Prepaid funeral plans - how they compare

  • Read our provider and funeral plan reviews
  • Compare funeral plans and funeral plan prices
  • Learn how to choose a funeral plan
  • Get the lowdown on cheap funeral plans
  • Choose from flexible payment options

As funeral costs continue to rise we can help compare funeral plan prices

In this guide: How funeral plans compare, prepaid funeral costs, how they work & who are the top 10 UK funeral providers

What is a funeral plan and how do they work?

Updated 3rd May 2022

A funeral plan is a way you can pre-pay and pre-plan your funeral. Choosing a funeral plan to pay and arrange your funeral in advance can make life easier for family and save money by avoiding inflation. By paying upfront, you pay for the funeral service you want at today’s prices.

A funeral plan works by letting you make your own funeral arrangements, rather than leaving family to arrange everything. With either a single payment or monthly instalments, your funeral plan secures the services of a local funeral director, who when ready will take care of everything as detailed in your plan.

You can choose from a traditional funeral plan starting from £3,495, details on this page, or a prepaid direct cremation funeral plan from £1,495 – click here for more information.

Compare funeral plan prices

Comparing funeral plans could save you money and help you choose the right plan for you; a plan that is safe and secure, regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority and delivers the funeral services as promised with no nasty surprises.

Below, is a table comparing the cost of prepaid funerals from of leading providers. Having compared the market, we have chosen to team up with Golden Leaves, so if you would like a brochure or quote for any of their plans, we can help.

Compare funeral plans

Plan Provider
Compare Plans
  Restricted plans Standard plans Mid-range plans Superior plans
More detail iconGolden Charter £2,895 £3,495 £3,850 £4,099
More detail iconPerfect Choice NA £3,605 £3,915 £4,280
More detail iconDignity £3,095 £3,495 £3,850 £4,195
More detail iconGolden Leaves £3,089 £3,594 £3,949 £4,199
More detail iconCo-op £3,095 £3,595 £3,995 £4,295
More detail iconAvalon NA £3,645 £3,995 £4,245
More detail iconAge Co £3,070 £3,470 £3,825 £4,170
More detail iconInformation Market insight:  An alternative to a traditional plan, is a direct cremation funeral plan, starting from £1,495 - a saving of up to 60% - find out more.

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How to choose the best funeral plansfuneral plans

To choose the best funeral plans to suit your individual needs, consider the following:

  • Price – what's your budget? (remember the cheapest prepaid funeral plan isn’t always best)
  • Service – what you want your funeral plan to include?
  • Guarantees – will your family have more to pay when the time comes?
  • Security – is the provider registered with the Funeral Planning Authority?

How to compare prepaid funeral plans

Not all funeral plans are the same; the cheapest prepaid funeral plans that only include a contribution may save you money initially, but could end up costing more in the long run, which is why it can help to compare funeral plans.

Important information to know before buying a prepaid funeral plan

The funeral services included in prepaid plans fall into two categories;

  • Funeral director’s fees – their advice and support, services on the day, the coffin, hearse and depending on level of service limousines and use of the chapel of rest
  • Disbursements - third party costs including cremation or burial fees, minister’s fees and where appropriate doctors fees

Whilst all plans fully guarantee the funeral directors costs, for cremation funerals many plan providers only include a contribution towards the third party fees. This unfortunately means that there could be a shortfall when the time comes that your family will have to pay, so they could be left with a bill.

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How do prepaid funeral plan providers compare

The following prepaid funeral plan providers guarantee all the services included in the plan for a cremation funeral, with no hidden charges:

  • Golden Leaves
  • Co-op
  • Dignity

The following prepaid funeral plan providers include a contribution towards 3rd party costs:

  • Avalon
  • Golden Charter
  • Perfect Choice
  • Choice
  • Open Prepaid Funerals

A  survey by independent consumer research company Fairer Finance discovered that over 90% of people who purchased one of the ‘contribution plans’ thought that all of their cremation costs were guaranteed, which wasn't the case.

Therefore when you are choosing the best prepaid funeral plan for you, look carefully as to how these costs are covered.

Prepaid funerals costs – how much could you pay

Prepaid funeral plans cost between £2,900 to £4,300 depending on what’s included. The cost of a prepaid funeral plan will include both the services of a funeral director and the funeral service, but cheaper plans may have limitations, so it’s important to also consider the services included – our pros and cons guide will guide you on what to look out for. For example, the quality of the coffin or whether you have cars for family.

The cost of prepaid funeral plans – what are your payment options?

Funeral plan providers offer a range of payment options suitable for all budgets. You can choose to pay in one go as shown in the comparison above or by monthly instalments.

If you prefer to spread the cost of your prepaid funeral plan you will pay more over the payment period as administration fees apply. However, many companies allow you to pay over a period of 12 months without incurring additional fees.

The good news is that with monthly funeral plans, your funeral costs will still be frozen at today’s prices avoiding future inflation. So you could still save your family a substantial amount of money.

Our can you pay for funerals monthly section provides more information on spreading the cost of prepaid funeral plans.

What are the cheapest funeral plans?

The cheapest prepaid funeral plans include a simple coffin, a hearse but no limousines, a service at the crematorium and the cremation fees. To reduce costs further, the time of the service may be restricted to early or late in the day.

When comparing plans, check which services are guaranteed and that the company is a member of the FPA. If the cost is more than you want to pay, you may want to consider a direct cremation. This simple cremation without a funeral service is one of the cheapest funerals costing between £1,300 to £1,800.

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How do I choose a funeral plan?

When choosing a funeral plan, it helps to compare plans and review the information available before choosing your preferred funeral option. Having compared funeral plans UK-wide, we have chosen to work with Golden Leaves as our trusted partner.

FPA registered Golden Leaves fully guarantee the cremation fees and ministers fees as well as the funeral director’s costs. So you can be reassured your family will have nothing more to pay for the services included in the plan, no matter when it is in the future.

Golden Leaves – prepaid funerals you can trust

Golden Leaves funeral plans provide complete reassurance for you and your family and a service you can trust, including:

  • A guarantee to fully cover the cost of the services included in 3 of their 5 traditional plans
  • An allowance for burial costs if you prefer this option
  • Competitive prices from just £3,089
  • Monthly payment options with immediate cover
  • The ability to personalise your plan with ‘special requests’
  • Flexibility to move at no extra cost
  • National coverage with Dignity, Coop and independent funeral directors
  • Bio-degradable eco-friendly coffins
  • Bereavement counselling (where available)
  • First independent firm to secure the BSI kitemark for customer service

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How secure is my money in a funeral plan?

Choosing  a provider that is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) helps ensure your money is secure. The FPA is an independent industry body that ensures all registered providers abide by its rules and strict code of practise as to how your money is held and the service you receive. (our ‘Are funeral plans safe’ section provides more information on how to ensure your plan is secure).

With Golden Leaves your money is paid directly to their Trust Fund which is independently managed and audited.

All trusts are separate independently managed legal entities which are audited by independent accountants and auditors.

This means that should your funeral director go into liquidation, your money and funeral will be protected and the plan provider will reallocate your plan to another funeral director in your area.

Customer reviews


Funeral plan reviews

Top Plan Providers
Golden Charter
Golden Leaves
Age UK
Open Funerals
Pefect Choice

Funeral insurance - what are my options?

This is really just another name for an Over 50 life cover policy, which pays out a cash sum when you die that the majority of families use to help with funeral costs; hence the name funeral insurance cover.

Read more

If you have the funds available, then a funeral plan lets you freeze your costs at today’s prices meaning you avoid funeral inflation, however if you prefer to stick to a lower monthly budget or give your family the flexibility of having a cash lump sum, you may wish to consider over 50s life insurance .

Which ever option of funeral insurance cover you choose, read our reviews and comparisons so you can be certain of choosing the best plan for you.

Direct cremation – the alternative cremation plan

For those looking to save money or wanting a more simple cremation plan, then you may want to consider direct cremation. It is quite simply the cremation process but without the funeral service; so no family or friends in attendance.

Read more

Whilst they may not be suitable for everyone, at half the price of a more traditional funeral, it could appeal to those looking for cheaper funeral options. However the large majority of people who buy these types of cremation only plans are those who either don’t want the upset or fuss of a funeral service.

With prices starting from around £1,400 you can compare some of the cheapest direct cremation plans in our guide or you can request a brochure.

Request a Direct Cremation Brochure

Over 50 funeral plans

Over 50 funeral plans are plans designed for the over 50s that provide and pay for your chosen funeral services in advance, as detailed in the plan. Do not mistake them with Over 50 plans which are life insurance plans that pay out a cash sum when you die.

Both types of plan are usually marketed as funeral payment options so it is important to understand the differences.

Top 10 funeral plan providers in the UK 2021

  • Dignity £3,095
  • Coop £3,095
  • Golden Leaves £2,859
  • Avalon £3,645
  • Ago Co £2,970
  • Golden Charter £2,895
  • Choice Plans £3,395
  • Perfect Choice £3,495
  • Open Funerals £2,995
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Your questions answered

  • Can I choose either a burial or cremation funeral?
    • Most prepaid plans give you the option to choose either a burial or cremation funeral. The way the plan works for each service may differ however. For example, leading funeral plan providers such as Golden Leaves and Dignity guarantee the cremation fees, but make a contribution towards burial fees.

  • Can you buy European funeral plans?
    • If you are looking for a funeral plan and you live in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and the Canaries, or you have a second home in any of these countries, then we have a European funeral plan that will provide cover for arranging a funeral either there, or here in the UK.

      Quite simply if you think some time on the future you may choose to move to, or buy a second home abroad, then this plan will give you the flexibility, no matter whether you are drinking sangria in Spain or tea in Torquay.

  • What are the average funeral costs in the UK?
    • Research carried out by SunLife shows average funeral costs in the UK at *£4,056; this figure does not include flowers, memorials, wakes, notices or probate fees. To see the impact inflation could have on the average cost of a funeral in years to come if costs continue to rise at a similar rate, take a look at our funeral calculator.

  • Do you offer national coverage?
    • Yes, funeral plans usually provide national coverage throughout the UK, so it doesn’t matter where you live – there will always be a funeral director local to you..

  • What happens if I don’t die for another 20 or so years, will there be more to pay?
    • A funeral Plan freezes your costs at today’s prices so there will be nothing more to pay for the guaranteed services included, no matter when it is in the future, be it 20 or even 30 years time. If you have chosen a ‘contribution style’ funeral plan, there could be more to pay for the cremation and minister’s fees; depending on how much these costs have increased compared to the allowance included in your plan.

  • Will my family get a cash lump sum when the time comes or will my funeral be paid for automatically?
    • When the time comes, instead of your family receiving a cash lump sum, your plan provider will pay the funeral director directly so your family won’t have the worry. There will be nothing more to pay for the funeral services that are guaranteed in the plan.    

      An over 50 life insurance plan is a completely different type of policy that pays out a cash sum that families often use to help pay for funeral costs. This is why when people talk about funeral insurance, they often get confused between a funeral plan and an over 50s plan.

      An over 50 life insurance plan as mentioned pays out a cash sum when you die that can be used to help with funeral costs, pay outstanding bills or left as a gift to family members. If it is used to help pay for the funeral, then the family will still have to make the arrangements and as inflation reduces the cash sum paid out over time, there could be more for them to pay – it all depends on the cash sum paid out versus funeral costs at that time.

      A funeral plan on the other hand freezes your funeral costs at today’s prices so guarantees your family will never have anything more to pay for the services included.

  • Do I need to choose my Funeral Director now?
    • The plan provider will arrange for the services of a funeral director who is in your area.

  • What if I move home?
    • All plans provided by national funeral planning companies are flexible and portable, so if you move, the plan moves with you. You simply contact your funeral planning company to let them know your new address and they will move the plan to a funeral director local to your new home.

  • Can I tailor the plan to include my personal requirements?
    • Yes, you may wish to add your “wishes” to the plan so that your next of kin knows what you want when the time comes, for example, music, hymns, reception or you can fully bespoke a plan.

  • Which funeral plans do you offer?
    • We help you compare funeral plans UK wide providing information, guides and funeral plan reviews so you can be fully informed prior to making your decision. We have chosen to work with Golden Leaves as our trusted partner as we believe they offer excellent value for money, guaranteeing not only the cost of a funeral director but also the cremation and ministers fees at today's prices.

  • Who are the Funeral Planning Authority?
    • The Funeral Planning Authority or FPA as they are also referred to are the regulatory body for funeral plans, their role being to ensure registered members comply with their strictest of rules and strict code of practise as to the service you receive and how your money is held.

      In order to register with the Funeral Planning authority, plan providers must demonstrate they comply with these rules; something they have to do on an ongoing basis as they have to re-register annually.

  • Can I buy a plan for someone else?
    • Yes you can buy funeral insurance for someone else. You will be able to specify this when applying for the plan by adding yourself as plan representative. As the plan purchaser and representative, all correspondence will be sent directly to you if you wish.

  • Do I need a medical to buy a Funeral Plan?
    • No you don’t. Your application will be accepted regardless of your state of health.

  • Do I have to be over 50 years of age to purchase a plan?
    • No, most providers will allow you to buy a plan from the age of 18, but some have a minimum age requirement of 50.

  • Do you offer Eco-friendly or Green funeral plans?
    • Yes, we can arrange this for you.

      The costs will depend on your requirements, as some people will just require an eco-friendly coffin whereas others prefer a fully carbon neutral service. Green funeral plans are increasing in popularity but generally are more expensive.

  • Questions you should ask when buying a plan
      • Is the funeral plan provider regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority?
      • Are my funeral directors costs guaranteed?
      • Are the cremation fees guaranteed at today's prices
      • If paying monthly, how much extra will I pay in additional charges or interest
      • How is my money stored and how safe is it?
  • Where else can I compare funeral plans?
    • In addition to Over50choices there are a few other websites that allow you to compare funeral plans uk wide, but the large comparison sites; Go Compare, Confused, Money and Martin Lewis' Moneysavingexpert as of yet are not providing this service.

      Don’t forget, if you are looking at funeral insurance you may also want to compare over 50 life insurance which many people use to help with funeral costs.

  • Why have you teamed up with Golden Leaves?
    • We have chosen to partner with Golden Leaves as we believe their funeral plans offer flexibility, security and reassurance for the family with no hidden costs.

      Other plan providers regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority are worth considering however the main thing is to ensure you understand how the plan works and what services are guaranteed.

  • Can I pay monthly for a funeral plan ?
    • Yes, most funeral planning companies offer payments over 12 months at no extra cost and then instalment options of up to 25 years depending on your age. Understandably most funeral plan providers will have a threshold by which the payments should be complete.

      Some funeral planning companies will require you to complete the payments before providing the funeral services, so your family would pay the balance if you died before your monthly payments were complete.

      Others provide cover once you have been paying into the plan for a specific period, such as a year.

      However, Golden Leaves are the only company to provide immediate cover, once you have paid a deposit of just £49. So if you chose a 6 year plan but died after 6 months, the services included in the plan would be provided with no charge to your family.

  • What are Defaqto Star Ratings?
    • Defaqto is an independent financial information business. They collect product data from the whole of market and make it comparable to help consumers, like you, make better decisions. They are not customer reviews, in our case we ask Trustpilot to independently ask customers for these.

      They have reviewed the funeral plan market in the UK and rated funeral plans on a scale of 1 to 5 based on quality and comprehensiveness of the features and benefits of each plan.

      A 4 or 5 Star Rating indicates that a product represents one of the best quality offerings in the market. A 1 Star Rating indicates a basic plan with a low level of features and benefits.

  • What is the cheapest funeral you can have?
    • The cheapest funeral plan you can have is a direct cremation, which costs between £1,300 to £1,800.

      A direct cremation is a cremation but without a funeral service - there are no mourners in attendance. This is a more affordable and cheaper option than a traditional funeral, although the majority of people choosing this low cost option do so as they prefer a simple no frills option without the fuss of family and friends attending.

      If you prefer a more traditional plan, many providers now offer budget funeral plans that have certain restrictions such as the time of the funeral service. So you can take advantage of the benefits of a prepaid plan whilst sticking to a budget. 

  • What happens if I die abroad?
    • If you die whilst abroad your repatriation cover on your travel insurance if you have it would get you back home and then the funeral director will provide the funeral services as outlined in your prepaid plan.

      Alternatively if the family decide to have the funeral abroad, they can cancel the plan and receive a full refund minus the cancellation fee.

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