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How much does a funeral cost?

So, how much do funerals cost? The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,271*.

Although the average cost of a funeral is just over £4,000, funeral costs vary depending on the type of service you choose. On average, the cost for a burial funeral is £5,000, whilst the average cost for a cremation is £3,986.

The cost of a funeral will vary according to the location, type of funeral service, transport, type of coffin, funeral director fees, and any extras such as flowers and catering for the wake.

Whilst the final cost of a funeral will completely depend on the arrangements you choose to make, the overall quality of service provided can vary significantly. Our guide will explain how to choose a funeral director that will arrange a fitting funeral for your loved one, ensure funeral costs are within your budget and manage all of the arrangements to deliver a dignified service.

Breakdown of funeral costs

This guide will provide a complete breakdown of funeral costs. The overall cost of a funeral is typically made up of:

As well as providing a breakdown of funeral costs, we also offer advice and guidance on how to get help with funeral costs.

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Type of funeral

Average UK cost*

What does this cover?

Cremation

£3,986

  • Crematorium fees
  • Cremation certificate
  • Minister or officiant fee
  • Funeral director fees

Burial

£5,000

  • Exclusive right of burial
  • Interment fee
  • Minister or officiant fee
  • Funeral director fees

Direct cremation

£1,712

  • Cremation certificate
  • Plain coffin
  • Return of ashes

Funeral director fees

Funeral director fees cover most aspects of the funeral arrangements, though this can vary depending on which funeral director or package you choose.

Typically, funeral director fees will cover:

  • Overseeing your chosen arrangements before, during and after the funeral service
  • Being present on the day to supervise the occasion and direct all in attendance
  • Personal, face-to-face contact to discuss your individual requirements and take instructions either at the funeral premises or your home
  • Bringing your loved one into care at the soonest available time
  • Modern climate controlled mortuary facilities for the deceased to rest in
  • Caring for and preparing the deceased for the funeral service
  • Providing chapel of rest facilities so you can visit your loved one prior to the funeral
  • Co-ordination of all the required documentation and external funeral costs that are necessary for the funeral to legally proceed
  • A coffin or casket
  • Providing sufficient pallbearers to carry the coffin or casket
  • Provision of a hearse and necessary personnel (limousines may not be included in some services)
  • Co-ordination of additional extras such as funeral wreaths, music and funeral service stationery

A funeral director will allow you to concentrate on other things, whilst they take care of arranging the funeral. However, if you’re worried about the cost of the funeral, speak to your local funeral director about their funeral prices for a simple funeral, or find out how to get help with covering funeral costs.

Third-party funeral costs

Third-party funeral costs, or external payments, are additional charges which will be managed for you and should be attached to your invoice. These payments can vary widely depending on where you live and whether you choose a cremation or burial service for your loved one.

We will prepare, collect and distribute all the required documentation and coordinate external payments for you that are necessary for the funeral to legally proceed. 

Some of the more common third-party funeral costs are listed below.

Third-party funeral costs | Dignity Funerals

Funeral costs: Burial funeral

The average cost of a burial funeral in the UK is £5,000. Burial funeral costs will vary across the UK and are usually comprised of:

  • Minister or Officiant fee: The person conducting the funeral service
  • The exclusive right of burial (EROB): This is the physical space itself, often known as the burial plot
  • The interment: This fee is for the preparation of the burial plot or grave
  • Fee to add or remove headstone: If a burial plot has a headstone then it will have been removed to allow for the funeral to take place. It also covers the cost of placing the headstone back on the grave
  • Maintenance and monument fees: Councils often charge maintenance fees, covering tasks such as grass cutting and insurance for the burial plot
  • Church fees: The cost of holding the funeral service in a place of worship
  • Memorial masonry: The cost of creating, installing, repairing and engraving a memorial

Funeral costs: Cremation funeral

The average cost of a cremation funeral in the UK is £3,986. Cremation costs will vary across the UK and are usually comprised of:

  • Cremation fees at a local crematorium: The cost of cremating a loved one at a local crematorium
  • Minister or Officiant fee: For the person conducting the funeral service
  • Cremation documents fees: Forms for applying for a cremation
  • Interment of ashes: The cost of keeping the ashes in a permanent place, usually a burial plot
  • Scattering of ashes: Disposal by strewing of ashes in the Garden of Remembrance
  • Memorial masonry: The cost of creating, installing, repairing and engraving a memorial
  • Doctor’s fees: These charges are for the cremation certificates

Funeral costs: Direct cremation

Direct cremations provide an affordable alternative to a full service funeral, without compromising on the quality of care. As such, they can reduce the average cost of a funeral, wherever you are in the UK. 
The cost for a direct cremation covers the provision of a simple coffin, doctor's fees for medical papers, collection and care of the deceased and transportation to the crematorium in a specialised funeral vehicle.

Direct Cremation is typically the least expensive option as it can avoid the need for additional funeral costs such as embalming, viewing of the deceased, the funeral service and additional transportation for the family or close friends. 

Optional funeral costs

Whilst funeral costs have risen considerably over the years, ‘optional funeral costs’, which cover special requests and added extras, are around £2,300. As in previous years, the stand out optional cost in 2019 was that of a memorial which costs an average of £910.

Here are the average optional costs for a funeral in the UK:

  • Memorial: £910
  • Catering: £408
  • Limo hire: £313
  • Flowers: £184
  • Venue hire: £245
  • Death notice: £82
  • Order sheets/service cards: £88

Managing funeral costs

Those who need to closely manage funeral costs or are working to a budget can opt for a fixed-price funeral package such as our Simple funeral service, which is £1,695 in Scotland or £1,995 throughout the rest of the UK.

If you’re looking for more of a bespoke service, then the cost of arranging the funeral will vary according to the products and services selected. 

However, there are ways to reduce the cost of a funeral and still personalise it for your loved one: 

  • When planning extras such as caterers or florists, shopping around can help to reduce the average cost of a funeral.
  • For catering, consider asking friends and family to pitch in and bring food rather than using an outside caterer.
  • The type of coffin you select can reduce the overall cost of the funeral. For example, a shroud or eco coffin may prove to be a cheaper option than a picture coffin.
  • Increasingly seen as an eco-friendly alternative, opting for a woodland burial will often be cheaper than a traditional cemetery.
  • Using cars, bikes or pooled resources for travel to the funeral can also help to reduce overall funeral costs.

As well as the more obvious funeral costs such as cars, coffins, flowers and venues, here are a few extra things to check when planning a funeral:

  • Is there an ongoing or annual fee for looking after the burial plot? While this won’t impact the immediate cost of a funeral, it is important that you understand whether there will be any charges in the future.
  • If there is more than one crematorium in your area, you can check the cost of each crematorium by using our comparison tool
  • Are there any hidden fees? Some cemeteries have non-resident charges for people who don’t live locally. This can impact the cost of the funeral, so make sure you understand this up front
Managing funeral costs | Dignity Funerals

How to spread the cost of a funeral

A Prepaid Funeral Plan will protect you against the rising costs of funerals, allowing you to document your final wishes and pay for your funeral in advance.

When you pay for your funeral costs in advance, you secure your service at today’s prices. This means that your loved ones won’t have to pay a penny more when you pass away, no matter how much the average cost of a funeral increases. 

 

*Costs based on the annual Dignity Funerals funeral costs survey 2019 and SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2019

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