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Average funeral costs in the UK

The average funeral cost in the UK is currently £4,417* (up 3.4% since 2018), although the cost of a funeral is largely dependent on where the funeral will take place and the type of funeral arrangements that are made.

 

Average funeral costs infographic Average funeral costs infographic Average funeral costs infographic

 

Breakdown of average funeral costs

Along with the location, the final cost of a funeral will depend on the arrangements you choose to make.

Funeral Directors' fees

The majority of funerals in the UK are arranged by a Funeral Director, although there is no legal requirement to do so. A Funeral Director will make a lot of the arrangements for you and relieve some of the pressure at what will already be a stressful time. Funeral Directors put a lot of time and effort into arranging each funeral.

Funeral Director’s fees tend to make up the biggest cost of a basic funeral, although there are a number of services this will include. These fees will usually include the coffin, a hearse, collection and care of the deceased, plus professional guidance. What is included will can vary depending on which Funeral Director or package you choose.

 

Third party funeral costs

Third party costs, also referred to as disbursements, are additional charges that must be paid to a third party for certain aspects of the funeral.

If a Funeral Director is arranging the funeral, they will often manage these fees for you. Unlike the rest of the bill which is often presented after the funeral has taken place, these third-party costs may need to be paid before the funeral.

The costs that apply will vary depending on where you live and whether you choose cremation or burial for your loved one.

 

Burial costs

The average cost of a basic burial funeral is £4,975 in the UK. Burial costs will usually cover the lease of a burial plot and gravedigging fees. The cost of the burial plot will depend on the cemetery, location within it and the type of plot. A standard, single-depth plot can cost anything from a few hundred pounds in rural areas to thousands of pounds in major cities.

 

Cremation costs

In 2019, 77% of funerals in the UK were cremations. A basic cremation is typically cheaper than a burial, costing on average £3,858 in the UK. Like burial, the costs of a cremation can vary from region to region.

Doctor’s fees may also apply in the case of cremation. This is due to the stricter guidelines and medical checks involved for clearing a body for cremation. In total, doctor’s fees cost £164. It is important to note these fees are not applicable in all cases, for instance if the death goes to the coroner, there is no need to pay for the forms to be signed. Changes to legislation in 2015 also means there is no charge for doctor’s fees for any deaths registered in Scotland.

 

Optional funeral costs

There are numerous non-essential services and items that you can include as part of a funeral.

The more additional services you choose to include, the more expensive the funeral becomes. If you are concerned about funeral costs, you might wish to think carefully about whether these services are needed. If you do consider an optional item an essential element of the funeral, you should shop around to see if you can get them for less.

Optional funeral costs may include:

 

Optional funeral cost

Average cost

Memorial

£910

Catering

£408

Limousine hire

£313

Venue hire

£245

Flowers

£184

Order sheets/service cards

£88

Death notice

£82

Source: SunLife 2020 Cost of Dying Report 

 

This means, on average, optional funeral costs totalled £2,306 in 2019.

 

How to reduce funeral costs

You should not feel pressured to spend a lot of money or get yourself into debt to arrange a funeral for your loved one. At Simplicity, we can help you to arrange a respectful, compassionate and dignified funeral, without spending thousands of pounds.

We offer a range of low cost cremations for those looking for an altogether simple affair. We take care of the necessary parts of the cremation, giving you the choice to include only what’s important to you, helping save money and hassle compared to a funeral arranged by a traditional Funeral Director.

We provide you will all of the practical and essential elements of a cremation, including the cremation fees, doctor’s fees, provision of a simple coffin, transportation in a specialised funeral vehicle and care at one of our mortuaries. Our services do not include some of the more expensive costs such as a hearse, limousines and pallbearers.

Unlike most funerals, the cost of our funerals remains the same regardless of where in mainland Great Britain you live.

 

Direct cremation

Direct cremation is the most affordable funeral option available in the UK. This involves a cremation without a service or procession beforehand, without any mourner’s present. At Simplicity, we offer direct cremation from £995.

 

Short, basic funerals

We also offer two affordable funeral options that allow you the option to attend the crematorium. Our Intimate Funeral allows a short funeral for up to 12 people to attend. As well as the low cost of this funeral, it is the ideal way to say goodbye to a loved one who did not want a fuss when they were gone.

 

Simple funerals with a family-led service

If you would prefer the option for a larger gathering to attend the funeral, our Attended Funeral provides a full-length service in the cremation with a family-led ceremony. This funeral closely resembles what people may expect from a traditional funeral. but without the ceremonial excess and need for a traditional Funeral Director on the day of the cremation.

All of our funerals are arranged with the help of our telephone-based arrangement team, who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our services do not include any face-to-face interaction with a Funeral Director.

 

Pre-planning a funeral 

Many people keep money in a savings account to cover the cost of their funeral whenever that may be. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient funds in the savings account when the time comes, especially if funeral costs continue to rise.

A prepaid funeral plan is a smarter way of covering your funeral costs for the future. A funeral plan allows you to protect your loved ones from rising funeral costs, whilst also allowing you to plan your funeral the way you want it.

Similar to the way our low cost funerals work, our prepaid funeral plans cover all of the essential elements of a simple funeral. We offer three options, depending on if you would like people to attend your funeral, and if so if you would like a small or larger gathering.

When the time comes, we guarantee to cover the cost of services included in the plan, no matter how much costs may increase. Your family will have the freedom to make additional arrangements should they wish.

Our prepaid funeral plans start from £1,495 or as little as £17 per month.

 

To arrange a low cost funeral for a loved one or to plan ahead for your own funeral, contact us today.

 

*SunLife 2020 Cost of Dying Report https://www.sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/SL-cost-of-dying-report-2020.pdf/

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