What are the best prepaid direct cremation plans?

In this guide: Direct cremation plans are around 60% cheaper than the average traditional cremation plan. To help you compare simple prepaid cremation plans, we look at how they work, what they cost and review leading plan providers.

  • We list the UKs leading prepaid direct cremation plans
  • Learn about the pros and cons so you can compare plans
  • Read our prepaid cremation plan reviews
  • See how you can pay for a direct crematiom in advance
Checked & updated 9th January 2024

What is a prepaid direct cremation plan?

Prepaid direct cremation plans let you arrange and pay for your cremation in advance. Choosing to prepay this way means you can arrange the direct cremation services you want and pay for them at today’s prices.

Prepaid plans typically include the services required for a direct cremation, such as collection and care of the deceased, a simple unattended cremation and return of the ashes. Some low cost funeral plan providers also allow between 10 and 12 people to attend the committal for an additional fee.

For more information read our direct cremation reviews.

Is a prepaid cremation a good idea?

A prepaid cremation plan could be a good idea if you prefer a fuss free simple cremation and would like to prepay and arrange everything in advance. The price you pay is fixed and based on today’s prices, avoiding future inflation. So, a prepaid plan could save you money if funeral prices increase.

To be sure your money is handled responsibly, it’s also a good idea to check your chosen plan provider is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. And in addition to reviewing the benefits of having a plan in place, it’s also worth considering the drawbacks before deciding if a prepaid cremation plan is a good idea for you.

prepaid direct cremation plans

Compare prepaid cremation plans

Comparing the best prepaid cremation plans can help you consider the cost and services included in each plan. Some pre-paid direct cremation funeral plans may look cheap but to make a true comparison, it also helps to compare how each plan works and the services it does and doesn’t include.

This table lists the UK's FCA authorised providers, who provide national coverage.

Provider Single payment Monthly option Collection fully covered Ashes delivered Cremation fees Doctors fees
Golden Leaves £1,450 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Guaranteed
Coop £1,350 tick icon tick icon cross image Guaranteed Not included
Dignity £995 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Not included
Pure Cremation £1,795 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Guaranteed
Golden Charter £1,785 tick icon cross image cross image Allowance Allowance
Distinct Cremations £1,699 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Guaranteed
Avalon £1,785 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Guaranteed
Memoria £1,490 tick icon cross image tick icon Guaranteed Not included
Affordable Funerals £1,490 tick icon cross image tick icon Guaranteed Not included
Ecclesiastical Not known       Guaranteed Not included
Plan with Grace £1,440 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Guaranteed
Crystal Cremations £1,395 tick icon tick icon cross image Guaranteed Guaranteed
Celebration of Life £1,450 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Guaranteed
Aura Life £1,695 tick icon tick icon tick icon Guaranteed Guaranteed
Open Prepaid Funerals £1,845 Not known Not known Not known Allowance Not included

This is a summary of some of the key features, before deciding on the right plan you should read the full product details. Over50choices is an independent source of information and is not associated with any provider. Prices correct as at 11th March 2024.

Which is the best direct cremation funeral plan?

The best cremation funeral plan should include a dignified simple cremation, provided by a company you can trust. Prepaid plans guarantee a fuss free, unattended cremation, but there may be associated costs not included in the plan. These can include collection out of hours or from home and the return of the ashes.

Each plan provider will have their own key features document, which explains the services included and excluded from the plan, to help you choose the best direct cremation funeral plan for you.

best prepaid cremation plansAre prepaid direct cremation funeral plans regulated?

Prepaid cremation funeral plans are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Plan providers must be FCA authorised and demonstrate that they adhere to their strict rules and principles.

Through the FCA, customers also have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. An independent body set up by the government to protect consumers when financial firms fail.

What are the pros and cons of a prepaid direct cremation plan?

There are several benefits in having a prepaid direct cremation plan however they are not suitable for everyone. Our pros and cons will help you understand if a prepaid cremation plan could be right for you.

Prepaid cremation plan pros

  • It can save you money if funeral costs increase
  • The services included in the plan are guaranteed
  • It could help with potential cashflow issues at the time of need
  • Your family can say goodbye their way, at a time and place they prefer
  • 60% cheaper than the average traditional funeral
  • Exempt from inheritance tax
  • Not classed as savings so won’t count in care home means tested assessments
  • Monthly plans provide services after the initial waiting period, even if you haven’t completed the payments
  • Some companies let family attend the committal

Prepaid cremation plan cons

  • Could be more expensive if funeral prices go down
  • May not cover all of your funeral costs
  • You can not visit the chapel of rest
  • The location of the crematorium may not be local
  • Your family may prefer a traditional funeral service
  • The company decides on the date and time of the cremation
  • You may need the money now
  • You will have to pay more to attend the comital

Top tips for comparing prepaid direct funeral plans

The services included in a plan are guaranteed however there may be some associated costs that are not included, which are highlighted in our top tips. For example, some plans:

  • Charge extra for collection out of hours
  • Don't include doctor’s fees, if required
  • Charge extra for collection from home or a nursing home
  • Only include an allowance for the cremation fees that could leave family with more to pay
  • Operate from a single location
  • Charge extra for return of the ashes

At the end of the day the cheapest prepaid cremation plan may not be the best if there are additional services to pay for when the time comes.

Is it cheaper to prepay for cremation?

A prepaid cremation can be cheaper, as you are fixing the cost at today’s prices, avoiding future inflation if funeral costs increase. Once your prepaid direct cremation plan is in place, the services guaranteed in your plan will be carried out when the time comes at no extra cost to your family, no matter when that is in the future.

Direct cremation reviews

Take a look at our reviews - national providers under the spotlight:

Golden Leaves
Affordable Funerals
Golden Charter
Crystal Cremations
Distinct Cremations
Pure Cremation
Celebration of Life
Plan with Grace
Open Prepaid Funerals


How much does a prepaid cremation cost?

The cost of a prepaid direct cremation plan is typically between £1,500 to £2,000. However, the overall cost of a prepaid cremation will depend on the company you choose, the services included and how you prefer to pay for your plan.

How can I pay for a direct cremation in advance?

You can pay in advance for a prepaid direct cremation plan either with a single payment or monthly instalments over a number of years.

Single payment direct cremation funeral plans

Paying in one go is the cheapest way to buy a prepaid direct cremation plan and many low cost funeral plan providers let you spread the cost over 12 months without incurring additional fees.

Monthly payment direct cremation funeral plans

If you prefer to pay monthly for your cremation only funeral plan, instalment options are available. You do incur additional charges for the benefit of spreading your payments, however the total cost will be made clear to you at the outset. 

What should I do now?

For more information on this simple fuss free alternative to a traditional funeral, take a look at our direct cremation guide.

Alternatively if you think you may prefer a plan that includes a funeral service, our guide to prepaid funeral plans may help.

direct cremation funeral plans

*The Sunlife cost of dying report average funeral costs - £4,141

**Depending on the plan provider

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