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Breaking Down the Cost of a Basic Funeral

The cost of a basic funeral rises every year.

In 2004 SunLife started tracking funerals costs and since then up to this year, the costs have risen by 112%. The average basic funeral cost of £1,920 in 2014 is now £4,078. This high average cost only gets you a simple or basic funeral without optional add-ons such as flowers, a venue, buffet, and etc.

Although there is no one reason why the cost keeps rising there are a few factors built into the price of a funeral. The cost also varies where you are located with London being the place with the highest cost of funeral care.

map of the united kingdom pointing out places with average funeral cost amount

But what amount goes where? Let’s break it down.

Doctor’s Fees

This is for the certification secured form doctors regarding the deceased. This service is free in Scotland but costs £164 for the rest of the UK.

Minister’s Fees

The average cost fee paid for a religious or secular service is £155. This amount can either be more or less depending on your location and type of service.

Cremation and Burial Fees

The average cost of a cremation in the UK is £791 and the average cost of a burial is £2,059. The cost of cremation rose in 2017 by 7.9% and the cost of a burial rose by 5.6%. These 2 figures have risen from every year and are expected to continue to rise.

Funeral Director Fees

The biggest cost goes to the Funeral Director. It will be good to remember that ‘Basic Funeral Services’ vary depending on the Funeral home or director. The most basic Funeral Director services cover professional guidance of the Funeral Director, coffin, hearse, and care of the deceased. This amount can increase depending on other discretionary options to be added such as flowers, venue, buffet, etc.


With articles about the cost of funerals published recently, there is a spike in people looking into funeral care planning. Funeral care planning should not be something to look into only when you’ve lost someone but as part of planning for later life.



*Data from SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2017


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