Goodness Gracious – Funeral costs

Average funeral costs in the UK rise again to £4,078 * Sept 2017

According to the latest research the average cost of dying is now £8,905 – a 1.2% rise in a year and a rise of more than 50% since tracking the cost of dying ten years ago.

The average cost of a basic funeral now stands at £4,078, up nearly 5% since the 2016 Cost of Dying survey. However, while funeral costs are rising, the amount being spent on the ‘send-off’ has actually dropped for the second year in a row from £2,000, in 2015, to £1,976 in 2016 to £1,928 September 2017. Could this suggest people have to spend less on the send off because of the ever-rising funeral costs?

The total cost of dying is made up of the cost of a basic funeral, the send-off (flowers, venue hire, catering, limos, memorial etc.) and hiring a professional to administer the estate.

How cost of dying adds up

Funeral costs

Funeral costs make up the largest slice

Funeral costs are the largest slice of the overall cost of dying. The cost of a funeral is made up of the fees for the cremation or burial, the funeral director, the doctor and the person conducting the funeral. On average a burial funeral costs over £1000 more than a cremation funeral.

Average cost of a funeral in the UK

Average cost
Basic funeral£4,078
Average cost of a burial£4,561
Average cost of a cremation£3,596


How much does a funeral cost in your area?

Funeral Costs

  • No surprises that the highest prices are London, with the average cost of a funeral working out at £5,951
  • The South East and East of England is the next most expensive at £4,656
  • The South East and East of England have also seen big percentage increases in the average cost of a funeral, with costs up nearly 14% on 2016
  • Northern Ireland now has the lowest average cost of a funeral at £2,982, almost 27% below the national average
  • The North East has seen the smallest rise in funeral costs compared to 2016, at 4.7%

The cost of a burial varies most across regions

So why are average funeral costs so different across the country? According to research, regional differences are heavily influenced by the average cost of a burial funeral, this may be partly due to the value of land as a burial needs a plot in which to place the coffin. The difference in burial funeral costs between regions is almost £4,500 at its most extreme – costing an average £7,311 in London and £2,985 in Northern Ireland; with the UK average now standing at £4,561.

Regional cremation prices

The average price for a cremation is £3,596, much less than a burial. There’s also a less dramatic variation in cremation costs across the country, ranging from £4,591 in London to £3,049 in Wales.

Direct cremations

Significantly cheaper than both a burial and traditional cremation is a direct cremation. A direct cremation is where the body is cremated immediately after death, without a funeral service. The average cost of a typical direct cremation in the UK is £1,835, almost half the cost of a standard cremation. There is a growing trend for direct cremations, which is thought is to be down to them being the more affordable option, which the deceased had asked for.

Average funeral costs – past, present and future

Funeral costs in the UK have risen a massive 112% since 2004. If they continue to rise at the same rate, we’ll be forking out £ 4,773 on average to cover the cost of a funeral by 2021.

Possible solution

There are several companies that offer pre-payment funeral plans. This can have a two-fold benefit. Not only can you ensure that you get what you want at a time when family can be so distressed and may forget some of your requests but it also takes away the burden of the cost. There are limitations to these types of plan so do make sure you check all the small print before signing on the dotted line and parting with your cash.

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