This article helps to explain the average cost of a cremation in the UK and the difference in pricing between a cremation and burial. It will also provide some low-cost funeral options if you are either arranging a funeral for a loved one who has died, or to make estate planning a little easier.

Let’s start by breaking down the cost of a funeral in the UK.

What is the average cost of a funeral in the UK?

It may come as a shock to those who have not arranged a loved one’s funeral before, but the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £8,864, according to UK financial services company SunLife’s Cost of Dying Report 2022. The significant expense is generally not because they choose elaborate funeral services, but rather because many Brits are unaware that some costly elements are optional.

As a result, 17% of UK families experienced notable financial hardship in 2021, after paying for a loved one’s funeral. Families were short an average of £1,800 per funeral, and most were forced to either borrow money or take funds from their savings or investments to cover expenses, according to the Cost of Dying Report.

What is the average cost of cremation in the UK?

The average price of a cremation in the UK is £3,765 (not accounting for send-off expenses and professional fees), the SunLife report found. However, a cremation can easily cost thousands of pounds more depending on additional expenses including the personalisation of the ceremony or wake, like catering, coffin selection, hearse, and flowers, plus the funeral director’s professional fees.

Similarly, these additional expenses also impact the price of a burial.

Cost of a simple cremation UK

In 2021, the average cost of a cremation was £3,765 (plus send-off costs and professional fees), SunLife reported. 

Direct cremation is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as the most affordable and low-fuss funeral option. In 2021, direct cremations accounted for almost one in five (18%) of the UK’s funerals, the report found.

Cost of a direct cremation UK

A direct cremation (a non-attended cremation without a formal funeral service) is the most affordable funeral option. Direct cremation prices remain lower than that of a traditional cremation or burial service because there is often no need for a chapel, celebrant, flowers, or other additions to the funeral service. Families will often hold their own celebration of life after the direct cremation has taken place, to honour their loved one. 

Music icon David Bowie put direct cremation firmly in the mainstream spotlight when his wish to be cremated without a funeral service was widely reported in the British media at the time of his passing in 2016.

The average cost of a direct cremation in the UK is £1,647, according to the Cost of Dying Report. This price has increased 6% since 2020, the report fund. In contrast, *the cost of an at-need direct cremation with Bare UK starts from £1,145. Our prices are inclusive of any administrative and professional fees. 

Bare can save British families thousands of pounds by only providing the things they actually want in a funeral. To get a free quote, visit

To take advantage of further savings, a funeral with Bare can even be prepaid to avoid price increases over the years. A Bare prepaid funeral plan  also takes the future stress off your family later on.

What is the average cost of cremation vs burial UK

Burials tend to cost significantly more than cremations due to the land required and other additional burial expenses. In 2021, the average cost of a burial in the UK was £4,927 (plus ceremony expenses and professional fees), accounting for just a quarter of Britain's funerals (25%), according to the Cost of Dying report.

How to arrange an affordable cremation or funeral

Traditional funerals are expensive and they are getting more costly over the years. But dying shouldn’t cost a fortune.

As people today are well informed, price-conscious and non-traditional, we’re finding a growing trend in people saying farewell to traditional funerals. Far from being a negative concept, many families believe direct cremations allow the freedom and flexibility to personalise a loved one’s memorial to match their unique personality, without the additional send-off costs like expensive coffins and flowers.

To reduce the financial impact when someone dies, Bare offers an affordable alternative to expensive funerals. By providing only what you need, and nothing that you don’t, a direct cremation with Bare includes …. 

As mentioned earlier, there’s also the option of planning ahead with a prepaid funeral while you’re fit and healthy. Prepaying helps to reduce the future financial and emotional stress on your family. It also allows you to plan how you’d like to be farewelled. 

To learn more and get a quote for a Bare prepaid or at-need funeral, visit or call our customer care team on 0808 258 3583. 

*This is the average price of a Bare at-need cremation, correct at January 2022. Please note that prices vary depending on location and instalment frequency and are subject to increase over time. For an accurate quote and cost breakdown for your location, please visit our website.