In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Cost of a Funeral in Different UK Regions


22 AUGUST 2017 • 4:02PM

When many of us purchase a home, we do so knowing through time, we can change many things about it. From redecorating, upgrading kitchens and bathrooms, adding conservatories or extensions, you can change almost everything about a home, except its location. However, living in a desirable, or popular area, can be expensive in more ways than one.

Average funeral cost now £3,897 - that’s 103pc higher since 2004

When SunLife released its first cost of dying report in 2004, the average cost of a funeral in the UK was £1,920. However, just 12 years later in 2016 and the average cost had increased by 103pc to £3,897*.

Although the average funeral cost in the UK is £3,897, the cost of dying is much higher at £8,802 incorporating costs for the send-off and professional administration of the estate. In 2016, regional variations were noted more than other years with Northern Ireland and North West England cheaper than the national average whilst London was considerably higher than the national average.


Regional variations in basic funeral costs

From highest to lowest, here is the regional variations in funeral costs:

Similar to previous years, London has remained the most expensive place to die at almost 42pc above the average cost of dying in the UK whilst people in Northern Ireland can pay 16pc less than the average cost for a similar service for their loved ones. Of all regions in the UK, not only is Wales 7pc below the national average, it has seen the smallest rise in costs compared to 2015 at just 2pc.


Why are funeral costs so different across the UK?

According to SunLife Cost of Dying research, regional variations in price are heavily influenced by burial costs within the local areas with many referring to this as a 'postcode lottery'. With burial costs varying per region, we have seen funerals with burials costing £6,796 in London and only £3,370 in Northern Ireland – a difference of almost £3,500. The UK average for a funeral with a burial is now on average, £4,256 in the UK.

Although regional variations are largely driven by burial costs, the good news is, cremation only funerals are much cheaper than burials. Additionally, the difference between the most expensive region (London at £4,263) and the cheapest (North West at £2,916) is much less dramatic with a difference of only £1,347. The UK average for a cremation only funeral is now £3,437 (£460 cheaper than the average funeral cost).

Breakdown of the most expensive place to get cremated, from highest to lowest

  1. London - £4,263
  2. South West England - £3,716
  3. South East and East of England - £3,633
  4. Yorkshire and the Humber - £3,444
  5. North East England - £3,362
  6. East and West Midlands - £3,361
  7. Wales - £3,272
  8. Scotland - £3,220
  9. Northern Ireland - £3,185
  10. North West England - £2,916

If funeral plans continue to rise at the rate of recent years, the average cost of a funeral in 2026 could be as high as £7,049**. 

**Sources: SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2016. Projections by Golden Charter on analysis of SunLife Cost of Dying research.