There is no law in the UK that states you must have a…
Cremation is more common than burial in the UK and is usually the cheaper option of the two.
On average, a direct cremation in the UK costs £1,511, while a cremation with a funeral service is £3,673.
However, this varies depending on where in the UK you live, and how much is spent personalising the funeral.
In this guide, we break down the average cost of cremation in the UK, according to the annual SunLife Cost of Dying report, while also including:
If you’re worried that your family couldn’t afford the cost of your cremation when the time comes, it’s worth considering over 50s life insurance.
This is a life insurance product which will pay out up a cash lump sum when you pass away for a fixed monthly payment (premium).
Depending on your personal circumstances and budget, it’s possible to secure up to £20,000 of cover help contribute towards your cremation.
If you’re a UK resident aged between 50 - 85, you’re eligible to secure a policy. No medical information is required, and quotes start from as little as 20p-a-day + .
Simply contact us today for your fee-free quote comparison.
You can use our handy life insurance calculator below to determine how much life cover you require:
According to SunLife’s Cost of Dying report for 2022, the average cost of a basic cremation funeral is £3,673.
However, the overall cost of a cremation depends on various factors, including:
The table below shows average cremation prices per region in the UK. The most expensive place for a cremation funeral is London at £4,260. Whereas the cheapest place is Northern Ireland at £3,372:
|South East & East of England||£4,032|
|East and West Midlands||£3,572|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||£3,419|
|South West England||£3,507|
|North West England||£3,666|
|North East England||£3,426|
The average cost of a direct cremation in the UK is currently £1,511.
However, as mentioned, cremation fees vary from region to region, so the overall cost will depend on the location of the crematorium.
A direct cremation doesn't include a funeral service at a church or at the crematorium before the cremation.
Direct cremations have recently dropped in price but increased in popularity. Prices have decreased by 8.2% from an average of £1,647 in 2021, and 18% chose direct cremation in 2022, compared to just 3% in 2019.
This is due the impact of the coronavirus pandemic when traditional funeral services were not possible, and direct cremations were a practical alternative.
Both cremation and direct cremation funeral costs are broken down into the following categories:
Let’s take a look at these costs in more detail…
1. Funeral director fees
Funeral director services tend to be the most expensive part of a basic cremation funeral.
Funeral director fees cover the following elements:
2. Cremation fees and return of ashes
Cremation fees vary, as they’re charged by the crematorium. They’re separate from the services of a funeral director.
These cover the following:
Cremation fees vary from region to region. The location of the crematorium will determine the overall cost.
3. Minister or celebrant fee
The average cost of cremation includes the fee charged by a minister or celebrant to conduct the ceremony. In 2022, the average clergy fee was £174, and the average humanist celebrant fee was £210.
4. Doctor's fees
For cremations outside of Scotland, it's necessary that two different medical certificates are obtained and signed by two different doctors to certify the death before the cremation can be permitted.
5. Optional extras
Optional extras include elements such as the memorial, funeral notice, flowers and order sheets. The cost of these can vary greatly, but in 2022 the average amount people spent on optional extras when arranging a funeral was £2,669.
These elements are optional, and not legally required, unlike the funeral director fees (if you use a funeral director), cremation fees and doctors’ fees.
The cost of the most common optional extras are depicted in the table below:
|Optional extras||Average price|
|Additional limousine hire||£353|
Other optional costs you may need to consider include:
Contribute to the cost of your funeral with over 50s life insurance. It’s possible to secure cover for up to £20,000, depending on your personal circumstances and budget.
The average cost of dying in the UK is £9,200. This takes into consideration the cremation/burial of the loved one’s body, and additional funeral costs.
As well as cremation costs, funeral costs will vary depending on your location.
The below table shows the difference in average funeral costs for both burial and cremation:
|South East & East of England||£4,300|
|East and West Midlands||£3,892|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||£3,742|
|South West England||£3,640|
|North West England||£3,832|
|North East England||£ 3,668|
As you can see, London has the highest average funeral costs at £5,283, (33.7% higher than the national average).
Northern Ireland, however, has the lowest average funeral costs at £3,317, (16% lower than the national average).
The average cost of a cremation funeral is around 31% cheaper than the average cost of a burial funeral.
This is because of the additional costs involved with having a burial funeral.
On top of funeral director fees, minister or celebrant fees and optional extras, there's:
Burial plots vary in price across the UK from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds.
The average cost of a burial is £4,794. However, the overall cost will depend on where the burial is taking place, the type of funeral services included, and which optional extras are chosen.
Secure an over 50s life insurance plan to help towards your funeral costs.
As well as cost, there are many things to consider when planning a cremation funeral, from the type of service it will be to what music will be played.
If you’re using a funeral director, they’ll be able to help with most of the arrangements and can advise on many aspects.
A direct cremation is half the price of a cremation with funeral and requires less planning as a service isn’t necessary.
There are various ways you can save money on cremation costs, whilst also arranging the perfect send-off for your loved one.
Here are Reassured’s top 5 tips:
1. Shop around and compare quotes
Compare prices from different funeral directors and crematoriums in your local area.
The cost of services and funeral packages will vary between providers.
Most funeral directors offer low-cost funeral options or they can tailor their services to suit your budget.
You may also find that shopping around for things like flowers will help you find the most affordable option.
2. Pick an off-peak time slot (if suitable)
You can save money by choosing an off-peak time slot for the cremation.
For example, early morning weekday slots tend to be cheaper than any other time.
Many crematoriums will choose the date and time for direct cremations. While this provides a cheaper option, it means no funeral service or ceremony can take part beforehand.
3. Simplify the send-off
Many aspects of a cremation funeral are optional extras, and therefore, you can choose to cut back on these costs if needed.
Ways you can save on these expenses include:
4. Consider a direct cremation
A direct cremation costs 59% less than a traditional cremation funeral on average, based on figures from SunLife.
This means there’s no funeral procession, no funeral service, and no mourners in attendance.
Instead, the cremation takes place at a time and date decided by the crematorium and, following this, the ashes are either collected by loved ones or delivered to them.
As there’s no ceremony to attend, loved ones usually arrange a separate celebration of life, memorial service or get-together at another time and place.
5. Have a ‘Do It Yourself’ funeral
A funeral director doesn’t legally have to carry out a cremation funeral.
Family members could handle all the arrangements themselves instead.
However, it could be quite stressful and time-consuming as there are many elements for them to consider.
A DIY funeral would include the following arrangements:
Over 50s life insurance is a policy which can help to protect your loved ones from cremation and funeral costs when the time comes.
The maximum cover amount is up to £20,000, depending on your age, smoking status and budget, and a pay-out is guaranteed.
With the average cost of dying being £9,200, the money could contribute towards the cost of your final send-off.
If you’re a UK resident aged between 50 - 85, you’re eligible to secure over 50s life insurance.
Secure a free, no obligation quote through Reassured today. We can also help to write many of our over 50s life insurance in trust for free.
Our friendly, UK-based teams are here to assist as well as to help you find the cheapest quote from our panel of top UK insurers.
Use our award-winning comparison service and we’ll do our best to help you save money today.
 Information obtained directly from SunLife Press Office
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