Funeral Costs in the UK
Do funeral costs vary by region in UK?
Where you live in the UK can make a huge difference to the cost you pay for a funeral.
According to a 2020 SunLife report, although the national average funeral cost is £4,417, funeral costs differ hugely between regions across the UK - so the price you would pay for a burial in London is far more expensive than the price you would pay in Wales.
Broadly speaking, funeral costs vary so much across the UK because the price of burial plots differ across the country - they are far more expensive in the city, for example. Here are some of the statistics...
Average Funeral Costs in the UK
Funeral costs are the most expensive in London by some distance - as you can see from the table below - costing almost a staggering £1,000 more than in the South East.
|Area in the UK||Average funeral cost||Change from 2018 (%)|
|South East and East||£4,881||↑ 9.2%|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||£4,656||↑ 4.4%|
|East and West Midlands||£4,582||↑ 9.6%|
|South West||£4,522||↓ 3.5%|
|North East||£4,155||↓ 0.4%|
|North West||£3,816||↓ 3.3%|
|Northern Ireland||£3,489||↑ 8%|
With these regional areas combined, this brings the national average to £4,417, with a rise of 3.4% from 2018 costs. You can see more about exactly what’s included in a basic funeral on our funeral costs page.
Why do funerals cost so much?
Although the average cost of a funeral will differ depending on where you live, there are also other factors that will determine how expensive a funeral will be. This can include:
- The type of funeral being arranged (for example, cremations tend to be a lower cost option than burials)
- The send-off expenses
- The funeral director chosen
One of the best ways to prepare for funeral costs is to create a plan. With Legacy of Lives, you can create a free personalised funeral plan and receive quotes from funeral directors in less than 48 hours.
This can give both you and your loved ones peace of mind knowing that their wishes are recorded and arrangements are in place.
Can people get help with funeral costs?
Yes, there are several charities that are able to help with funeral costs in the UK. There are also a number of Government schemes designed to help those in need. You can read about these in our article help with funeral costs.
You can also see other ways to keep costs down on our funeral planning on a budget page.
Where did regional funeral costs rise?
Regional funeral costs rose in most places in the UK: Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, South East and East, and London - and rose by the most in the South East and East and East and West Midlands. Although funeral costs are the most expensive in London, they rose at a much slower rate than other areas of the UK.
Is the wake included in funeral costs?
The wake is not usually included in a standard quotation from a funeral director, and it is not listed on the CMA standardised price list. However your funeral director will be to organise a wake for you at an additional cost.
How much does a coffin cost UK?
Some funeral directors include the cost of a standard wooden veneer coffin in their fee, but there are many types of coffins available in the UK, and their prices range dramatically. Cardboard coffins start at around £100 whereas some metal coffins can be as much as £23,000. Most wooden coffins cost between £350-£650 in the UK.
Are next of kin responsible for funeral costs UK?
There is no legal obligation to pay for a loved one's funeral in the UK. In most cases the deceased’s estate will pay for the funeral, if there are not enough funds in the estate then the cost usually fall to the next of kin to cover, however as mentioned above there is no legal obligation to do so. If there are no funds in the estate of the deceased and the next of kin do not pay, there will be a public health funeral provided by the local authorities.
Is it cheaper to be buried or cremated UK?
Looking at the average burial and cremation costs in the UK, in all areas of the UK the average cremation costs are lower than the average burial costs. The average price of a cremation is the UK is £881 whereas the average burial cost in the UK is £817 higher at £1698.
Average Burial Costs UK
The cost of burial varies massively over the UK, one of the most expensive places to be buried is at Kensal Green where its costs around £6500, whereas in Nothern Ireland it only costs around £500 to be buried. The average burial cost in the UK is currently £1698.
Average Cremation Costs UK
Like with burials, cremation costs vary depending on where you are in the in the UK. The most expensive place to get cremated is the South West of England where it costs on average around £950. However in Northern Ireland in it costs on average around £400. The average price of a cremation in the UK is £881.