether you wish to arrange it yourself. Most people in the UK choose to use the services of a Funeral Director.


What is included in the average cost of cremation?

Average cremation costs cover the costs of a basic cremation. This includes:

- Cremation fees (crematorium fees)
- Funeral Director fees
- Doctor’s fees for medical certificates required for cremation
- Minister or officiant fees


Cremation costs breakdown

Cremation costs can be broken down as follows:


Funeral Director's fees

Funeral Directors fees often make up the majority of the cost of a basic cremation. This is because their fees usually include several important elements. Their services included in the average funeral cost include:

- Transportation, care and preparation of the deceased
- Professional guidance and advice
- Viewing at the chapel of rest
- A limousine
- Provision of a hearse and pallbearers
- A standard coffin


Third-party costs

Third-party costs included in the overall cost of a basic cremation may sometimes be referred to as ‘disbursements’- which cover the arrangements that a Funeral Director cannot provide themselves:

Cremation fees - Cremation fees include the use of the crematorium chapel, the services of a Chapel Attendant, use of the music system (if there is one) and use of the cremator. These fees vary in cost depending on where the crematorium is in the UK.

Doctor’s fees - Doctors charge a fee to certify the death, which costs £164 (this covers the cost of two forms at £82 each)**. Doctor’s fees do not apply in the case of a burial funeral, due to the stricter guidelines involved in clearing a body for cremation. Doctor’s fees also do not apply in Scotland or in situations where a coroner is involved.

Minister or officiant's fee - This is the cost for a minster or officiant to lead the service at the crematorium.

**Please note, this process has been revised to reflect the temporary changes to the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 provided for in the Coronavirus Act 2020 which came into force on 26 March 2020. The requirement for the Confirmatory Medical Certificate (Form CR5) has been temporarily removed. The amended Regulations and revised guidance will be in force until further notice.


Optional costs for cremation services

There are many optional extras you can include as part of the funeral. Optional costs are not included in the average cremation cost.

If you are concerned about the cost of cremation, you should carefully consider which optional costs you feel are necessary for your loved one’s funeral.

Optional funeral costs include:

- Memorial - average cost £1,016
- Catering - average cost £450
- Limousine hire - average cost £336
- Venue hire - average cost £282
- Flowers - average cost £193
- Order sheets/service cards - average cost £94
- Death notice - average cost £86

If you chose to include all of the additional costs as part of the funeral, this would be an extra £2,532.


How does the cost of cremation compare to the cost of burial?

The cost of cremation is typically cheaper than the cost of burial, as there are fewer costs involved.

The average cost of cremation is £3,885, compared to £5,033 for a burial. Burial costs can vary enormously depending on where you are in the UK, however they are generally higher than the costs for a cremation. Cremation costs also vary by location, but not to the extent of burial costs.

The cost difference may go some way to explain the reason that 74% of funerals in the UK in 2020 were cremation.

Direct cremation, specifically, is the most affordable cremation option.


How can I reduce the cost of cremation?

You could reduce cremation costs by up to £2,890 by choosing a Simplicity Cremation.

At Simplicity, we offer a range of cremations which include the practical and essential elements of a cremation, without the traditional elements that you might not want.

Our funerals are arranged over the telephone with our team of expert funeral arrangers, without any direct involvement from a Funeral Director. This allows us to offer substantial savings compared to the average cost of a cremation.

Our funerals cost from just £995 and include everything you will need for a basic cremation, with or without a funeral service, including:

- Cremation fees
- Doctor's fees
- Provision of a simple coffin
- Care of the deceased in our professional mortuary facilities
- Transportation of the deceased in our specialised vehicles
- Arrangements by our telephone-based funeral arrangers, who are available to assist you 24/7

We offer three cremation packages, which will allow you to commemorate your loved one’s life in a way that is right for you:


Direct cremation with no mourner's present

Direct cremation is the most affordable funeral option in the UK today. If you do not want to attend the crematorium on the day of your loved one’s cremation or you would rather hold a memorial at a separate time and location from the cremation, direct cremation could suit you.

A cremation takes place without a service beforehand, without any mourner's present. Our Unattended Funeral is available from £995.


A basic funeral for up to 12 people

Our Intimate Funeral provides a short time in the crematorium chapel for a small group of family and friends. This provides enough time to say a few words, without the expense of a funeral service.

Our Intimate Funeral costs from £1,395.


A simple funeral with a service led by the family

If you would like the opportunity to hold a service at the crematorium or expect a large attendance, our Family Led Funeral provides a full-length service in the chapel, led by the family. Some families choose to engage with the services of a minister or officiant to lead a service in the same way a traditional funeral would be lead, whereas others choose to do something a little less formal, such as spending the time playing a collection of their loved one’s favourite songs or sharing happy memories between family and friends.

Our Family Led Funeral is available from £1,895.

Unlike other funeral providers, at Simplicity our cremation costs remain the same, regardless of where in the UK the cremation is taking place. Our funeral prices are not affected by regional fluctuations in cremation costs.

View our funeral prices for more information on our cremation costs.


Avoid rising cremation costs by planning ahead

If funeral costs continue to rise at the rate they have since 2004, the cost of a basic funeral is projected to rise to £5,044 by 2025. If you are concerned about the financial effect your funeral may have on your family, it helps to be prepared.

A funeral plan allows you to pay and plan your funeral in advance, protecting your family from rising funeral costs, whilst removing the emotional burden that is often associated with arranging a funeral. It ensures your funeral is carried out the way you’d like it.

At Simplicity, we offer a range of prepaid funeral plans that reflect our funeral options, simply decide how many people you would like to attend your funeral; your family will be able to make additional arrangements when the time comes.

Our prepaid cremation plans cover all of the necessary elements of a simple cremation from as little as £1,495 or £15.97pcm. There will be no more for your family to pay for the services covered in your plan when the time comes.


To reduce cremation costs, contact us to arrange a Simplicity Cremation for your loved one or plan ahead for your own funeral today.


 *All average costs are quoted from SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, 

^Instalment figure shown is for a Lily Plan being paid over 120 months. There is an extra charge if you spread the cost over more than 12 months. Alternative fixed instalment periods are available, provided that all payments over any instalment term longer than 12 months are completed by the 80th birthday of the eldest person named on the plan.

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