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How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral is dependent on the type of funeral you wish to have, extras you’d like to include and where you live in the UK. You might be surprised to hear that, while the average cost of a funeral in 2011 was £2,910, by 2021 it was £4,056*. That’s an increase of 39% in 10 years - well above inflation.

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What makes up the cost of a funeral?

The cost of a funeral is made up of the fee for the funeral director’s services, as well as your choice of burial or cremation and the optional extras you choose.

The funeral director’s services

The majority of the cost of a funeral is usually for the funeral director’s services, averaging out at £2,325*. All Golden Charter plans let you fix the cost of the funeral director’s services covered by your plan at today’s prices. Our plans also include an allowance towards third party costs such as the cremation or burial fees, plus the minister or officiant’s fee to perform the service. Even if the prices rise in the future, once your plan is paid for, there’ll be nothing more to pay for your funeral director services –guaranteed.

Burial or cremation costs

The second largest cost involved with funerals is usually the burial or cremation costs. Whilst this is a personal decision, your choice may be influenced by the cost.

At £4,927 for the average cost of a burial, this remains the most expensive option, even though this cost has reduced by 2.1% from 2020 into 2021*. The average cost of a funeral with a cremation now sits at £3,765, a reduction of 3.1%*.

Continuing to grow in popularity is direct cremation – a cremation with no funeral service or attendees. In 2019, direct cremations made up just 3% of all funerals however in 2021, almost 18% of funeral were organised as direct cremations, in part due to the pandemic. Direct cremations now cost on average, £1,647, a 6% increase from 2020*.

Find out more about our direct cremation plan here.

Additional funeral costs

The total cost of your funeral is also dependent on any additional extras you choose such as flowers, limousines, headstones, memorials or catering for the wake. Research tells us that these extras can cost on average £2,484*.

Flowers

£206

Catering

£406

Order of Service

£105

Venue Hire

£268

Funeral Notice

£83

Limousines

£321

Memorial

£1,024

Regional variations in funeral costs

Just like the cost of living, the cost of dying can vary greatly depending on where you live in the UK.

The people of Northern Ireland benefit from the lowest average funeral cost at £3,056, 25% lower than the national average.*

You won't be surprised to hear that London is the most expensive place in the UK to organise a funeral, at £5,358, it's more than 32% above the national average.

UK Region Average funeral cost
London £5,358
South East / East of England £4,825
Yorkshire and Humber £4,302
East / West Midlands £3,942
South West England £3,907
Scotland £3,873
North East England £3,915
Wales £3,540
North West England £3,840
Northern Ireland £3,056

We offer a range of funeral plans that allow you to specify your wishes and pay for your funeral director’s services at today’s prices. This can help save your family worry and expense at what can be a very difficult time and many of our customers have told us that can be a big weight off their mind.

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What next?

We understand that it can be hard to think about your funeral and you may not be sure where to start. Our friendly, UK-based team is here to help and can answer any questions you may have. Please call us free on:

0808 169 4534

Normal opening hours, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.