Cremation fees rise by up to 56% over four years

05 Jun 2019 Cremation fees across the UK have risen by an average of 21% over a four year period compared with general inflation over the same period of just 6.3% according to Royal London.

Analysis of data, gathered from 267 locations in the UK over a four year period, shows cremation fees in Inverness, Scotland, saw the largest increase (56%) from £580 in 2014 to £904 in 2018. Bath in South West England had the second highest increase with cremation fees going up from £630 to £915, which is a rise of 45%. Eight of the 10 locations with the highest increase in cremation fees were public crematoriums, which reflects the budget pressures that local council are facing.

While almost all of the crematoriums increased their fees, Manchester North was the only location which saw a decline in fees, with the cost decreasing by 6% (£715 in 2014 to £674 in 2018). Glasgow North maintained their fees at £625 over the four years.

South West England was the region that saw the highest increase, with the average cremation fee rising by 24% over four years (£691 to £855), followed by the East of England which saw fees increasing by 23% (£686 to £843). In 2018 the South West and East of England regions also had the highest average cremation fees in the UK, with fees averaging £855 and £843 respectively. Northern Ireland had the lowest fees in 2018 at £380, with prices increasing by 9% over a four year period (£350 in 2014).

The latest Royal London National Funeral Cost Index shows that eight in 10 (79%) funerals were cremation funerals. Data gathered from the 289 crematorium locations across the UK reveals that all of the top 10 locations with the highest cremation fees in 2018 were by private crematoria.  The highest cremation fee was £1,070, which was charged by nine of the top 10 locations all of which are private crematoriums: Beckenham; Chichester; Northampton; Dundee; Nuneaton; Moray; Oxford; Leatherhead; and Crawley. Belfast in Northern Ireland had the lowest cremation fees at £380.

Commenting on the research Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral expert at Royal London, said:

“While private crematoria continue to have the highest cremation fees, we have seen public crematoria introducing much greater price increases. Local authorities raising burial and cremation fees is one of the factors contributing to high funeral costs. As councils continue to be squeezed by central Government budget cuts, increasing fees is a way to raise revenue and plug the shortfall in funding. But the rise in fees is also making funerals unaffordable and forcing bereaved families into debt.”

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