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The most expensive place to die

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Watford in Hertfordshire has topped the table as the most expensive place to die in the UK as bills are nearly 40% higher than the average.

The average funeral price (funeral director’s fees and cremation/burials) in Watford stands at £5,814, which is 37% more than the UK average of £4,241.

In second place is London with an average bill of £5,749 and Redhill in Surrey comes third with a typical cost of £5,352.

In just two years, funeral costs have risen a staggering 33%, up from the average price of £3,190 recorded in 2016.

According to funeral comparison site Beyond, the price hike is fuelled by big players in the market who have raised their fees by more than £500 in the past two years.

In comparison, independent funeral directors, which represent around a third of the market, have dropped their fees in the past 12 months.

Funerals in Guildford, Liverpool and Brighton all cost more than £5,000 on average, and Newport is the most expensive place to die in Wales at £5,149. By contrast, Cardiff ranks 75th at an average cost of £3,812.

In Scotland, Aberdeen ranks as costliest, with an average funeral coming in at £4,942 – the next priciest Scottish cities are Perth (£4,586, 25th), Inverness (£4,495, 32nd) and Motherwell (£4,245, 53rd).

‘Death is big business’

James Dunn, co-founder of Beyond, said: “It looks like a football league but this is one table you don’t want to be topping.

“A lack of transparency in the funeral market is what’s fuelling price rises, particularly among the big chains.

“Death means big business, with half a million Brits dying every year, but a disinclination to shop around is resulting in mourners, who are often vulnerable, paying over the odds.”

Related: See’s Government to introduce changes to funeral payments in April and Prepaid funerals: what you need to consider for more information.