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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.

 

What is the average funeral cost in the UK?

The average funeral cost in the UK is currently £4,417* (up 3.4% since 2018), This cost includes the funeral directors’ fees, doctor’s fees, clergy/officiate fees and the burial or cremation fees. The cost is largely dependent on where the funeral will take place and the type of funeral arrangements that are made.

 

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Breakdown of average funeral costs

Along with the location, the final cost of a funeral will depend on the arrangements you choose to make. The overall cost of a funeral is typically made up of:

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 cover most aspects of the funeral arrangements and therefore are the largest cost involved in a basic funeral. 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 burial or cremation for your loved one:

 

Burial costs

The average cost of a basic burial funeral is £4,975 in the UK. Burial funeral costs will vary across the UK and are usually comprised of:

• The exclusive right of burial (EROB) - This is the physical space itself, also referred to as the burial plot. 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.
• The interment – The fee for the preparation of the burial plot
• Fee to add or remove headstone - If a burial plot has a headstone then it will have been removed to allow for the funeral to take place. This will also cover the cost of placing the headstone back on the grave
• Maintenance fees – Local councils will often charge maintenance fees, covering tasks such as grass cutting and insurance for the burial plot
• Church fees – Third-party fees may apply if you are holding the funeral service in a place of worship
• Minister or Officiant fee - The person conducting the funeral service

 

Cremation costs

In 2019, 77% of funerals in the UK were cremations. The average cremation costs £3,858 in the UK, making cremation a cheaper option than a burial.
Like burial, the costs of a cremation can vary from region to region. Cremation costs usually include:

• Cremation fees – The cost of cremating a loved one at a local crematorium
• Cremation document fees – Forms for apply for cremation
• Interment of ashes – The cost that will apply if you like to keep the ashes in a permanent place such as a burial plot
• Scattering ashes – The cost of scattering the ashes in the crematorium's Garden of Remembrance
• Minister or Officiant fee - The person conducting the funeral service
• Doctors fees** - These charges are for the cremation certificates

**Doctor’s fees are 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 example, if the death is referred 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 that you can include as part of a funeral.

The more additional services you choose to include as part of proceedings, 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 find the supplier with the lowest cost.

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 

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 arrange respectful, compassionate and dignified funerals, without the high price tag associated with the average traditional funeral. We can help you to reduce funeral costs by up to 77% vs the average basic funeral*.

We offer three affordable funeral packages from just £995, for those looking for an altogether simple affair. We take care of the necessary parts of the cremation, giving you the option to include only what’s important to you, helping save money and hassle compared to a funeral arranged by a traditional Funeral Director.

Our funeral costs include 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. Choose from one of our simple funeral options:

 

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 mourners present. At Simplicity, we offer a direct cremation service from £995.

 

Short, basic, small family 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 group of people 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, which helps us to keep our funeral costs to a minimum.

 

How to get help with funeral costs

If you are struggling to cover the cost of a funeral, you may be eligible for help with funeral costs from the government or charities. Find out more about the help with funeral costs that may be available to you.

 

Pre-planning a funeral to avoid future rises in funeral costs

Many people keep money in a savings account to cover the cost of their own funeral in future. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient funds in the savings account to cover the cost of the funeral 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.

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 you would like a small or larger gathering. Our plans start from £1,495 or as little as £16 per month.

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.

 

To arrange a 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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