In recent years, more and more affordable alternatives to a traditional cremation have become available for the public. But which option is the cheapest way to be cremated?

What is the cheapest way to be cremated in the UK?

A direct cremation is the cheapest way to be cremated in the UK. With Distinct Cremations, a direct cremation costs just £1,199 - that's on average 71%* cheaper than a traditional funeral.

A direct cremation is a cremation without a service and mourners. Instead, the cremation provider collects the deceased, prepares them for cremation, carries out the process at a crematorium, and then hand-delivers the ashes back to the family. From here, the family can have a memorial service at a date and venue of their choosing.

For those who want a service, the cheapest way to be cremated would be with a small, attended cremation. The price for this starts from just £1,599 and is inclusive of a 10 minute service for 8 people.

Another cheap option would be an attended cremation with a 20 minute service for 20 people which costs just £1,749.

We'll explain all these cheap cremation options in more depth below.

* 71% saving is based on the cost of a basic funeral at £4,141 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024, sunlife.co.uk/ funeral-costs) vs the cost of a Distinct Cremations direct cremation at £1,199

The three cheapest cremation options

Even though these options below are the three cheapest ways to have a cremation, there is no sacrifice in quality of care when you opt for something a little more affordable.

Indeed, each and every family that comes through our door is treated just the way we'd like our family members to be treated, whether it's an unattended or an attended cremation.

And each and every cremation is carried out with the same respect and dignity. The coffin is taken through the front door and rested on the raised platform while a song of the family's choice is played or a moment of silence is respected. And again, that's the same whether it's an unattended or attended cremation.

Unattended, Direct Cremation

From £1,199

Celebrate a life without the restrictions of a funeral

  • A dignified and affordable option
  • No service or attendees present

Find out more

10 Minute Attended Cremation

From £1,599

For immediate friends and family to pay respects

  • Up to 8 attendees
  • A 10 minute service

Find out more

20 Minute Attended Cremation

From £1,749

A family-led service attended by close loved ones

  • Up to 20 attendees
  • A 20 minute service

Find out more

Here are a few of the key inclusions and key differences between each option.

Unattended Cremation 10 Minute Attended Cremation 20 Minute Attended Cremation
Paperwork support & guidance ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
24/7 support team ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Collection of the deceased ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Preparation of the deceased ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
A simple coffin ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Choice of crematorium ✔️ ! ✔️ !
Choice of cremation date ✔️ ✔️
Funeral service with attendees present ✔️ ✔️
Return of ashes in ashes container ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

! Choice of 40 Westerleigh crematoriums

How is a cheaper cremation different from a traditional cremation?

Choosing a simple cremation like those set out above instead of a traditional funeral lets you celebrate a loved one’s life however you wish, with less stress and no fuss.

You can see the key differences between the two options in more detail below.

Cremation with Distinct
A simple cremation with Distinct Cremations

The contemporary, simple, fuss-free farewell, free of tradition

  • An unattended cremation or attended cremation
  • A compassionate, attentive team there 24/7 for your questions and support with paperwork
  • A service free of pomp and ceremony
  • You can organise a separate memorial service that's personal and unique to your loved one
  • On average 71% cheaper⊛ than a traditional funeral, with prices starting from just £1,199


⊛ 71% saving is based on the cost of a basic funeral at £4,141 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024, sunlife.co.uk/ funeral-costs) vs the cost of a Distinct Cremations direct cremation at £1,199.

Traditional Funeral
Traditional funeral

A fixed format funeral, with a set service

  • A set format 20-50 minute service held in a traditional setting like a church or chapel with mourners present
  • Traditionally less personal and flexible
  • Option to have a procession with a hearse and limousines
  • Funeral and service coordination from a funeral director
  • Costs on average £4,141# for a basic funeral




    # The average cost of a basic funeral in 2023 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024, sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs)

The ways we keep cremation costs down

Though we are able to offer affordable cremations, we do not compromise on quality of care or dignity.

Instead, thanks to our vast experience in the industry, we have developed processes that concentrate on efficiency and we have secured partnerships that have our customer's best interests in mind.

We have strategic partnerships

Funeral Celebrant With Clasped Hands

As we are part of the Westerleigh Group and have employees with a wealth of experience within the funeral industry, we have formed strategic partnerships with a number of service providers to reduce costs. These partnerships involve collaborating with suppliers to negotiate discounts on items such as ashes containers and coffins.

We own all our crematoriums

Direct Cremation At Cromer Crematorium

Another advantage of being part of the Westerleigh Group is that we own all the 40 crematoriums that we use across the country. This means that not only will we use high quality crematoria, but there will be no logistical issues and we are able to keep costs down as we don't have to pay a fee to use an external crematorium.

We run efficient operations

ambulance 2

With over 30 years' worth of experience in the funeral industry we have developed lean practices to reduce waste and improve productivity. By streamlining our processes, our funeral team have been able to standardise certain procedures from our hub in the centre of England to save costs and pass those savings on to you

How to keep your memorial service costs low

A lot of people who choose a simple, cheap cremation like to have a commemoration event or memorial service once the cremation has taken place.

This can take place at any place and at any time. Families often like to choose a meaningful location like a local pub or the deceased's favourite sports club.

Here are a few ideas that will also keep costs to a minimum.

Memory walk

Homes

You may like to consider a walk through to the meaningful places of the deceased's life. This could be to a house they grew up in, a park where they played football or just to their local pub.

House gathering

House In The Countryside

A gathering at a family house surrounded by your nearest and dearest is a lovely way to commemorate a loved one, and the only thing that you need to bring is your presence.

Memory tree planting

Tree pod burial

Tree planting has become a lot more popular as we've all become more eco-conscious, and creating new life is a great, spiritual and circular way to remember a loved one.

A walk in nature

Family Walking In Wheat Field

A walk with close family members and friends away from the big city is a lovely way to focus your mind on the important things in life and a lovely way to bond with those around you.

Community picnic

River In Green Park

If you have a lot of people you'd like to invite, you could organise a picnic in the local park. Tell everyone to bring some food to share and you'll create a lovely, wholesome feast.

Candlelight vigil

Family Outside By Table With Candles

An emotional, intimate way to say goodbye, there's something quite spiritual and touching about a candlelight vigil, like you're almost coming into contact with the deceased.

Other helpful articles

Below are a couple more articles that may be able to help you in your research.

How to have a low cost funeral

Wallet On Wooden Table

Still concerned about cremation costs? There are several steps you can take to minimise your funeral expenses. Explore the different ways to keep costs as low as possible.

Low cost funerals

Funeral plans

Sue Cook Bench

One way to set your mind at rest about cremation costs is with a cremation plan. Funeral plans let you choose and pay for a funeral ahead of time and can help alleviate financial concerns.

View our funeral plans

We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who have purchased a funeral through Distinct Cremations.

From the very first phone call I felt things were going to be handled well. Kindness compassion and helpful ness were shown throughout. I was kept informed about all the details and the person delivering the ashes was so respectful and kind taking the time to ask about my husbands life. This is who will handle my cremation.
Received excellent service from Distinct Cremations. The passing of my stepfather was very distressing and emotional time for my family. David at DC kept us up to date with the arrangements, and talked us through each step of the plan, and kept the admin to a minimum. The cost of the Direct cremation was as advertised, which I found to be good value. Thank you everyone at DC.
Excellent service. Professional but still friendly considering the subject being discussed can be awkward for some people.
Very good very helpful customer service Price was very competitive overall very happy
Polite prompt friendly service
Great service, easy to arrange. Very friendly people
Very easy to set up.
Excellent service from Distinct Cremations. My contact was Kerry who was extremely efficient, polite, professional and thoughtful. Every step of my father's cremation was very well explained from start to finish with plenty of contact but only when required. Thank you for a smooth process. I have no issues at all with Distinct and my husband and I will be taking out a plan ourselves in the near future.
5.0
702 reviews
Feefo Gold 2024
Feefo Gold 2024
5.0
702 reviews

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