What is a no frills funeral?

A no frills funeral is a simple, low-cost funeral option, (although ‘no frills’ isn’t the official term).

This type of funeral requires less organisation than a traditional funeral, which means that not all the costly services of a funeral director are needed. In other words, you can save time and money.

Most funeral providers in the UK can offer a no frills funeral or can tailor their services to meet your needs and budget.

As mentioned, ‘direct cremation’ or ‘simple funeral’ are terms more commonly used to describe a no frills funeral.

Whether you’re planning a funeral for someone else or you’re planning ahead for your own funeral, continue reading our helpful guide to learn more about the no frills funeral option.

Simple funeral plans

At Reassured, we can help you arrange a funeral plan for a simple cremation or burial funeral from just £19.11* a month.

Our plans include the essential elements for this type of funeral including:

  • Funeral director services
  • Collection and care of the deceased
  • A service at the crematorium or place of worship
  • A coffin
  • Bereavement support for family

A simple funeral plan can give you peace of mind that:

  • Your specific funeral wishes will be met when the time comes
  • Your loved ones won’t need to arrange your funeral; the plan provider will take care of everything
  • You’ve paid today’s price for your funeral services, which avoids rising costs

Get in touch with Reassured for your personalised funeral plan quote. We’re here to help (and we don’t charge a fee).

Why have a no frills funeral?

Some of the reasons why people decide to have a no frills funeral instead of a traditional funeral may include:

  • The person who has passed wanted a simple, fuss-free funeral
  • Family members find it too upsetting to arrange the funeral
  • It reduces financial stress for those who’d need to cover the cost
  • Eliminates unnecessary expenses that a traditional funeral usually entails

Reasons why no frills funerals are growing in popularity include:

This could be due to various factors, including:

  • Funeral services are getting too expensive, (funeral costs have risen 128% since 2004)[1]
  • People are more likely to talk about their funeral wishes
  • Awareness of low-cost alternative funeral options is growing

Direct cremation

A direct cremation is a straight-forward cremation without a funeral service or ceremony beforehand.

The person who has died is taken straight into the care of the funeral provider and they take care of all the arrangements for a cremation to take place.

For this type of send-off, there’s no hearse, pallbearers, limousines or flowers and mourners don’t attend the cremation.

PROs

  • Costs much less than a standard funeral, (on average £1,554 in the UK)[1]
  • Removes the stress of having to arrange a loved ones’ funeral, (the funeral provider takes care of everything)
  • Allows family and friends to hold a memorial service or celebration of life away from a funeral setting and at a time and place to suit them

CONs

  • You can’t choose the time and date of the cremation
  • You may not be able to visit the person who has died before they are laid to rest
  • Not having a proper funeral could disrupt the grieving process for loved ones
  • It may cause rifts between some family members, especially if they have certain beliefs or if tradition is important to them


It’s also possible to have a direct burial, designed for those who wish for a low-cost, fuss-free burial, although these are far less common.

25% of funerals during the first lockdown in 2020 were direct cremations[1]

Simple funeral (for cremation or burial)

A simple funeral usually includes a full-length service, a simple coffin, pallbearers and a funeral director to oversee the whole service.

However, there may not be a funeral procession with a traditional hearse and limousines. Instead, the deceased may be transported in a practical vehicle straight to the cremation or burial site.

PROs

  • Less expensive than a standard funeral
  • Includes a funeral service which allows loved ones to say goodbye in the traditional way
  • Loved ones can still arrange flowers or other tributes for the service, (although these add to the cost)
  • Can have a simple cremation or burial funeral, depending on your preference

CONs

  • You may not be able to choose the time and date or there may be restrictions as to when the funeral can take place
  • Third-party services may need to be arranged and paid for separately
  • There may be a limit to the number of mourners that can attend
  • There may be restrictions as to what you can personalise

How much does a no frills cremation cost?

This depends on whether you choose a direct cremation or a simple funeral with a cremation.

A direct cremation is the cheapest way to be cremated in the UK, usually costing less than a few thousand pounds.

For example, Co-op Funeralcare provide a direct cremation package priced at £1,313 in England and Wales, or at £1,230 if you’re in Scotland.

This package includes all the essential services for a direct cremation and covers doctors’ fees.

A simple funeral with a cremation is the next cheapest funeral available in the UK.

For example, Dignity offer a simple funeral package priced at £1,995 in England and Wales or £1,695 in Scotland.

This package includes all the essential services for a simple cremation funeral but doesn’t cover essential third-party fees.

Third-party services include:

  • A doctor to sign the medical certificate
  • A minister or celebrant to hold the ceremony
  • The cremation itself at the crematorium

These would need to be paid for on top of the package price and before the services can go ahead, so that’s important to bear in mind.

There’s also personalisation elements to consider too, such as flowers, the order of service and a memorial if one is required.

Cremation fees and other essential funeral costs vary across the UK, so the location of the funeral will also impact how much you pay in total.

£3,885 is the total average cost of a simple cremation funeral in the UK, including third-party fees.

How much does a funeral cost in your area?

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Average funeral cost

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This calculator uses data from the SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2021 and should only be used as a guide.

How much does a no frills burial cost?

No frills burial packages tend to cost the same as no frills cremation packages.

E.g. Dignity’s simple burial funeral package is also priced at £1,995 in England and Wales and £1,695 in Scotland.

The difference is that a burial plot must be purchased and the burial fee must be paid for the burial to go ahead.

Burial plots can cost from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds depending on its location in the UK.

Burial fees also vary across the country, so you may wish to contact your local funeral director to get a better idea of cost.

£5,033 is the total average cost of a simple burial funeral in the UK, including third-party fees.

Compare no frills funeral providers

When you lose a loved one, the list of to-dos can be overwhelming.

However, if you can find the time, it can be beneficial to compare several funeral packages from different providers.

By comparing the prices and features of each package, you can ensure your final choice provides best value for money.


Here’s a quick overview of some well-known providers and the no frills funeral options they can offer:

Simplicity Co op insurer logo white Dignity Memoria Low-Cost Funerals
Offer direct cremation and simple funeral packages for cremation Offer direct cremation, direct burial and a simple funeral package for cremation or burial Offer a simple funeral package for cremation or burial Offer direct cremation and simple funeral packages for cremation or burial
Simple funeral packages allow you to arrange a family-led funeral service Network of over 1,000 owned funeral directors in the UK 46 owned crematoria in the UK Offer direct cremation with intimate funeral service
46 owned crematoria in the UK   Network of 1,200 owned and approved funeral directors in the UK 12 owned crematoria in the UK. Single Memoria burial site in Cardiff
Prices from £995 Prices from £1,230 Prices from £1,695 Prices from £950

The information in this table has been taken from the separate providers' websites and is accurate as at 27/05/2021

Planning ahead with a prepaid funeral plan

Reassured aren’t able to help arrange a funeral for someone today but we can help you arrange a prepaid funeral plan to cover the cost of your own funeral in the future.

A funeral plan locks-in your funeral costs and ensures that loved ones are protected from higher funeral expenses when the time comes.

We’re an award-winning brokerage with over 11 years experience arranging financial protection for families across the UK.

Get in touch with our friendly team today for your free, no-obligation quotes.

Sources:

*£19.11 per month pricing includes a £75 discount only available to Co-operative members and is based on a 50-year-old purchasing a Co-operative Simple Funeral Plan at £3,020 over the maximum term available of 25 years (total amount repayable £5,733.40) as of 1st March 2021

[1] SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2021

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