Are Funerals Too Expensive?

white coffin being carried

The emotional outlay associated with the loss of a loved one can be a hefty enough price tag on its own, and it’s a sad fact that many of us never even contemplate how much paying our last respects could cost in monetary terms until disaster has struck. Falling into debt to fund the costs of a family member’s funeral is the last thing we need in this darkest of hours.

Regardless of how financially prepared you are, a funeral can still pose a significant burden. Indeed, according to the 2017 National Funeral Cost Index, the average cost of a funeral now stands at £3,748. Back in 2004, that figure stood at just £1,920 – that represents an increase of 95% in just over a decade. And that’s before any additional extras (such as flowers, catering or the cost of hiring a venue for the wake) have been added to the bill.

Britons struggling to foot the bill

With funeral prices rising on average 7% every year over the last 12 years, it’s unsurprising that many families are struggling to give their loved ones the service they deserve without falling into debt themselves. A 2016 report from the Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland found that the cost had increased by a staggering 40% in one local authority, meaning that residents were simply unable to find the money.

While a government fund does exist to subsidise funerals for those in inclement financial circumstances, it is inundated with requests every year and is forced to turn down more than half of all applications it receives. As a result, more and more people are obliged to use credit cards or pay day loans to finance their loved ones’ funeral, with an estimated one in five people going into debt to pay for it.

What’s the real cost?

Why are funerals now so expensive compared to just 12 years ago? Well, many bereaved people are simply not aware of the options available to them and end up opting for the plan suggested by the first funeral director they contact. Others can feel guilty about not splashing out on luxury arrangements, somehow interpreting the money they spend now as representative of the love they bore for the departed partner, friend or relative.

However, it’s vital – especially at times like these – to keep your feet on the ground and remember what’s really important to you and your family. If you have your heart set on a deluxe funeral with all the frills, you know the deceased would appreciate such a gesture and you have the means to afford it, then by all means go for it. On the other hand, if you can’t afford such a grandiose sending off, that shouldn’t mean it can’t be just as meaningful.

Know your options

There are numerous ways in which you can shave hundreds and even thousands of pounds off your funeral bill: choosing cremation over burial; opting for a no-frills coffin and ceremony; storing and transporting the body yourself; hosting the wake in your own home; providing refreshments yourself or asking friends and family to do so.

Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that not all funeral directors will offer the same package, and that your local director might not be the most cost-effective option available to you. At Your Funeral Choice, we offer a handy online comparison tool and free, friendly and impartial advice for anyone in need at this most tragic of times. Get in touch and see how we can help you, today.


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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service

What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family

Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.


Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.