How much does a funeral cost in 2024?

Updated 15th January 2024

The average cost of a funeral in the UK is £4,141, depending on the type of service you choose. Cremation is more popular and cheaper, costing £3,795 on average. At £5,077, burials are more expensive; plus there’s the additional cost of the burial plot to consider.

In this guide you will find:

What are the basic costs of a funeral?

The average cost of a basic funeral in the UK in 2023 is £4,141, a 4.7% increase on 2022. Burial costs remain the most expensive option at £5,077, whilst a cremation funeral on average costs £3,795.

Demand for direct cremation without a service has increased in recent years. With average costs of £1,498, this alternative to a more traditional funeral will have played a major part in the reduction of funeral costs; the first we have seen for almost 20 years.

guideSo how much does a funeral cost in the UK in 2024?

The cost of a funeral in the UK in 2024 will depend on where you live, the type of funeral you choose and the services you include.

Breakdown of funeral costs

  • Basic funeral costs (funeral director and 3rd party costs) - £4,141
  • Additional funeral expenses - £2,768

What is included in the basic funeral costs?

  • Funeral director's costs in the UK

The funeral director’s costs include collection and care of the deceased, administration, viewing, the coffin, hearse, funeral cars for family and services on the day. The funeral director will also liaise with third parties and provide support for the family throughout the process.

  • Third party funeral costs

Third party funeral costs comprise of those essential services not provided by the funeral director. This includes the cremation or burial fees, the minister or celebrant’s fees (which currently average £169) and the doctor’s charges. 'In England and Wales, Doctor's fees may be required for cremations currently costing approximately £164.

What are the additional funeral expenses?

Additional funeral expenses are the services you choose as optional extras to personalise the service such as:

  • Memorial - £1,037
  • Limousine hire - £402
  • Venue hire £347
  • Catering £476
  • Order of service - £111
  • Flowers - £220
  • Death notices - £93

What are the professional fees?

Professional fees for administrating the estate may be necessary if probate is required, however this all depends on whether you decide to do it yourself or use the services of an expert.

For more information look at our guide to probate.

Funeral costs in the UK by region

The cost of a funeral varies throughout the UK. According to the Sunlife’s 2024 Cost of Dying report,as you may expect, London funeral costs are the most expensive, whilst Northern Ireland remains the cheapest place to die. 

2023 UK funeral costs by region

  • London £5,171
  • South East & East of England £4,643
  • Yorkshire and Humber £4,065
  • East and West Midlands £4,150
  • North East England £3,973
  • South West England £4,032
  • North West England £3,802
  • Scotland £4,030
  • Wales £4,286
  • Northern Ireland £3,256

Can I get help with funeral costs?

Help with funeral costs is available through the government’s funeral payment scheme. This funeral expense payment is for people on low incomes claiming certain benefits. Whilst it doesn’t cover all funeral costs, the funeral payment can help with cremation or burial fees, transportation of the deceased and death certificates.

In addition, the funeral payment also provides up to £1,000 for additional funeral expenses such as the funeral director fees, flowers or the coffin.

You can also get help with funeral costs through the Bereavement Support Payment. This allowance is for bereaved spouses or civil partners under the state pension age. If eligible you receive a one-off bereavement support payment, plus 18 monthly payments, the rates for which depend on whether you have dependent children.

testimonial adHow to save on funeral costs

Funeral costs aren’t cheap and can cause many families serious financial hardship. Looking for ways to save money on the cost of a funeral means you can still give your loved one a send off, without having to break the bank.

Top tips for reducing funeral costs
  • Compare prices and get more than one quote
  • Choose a cheaper coffin
  • Opt for a cheaper cremation time
  • Spend less on flowers
  • Have the wake at home
  • Use your own cars
  • Don’t use stationary
  • Choose a direct cremation
  • Donate your body to science

If you’re looking to plan ahead, a prepaid funeral plan fixes costs at today’s prices, avoiding future inflation if costs rise.

Sharing your wishes will also help your family understand the type of funeral you would like, so they won’t spend money unnecessarily when the time comes.

Frequently asked questions about funeral costs

What is the most expensive part of funeral costs?

The most expensive part of funeral costs is often the funeral director’s costs. However, how expensive a funeral is will also depend on things like the coffin, transportation and burial plot prices.

Who pays for a funeral if there is no money?

If there is no money to pay for a funeral, the local authority has a legal duty to provide a small, dignified service, known as a Public Health Funeral.

Public Health Funerals are usually cremations with a short service for people to attend. The date and time of the service is chosen by the local authority and there are no extras such as viewing, flowers, cars or notices.

Is the next of kin responsible for funeral costs in the UK?

The family or the executor of the estate is usually responsible for paying funeral costs, however they are entitled to claim the money back from the deceased’s estate once settled.

Do the DWP pay for funerals?

The government’s funeral payment scheme can help people on low incomes claiming certain benefits with funeral expenses.

What is a pauper’s funeral?

A pauper’s funeral is a funeral that is paid for by the local council. Thankfully, the term pauper’s funeral is no longer used, having been replaced by the public health funeral.

Did you find this information helpful?

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