Average Funeral Cost UK – Funeral Price Guide

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By Cai Bradley

on Thursday 8 August 2019

Person holding flower at a funeral

It’s always a difficult time when a family member or close friend passes away, and it’s natural to want to give them the best send-off possible.

But the average cost of a funeral in the UK is expensive, there’s no two ways around it.

Many factors determine how much you’ll pay when arranging a loved one’s funeral, including where you live, the type of funeral, and various other special requests.

It can be difficult to find the right balance between an affordable funeral and the best celebration of someone’s life. Here, we’ll break down the average funeral cost in the UK, how the costs add up, and the various ways you could get help with paying for it.

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral depends on many factors and is determined largely by the location of the funeral, the size of the funeral, any special requests, and certain fees associated.

But how much is a funeral going to cost the average person?

The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,757 according to recent research, with the average cost of a burial being £4,267 and the average cost of a cremation slightly less at £3,247.

You could end up paying less or more depending on your location and requirements, but that is roughly how much the average funeral costs in the UK.

How much is a basic funeral?

The basic funeral cost – for those with no special requests – can be significantly less than the average.

If you’re financially limited and the deceased didn’t have a trust or hadn’t designated any money towards the funeral, there are ways of getting the cost below the £4,000 mark. You will have to sacrifice certain elements though, and you might have to consider things like having cheaper flowers, a smaller location and so on.

No funeral is going to be ‘cheap’ because the costs are always going to add up, but it can be extortionate if you aren’t careful with the budget.

Breakdown of funeral costs

Each occasion will differ, but funeral fees and the overall cost will often include some – if not all – of the following:

  • Funeral director fees

  • Transportation costs

  • Costs of the service

  • Flowers and catering for guests at the wake

  • Burial or cremation costs

While the wishes of the deceased within their will usually determines whether they are cremated or buried, the cost of both can differ quite considerably.

List of burial costs

As you might’ve noticed from our earlier comparison of average costs, burials are more expensive than cremations, on average.

The costs associated with a burial naturally differ slightly to those of a cremation, and they often include:

  • Fees to cover the minister or officiant conducting the service

  • The burial plot, or exclusive right of burial (EROB) and the interment

  • Fees regarding the headstone

  • Burial plot maintenance and monument fees (and insurance if required)

  • Fees to cover the place of worship (including churches, chapels etc.)

  • Memorial costs

Burial fees themselves cost £1,960 on average in the UK, which is an expensive element alone, without taking the price of the above into consideration as well.

How much is a coffin in the UK?

The cost of a coffin is usually covered by the funeral director fees, as are many other parts of a funeral, which is why funeral directors can seem so expensive.

Coffins can cost as little as £100 but can also reach £10,000 for the most expensive ones, but it really depends on your budget and the type of coffin or casket opted for.

While we all want the best send-off for our loved ones, it’s important to remember that there will often be a budget, whether it’s what the individual has left behind, or what the family members can afford to pay themselves.

How much does a cremation cost in the UK?

The cost of a cremation in the UK depends on various factors, as listed below, but they are typically less expensive than burials.

Cremation fees are just £159 on average in the UK, which is far more affordable than the £1,960 you’d pay in burial fees.

The cremation as a whole would cost a total of £3,247 on average in the UK, which is over a thousand pounds cheaper than the equivalent burial.

In addition to cremation fees, the other costs associated include:

  • Local crematorium costs

  • Doctor fees (cremation certificates and documents)

  • Fees for the minister or officiant to conduct the service

  • Scattering ashes in the Garden of Remembrance

  • Internment of ashes – equivalent of a burial plot, keeping the ashes in a permanent place

  • Memorial costs

There are some mutual fees, but as a whole, cremations are more affordable than burials.

Funeral director fees

Funeral director fees usually make up most of the cost of a funeral because they often include many different elements within their price.

It can differ with each company and depends on which package you opt for, but the fee usually covers most of the following:

  • The director discussing arrangements and requirements with loved ones of the deceased

  • The director ensuring everything goes to plan before, during, and after the funeral itself

  • Mortuary facilities

  • Preparing the deceased for the funeral service

  • Chapel of rest facilities

  • Making sure legalities are dealt with (documents and so on)

  • Providing a coffin or casket

  • Hearse and drivers

  • Wreaths

Optional funeral costs

Optional funeral costs usually cover special requests and any additional features that are added to a basic funeral.

They are costs that you don’t necessarily need, but might want. For example:

  • Catering

  • Limousine hire

  • Flowers

  • Order sheets and service cards

But remember that some of these costs could even be included within the price of some funeral directors, so be sure to check the content of their available packages first.

How much is the cheapest funeral?

Funeral prices start from around £1,000 with ‘direct cremation’, where the body is cremated without a funeral service beforehand.

Although it may not be the most extravagant celebration of a person’s life, it is the most affordable option available at the moment.

Help paying for a funeral

It can be difficult to pay for a funeral if your loved one passed away suddenly without any plans in place and without a trust fund or insurance policy to provide the budget, but there are ways to get a more affordable service.

If you have the time, you could arrange the funeral yourself, without paying in-full for a funeral director.

There’s also a way to get funding from the government towards a loved one’s funeral, but you must meet a specific criteria to qualify for the “social fund”.

If you do turn out to be eligible, the “social fund” will contribute towards:

  • Burial fees

  • Cremation fees (and the doctor’s certificate)

  • Travel to attend or to arrange the funeral

  • The cost of death certificates and other official documents

  • Fees associated with moving the body (in the UK alone)

  • Funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin, but only up to £700 worth.

Hopefully, Compare UK Quotes has given you a good insight into the approximate price of funerals in the UK and the level of organisation needed to give your loved one the send-off they, and you, intended.

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