The rise in funeral costs

An overview of the rise in funeral costs across the UK, and how these costs can be cut down according to funeral directors.  

It won’t come as a surprise that funeral costs have risen in the last decade. Everything else has risen too: petrol costs, housing prices, the cost of our utility bills. But according to a 2020 SunLife report, funeral prices have risen by a huge 62% in the last decade - a vast difference in comparison.

How much have funeral costs risen by?
Over the last decade, funeral costs have risen by 62% - but other living expenses have not risen by anywhere close to this percentage. You can see some of the other percentage increases below:
  • Weekly wages ↑ 22.6%
  • Petrol ↑ 29.4%
  • Housing ↑ 42.1%
  • Annual electricity bill ↑ 50.4%
  • Funeral prices ↑ 62%
If wages had risen in line with funeral costs, the average weekly wage would be £790 today. But they’ve actually only risen by 19.7% to £585. With this huge gap in wages and funeral costs, it’s unsurprising that many families struggle to pay for their loved ones’ funerals.

Will funeral costs keep rising?
According to experts, yes - funeral costs may keep rising. If they continue at the same rate as they have since 2004, according to SunLife, the average cost of a funeral could be a huge £5,285 in five years’ time. Below, you can see their projections from 2020 until 2024.

But there is some good news: the rate funeral costs are rising seems to be slowing down slightly. The annual growth rate of funeral costs has gone down by 28% since 2018.

How can I try to keep funeral costs down?
Over 8 in 10 funeral directors believe that people spend more on a funeral than they need to. Here are a range of tips from funeral directors SunLife spoke to on cutting costs.

Put simply, there are many different ways to try to keep funeral costs down - from reducing send-off expenses to opting for lower cost funeral options (for example, direct cremation). You can see other ways to keep costs down on our (Need Link) funeral planning on a budget page.

How can I prepare for rising funeral costs?
One of the best ways to prepare for funeral costs is to create a payment plan. With Legacy of Lives, you can create a personalised funeral plan and receive quotes from funeral directors in less than 48 hours.