CMA funeral price lists explained

A coffin in a chapel with mourners.

Looking into funeral directors and costs? There’s a lot to think about. And we know that shopping around and comparing prices won’t necessarily be the first thing on your list. But that doesn’t mean you should pay more than you have to for a funeral that’s suitable for your loved one. That’s why the Competition and Markets Authority has made comparing funeral costs easier.

Learn more about the CMA’s investigation into the funeral industry and what they’ve changed in the video below.

How the CMA has made it easier to compare funeral costs

When we’re buying something that costs thousands of pounds we usually shop around before making a decision. But the CMA found that pricing for funerals wasn’t clear enough for us to do this. Planning a funeral is difficult enough. So many people choose based on a family recommendation or whoever is local. By asking all funeral directors to create a standard funeral price list, the CMA has made it easier for you to compare costs and make a more informed decision.

What has the CMA asked funeral directors to do?

The CMA has asked all funeral directors and crematoriums to make their prices as clear as possible. They’ve done this by providing a funeral price list template that has to be used. It’s known as the standardised price list.

All funeral directors and crematoriums are also legally required to display:

Keep in mind that some funeral directors will also have another, expanded price list as well. This might list optional extras or specific funeral packages they offer. If you want to make sure you’re looking at the CMA funeral price list, ask to see their standardised price list.

Helping you understand funeral price lists

Even with the standardised CMA funeral price list, it can still be difficult to understand all the options in front of you. Below we explain what each part means, so you know what to expect. Hopefully it’ll help make things clearer, and help you compare costs if you need to.

What will you see on a funeral price list?

And more importantly, what does each part mean?

All funeral directors’ price lists will show you costs for:

1. Directors’ fees for an attended funeral

An attended funeral is where you have a funeral service at the same time as the burial or cremation.

In this section of the price list you’ll see a breakdown of costs for an attended funeral. This will include things like:

2. Directors’ fees for an unattended funeral

An unattended funeral is when a person is buried or cremated with no funeral service.

In this section of the price list you’ll only see a couple of options:

Important: You choose either an attended funeral or an unattended funeral. If you pick an unattended funeral then you pay for either a burial or a cremation.

3. Fees you must pay (also known as disbursement fees)

In this section of the price list you’ll see fees that go to either the cemetery or crematorium for their services. The funeral director will manage this payment for you. So on the price list you’ll see:

Important: You only have to pay one of these fees depending on whether you choose a burial or cremation. These fees apply for both an attended and an unattended funeral. 

These fees will be displayed as ranges depending on the local area. Different local authorities, cemeteries and graveyards will charge different amounts for these services. This means the funeral director can only display a cost range until final decisions are made about where the burial or cremation will take place. But you can use them as a guide to how much it will cost you.

4. Any optional extras they provide

This section of the price list shows you the optional extras the funeral director provides. You don’t have to have all these options. You can choose which ones will be suitable for the funeral service you’d like. It includes things like:

Some funeral directors may include more items on this section of the price list. But keep in mind that you don’t have to include everything. And you may need to ask for some prices too. This will help you decide whether to shop around for other suppliers or not.

Your choices when picking a funeral director

Remember that you don’t have to use a funeral director for every part of the funeral. For example, you might want to organise flowers or funeral cars separately. It’s completely up to you.

If you have time, ask for detailed price lists from several funeral directors. Alternatively, you can use our funeral director finder to quickly and easily compare costs for attended and unattended funerals in your area. You can then contact the funeral directors whose fees fit your budget.

Photo by The Good Funeral Guide on Unsplash