Funeral In The UK: Cost & Guide, Most Expensive Places To Die and More
Funeral In The UK

How much does it cost to hold a funeral in the UK?

A funeral in the UK currently costs £4,138 on average, depending on the type of service you choose.

Cremation, which typically costs £3,885, is more common and less expensive. Burials are more expensive, costing £5,033, and there is also the additional expense of the burial plot to take into account.

This funeral expense breakdown shows you what the average cost of a funeral in the UK will be in 2021. The type of funeral, where you live, and the services you choose all affect price:

-Basic funeral costs (funeral director and 3rd party costs) - £4,184

-Additional funeral expenses – £2,532

In the past ten years, the average funeral expense has more than doubled. As a result, 1 in 8 families are now forced to incur debt in order to cover a loved one's funeral expenses.

In the same time frame, wages in the UK only increased by 20%. In addition, the average price of funerals has increased at a much higher rate despite the public outcry over rising housing, gasoline, and utility costs.

What is included in the basic funeral costs today

1. Funeral director’s costs in the UK currently average £2,687

The funeral director's expenses cover the transportation of the deceased, their care, the coffin, the hearse, the funeral cars for the family, and the day's services. Additionally, the funeral director will communicate with other parties and assist the family as needed.

2. Third party funeral costs

Third party funeral costs comprise of those essential services not provided by the funeral director. This includes the cremation or burial fees, the minister or celebrant’s fees (which currently average £169) and the doctor’s charges. 'In England and Wales, Doctor's fees may be required for cremations currently costing approximately £164.

What are the additional funeral expenses?

Additional funeral expenses are the services you choose as optional extras to personalise the service such as:

-Memorial - £1,016

-Limousine hire - £336

-Wake, including venue hire and catering - £450

-Order of service - £94

-Flowers - £193

-Death notices - £75

-Funeral costs by UK region

The cost of a funeral varies throughout the UK. As you may expect, London funeral costs are the most expensive, however funeral costs in other regions of the UK have risen at a faster rate.

Where are UK funeral costs the highest?

1.London £5,235 (+3.4%)

2.South East & East of England £5,007 (+9.8%)

3.East and West Midlands £4,488 (+3.9%)

4.Yorkshire and the Humber £4,270 (-3.6%)

Where are UK funeral costs the lowest?

1.Northern Ireland £3,222 (-7.4%)

2.Wales £3,718 (+0.4%)

3.North West England £3,785 (+5.2%)

4.North East England £3,826 (-1.8%)

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UK's ten 'most expensive places to die'

Figures from research by comparison site, Beyond

1. Watford (£5,814)

2. London (£5,749)

3. Redhill (£5,352)

4. Guildford (£5,317)

5. Liverpool (£5,157)

6. Newport (£5,149)

7. Brighton (£5,013)

8. Halifax (£4,976)

9. Salisbury (£4,959)

10. Aberdeen (£4,942)


According to a study, Watford is the most expensive location in the UK to hold a funeral.

Compared to the national average, funeral expenses are 37% higher in the Hertfordshire town where mourners gather.

comparison website for funerals Beyond stated that Watford's undertakers were "making a killing" by charging an average of £5,814 — £60 more than a typical London funeral — for services.

According to the statistics, Redhill was in third place, charging £5,352, and London was in second place, charging an average of £5,749 for funerals.

In a statement accompanying the research, it was stated: "The 'Watford Gap' is back, and this time it's because funeral directors seeking to make a killing are charging 37% more than the UK average.

James Dunn, co-founder of Beyond, stated: "Price increases, particularly among the big chains, are being driven by a lack of transparency in the funeral market.

"With half a million Brits passing away annually, death is big business, but a lack of shopping around is causing mourners, who are frequently vulnerable, to pay over the odds."

Co-operative Funeral Care disputed the statistics, claiming that 81% of people choose cremation over burial and that the average funeral director fee was £2,810, or £3,900 when third party costs are taken into account.

Funerals cost on average more than £5,000 in Guildford, Liverpool, and Brighton, as well as in Newport, which is by far the priciest location in Wales at £5,149 and the sixth priciest in the entire United Kingdom.

Cutting Costs: Tips and Advices

In 2020, 53% of people made efforts to save money and reduce funeral expenses, with 8% of people reporting that they felt they overspent.

Funeral directors and those who had planned a send-off shared similar advice when we asked for suggestions on how to reduce funeral costs:

-Choose a cheaper coffin

-Spend less on flowers

-Have the wake at home (if possible)

-Opt for a cremation or direct cremation

Don't be pressured into more expensive options

There are many options available when planning a traditional funeral, including coffin, flowers, and transportation. Nobody wants to be the one who chose the cheapest casket or floral tribute for the funeral of a loved one.

People just want everyone to get together, listen to their favorite music, and have a few drinks; they don't want to spend too much money on a formal funeral when a simple funeral would suffice.

Shop around until you find a price you're happy with

There is always a less expensive option available when it comes to services like catering and flowers, and keep in mind that less expensive does not always equal inferior. Make sure to shop around for a price that fits your budget whether you're planning a traditional funeral through a funeral director or organizing a casual memorial service yourself.

Arrange the funeral yourself with a direct cremation

A simple cremation without a funeral service is known as a direct cremation. Your loved one is picked up and transported to a crematorium for cremation for £1,095. The temporary urn containing their ashes is then given back to you.

You can plan a memorial service that is ideal for you and your family – not a funeral director – by taking care of the cremation right away for a low, fixed price. To reduce funeral costs, you could rent out the town hall, scatter your loved one's ashes in a park, or just host a small gathering at your home. You are entirely in charge of the decision and the price.

What type of funeral are people choosing?

59% of funerals in 2020 were cremations, making it the most popular choice. 26% were burials, and 14% were direct cremations.

However, the number of direct cremations increased by 11% during February to July, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How is the funeral industry coping?

Nearly all funeral directors (97%) claim to have been impacted by the pandemic, but only 54% claim to have felt government support.

We questioned them about the challenges involved in planning a funeral during a pandemic. The most typical responses were:

-Government legislation resulting in families not being able to grieve together

-Misleading and disorganised guidance for funeral directors

-Not being able to support bereaved families face-to-face

-COVID-19 and the future of funerals

When we asked funeral directors how they think the COVID-19 pandemic will affect funerals in the future, they said:

-Job losses will mean people opt for simpler funerals

-Paperwork will go digital, as it’s more hygienic and efficient

-Direct cremations will continue to gain popularity

89% of funeral directors noticed some key trends in 2020.What are the latest funeral trends?

The most typical method is for people to invite people to the service using social media platforms like Facebook.

Additionally, they claimed that funerals were becoming more personalized, with unique locations, individualized transportation, and special requests.

Others noted that more people were opting for direct cremations and other straightforward, less expensive funeral arrangements.

How much does a cremation cost?

A traditional cremation with a high street funeral home costs about £4,000. This includes a basic coffin, a hearse, and a straightforward service in addition to the collection and care of your loved one. It also includes any fees that must be paid to the crematorium as well as the doctor's fees.

How much does a funeral director cost?

A funeral director's fee can typically account for between 50 and 60 percent of the overall expense, or about £2,000. However, depending on the type and scale of the funeral you're planning, this can vary greatly. If you're planning a large gathering, this will probably take up a lot of the funeral director's time and be more expensive.

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