The average funeral in the UK costs over £4,000. By looking closely at every part of your funeral explore all your options, decide what you want to include and what suits your budget. Choose the best over-50s funeral plan and you make even more savings.
Burial vs. Cremation
The difference between the cost of a burial and cremation is significant. For example, according to SunLife, the average cost of a burial was £4,927 in 2021. A cremation, on the other hand, costs on average £3,765.
While actual costs will vary across the country, if you choose a cremation, you could reduce your funeral costs. Choose a direct cremation and you’ll save even more.
Depending on which you choose, there are ways you can cut costs even further.
- Compare prices at different crematoria. The nearest one could cost more than one that’s in the next city, for example.
- Enquire about off-peak times for your service. Services on weekdays in the morning, typically cost less than weekend services.
- Perhaps a shorter service might cost less.
- Compare the costs of different cemeteries. Private cemeteries tend to cost much more than local authority ones.
- The location of a grave in the cemetery can affect the cost. A grave that’s close to a path may cost more, so it’s worth checking with the cemetery.
- A lawn grave with just a headstone may cost less than a more traditional grave with a surround.
- Reclaimed graves or shared graves are an option if you want to reduce costs.
Traditional vs. Simple Funeral
The cost of a traditional funeral will quickly add up because of all the extras that tend to be included. For example, there will be limousines for the mourners and additional services provided by the funeral director.
It’s often better to choose items from a price list if you want to reduce funeral costs. Alternatively, you could request a simple funeral package from a funeral director.
If you feel there’s no need for a service at all, you might want to consider direct cremation. This is the option that is the lowest cost as there’s no ceremony to arrange and pay for.
What Extras Do You Want?
A funeral is something you can make just how you want it to be. If you don’t want there to be flowers or limousines, there’s no reason why you should choose them. There may also be things you can arrange yourself rather than paying someone else to do them.
Here are some ways to can reduce funeral costs but still have the send-off you want:
- A simple coffin will cost less. Cardboard coffins tend to be the least expensive option. Veneer and chipboard coffins also cost less but have the look of a solid coffin.
- Is it important that relatives and friends can visit your body before the service? If it’s not, you can request this from the funeral director and it will reduce the cost.
- Would you like family and friends to be the pallbearers? Typically, funeral home staff help with carrying the coffin but you may be able to save on costs if family and friends are happy to do it instead.
- There are savings you can make on transport if guests drive to the funeral rather than using hired limousines. You may not have to pay for a hearse if the funeral director has a less expensive way of transporting the body.
- Fee waivers may be available for religious services.
- Save money by buying and arranging your own flowers.
Plan it Yourself or Use a Funeral Director?
When it comes to arranging a funeral in the UK, there are two main options. You can organise everything yourself or use a funeral director.
There’s no legal requirement to use a funeral director to plan a funeral and planning it yourself could mean the cost is much lower.
Finding the Best Funeral Director
If you want to use a funeral director, there are ways you can keep the costs down. For example:
- Get several quotes from different funeral directors in your area and compare costs
- Ask for a breakdown of the costs so you can choose the parts that are more important to you
- Ask about third-party costs, otherwise known as disbursement costs
- Ask about making a deposit payment
- Is it possible to spread the cost of a funeral?
Additional Help With Funeral Costs
Reducing the cost of a funeral is one way to make things easier for those you leave behind. However, there is other help available, depending on your circumstances.
- DWP Funeral Grant: This is a government scheme that’s available to people who get certain benefit payments. It can be used to cover essential funeral costs.
- Raise the money for a funeral: Crowdfunding or a community fundraiser could be a way of raising the money needed to pay for a funeral.
- Over-50s funeral plan: This is a way of planning your funeral and paying for it at today’s prices.