Funeral Costs Explained: The Cremation and Burial Cost Index 3

Funeral Costs

In the UK, the current average cost of cremation is £753 and the average cost of a burial is £1,792. The average total cost of a funeral booked through Beyond, including funeral director fees, is £2,629.

At Beyond, we gather costs for funeral services around the UK and feed them into our comparison service, which you can use for both immediate funerals and funeral plans. A major contribution to the final cost which you’ll be quoted – typically around a third to a half of the total – is the crematorium and cemetery fee. This is set by the owner of the cemetery or crematorium.

Most of the crematoria and cemeteries in the UK update their pricing at the start of the new tax year, on April 1st. At the start of April, we set out to gather all the new fees and feed them back into our comparison engine, ensuring that the figures you’re quoted on the Beyond site are as accurate as possible.

To anyone familiar with the funeral industry it should come as no surprise that fees have risen well above the current rate of inflation in most locations for yet another year. The map below shows the most and least expensive parts of the country for burial and cremation, alongside the national average and the country-wide percentage increase from 2016.


uk funeral costs

Burial costs in 2017

The burial fees which we’ve gathered are as close as you can get to the ‘standard’ burial fee. These are for the burial of an adult who is resident of the borough where the cemetery is found. This fee is made up of two separate costs; the interment, or digging fee for a single-depth grave, and the Exclusive Right of Burial, the fee which is payed to the owner of the cemetery to lease the land.

In the tables below you’ll notice some real outliers in terms of burial costs. These have been excluded from our regional averages in order to make these figures as representative of regional burial and cremation fees as possible.

Remember that these fees do not include the services of the funeral director, or other costs such as flowers and coffins.

10 most expensive places to be buried in the UK

Cemetery Owner/Authority Location Price
Highgate Cemetery Highgate Cemetery Charity London £18,325
Fulham Palace Road Cemetery London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham London £12,464
Margravine Cemetery London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham London £12,464
Kensal Green Cemetery The General Cemetery Company London £12,225
Tottenham Cemetery Dignity PLC London £8,174
East Finchley Cemetery Westminster City Council London £5,800
Battersea New Cemetery London Borough of Wandsworth London £4,697
Putney Lower Common Cemetery London Borough of Wandsworth London £4,697
Wandsworth Cemetery London Borough of Wandsworth London £4,697
Putney Vale Cemetery London Borough of Wandsworth London £4,697


10 least expensive places to be buried in the UK

Cemetery Owner/Authority Location Price
Cross Cemetery Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Enniskillen £261
Fintona Cemetery Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Tyrone £261
Green Hill Cemetery Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Omagh £261
Coolhill Cemetery Mid-Ulster District Council Dungannon £262
Cottagequinn Cemetery Mid-Ulster District Council Dungannon £276
Forthill Cemetery Mid-Ulster District Council Cookstown £276
Polepatrick Cemetery Mid-Ulster District Council Magherafelt £276
City Cemetery Derry and Strabane District Council Derry £347
Alla Claudy Cemetery Derry and Strabane District Council Claudy £347
Ballyoan Cemetery Derry and Strabane District Council Derry £347


For anyone who saw our round-up of last year’s data these results should cause little surprise. Burial fees in Northern Ireland have historically been very small in comparison with the rest of the UK, and with London in particular, where land is at more of a premium.

While it’s relatively easy to understand why, given the cost of living in the capital, it might cost so much to lease land for burial in London, it’s harder to understand why the digging fee should cost so much more in comparison with what a Northern Irish citizen should expect to pay. The £118 charged by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is almost pocket change when compared to the £1,850 charged by Highgate Cemetery. This makes it 15 times more expensive to dig a grave in Highgate than it does in Fermanagh and Omagh.

Highgate Cemetery is not an isolated incident here. The digging fee for Kingston Cemetery on the other side of the capital comes in at £1,700, which is 13 times more expensive than the cheapest fee in the UK.

Next let’s take a look at the ten largest percentage increases in burial costs in the UK.

Cemetery Owner/Authority Location % Difference from 2016
Clandon Wood Natural Burial Ground Clandon Wood Natural Burial Ground Guildford +68.3%
North Watford Cemetery Watford Borough Council Watford +49.1%
Monkshill Cemetery Newry, Mourne & Down District Council Newry +41.1%
Upper Dromore Road Cemetery Newry, Mourne & Down District Council Newry +41.1%
Kilbroney Road Cemetery Newry, Mourne & Down District Council Rostrevor +41.1%
Canley Garden Cemetery Coventry City Council Coventry +39.2%
Lentons Lane Cemetery Coventry City Council Coventry +39.2%
London Road Cemetery Coventry City Council Coventry +39.2%
St. Paul’s Road Cemetery Coventry City Council Coventry +39.2%
Walsgrave Cemetery Coventry City Council Coventry +39.2%


There was only one cemetery which can be said to have decreased its fees this year. GreenAcres Woodland Burial’s site in Grayshott did so by introducing a new type of burial plot, which means that the fee for burial in this site has dropped by 28.6%. Although 10.4% of cemeteries for which we were able to collect data did not raise their pricing since last year, 80.5% did so above the UK’s rate of inflation, and 48% have increased their pricing at a rate of at least double the rate of inflation.

Cremation costs in 2017

In the majority of places cremation costs have also risen above the rate of inflation for another year, although not as drastically as burial fees have.

The costs quoted below are indicative of the fee an adult resident can expect to pay inside of normal operating hours on a weekday. Most crematoria will now facilitate a direct cremation service, which often takes place in the early hours of the morning. Outside of normal hours there is less demand and mourners are not permitted to attend, resulting in a lower price. Conversely, services on a weekend and early evening on a weekday are in high demand and often come at a higher price.

10 most expensive places to be cremated in the UK

Crematorium Owner/Authority Location Price
Beckenham Dignity PLC London £999
Surrey & Sussex Dignity PLC Crawley £999
Randalls Park Dignity PLC Leatherhead £999
Heart of England Dignity PLC Nuneaton £999
Moray Dignity PLC Moray £999
Dundee Dignity PLC Dundee £999
Oxford Dignity PLC Oxford £999
The Counties Dignity PLC Northampton £999
Chichester Dignity PLC Chichester £999
Norwich Dignity PLC Norwich £989


10 least expensive places to be cremated in the UK

Crematorium Owner/Authority Location Price
South West Middlesex South West Middlesex Crematorium Board Feltham £490
Thornhill City of Cardiff Council Cardiff £540
Crewe Cheshire East Council Crewe £550
Macclesfield Cheshire East Council Macclesfield £550
North East Surrey North East Surrey Crematorium Board London £555
West Hertfordshire West Hertfordshire Joint Crematorium Committee Watford £560
Parc Gwyn Pembrokeshire County Council Narbeth £564
Chilterns Chilterns Crematorium Joint Committee Amersham £575
Mortlake Mortlake Crematorium Board London £575
Margam Margam and District Joint Crematorium Committee Port Talbot £585


It’s clear from the above tables that crematorium fees are less dictated by location than burial fees. Land does not need to be leased for a cremation and running costs are roughly equivalent from one crematorium to another.

It’s interesting, if unsurprising, to see that the ten costliest are all operated by a private company, Dignity PLC. In fact 17 of the top 20 most expensive crematoria are operated by Dignity, who set almost blanket pricing throughout the country.

In stark contrast to the ten most expensive cemeteries in the land, all of which were in London, there is only one London-based crematorium among the ten costliest, and this cost is identical across another six crematoria, all in different places throughout the country. The ten cheapest are all council-owned and even features two London locations.

This apparent lack of rhyme and reason in how crematorium costs are set is even clearer when we observe the arbitrary nature of percentage increases.


Crematorium Owner/Authority Location % Difference from 2016
Cheltenham Cheltenham Borough Council Cheltenham +32.2%
Thorncliffe Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council Barrow-in-Furness +29.9%
South Essex London Borough of Havering Upminster +26.9%
City Road Sheffield City Council Sheffield +19.4%
Hutcliffe Wood Sheffield City Council Sheffield +19.4%
Rochdale Rochdale Borough Council Rochdale +16.3%
Middleton Rochdale Borough Council Middleton +16.3%
Canley Coventry City Council Coventry +15%
Greenock Inverclyde Council Greenock +12.2%
Haycombe Bath and North East Somerset Council Bath +12%


There were no crematoria who decreased their fees this year, although there were 38 who also did not increase their prices from last year. That makes for 57 crematoria who increased pricing either below or in line with the rate of inflation out of a total of 278. Conversely, 79.5% of crematoria in the UK have increased their pricing above the rate of inflation, and an astonishing 62.6% have increased their pricing at a rate of at least double the rate of inflation.

In conclusion

It’s a sad sign of the times that this data is unlikely to surprise many people who have had to organise a funeral in the last few years. It’s clear that funeral costs are rising well above the rate of inflation across the board, and while funerals are still affordable in some parts of the country, it’s safe to say that most people should expect to pay significant sums to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Remember, however, that you can shop around and work with your chosen funeral director to arrange a funeral that’s both right for you and your loved one, while also working within your budget. You can also look into taking out a tailored funeral plan, which will lock in your chosen funeral director’s fees, and will also help to meet unavoidable costs such as crematorium and cemetery fees.

Browse through over 700 independent funeral directors today and find one who offers the service you’d like at a price that suits you or try out funeral costs calculator below. This is lite – put in your postcode, pick from the options and receive an indicative cost sourced from our data and the funeral directors whom we work with for your chosen funeral. For a more accurate figure, enter your postcode on our homepage.


The cost index

Raw data, and an embed code for the calculator, are available on request from

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  1. Well, Like UK the cremation has become the most option commonly chosen by families in the United States in the recent years. Cremations are cheaper than burials and also less expensive than all others. So, soon will expect a hike in the cremation fees in the US too.

  2. After my cremation l want my family in Canada to take my ashs back to Canada ,I only want a simple service here ,no service

  3. Hello to every single one, it’s actually a nice for me to go to see
    this web site, it consists of helpful Information.

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Golden Retriever 0

Modern websites are secure and intelligent

As most people with a basic grasp of how the internet works are aware, your actions are not invisible online.

We apply a great deal of security and tracking to our website to prevent hackers gaining access to customer information, and as part of that security, we automatically flag up unusual activity on our website.

We noticed someone scraping the data on our website

On 8th February, our systems notified us that a user was making an unusually large number of search requests on our website. In fact, that visitor made 514 searches in one day!

So, we played back the user recording of one of their many sessions and we could see that the user (or bot) was methodically going through our website, entering postcodes all over the country and perhaps noting down funeral directors and/or their pricing in each postcode area.

The postcodes which they pasted in were all members of SAIF. Three examples:

KY11PF – Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors
KW151BB – John G Corse Funeral Directors
KW15AX – Clair Harper & Son Funeral Directors

View an extract from the user video here:

Who did it turn out to be?

Who would want to scrape the data from our website and contravene the terms and conditions? Who even still uses Windows 7 and IE 11.0 these days?

A quick check of the IP address on gives the following result.

Golden Charter IP address

From what we can see, it appears the information on our website is being scraped from a computer at Golden Charter Ltd. For those who don’t know, Golden Charter is one of the UK’s largest providers of funeral plans. They are owned by SAIF Charter, which is linked to one of the funeral director trade associations, SAIF. Golden Charter recently established their own funeral director directory website, aping ours, called localfuneral. One possible reason to scrape our data could be to populate their own recently created website.

Note: We have redacted the IP Address here, in order to remain compliant with data protection regulation.

Why is this behaviour bad?

Scraping data that you do not own from a website is wrong for many reasons:

One, it is specifically prohibited by pretty much every website’s T&Cs (including ours) and falls foul of copyright laws. Put simply, data scraping is obtaining someone else’s intellectual property without their permission. This IP is often the result of years of hard work or expense, so it is common sense that it is protected. There are numerous cases of companies protecting their information in the courts following a breach of their terms and conditions.

Two, it is quite clearly breaching the trust of the users of the website. The information on our site has been provided by hundreds of modern, honest funeral directors across the country. It was provided in confidence, with the understanding that it is to be used for the specific purpose of helping people arrange funerals through – if we do not protect our users’ data, we breach that trust placed in us.

Next steps

We have been in touch with the new CEO of Golden Charter, Suzanne Grahame, and SAIF CEO, Terry Tennens. We have outlined our concerns, offered them full recordings of the sessions, and asked for their assistance in understanding what has happened.


Suzanne Grahame, CEO, Golden Charter has kindly investigated and confirmed that it was an “exercise carried out by our Funeral Director Support team to identify those members of SAIFCharter listed on different websites, including yours. The look-ups were carried out by employees of Golden Charter…to identify which of our shareholders are listed on the sites…not to capture, store or re-use funeral director information.”

Our view

Firstly, why not just pick up the phone and ask us for the info? If you don’t think we’d give it to you, then you shouldn’t be spending hours trawling our website for it.

Secondly, why did Golden Charter even want this information – surely they should explain to SAIF members why they are checking which websites those members are on?

This article was amended on 15 February 2018 to include the reply from Suzanne Grahame, Golden Charter’s CEO and Beyond’s view on her reply.

Update to Funeral Expenses Payment Will Make Claims Easier 0

A man applies for a Funeral Expenses Payment.

Much-needed changes to the government’s Funeral Expenses Payment are rolling in. Their aim? Making it easier for families to get government help with funeral costs. Here’s what you need to know about the update.

The Funeral Expenses Payment offers people on certain benefits help with funeral expenses. At the moment, it covers the least expensive burial or cremation in the area, hearse transport for journeys over 50 miles, and up to £700 to cover ‘extra’ costs like funeral director fees, flowers, or a memorial.

Changes to the Funeral Expenses Payment: If you qualify for the Funeral Expenses Payment, you can now get financial help from friends, relatives and charities without it being taken out of the payment. The deadline to apply has been extended to six months after the funeral. You can now submit evidence electronically, allowing for faster processing. A new shorter application form has been created for children’s funerals.Coming in on April 2nd 2018, the new changes to the scheme are set to make it easier to apply. The key update is that people will be able to use money given to them by relatives, friends and charities on top of their Funeral Expenses Payment – currently, this money is taken out of the amount the government sends. They’ll also have more time to apply, and the option to share the evidence for their claim online to speed the process up.

In a statement on, Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Kit Malthouse said that ‘It is only right that we make it as simple as possible for people to get help towards funeral expenses during what is an extremely difficult time.’

But with funeral costs on the rise, some experts are questioning whether the changes go far enough. The most recent government figures place the average Funeral Expenses Payment at £1,427, yet (according to a 2017 Sun Life report), the average cost of a funeral is over £4,078 – an increase of 116% since 2004.

‘These changes are needed to modernise some of the practical aspects of the payment, but in reality, the fact that the additional expenses allowance is staying at £700 will leave many people struggling,’ said James Dunn, co-founder of Beyond.

He added that – while funerals booked on Beyond are on average cheaper at £2,629  ‘until further changes are made to the Funeral Expenses Payment, families applying will likely need to explore additional ways to raise funds and lower costs’.

Need help with funeral costs?

We’re here to help. Call us on 020 8629 1600 to find out about our 0% interest funeral finance. Pay the money back over the course of a year, and relax – there’s no interest on the loan.