According to a survey, 26% of people arranging a funeral had no idea what the cost would be before meeting with a funeral director (CMA 2020).
Knowing the average funeral cost will help you to plan a funeral that’s within your budget. Take a look at the most recent info on average funeral costs below to give you a better idea of what you can expect to pay. We hope it helps you compare costs so you can choose the right funeral for your budget.
How much is the average funeral in the UK?
The average price of a funeral in the UK is £4,141 (SunLife 2024). Keep in mind that this price varies based on your location and the type of funeral you choose.
Average funeral costs went up from £3,953 in 2022 to £4,141 in 2023. This has brought the cost of funerals back up to pre-pandemic levels. Direct cremation is still the most affordable option - the average cost for this type of funeral is £1,498. It's the only option that's actually decreased in cost according to the latest research.
What's a direct cremation?
It’s a cremation with no funeral service. The funeral director will collect the body and provide a simple coffin. The ashes are then returned to the family after the cremation. Learn more about direct cremations.
Average funeral costs by location
Funeral costs can vary depending on where you live in the UK. In London the average cost is £5,171 and in Northern Ireland it’s £3,256. Even two cemeteries just a few miles apart can have very different costs.
Here’s a breakdown of average funeral costs by region (SunLife 2024) to give you a better idea of what to expect.
|Average Funeral Cost
|South East & East of England
|Yorkshire & the Humber
|East & West Midlands
|North West of England
|South West of England
|North East of England
Cost of cremation vs burial
The type of funeral you choose affects the cost too. A funeral with a burial is the most expensive option. See the different options below with a breakdown of what they typically include to compare costs.
|Type of funeral
|Average cost in 2023 (SunLife 2024)
|Burial fees, doctor’s fees, ministers fees, collecting and taking care of the person who died, a basic coffin, hearse and a simple service.
|Cremation fees, doctor’s fees, collecting and taking care of the person who died, a basic coffin, hearse and a simple service.
|Collecting the person who died, a basic coffin, and returning the ashes. There is no service.
Breakdown of funeral costs in the UK
As well as the average funeral cost, it’s also important to look at the detail – especially if you want to find ways to save money.
What are basic funeral costs?
Basic funeral costs typically include:
- Funeral director’s fees
- Doctor’s fees
- Burial or cremation fees
- Minister or officiate fees
What’s included as part of the funeral director’s fee?
You can usually expect the funeral director’s fee to cover:
- Filling out all the necessary documents
- Taking care of the body and preparing it for the funeral
- Providing and preparing the coffin
- Transporting the body to the venue
- Talking to third parties such as service leaders, crematorium or cemetery staff
- Providing a hearse and limousine
Funeral director’s fees will usually be the bulk of the cost. It’s likely that they’ll be about 50-60% of the overall cost.
Did you know you don’t have to use a funeral director? To save on costs you could arrange a funeral yourself without a funeral director.
What about third party costs?
These are additional funeral costs sometimes known as disbursement fees. They may not be included as part of the funeral package. The funeral director will usually manage these costs for you but you may need to pay them up front as part of the deposit so their costs are covered. This could include:
- Burial or cremation fees
- A fee for the person leading the service and/or for the place of worship
- Doctor’s fee for the medical certificate
- Maintenance fees for keeping the grave clean and tidy
Breakdown of optional costs
There are optional items and services you can add to the funeral. The funeral director can manage these for you and add them to your bill. This could include:
|Typical cost (SunLife Report 2024)
|Order of service cards
|Memorial headstone or plaque
|Total = £2,768
How to compare funeral costs
It’s worth remembering that all funeral directors call their funeral packages different things. You may find that one funeral director calls their low-budget option “essential” while another calls it their “simple” package. Many funeral directors will also have different names for their more expensive funeral packages. It could be “standard” or “traditional”.
This can make funeral costs difficult to compare. To make it easier, there are a few things you can do:
- Ask each funeral director for their standardised price list: since September 2021, all funeral directors must have a standardised pricing list. It’s required by law. You can find the list on each funeral director’s website and displayed in the funeral home. It will tell you the price for attended and unattended funerals and has a basic breakdown of costs.
- Ask for an itemised estimate: while the standardised pricing list is helpful for understanding basic funeral costs, if you’re adding extra options then it’s a good idea to ask for an itemised estimate of costs. When you contact a funeral director, you can ask them about all their options so that you have a full picture of what is and isn’t included as part of each one.
- Use an online comparison tool: our funeral director finder allows you to find and compare prices for a wide range of funeral directors in your local area. You can use it to understand basic costs before you choose which funeral director to contact.
Staying in control of funeral costs
There can be a lot to take in when you first start planning a funeral. It’s okay to change your mind about things, especially if you’re worried about the price. If you want to change some of the details after you’ve agreed to an estimate, get in touch with the funeral director as soon as possible. They may be able to make these changes so that you can manage your budget.
How to get help with funeral costs
If you’re worried about costs, you may be able to get help. Learn more about getting help with funeral costs.