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UK’s funeral debt soars to almost £150m

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Rising funeral costs mean Brits collectively had to borrow almost £150m this year to give their loved ones a decent send off.

Analysis by insurer Royal London found funeral debt in the UK has gone up from £142m to £147m in the past 12 months with the average person borrowing £1,601 from friends and family or the bank to cover funeral costs.

According to Royal London, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is now £3,675.

But costs vary from region to region. A burial in Belfast, for example, costs £2,917 but £9,679 in Kensal Green in London, according to the Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management.

Cremation costs are significantly lower in comparison to burials, with Greenock in Scotland (£2,873) being the cheapest.


How to reduce costs

Nick Willcocks, co-ordinator at, said: “A growing number of people are struggling to meet funeral costs, but there are affordable options available across the UK, and with a little looking around it is possible to find firms that will meet your budget. We encourage individuals to speak to two or three firms directly, get a feel for them and then make a choice.”

“An increasing number of people are choosing to separate the cremation from the celebration of life and through direct cremation this invariably provides a more affordable but no less dignified alternative to a traditional, attended funeral.”

For more, see our How to cut the cost of a funeral guide