How much does a funeral cost?

white coffin in church for funeral

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 £4,056 (SunLife 2022). Keep in mind that this price varies based on your location and the type of funeral you choose.

Average funeral costs went down from £4,184 in 2020 to £4,056 in 2021. This is because the cost of a basic funeral has gone down. It’s also because more people are choosing to have a direct cremation which is a cheaper option.

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 cremation and other types of unattended funeral.

 

Even though the average funeral cost went down in 2021, it’s predicted to go up again in the next few years.

Average funeral costs by location

Funeral costs can vary depending on where you live in the UK. In London the average cost is £5,358 and in Northern Ireland it’s £3,056. Even two cemeteries just a few miles apart can have very different costs.

Here’s a breakdown of average funeral costs by region (SunLife Report 2022) to give you a better idea of what to expect.

 

Region Average Funeral Cost
London £5,358
South East & East of England £4,825
Yorkshire & the Humber £4,302
East & West Midlands £3,942
Northern Ireland £3,056
North West of England £3,840
Scotland £3,873
South West of England £3,907
North East of England £3,915
Wales £3,540

 

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 2021 (SunLife Report 2022) Typically includes
Burial £4,927 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 £3,765 Cremation fees, doctor’s fees, collecting and taking care of the person who died, a basic coffin, hearse and a simple service.
Direct cremation £1,647 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:

What’s included as part of the funeral director’s fee?

You can usually expect the funeral director’s fee to cover:

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:

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:

 

Optional extra Typical cost (SunLife Report 2022)
Death notice £71
Funeral notice £83
Order of service cards £105
Flowers £206
Limousines £321
Memorial headstone or plaque £1,024
Venue hire £268
Catering £406
Total = £2,484

 

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:

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.

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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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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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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 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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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 info@yourfuneralchoice.com 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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