How much does a funeral cost?
In the UK, the average basic funeral cost £4,184* in 2020. A basic funeral is based on a funeral arranged by a Funeral Director and includes the cost of the burial or cremation itself, the doctor’s certificate and a minister or officiant.
There are a number of things that will determine the overall cost of a funeral, including where you live in the UK, whether you choose a burial or cremation and any extra elements you choose to include.
At Simplicity, we offer funerals from just £995, throughout the whole of mainland Great Britain.
Average cost of a funeral
The overall cost of a funeral will depend on the arrangements you choose to make, but the cost of a funeral is made up of the following:
- Funeral director fees
- Third party fees such as doctor’s fees, cremation fees or burial fees
- Optional funeral costs such as floral tributes or the cost of a wake
Funeral Director fees
The majority of funerals in the UK are arranged by a Funeral Director. The Funeral Directors fees are often the most expensive part of a funeral, although these fees will often cover several aspects of the funeral arrangements. Exactly what is included will depend on the Funeral Director and the funeral package you choose. However, Funeral Director fees will typically cover:
- Funeral arrangements including assisting with the completion of paperwork required for the funeral to proceed and liaison with third parties,
- Collection of the deceased from their place of rest
- Care of the deceased and preparation for the funeral in their mortuary facilities
- Provision of a coffin or casket
- A hearse and a limousine for the family
- Provision of necessary personnel (ie. Pallbearers to carry the coffin)
Third party fees
Third party fees, also referred to as ‘disbursement costs’, will normally be collected from you by the Funeral Director on behalf of third parties. These third party fees are often added to the final invoice for the funeral, but a Funeral Director should provide a clear breakdown of all the costs that will apply beforehand.
The fees that apply will depend on where you live, and whether you choose a burial or a cremation for your loved one. Cremation generally costs less than burial, with the average cost of a cremation in the UK £3,885 and the average cost of a burial £5,033*.
Common disbursement costs include:
- Burial fees
- Cremation fees
- Church fees
- Doctor’s fees (doctor’s fees are not chargeable in Scotland)
- Minister or celebrant fees
These are also a number of additional costs that may apply if you choose burial, such as gravedigging fees, the cost of a headstone and ongoing cemetery maintenance charges.
Optional funeral costs
Optional funeral costs are those elements that are often included on top of the cost of a basic funeral. Some people choose to pay for additional services for the ceremony, venue hire and catering for the wake, funeral flowers and additional limousines for family members. The SunLife Cost of Dying Report found these ‘send-off costs’ to cost on average an additional £2,532, bringing average funeral costs to almost £7,000.
On average, the cost of optional funeral costs are:
- Memorial - £1,1016
- Catering - £450
- Limousine hire - £336
- Venue hire - £282
- Flowers - £193
- Order sheets/service cards – £94
- Death notice - £86
Total optional costs - £2,532
These elements are completely optional; you shouldn’t feel pressured into choosing anything that doesn’t fit in your budget. You should think carefully about which of these elements are important to you, as the costs will soon add up. If you do feel these are needed, you should shop around to find the best cost.
How to reduce funeral costs
At Simplicity, we offer funerals from just £995
There is no need to spend several thousands of pounds on a funeral, or to get yourself into debt in order to arrange it. At Simplicity, we can help you to arrange a respectful, compassionate and dignified funeral for your loved one, without costing the earth.
We specialise in providing affordable funerals without the ceremonial excess often included as part of a traditional funeral. We’ve removed many of the more expensive elements such as a hearse, limousines and a team of pallbearers, allowing us to provide our simple funeral services for considerably less than the average cost of a funeral.
All of our funerals are arranged over the telephone, by our team of expert funeral arrangers, without the services of a traditional Funeral Director. We’ll take care of the essential elements of a cremation, giving you the freedom to arrange a fitting farewell for your loved, whether this is at the crematorium or at a time and location completely separate from the cremation. Similar to a traditional funeral, you can make additional arrangements including flowers and printed order of service.
Our prices remain the same, no matter where in mainland Great Britain you live. Our affordable funerals include:
- Cremation fees
- Doctor’s fees
- A simple wood-effect coffin
- Collection of your loved a few days prior to the cremation
- Preparation in our quality mortuary facilities
- Transportation in a specialised funeral vehicle
Every Simplicity Cremation is carried out to the highest standards, regardless of which funeral package you choose. As part of one of the most well-regarded funeral groups in the UK, we are continually investing in our staff, facilities and specialist vehicles, to ensure we can provide the highest quality for you and your loved one.
Can I get help with funeral costs?
If you can’t afford a funeral, and you are on a low income or certain benefits, you may be eligible for help with funeral costs from the government in the form of a Funeral Expenses Payment. Learn more about getting help with funeral costs.
Planning ahead with a funeral plan
If funeral costs continue to increase at the same rate as they have over the last 10 years, the average basic funeral will cost over £5000* by 2025.
Nobody wants their family to face financial worries over covering the cost of their funeral in the future, that’s why many people are looking for ways to take care of the cost of their funeral in advance. A prepaid funeral plan allows you to pay for the services included in the plan, at today’s prices. There will be no more for your family to pay for these services in the future, no matter how much costs may increase.
Paying for your funeral in advance helps ensure your wishes are honoured when the time comes, but also relieves your loved ones from any stress or uncertainty over what you would have wanted.
A Simplicity Cremations Prepaid Funeral Plan covers all of the essential elements for a simple funeral including cremation fees, a simple coffin, collection from the place of rest 24 hours a day and the return of your ashes from £1,495 or as little as £16 a month.
If you’re looking to arrange a funeral now, for considerably less than the average cost of a funeral or to take care of your own funeral costs for the future, contact us today.
*SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2021