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Is Cremation Cheaper than Burial?

The death of a loved one is immediately followed by several funeral costs that can become a burden for the bereaved. The cost of a funeral, a burial service, and other average burial costs becomes the topic of the day.

While everyone wants to give the best funerals, it can be difficult to achieve such on a budget. Each family member should pull together and understand that it’s also important to plan to economize and save every additional fee.

Therefore, the grieving has the option of going for the cost of a cremation or burial. While some may prefer to bury and others cremate, you can actually compare and contrast their costs before deciding. Read on to learn more about the cheaper option between cremation fees and burial costs.

What are the Average Funeral Costs in the UK?

Let’s begin with a general overview of what a funeral costs in the UK. The average UK cremation cost £3,946, while the UK cost for burial is approximately£4,893. This total average cost covers for: –

  • the funeral directors fees
  • the average cost of a casket
  • the cemetery fees for a plot or cremation costs
  • the average cost of a physician
  • the payment of a celebrant for the memorial service

However, that’s not the full story for UK cremation and burial. Factors like the funeral director you choose and the country where you stay affect the overall cost. For example, it’s easier when you hire a local funeral director or when you live in Northern Ireland.

Shopping around for funeral services online can help you save a significant amount of money. These and more we discuss below. Let’s examine more prudently, the relationship between a burial funeral, and cremation. Afterward, you can truly decide which funeral is in the favor of your departed loved one.

What Does a Burial Involve in the UK and What are the Burial Costs?

Don’t conclude just yet – there are other factors to a cremation or burial that you should put into consideration. Firstly, let’s explore what burial funerals take in the UK.

What is a Burial in the UK?

A burial is an event that follows a main funeral service. It is the moment when people will gather at the gravesite to pay their final respects before the casket is lowered into the grave. A death certificate, “dying report”, or “green form,” is required for burial funerals in places like the southwest of the country.

Why Go for a Burial?

A burial funeral may be the better option if you’re planning a green funeral or if your religious beliefs require you to do so. When compared to the energy needed and pollutants created by cremations to make ashes, burials have a smaller impact on the environment. When compared to a typical cemetery, a natural burial ground or forest with expansive grounds and a peaceful atmosphere is hard to beat.

What is the Average Burial Cost in the UK?

The cost of the actual burial is the key factor in the overall price difference between cremation and burial. While the national average for burial costs is £1,986, these numbers vary depending on the region within the United Kingdom. Prices range from as high as £6,971 in southwest London’s SE26 to as low as £320 in Northern Ireland.

Also, you should look into the length of the lease of the burial plot or the ‘exclusive right of burial.’ Bear in mind that purchasing burial plots does not give you permanent ownership, contrary to popular belief. If you want to bury your loved ones at the same time, it may be more cost-effective to buy a shared burial plot rather than two individual ones.

There are two components to the final cost of burial. These are the interment, or “digging,” cost, and the Exclusive Right of Burial.

You may wish to think about these things in addition to cemetery costs:

  • The cost of a tombstone can range anywhere from £800 to $5,000
  • Keep the grave looking nice and neat will cost you about $40 per year
  • Having the headstone professionally cleaned would cost you £150 each year or more

How to Save Money on Burial Costs

Although burials can be expensive, there are ways to avoid optional extras and cut down on the cost, and save more:

Make Use of Natural Lands

The Forest Burial Trust reports that their average burial price is £800. Hence, natural or woodland burial plots are a cheaper option (not including the digging fee).

Don’t Go too Far

Keep to yourself and your immediate vicinity. The costs for non-parishioners are often more expensive than those of parishioners.

Pick the Right Time and Season

You should choose a time that is less busy. In places around the United Kingdom like Northern Ireland, weekday burial costs are often cheaper than weekend ones.

Pick Good Funeral Directors and A reputable Funeral Home

Funeral directors fees and funeral home fees vary depending on the location, season, etc. Ensure you go for a funeral director from a company with good services. You can rest assured you won’t have an issue with most funeral directors from our company Newrest Funerals.

Go with quiet, private, and simple funeral ARRANGEMENTS

For those who prefer a more low-key and cost-effective option, a simple funeral can be arranged. With the consent of the landowner, you can even bury your loved one on your own property without incurring any burial expenses. However, it’s always best to check with local government regulations. The Natural Death Centre is a valuable resource for information on conducting a simple and private funeral yourself.

What Does a Cremation Involve in the UK and What is the Cost of a Cremation?

There are more processes that go into cremation service than a traditional funeral. These details are broken down below:

What is a Cremation in the UK?

A corpse is cremated when it is heated to temperatures high enough to reduce the flesh and organs to ashes (cremated remains). At a crematorium, a special “oven” called a cremation chamber is used to carry out the cremation procedure.

The cremation funeral procedure of the deceased should be complete usually after two to three hours. The bone pieces that remain are then placed in a cremulator and crushed down until they resemble sand. Once this is done, the urn containing the remains as ashes is presented to the family or funeral director.

Why Go for a Cremation?

In the United Kingdom, cremations can be performed either at the time of the funeral or at a later period to act as a post-funeral rite. The variety of cremation services available undoubtedly contributes to the growing popularity of this option.

Scattering or storing a loved one’s remains in a chosen location is a practical and sometimes typically lower alternative to traditional burial. Some individuals choose cremation over burial because of the space savings, which is especially relevant in densely populated areas.

What are the Average Cremation Costs in the UK?

The cost of a cremation without any sort of additional costs like a memorial or viewing begins at roughly $1,300. The total cost of cremation may rise if you want to add on extras like a funeral service, memorial ceremony, or send off at the crematorium.

The average cost of a cremation funeral in the United Kingdom is £4,600 in London. It may cost£4,000 in the Midwest. In the North East and North West, the cost is roughly £3,500. Cremation is often the cheapest option than burial, however, this might vary depending on personal preferences and circumstances. It’s yet to get to that part.

Here is a breakdown of the expenses you may have to handle at cremation:

Doctor’s Fees

Before cremation may take place, a dying report must be issued by a medical examiner and all necessary documentation must be finalized. Fees are typically required to process this type of document.

Funeral Director Fees

The services of a funeral director are not required. Still, many individuals feel that having access to one’s knowledge, connections, and emotional support is a tremendous relief. It is common for funeral directors to take care of everything while you pay the fees.

Crematorium Fees

The standard crematorium fee in the UK is roughly £800. This should be plenty for an adult cremation on a typical weekday (weekdays are typically cheaper). London ranks among the places with the highest cost for burial but among the lowest in cost when it comes to cremation. London’s average cremation fees are £755, and that’s just for the local government.

How to Save Money on a Budget and Have a Cheaper Cremation Process

The ways to reduce cremation costs include shopping intensively, cutting the cost of an unnecessary cremation service, and so on. However, the easiest way around cremation costs is to have direct cremations.

Direct Cremation

In a direct cremation, there is no funeral service or memorial, and no opportunity for visitors to pay their respects. Nonetheless, the deceased is shown the utmost dignity and care, and the ashes can be sent directly to your house or scattered at a place of your choosing. As time passes, a funeral service might be planned with additional cost.


From all implications, cremation is cheaper than having the person buried. The average cremation fees in places like Northern Ireland immediately rule cremation fit for a low cost budget. Direct cremation is also a plus for a struggling family. Still, you can cut the average cost of a funeral with a simple coffin, a decent grave, and warm moments among the relatives of the buried.