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Average Cost of A Funeral Cremation Uk

Sep 16, 2023

The In-Depth Guide to the Average Cost of a Funeral Cremation in the UK 

Navigating the end-of-life journey of a loved one is an emotionally taxing experience. In addition to the emotional aspects, there are also financial considerations to be mindful of. Understanding the “average cost of a funeral cremation in the UK” is vital to making an informed decision during this challenging time. This comprehensive article aims to demystify the financial aspects of cremation in the UK, breaking down the various costs and options available.

How Much Does a Cremation Cost in the UK? 

Before diving into regional differences, it’s essential to understand the national average. Across the UK, cremation costs typically fluctuate between £3,000 and £5,000. However, this figure can be broken down into multiple components, such as the funeral director’s fees, crematorium charges, and optional extras like memorial services or keepsakes. It is worth noting that prices can vary substantially based on location and the specific services you choose. Discover UK cremation costs and Funeral Order of Service information.

Average Cost of Cremation in England 

Cremation costs in England can vary dramatically depending on the region. London remains the most expensive, largely due to the high cost of living and land value. Here’s a more detailed regional breakdown:

London: £5,000 – £7,000 

North East: £3,000 – £4,500 

Midlands: £4,000 – £5,500 

South West: £4,200 – £5,700 

South East: £4,500 – £6,000 

Obtaining quotes from multiple service providers is advisable to grasp the local pricing landscape fully.

Cost of Cremation in Scotland 

Scotland offers a slightly more affordable alternative to cremations in England. Still, location plays a vital role. Here’s a quick rundown:

Edinburgh: £3,500 – £4,700 

Glasgow: £3,400 – £4,600 

Aberdeen: £3,600 – £4,800 

Cremation Cost in Wales 

Wales falls in the mid-range for cremation costs. The expenses can differ based on several elements, such as the choice of funeral home and additional services.

Cardiff: £3,700 – £5,000 

Swansea: £3,500 – £4,800 

Wrexham: £3,600 – £4,900

Factors that Affect the Price of a Cremation Funeral

When planning a cremation funeral, understanding the numerous variables impacting the final cost is key to making well-informed decisions. As they say, the devil is in the details. Below are the most critical factors you need to be aware of:

Geographic Location

The place where the cremation occurs can dramatically affect the cost. Urban centres, especially London, are often cheaper than smaller towns or rural areas. This is primarily due to the higher real estate and services costs in metropolitan regions.

Funeral Home

The choice of funeral home plays a significant role in the financial aspect. Established, high-end funeral homes may offer a wide array of services but at a premium. On the other hand, local, family-owned establishments may provide a more budget-friendly option.

The Cremation Process Itself

The basic act of cremation comes with its own costs. This includes the cremation fee, which can range from £600 to £900, and a doctor’s Fee for issuing death certificates, ranging from £50 to £80.

Urn Selection

An often-overlooked detail, the urn’s price can vary considerably. A simple, functional urn might set you back as little as £50, while a custom, artisan-designed urn could easily cost £300 or more.

Memorial Services

Whether you’re planning a quiet, intimate ceremony or a grand memorial complete with multimedia presentations, live music, or even a dove release, these additional features can inflate costs. Fees for hiring a space for the memorial, the celebrant’s fees, and other extras should be factored in.


Transporting the body to the crematorium involves additional costs, which can vary based on distance and the type of vehicle used. Specialised hearses or limousines have different rates, often starting from £150 upwards.

Keepsakes and Memorabilia

Some families opt for keepsakes like custom jewellery containing ashes, mini urns for family members, or personalised memorial booklets. These can quickly add to the overall bill, with prices ranging from £30 to £100 or more per item.

Legal and Administrative Fees

Paperwork, unfortunately, is an inescapable part of the process. Administrative tasks such as permits, copies of the death certificate, and any legal necessities like probate can collectively add a few hundred pounds to your bill.

Optional Extravagances

From high-end floral arrangements to professionally-produced video tributes or elaborate catering for guests, these options can make a memorial service especially memorable but also more expensive.

Understanding the nuances of each of these factors allows you to tailor the funeral experience to both your wishes and your budget. Being well-informed also offers you the freedom to make choices that add meaningful value rather than merely inflating the overall cost.

Cremation Funeral Cost Breakdown

Cremation Funeral Cost Breakdown

Cremation Funeral

When planning a cremation, a detailed understanding of each cost element can guide you in making financially sound choices without compromising on the essence of the memorial. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown:

Cost of Basic Cremation

“basic cremation” usually refers to a cremation without any frills—no memorial service, elaborate urns, and minimal ceremony. A basic cremation typically includes:

  • Cremation Fee: This is the cost for the actual cremation process, and it can range from £600 to £900 depending on the location.
  • Doctor’s Fee: Before a cremation can take place, two medical certificates must be provided, each costing around £82.
  • Crematorium Paperwork: Administrative fees for the necessary permits usually amount to around £50.

Thus, a basic cremation could cost as low as £1,000 to £1,500.

Professional Fees for Breakdown Cremation

Professional fees are another significant element to consider besides the basic costs. These include:

  • Funeral Director Fees: A funeral director oversees the logistical aspects of the cremation and memorial service. This can range from £1,500 to £2,500.
  • Transport: Transporting the deceased to the crematorium can cost upwards of £150 depending on distance and type of vehicle used.
  • Embalming: While optional, some choose this service, which can add an additional £100 to £200.

Adding these fees, you’re looking at another £1,700 to £3,200 on top of the basic cremation cost.

Others Cremation Cost

These are the costs that don’t fall into the category of either basic or professional fees:

  • Urn: Prices can start as low as £50 for a basic urn and go up to £300 or more for a designer piece.
  • Memorial Service: Hiring a venue could cost around £200 to £1,000, and a celebrant’s Fee could be around £150 to £300.
  • Keepsakes and Memorabilia: Custom jewellery or mini urns can cost anywhere from £30 to £100 or more.
  • Floral Arrangements: Depending on the flowers and design, costs can range from £50 to £300.

Adding these all together, these additional features could total anywhere from £500 to £2,000, depending on how elaborate your plans are.

Understanding each cost category, you can better manage your budget while ensuring the memorial is meaningful and respectful.

Average Cost of Cremation at Funeral Home

Handling all aspects of cremation through a funeral home can offer you a one-stop solution but at a price. On average, the cost of cremation at a funeral home can range from £3,500 to £5,000, and this typically includes the basic services like:

  • Cremation Fee: £600 – £900
  • Doctor’s Fee: £164 (2 certificates at £82 each)
  • Funeral Director’s Fee: £1,500 – £2,500
  • Administrative Fees: £50 – £100
  • Transport: £150 – £300

Additional Costs for Cremation Funerals

Even when opting for a one-stop solution like a funeral home, there are additional costs you may need to consider:

  • Urn: An urn from a funeral home can start from £100 to £500 or more for designer or bespoke options.
  • Floral Tributes: Flowers ordered through the funeral home could range from £50 to £300, depending on the intricacy of the arrangements.
  • Order of Service Programs: If the funeral home designs and prints these for you, it could cost anywhere from £50 to £150.
  • Audio-Visual Equipment: Should you require AV setup for a multimedia presentation, prepare for an extra £200 to £500.

Optional Costs for Cremation Funeral Service

When it comes to memorializing a loved one, you may choose to include several optional elements to make the event more meaningful. These can significantly vary in cost:

  • Memorial Jewelry: Custom pieces incorporating the ashes can range from £50 to £300.
  • Catering: If food and drinks are served either at the funeral home or another venue, the cost can range from £5 to £30 per head.
  • Live Music: Hiring musicians can add another £200 to £500 to your budget.
  • Dove or Butterfly Release: A more unconventional tribute, releasing doves or butterflies can cost around £150 to £300.
  • Luxury Transport: Upgrading from a standard hearse to a vintage or luxury car can elevate the costs by at least £300 to £600.

Your optional elements will highly depend on personal preferences and cultural or religious practices. While these additional services can enhance the ceremony, they can quickly elevate the overall costs. Knowing these details helps you make informed decisions and identify areas where you can potentially cut back without diminishing the sentiment or dignity of the occasion.

Optional Costs for Cremation Funeral Service

In addition to the basic and essential services that a cremation funeral entails, there are several optional costs that you might consider to add a personal touch to the memorial. While these add-ons can elevate the emotional value of the ceremony, they can also significantly impact the final bill. Here’s a detailed look at these optional costs:

Flowers for Cremation Funeral

Floral arrangements can serve as an elegant tribute and help create a soothing environment. The cost can vary widely based on the type and quantity of flowers as well as the intricacy of the arrangements.

Type of Arrangement Cost Range
Simple Bouquet £30 – £50
Wreath £50 – £100
Specialty Designs £100 – £300

Simple Memorial Service Ideas

If you prefer a low-key memorial, there are various simple yet meaningful service ideas you can consider.

  • Candlelight Vigil: Costs can be minimal, around £10 – £30 for candles.
  • Beach Memorial: Only costs transportation and perhaps a simple urn that can be used for scattering ashes, around £50.
  • Home Memorial: Virtually cost-free, apart from some nominal amounts for refreshments.

Funeral Catering Service

Offering food and beverages to guests is a considerate gesture and can be an essential part of some cultural practices.

Type of Catering Cost per Person
Tea & Snacks £5 – £10
Buffet £15 – £25
Full-Service £25 – £50

Funeral Venue Hire

While some may prefer to hold the memorial service at a funeral home, others opt for unique or more personal locations.

Venue Type Cost Range
Community Hall £100 – £300
Hotel £200 – £1,000
Unique Venues £500 – £3,000

Cremation Order of Service

A printed order of service guide can lend a formal touch to the ceremony. Costs can vary based on the quality of the paper and how many you need.

  • Basic Print: £50 – £100
  • Premium Quality: £100 – £200


Death Announcement Cremation

Publicly announcing the passing and the cremation details can also incur costs.

  • Local Newspaper: £50 – £100
  • Online Memorial Site: £20 – £50

Being aware of these optional costs allows you to plan a touching and financially manageable ceremony. Whether you decide on a simple, intimate gathering or a grand commemoration, knowing where your money goes can offer peace of mind in an emotionally tumultuous time.

Cremation vs Burial Cost UK

The choice between cremation and burial often depends on personal, cultural, or religious preferences. However, financial considerations also play a significant role in the decision-making process. In the UK, the costs for both cremation and burial can differ widely, but here’s a rough comparison:

Service Type Cost Range
Basic Cremation £1,000 – £1,500
Full-Service Cremation £3,500 – £5,000
Basic Burial £1,500 – £2,000
Full-Service Burial £4,500 – £7,000

While the basic cost of a burial might not seem significantly higher than that of a cremation, additional expenses like a burial plot, headstone, and maintenance can make it far more expensive in the long run. Therefore, cremation is often the more economical option from a purely financial perspective.

What is the Cheapest Way to be Cremated?

There are ways to have a low-cost cremation when finances are tight or you prefer not to have an elaborate ceremony. Here are some options:

Low-Cost Cremation

A low-cost cremation generally refers to the most basic, no-frills cremation service offered by a crematorium or funeral home. These “direct cremations” often include:

  • Cremation fee
  • Doctor’s certificates
  • Basic urn
  • Transportation of the deceased to the crematorium

In this option, the cremation happens without service or attendees, significantly reducing costs. Prices can range from £700 to £1,200 depending on the provider and location.

Free Cremation

Yes, free cremations do exist, but they are exceedingly rare and typically tied to specific circumstances:

  • Donation to Science: Some medical schools cover the cost of cremation in return for donating the body for educational purposes. However, there might be restrictions or conditions attached.
  • Public Assistance: Local authorities may cover the cost of a “public health funeral,” including cremation, for those who have no means to pay for it. Note that you will have very little control over the proceedings in this case.
  • Charitable Aid: Some charities help cover the cost of funerals, including cremations, for families facing financial hardship. Eligibility and the amount covered can vary.

Understanding your options for cremation or burial from a financial standpoint can guide you in making a decision that aligns with your wishes and your budget. You can make a more informed choice with knowledge of low-cost and standard options.

Cremation Only Funeral Plans UK

In the UK, cremation-only funeral plans are becoming increasingly popular as people seek more economical and straightforward end-of-life options. These plans are prepaid arrangements covering the essentials of a cremation without the additional costs of a memorial service, flowers, or transportation for family members.

Typically, a cremation-only funeral plan includes:

  • Cremation fees
  • Doctor’s certificates
  • Basic urn
  • Transportation of the deceased to the crematorium
  • Administrative fees

These plans can cost anywhere between £1,500 to £2,500 depending on the provider and any extra features you may want to include, like the type of urn or specific location for the cremation. They offer an affordable and straightforward option for those wishing for a simple send-off without the burden of planning and costs on the grieving family.


Navigating the complexities of funeral costs, particularly for cremations, can be challenging. Whether planning for the future or making arrangements for a loved one, it’s crucial to understand the mandatory and optional costs involved. From the basic cremation fees to the additional charges for a more personalised memorial service, knowing what to expect can alleviate some emotional and financial stress.