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Despite the average cost of a funeral falling 3.1% in 2021 to £4,056, nationally, the cost of a funeral continues to vary significantly dependent on the location in the UK.

Where have funeral costs increased?

The average cost of a funeral increased year on year in four UK regions – the same four regions of the UK that saw increased costs in 2020. Of all UK regions, London saw the largest increase with funeral costs reaching on average £5,358 – an increase of 2.3% from 2020 into 2021. This is closely followed by North East England, which also saw funeral costs increase 2.3% to £3,915, North West England with an increase of 1.4% to £3,840 and Yorkshire and the Humber with a small increase of 0.7% to £4,302.

Most expensive areas to organise a funeral in the UK

In addition to seeing the largest increase in costs from 2020 into 2021, funeral costs in London are now 32% above the national average. Despite funeral costs reducing 3.6% in the South East & East of England, it remains the second most expensive region of the UK to arrange a funeral with average costs of £4,825. This is closely followed by Yorkshire and the Humber and the East and West Midlands with average funeral costs reaching £4,302 and £3,942 in the respective areas. Whilst East and West Midlands is the fourth most expensive location, it saw the largest drop in costs, down more than 12% since 2020, now sitting below the national average.

Most affordable areas to organise a funeral in the UK

Similar to previous years, Northern Ireland boasts the lowest funeral prices in the UK. The average cost of a basic funeral in the region has fallen 5.2% between 2020 and 2021, now sitting a full £1,000 below the national average. Other areas where average funeral costs are below the national average:

• Wales – average cost of £3,540, a decrease of 4.8% from 2020

• North West England – average cost of £3,840, an increase of 1.4%

• Scotland – average cost of £3,873, a decrease of 4.7%

• South West England – average cost of £3,907, a decrease of 6.1%

• North East England – average cost of £3,915, an increase of 2.3%

Protect against the rising cost of dying

SunLife’s ‘Cost of Dying Report 2022’ has become an annual reminder of the need to protect your family from funeral price inflation. Although the average prices reported this year are down, over the past 17 years costs have risen 121% and SunLife predicts the average cost of a basic funeral may reach £5,000 by 2026. With increases foreseen every year between now and then, it makes great financial sense to consider planning ahead.

At Golden Charter, we offer a range of funeral plans that allow you to organise your funeral arrangements in advance, and specify your wishes. Our funeral plans also include funeral director’s services for conducting the funeral which are fixed at today’s prices and include an allowance towards third party costs at the time of the funeral. These are costs for essential, non-funeral director services required to carry out a cremation or burial.

Funeral plans are a chance to help get peace of mind, for you and the ones you care about. You can find out more about our range of plans here, or read more about us here.

  • Sunlife’s annual Cost of Dying report is compiled from an online survey of more than 1,600 UK adults who were responsible for organising a funeral within the last four years plus telephone interviews with 100 funeral directors across 10 regions of the UK.

Golden Charter

Smart Planning for Later Life

Golden Charter has one of the largest networks of independent funeral directors in the UK. Many are long-standing, family-run businesses and all provide a compassionate and professional service.

Find out more about how you can plan for your funeral with one of the funeral directors in our network.