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Huge differences in cremation fees revealed

Crematorium service

The BBC has revealed substantial variations in cremation fees across the country, ranging up to over £1,000 in some areas of the UK.

The cost of a cremation can vary by hundreds of pounds across the UK, according to research by the BBC. Council-run crematoriums range from £392 to as much as £960, while privately-owned crematoriums can cost over £1,000.

The cost of cremation at a council-run site has risen by nearly a fifth since 2015. Costs have risen in two thirds of areas across the UK since last year.

The BBC’s investigation analysed prices for council-run crematoriums across the UK and Channel Islands over the past five years. The fees represent the amount charged by local authority crematoriums for services ranging from 15 to 45 minutes.

The Local Government Association responded saying that fees are mostly reinvested in local cemeteries and crematoriums. Speaking to the BBC, Glynn Humphries of Wakefield Council – which charged £937 for a cremation – said that fees reflected the cost of overheads and replacing crematorium facilities in recent years.

“It is important that we are equipped to meet future demand, as the death rate is likely to rise,” Mr Humphries said.

“The fact that crematorium fees vary so much is just another hurdle for grieving families to contend with,” said Susan Stevenson, CEO of Avalon Funeral Plans. “Realistically, when you’re bereaved, it’s hard to shop around for an affordable crematorium, and in some areas, there’s very little choice within a reasonable distance.

“That’s why we believe a funeral plan can be invaluable at a difficult time. It makes sure arrangements are already in place and essential costs are paid for in advance.”


How to fix essential costs at today’s prices

As well as cremation fees rising rapidly in recent years, the average cost of a funeral has risen from £1,920 in 2004 to over £4,000 in 2018. Based on historical market data and Avalon’s projections, this could reach as much as £12,147 by the year 2033.

Paying for your funeral in advance lets you beat these rising costs and make things easier for your loved ones at a difficult time.

Avalon’s Cremation Only plan is a direct cremation plan, ideal if you don’t want a funeral service. All additional 3rd party costs are guaranteed with the Cremation Only plan – that includes cremation fees and doctor’s fees. So no matter how much cremation fees increase between now and when the time comes, it’ll be covered by your plan.

Or, if you want a simple service with friends and family in attendance, Avalon’s Cremation with Service funeral plan lets you fix Funeral Director and cremation fees at today’s prices and guarantees to cover cremation fees when the time comes. That means your loved ones won’t be caught out by unexpected expenses. Call 0333 212 2522 now to find out more about the Cremation with Service plan.

Avalon’s Standard, Plus and Premium funeral plans include a £1,000 disbursements allowance, which can be used for third party costs such as the cremation fee, doctor’s fees and minister’s fees. And, to help protect against the effects of inflation this allowance increases every year in line with the Consumer Price Index at no additional cost.

To find out more, compare our funeral plans, or call 0333 212 2522 to speak to one of our friendly advisors.


About the author

With a Masters from the University of Bristol, Jessica Hanson has worked in the funeral sector for several years, following the latest industry trends and writing about end of life planning. Jessica has previously written as a blogger for the Huffington Post, covering topics such as death positivity, understanding grief and how funerals are changing. You can find Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.