How to reduce funeral costs
Discover how to reduce funeral costs by up to 76% or £3,189* by choosing a Simplicity Cremation.
With the cost of funerals continuing to rise, growing numbers of families are finding it difficult to cover the costs of a funeral for their loved one, with many resorting to using their own savings or investments, a credit card or even taking out a loan.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can reduce funeral costs. Learn more about what average funeral costs look like and how to reduce funeral costs below.
Average funeral costs in the UK
The cost of a funeral can vary depending on where in the UK the funeral will take place and the type of funeral your loved one wanted.
In 2020, the average cost of a basic funeral in the UK was £4,184*, up 1.7% since 2019. This average funeral cost includes the funeral director’s fees, doctor’s fees, clergy/officiate fees and the burial or cremation fees, although many people will also include additional funeral expenses such as an upgrade to the coffin included in the funeral package, memorials, death notices and floral tributes.
For more information, including a full breakdown of funeral costs, see our average funeral costs guide.
How to keep funeral costs down
Consider cremation instead of burial
The cost of cremation is usually less than burial. The average cremation in the UK cost £3,885 in 2020, whereas the average burial cost £5,033*. Cremation costs are typically lower than burial costs, as there are more costs involved in a burial. The cost differences may go some way to explaining why 74% of funerals in the UK in 2020 were cremation.
Asides from the cost, there are a number of other differences between cremation and burial which you should consider before deciding on the type of funeral you'd like for your loved one. Read our guide ‘cremation or burial: which is best’ to help you decide if cremation could be a more suitable option.
Cut down on optional funeral costs
Many of the elements of a funeral we assume are essential, are in fact, often optional. For example, you don’t need a hearse to transport the coffin – other vehicle options should be available. Similarly, although it’s traditional for the family of the deceased to follow the hearse in a limousine, there is no reason you cannot arrange to follow the hearse in your own vehicles or meet at or near the venue.
Other considerations for reducing funeral costs include:
- If you are holding a wake, provide your own catering instead of paying for a caterer or hold it at the home of a family member instead of hiring a venue
- Use a free online funeral notice service to notify friends and family about the funeral instead of paying for an obituary in a local newspaper
- If you are planning on having a printed order of service, could you print it yourself instead of paying someone to do it for you? It could be a sheet of paper rather than a booklet.
By cutting down on optional funeral expenses, you can reduce funeral costs considerably.
Choose a low cost funeral provider
Funeral providers (or funeral director’s) fees are a large part of the cost of a funeral, so it’s important that you find the right one for your needs and budget. Unfortunately, there is no standardised way for funeral director’s to set out their bills or prices, which can make it difficult when comparing.
If you are looking to reduce funeral costs, the easiest way to do this is to choose a provider that offers low cost funeral options to arrange the funeral for you or to arrange a DIY funeral, meaning you’ll be responsible for arranging the proceedings yourself.
At Simplicity, we specialise in simple, low cost funerals for those looking for an altogether simpler affair.
How to reduce funeral costs with a Simplicity Cremation
A Simplicity Cremation provides you with the practical and essential elements of a funeral, without the obligation to pay for traditional ceremonial elements you may feel are unnecessary, allowing you to reduce funeral costs by up to 76% vs the average basic funeral*.
Our funerals are arranged with no Funeral Director involvement, allowing us to provide our clients with substantial cost savings in comparison to a traditional funeral. The arrangements will be made over the phone with our team of expert funeral arrangers.
Our services are available throughout mainland Great Britain. Unlike many funeral providers, the cost of our services remains the same regardless of where you live. Using our own nationwide mortuary facilities means we won't charge you with additional mileage fees.
With the practicalities covered, this allows you the opportunity to arrange a fitting celebration of your loved one's life, in a way that suits you and your family.
The Attended Funeral
Our Attended Funeral allows you to arrange a service in the same way you would with a traditional funeral. You will have the flexibility to arrange a service in the chapel at the crematorium including the choice of music, readings and visual tributes. We can provide guidance should you wish to engage with the services of a minister or officiant, although asking a family member or friend to lead the service would save this additional expense.
The Intimate Funeral
Our Intimate Funeral suits those families that wish to attend the funeral but, for whatever reason, do not want a funeral service. This option allows a small group of family and friends to spend a short time in the chapel, to say a few words and reflect on their loved one’s life.
The Unattended Funeral
Our lowest cost funeral offering, the Unattended Funeral, is a direct cremation that takes place without the presence of mourners. This can often be followed by an informal memorial service or celebration of life, at a time suited to you, away from the crematorium.
Our funerals start from £995, see our funeral prices page for more information.
How to reduce funeral costs by planning ahead
Should you be looking for a way to reduce the cost of your own funeral, we can also help. Our prepaid funeral plans start from £1,495 or just £15.97 per month. All our plans include 24/7 collection from the place of rest, care in our quality mortuary facilities, cremation fees, provision of a simple coffin and more as standard.
Taking care of your funeral arrangements with a prepaid funeral plan means you can fix the cost of the services in the plan at today’s price with no more to pay for these services in the future, no matter how much costs may increase.
Need help with funeral costs?
If you can’t afford a funeral, you may be eligible for help with funeral costs from the government. Discover more about how to get help with funeral costs through government funding or understand more about a Pauper's funeral.
Contact us for more advice on how to reduce funeral costs with Simplicity, whether you are planning a funeral for your loved one or would like to plan ahead for your own funeral.
*SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2021