Average funeral costs in the UK - how much could you pay?

If you're in the dark about funeral costs, paying for a funeral can be a worry, but there are several ways to keep a funeral as affordable as possible.

Whether you're arranging a funeral for someone else or want to cover the future costs of your own funeral to support your children or spouse, our supportive team can help.

Planning a funeral can be overwhelming and the cost can add to the stress. Since 2004, funeral costs have more than doubled from £1,835 to £3,953.[1]

It's important to remember though that you don't need to feel pressured to spend more than you can afford. Putting pressure on your finances is unlikely to be what your loved one would have wanted and choosing a small, intimate send off with personal touches to reflect a person's life can be just as meaningful.

There are several ways you can minimise funeral costs for you and your family. Prepaid funeral plans, for example, let you cover funeral costs in advance to either plan and pay for your own funeral or arrange a funeral for someone else.

[1] Basic funeral costs were £1,835 in 2004 and £3,953 in 2022 (Sunlife Cost of Dying Report 2023, sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs)

How much do funerals cost?

Funeral costs can differ by thousands of pounds depending on the type of funeral you would like and how elaborate you would like it to be.

If you know you'll be responsible for planning someone's funeral, being aware of the costs involved can help set your mind at rest and allow you to make informed choices about the best way to fulfil your loved one's funeral wishes.

Wallet And Glasses On Table

Average funeral costs in the UK

Whether you're arranging a funeral or considering your own funeral wishes, the type of funeral you choose will have the biggest impact on how much the funeral will cost.

The costs of burial, cremation or direct cremation vary significantly.

Funeral type Average cost[2]
Burial £4,794
Cremation £3,673
Direct cremation £1,511
A Distinct Cremations attended cremation From £1,545
A Distinct Cremations direct cremation From £995

[2] Funeral costs by type taken from the Sunlife Cost of Dying Report 2023, sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs


Black Coffin In Chapel

Burial funerals are conventional but burial costs are also the most expensive.

Securing a burial plot in your preferred location and buying a headstone for the grave can be expensive. Fees for digging and filling in the grave can also add to the costs.


Aylesbury Vale Crematorium chapel

Nowadays more people choose to be cremated than to be buried. Cremation costs vary depending on what you’d like to be included.

Following the cremation ashes can be scattered but if you would like them to be buried so your family has a grave to visit in future this will cost extra.

Direct cremation

Family Outside By Table With Candles

Choosing a direct cremation funeral is the most cost-effective way to give your loved one a respectful and dignified cremation.

The cremation takes place without any mourners present and allows you to celebrate your loved one's life in your own personal way instead.

What affects the costs of different funeral types?


Those who choose a burial funeral often like to include other traditional funeral elements like a hearse, a car to transport immediate family, floral arrangements for the coffin and orders of service for the mourners in attendance, all of which contribute to the costs.


A cremation funeral is cheaper than a burial and costs like a headstone and burial plot are not required. Aspects of a cremation service that can affect the price include how many mourners are present, the day and time of the service and whether the service is family-led or led by a celebrant.

Direct cremation

Direct cremation is the most affordable funeral option. It is a popular choice for those who either don't have the money for an extravagant funeral service or would rather gift the money to their family. Families may like to spend additional money on a celebration of life or ashes scattering event in remembrance of their loved one.

Get in touch

At Distinct Cremations, we specialise in simple cremations and direct cremation services. Our funeral services can be organised at the time of need, or you can set up a funeral plan to plan and pay for a funeral for yourself or someone else in advance.

If you'd like more information about the costs of our services and what's included, please give us a call to chat with our friendly team.

Call us on 01543 212000

How to reduce funeral costs

Looking for ways to reduce the cost of a funeral is a practical consideration. Your loved one wouldn’t want you to feel stressed over funeral costs or get into debt paying for a funeral that's not affordable for you. Many people prefer to prioritise money for their families over having an extravagant funeral.

There are many ways you can reduce funeral costs and still have a unique and personal funeral that honours a loved one's memory.

Reduce service costs

Great Glen Chapel
  • Compare different funeral providers
  • Choose a direct cremation service
  • Have the service in the morning on a weekday
  • Have a family-led service instead of a celebrant
  • Protect yourself from rising costs and pay in instalments with a funeral plan

Reduce memorial costs

Family At Restaurant Overlooking Seaside
  • Take your time to save up or use money from your loved one's estate
  • Shop around for a venue
  • Host memorial drinks or a buffet meal at your own home
  • Scatter ashes in a local body of water, park or your own garden
  • Ask family and friends to contribute with research or food and drink

Alternative ways to save

Wooden heart ornament left resting against a tree in remembrance of a loved one buried nearby
  • Set up a free online memorial or charity page in memory
  • Plant a tree - tree planting is included with our Go Greener service
  • Donate your body to the Human Tissue Authority
  • Include personal touches like eulogies, poems, readings, photographs, music or a unique dress code

Average funeral costs by region

Where you live in the country also makes a difference to how much a funeral costs. The South West and North East have the most affordable funeral costs on average, whereas the most expensive area is London.

Region Average cost[3]
South West England £3,640
North East England £3,668
Yorkshire & the Humber £3,742
North West England £3,832
Scotland £3,848
East & West Midlands £3,892
Wales £4,012
South East & East of England £4,300
London £5,283

If you live in a more expensive area, choosing a nationwide funeral provider could help you save money. Funeral providers that cater to the whole of the UK will have set prices for their services which may well work out cheaper than your local funeral directors.

[3] Funeral costs by region taken from the Sunlife Cost of Dying Report 2023, sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs

Choosing a funeral provider

The funeral provider you choose will also impact the cost of a funeral. To make sure you're getting the best price, you can compare providers that specialise in your preferred type of funeral.

Consider which extras are included and excluded.

  • If there are aspects of the funeral included that you don't want, you could be paying more than you need to.
  • But if there are aspects of the funeral that you know you definitely do want, check whether or not the funeral director includes these in their prices as if not you will need to pay extra.

A low cost funeral with Distinct Cremations prioritises simplicity. Our cremation services include nothing unnecessary and are delivered at an affordable cost.

Cremation with Distinct
A fuss-free funeral with Distinct Cremations
  • An unattended cremation without mourners or an intimate attended cremation for close friends and family
  • A service without pomp and ceremony giving you the freedom to include personal touches
  • A compassionate and attentive team to make arrangements, answer questions and support with paperwork
  • The option to organise a separate celebration of life that's personal and unique to your loved one
  • Cheaper than a traditional funeral, with prices starting from just £995
Traditional Funeral
A traditional funeral
  • A burial or cremation funeral held in a traditional setting like a church or chapel with mourners present
  • A formal and traditional service that usually follows a fixed format and may have less flexibility
  • Funeral and service coordination from a funeral director
  • Service may include extras like a hearse, limousines and pallbearers and is usually followed by a wake
  • Costs on average £3,953[4] for a basic funeral
    [4] The average cost of a basic funeral in 2022 (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2023, sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs)

Our unattended and simple attended cremations offer pared-back and cost-effective alternatives to traditional funerals.

Find our services below or alternatively you can view our CMA standardised price list.

Unattended Cremation

From £995

Our Unattended Cremation is a great choice for those looking for a simple, low-cost Unattended Cremation without a funeral ceremony. Our Unattended Cremation funerals take place with no service or mourners present at our high-quality crematoria where dignified care is guaranteed throughout.

Attended Cremation

From £1,545

Our attended, Personal Cremation is a perfect option for those looking for a fuss-free farewell and a final chance to say goodbye. With our Personal Cremation funeral you can have up to 20 people attending for a 20 minute service, making this a dignified and affordable option.

Breakdown of funeral costs

Some funeral costs will be necessary regardless of the type of funeral you choose.

  1. Death certificate
    Funeral providers need a death certificate before they can carry out the funeral. This costs £11 and can be obtained after registering a death with the government.
  2. Doctor’s fee
    The doctor's fee to confirm the death costs £82 and is needed unless a coroner is investigating the cause of death.
  3. Coffin, casket or shroud
    Different options can vary quite widely in cost. We provide the choice of a simple wooden coffin or an eco-friendly coffin made from reclaimed and recycled wood as part of our Go Greener option.
  4. Funeral director or funeral service provider
    Both modern funeral providers and traditional funeral directors are experienced with arranging funerals and provide you with guidance and support. They will collect and care for the deceased until the funeral, arrange the funeral itself and transport the deceased to the funeral.
  5. Crematorium fees or burial fees
    For a burial, there will be costs for buying and opening a burial plot as well as church or cemetery fees. For a cremation funeral, there will be crematorium fees to be paid. At Distinct Cremations, these crematorium fees are always covered and included in our prices.

There are also some optional extras you may like to consider but you don't have to have if you'd like to keep costs down.

  • Headstone
  • Urn
  • Flowers
  • Memorial plaque
  • Order of service sheets
  • Obituary or funeral notice (in newspaper or online)
  • Limousine
  • Hearse
  • Pallbearers
  • Embalming
  • Viewing of deceased
  • Priest, minister or celebrant

Ways of paying for a funeral

Being aware of the different ways to pay for a funeral allows you to choose the payment option that suits you best.

You can also make sure a funeral you're arranging for someone else hasn't been paid for already or find out how you can cover the costs of your own funeral.

Family Sitting On The Beach

Paying for someone else’s funeral

  • The deceased's estate
    If you are the executor of someone's will or their closest living relative you can use money from their savings or assets to pay for their funeral. Receiving money from someone's estate can take time though, so you may initially have to cover the funeral costs yourself.
  • Own savings
    If you know the individual who has died hasn’t got any assets to cover the cost of their funeral, you can pay for it with your own money if you are willing and able to.
Green British Fields With Footpath

Paying for your own funeral in advance

  • Funeral plan
    With a funeral plan, you can choose the type of funeral you would like and pay for it yourself in advance. Doing so gives you peace of mind that the costs of your funeral will be covered and that your funeral will go ahead according to your wishes.
  • Other later life financial planning products
    Other products you can pay into to receive a payout on your death include life insurance and over 50s life cover.

Help that's available to cover funeral costs

Worried about how you would be able to pay for a funeral? There are a number of organisations that may be able to support you to ease the financial burden.

Government support

If you already receive government benefits, you can apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment (or a Funeral Support Payment in Scotland). Your eligibility depends on the existing benefits you receive and your relationship with the deceased.

Employer support

Some employers offer death-in-service cover which provides a payout of several times an individual's annual salary if they die whilst employed by the company.

Children's funeral support

The Children's Funeral Fund for England is government support that covers the cost of a burial or cremation for someone under 18 so that these costs don't fall on the family. Other costs associated with the funeral may also be covered.

Policies and plans

Always check whether your loved one had a funeral plan to avoid paying for a funeral that's already been paid for. Check for any pre-existing life insurance or over 50s life cover policies too which could help you cover the funeral costs.

Charity support

Some charities also offer support with funeral costs if the individual suffered from a particular condition or was part of a specific group, club or profession.

Local council

If there is not enough money to cover the funeral costs via any of the above means, the local council will arrange a public health funeral. The family of the deceased may not be able to make any choices about the funeral arrangements.

Other helpful resources

We’re here to help and support you whether you’re arranging a funeral now or planning for the future.

Arrange a funeral from £995

Arrange a Funeral

If you’ve had a recent bereavement and you’re looking to arrange a funeral straightaway we can help you arrange a caring and low cost funeral.

Arrange a funeral

Funeral plans - a different way to pay

Signing papers

Interested in funeral plans? Find out how flexible payment options and protection from price rises can help you manage your funeral costs.

Find out about 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 arranged a funeral or purchased a funeral plan through Distinct Cremations.

"I can't recommend Distinct Cremations enough. I felt like my hand was held throughout the entire process. A wonderful team. Look no further than Distinct Cremations, first class! Credit to Grace J and colleagues. Thank you."

"When you receive news of a loved family member in time of need or passing, the worries of many things arise. Consider contacting Distinct Cremations. My personal experience has been positive, in that their professional support had helped to provide a dignified service & cremation for the family to attend. They explained clearly what was available & when it would be able at the time of contact & positive communication throughout. They were recommended I've chosen to say thank you."

"Great service and easy to fill in forms. Everything you need to take care of my unattended funeral leaving the family to celebrate my life with everything taken care of by Distinct Cremations."

"The help and support I received was phenomenal. In both cases, my friends were fetched from where they were and it was all sorted by Distinct Cremations personnel themselves. I can only say that I have just paid for my own cremation too and feel very relieved that it would make things so much easier for my children that live all over the world. I can really recommend making a timely decision about what happens after you die. This will bring immense peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones that stay behind."

"This was our first experience of using a direct cremation service and we weren't sure what to expect. We were guided through the process by our own personal assistant who explained our options. Once we had made a decision on the type of service we wanted she advised us what we needed to do at every step of the way. She kept in regular contact to make sure we were happy and to answer any questions we had. The end-to-end service was very efficient and clearly explained by sensitive staff who were always available to answer any questions. We would highly recommend Distinct Cremations."

“We were very impressed with the service provided by Distinct Cremations from start to finish. All the people who dealt with Dad's cremation were kind and compassionate, particularly Alice who took our initial call, and Stephen who handled things from then on. They kept us informed about developments every step of the way and made us feel welcome to ask if ever we had any queries. The whole process was carried out in a professional yet sympathetic way. Would definitely recommend these people if you are considering a direct cremation for your loved one.”

“Exceptional service, everything was taken care of by kind and considerate staff making a very difficult time easier to bear by removing the stress of organising and planning a funeral. We can now plan how to celebrate my father's life together as a family and at a time of our choosing. Everything was taken care of with the staff involved keeping me informed at every stage, they made me feel that Dad was being cared for.”

Not found what you're looking for?

Not found what you're looking for?