How much does a funeral cost?

Many people start organising a funeral with very little idea of what it might cost, so we’ve outlined the main elements you might want to consider when drawing up your budget.

The Royal London’s National Funeral Cost Index found the average funeral in 2017 now costs £3,784, compared to £3,675 in 2016. But what do these costs cover, and is it possible to make savings?

Whatever type of funeral arrangements you choose, costs can vary even within the same location. But by sourcing quotes from more than one funeral director and looking at cost-effective alternatives, it is possible to make savings.

How to reduce the cost of a funeral

Cremation or burial?

The recent National Funeral Cost Index examined the difference in cost for burials and cremations, finding the average cost for a burial is £4,257 while average cost for a cremation is £3,311. A direct cremation, where the body is collected from a mortuary during working hours and cremated at a convenient time, could help save you more. It helps to think of this option as a scaled back version of a cremation. There is no ceremony beforehand, but you can collect the ashes and hold a ceremony at a place and later date of your choosing.

Funeral director or no funeral director?

Arranging the funeral yourself instead of using a funeral director can be another way to save money, although keep in mind the important role a funeral director can play in ensuring the ceremony goes smoothly and offering support and guidance during a difficult time.

Shop around

The National Funeral Cost Index found funeral expenses can vary greatly on a regional level and on a local level, so shop around and compare quotes when it comes to selecting your funeral director, caterer and florist. We can help put you in touch with reputable funeral directors in your local area.

Ask for help

Following a death, it’s likely that people around you will want to offer their help. Take them up on the offer of help by asking friends and family to assist with food and drink for after the ceremony. Someone might even be able to offer their home as a venue for people to gather after the funeral.

Coffin choice

In the UK, there is no legal requirement to use a coffin at a funeral, however, the law requires that the body must be covered in a public area and most crematoriums will expect you to use a coffin or a shroud. Opting for a shroud means simply laying piece of fabric over the body, and this can be decorated with flowers and other mementoes. Low-cost coffin options include veneer and chipboard, and biodegradable material such as willow, and cardboard.

Natural burial ground

This style of burial can often be cheaper than a traditional cemetery. To find a natural burial ground, visit the Natural Death Centre website.

Cremation options

The cost of cremation can be lowered by picking a less popular time slot, for example an early morning or a weekday. In addition, council-run crematoriums tend to be cheaper than private crematoriums.

Remember that you can still create a beautiful ceremony that gives the deceased a respectful tribute and offers friends and family a chance to say goodbye without spending lots of money.

Our online comparison tool is a great way to understand the costs and make contact with funeral directors in your area

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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
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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
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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 [email protected] 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.

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