What Can I Expect to Pay for Funeral Services?

Whilst funeral prices can vary due to factors such as funeral directors, location, package and services required, all funeral directors are legally required to publish a standardised price list for products and services.

This is great for helping you think through your options at what is going to be a difficult time. It’s hard enough to deal with grief, let alone having the stress of funeral arrangements, decisions and prices laid on top.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay for funeral services.


Location can affect funeral price. London and the South East have the most expensive average price, costing around £5,000.

The north and western parts of the United Kingdom are more affordable, with Northern Ireland, Wales and Northwest England ranging from £3,000 to just under £4,000 respectively.

However, this is just the average calculation of a funeral taken from statistics by the 2022 SunLife Cost of Dying report. If you want to find out more specific costs, then search for funeral directors near me to research some director’s websites, you can also contact them for more information and a more precise quote for what you want.

Some positive news coming from the 2022 report says that for the first time since they started researching funeral costs in 2004, the cost of an average funeral in the UK has gone down, with 2020 being an all time high.

Since 2020, the average funeral cost has dropped by 4.3%. Hopefully the trend carries on and funerals continue to become more affordable, one small consolation for one of life’s hardest times.

Cremation or Burial

Costs will also vary on the type of funeral you have, whether it’s a burial or a cremation. Burials usually tend to cost more than cremations but it may depend on the type of package and extra services you choose.

Whether you opt for a burial or cremation is usually more to do with the personal wishes or religious beliefs of the deceased loved one, rather than a financial decision. Unless the person didn’t have any specific wishes or preferences, they didn’t tell you what they wanted/passed away unexpectedly, or just left it up for you to decide.

In the last few years, cremation has become more popular than burials. A survey from as far back as 2016 found that 58% of adult Britons wanted to be cremated when they die, compared to 17% that would opt for a burial. The remaining 25% didn’t know or wanted something else. The figures changed with different age ranges but 42% of young people aged 18-24 still wanted cremation and that percentage rose to 71% for people aged over 65.

Unattended Burials and Cremations

The lowest cost types of funerals are unattended funerals, known as unattended burials and direct cremations. With this type of funeral, there will be no service and no mourners present during the burial or cremation. Instead, you can decide to hold your own service or celebrate the life of your loved one in your own way, rather than link it to a funeral package.

You can then visit the grave at a later time or will receive the ashes a little while later, sometimes the burial or cremation can be one of the most emotional and difficult parts, so choosing a funeral that you don’t attend isn’t as much as an unthoughtful option as it might sound.

The cost of an unattended burial starts from £1,400 without fees, but with fees could be upwards of £3,000. The general cost of a direct cremation is around £1,500 at it’s highest. However, it’s always best to speak to specific funeral directors to get quotes.

Type of Package, Services and Extras

The type of package and extra services you choose for the funeral will impact the costs. You can choose the most basic package, or you can add extra tributes like limousines to follow the hearse.

Help to Keep Costs Down

Though funerals can be expensive, there are ways to keep costs down. A prepaid funeral can be purchased years before you die and locks the price of the funeral in place, so it isn’t subjected to any rising funeral prices and inflation. Some directors also let you pay in instalments and other offers.

Funeral directors vary in price and services they offer, so the best advice is to research, compare and ask them directly.

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