The average cost of a traditional funeral in 2019 was £4,000.
Direct cremations are rising in popularity across the UK as families ditch expensive send-offs and choose a more affordable, no-frills funeral instead.
More Britons are looking for cheaper alternatives to traditional funerals, with the average cost exceeding £4,000 last year, according to SunLife’s most recent cost of dying report.
A direct cremation is a simple option where the deceased is cremated without a funeral service or ceremony. They are increasing in popularity in the UK and made up 14 per cent of all funerals last year, compared to just three per cent in 2019.
It is unclear how the coronavirus pandemic contributed to the increase in direct cremations, but lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, especially during much of last year, meant limited numbers of people could attend funeral services and this may be an integral reason for the rise.
Funeral experts also point towards a greater emphasis on affordability, along with increased attention due to public figures such as David Bowie, who was given a direct cremation after his death in 2016 and fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld, in 2019.
Low Cost Funeral, one of the largest funeral companies in the UK, has seen a 560 per cent increase in direct cremations since 2017, including a 56 per cent rise from 2019 to 2020.
The company’s CEO Howard Hodgson said: “There is no doubt that there is considerably more choice today when it comes to choosing the right funeral for yourself or a loved one.
“There are a range of factors to take into consideration, such as price and style, but there are many ways to arrange a funeral that is personal and memorable.
“Direct cremations have gone from barely being on the radar of many people to becoming an increasingly popular and affordable choice for a fitting send-off.
“The traditional Victorian funeral can cost thousands of pounds and people are increasingly looking for options to suit all budgets.
“I think direct cremations will continue to rise in popularity and it will become more firmly established as an affordable and viable alternative to more traditional funerals.”
What is a direct cremation and how much does it cost?
Low Cost Funeral’s £950 direct cremation package includes the provision of a standard coffin, the collection of the deceased in a suitable vehicle, transfer to the crematorium and all cremation fees.
The body is then cremated and the ashes are either returned to the bereaved family or scattered in the crematorium’s Garden of Remembrance.
For more information about direct cremations, visit www.low-cost-funeral.co.uk.