How much does a funeral cost?

How much does a funeral cost?

The average cost of a basic funeral in 2016 was £3,897.  The cost is made up of two parts:


1.    Funeral director’s fees
Typically these include: advice, arranging the funeral (including liaising with third parties), caring for the deceased until the service, the supply and fitting out of the coffin, a chauffeur-driven hearse, and funeral staff on the day of the funeral.


2.     Third party funeral costs
Third party funeral costs (also known as ‘disbursements’ or ‘external payments’), are for products and services that are outside the funeral director’s control.  There are two types:  the necessary costs and the ‘extras’


Necessary third party costs include

  • Cremation or burial fees.
  • The doctors’ fees for cremation.  (These won’t apply if the death was sudden and the coroner is involved, or the death was in Scotland)


‘Extras’ are generally the finishing touches.  Depending on the flexibility of the funeral package you have chosen, your funeral director will be happy to advise and organise these for you, or you could organise them yourself.  These include:

  • Minister or officiant fees.  (These can be avoided if you choose to conduct the service yourself.  You don’t even have to have a funeral service at all.)
  • Flowers
  • Order of service sheets
  • Organist, choir or musicians
  • Newspaper notices
  • Catering
  • Memorial


All third-party costs will be confirmed and added to the funeral director’s fees at the time of the funeral arrangement. The funeral director may pay these costs on your behalf and include them in the final invoice, or you may be asked to pay for them in advance of the funeral. Check your chosen funeral director’s payment terms.


Info:  Funeral director service fees vary, but the necessary third party costs for cremation or burial at your chosen location are fixed, regardless of which funeral director you choose.


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Source: Sun Life Direct – annual Cost of Dying Report 2016


Kim Bird is the founder of the comparison and review site About the Funeral and Editor of the bereavement support and funeral planning magazine, Day by Day.

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