In detail: Scotland’s surging funeral costs

Funeral costs across the country can vary by more than �4,000, the report said. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Funeral costs across the country can vary by more than �4,000, the report said. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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The average cost of a basic funeral has leapt by £140 in the space of a year, a report has found.

Across the UK, the typical cost is now £3,702, marking a 3.9 per cent increase compared with 2014, when the average cost was £3,562, according to Royal London.

A basic funeral would include a coffin, a hearse and a simple, no-frills service but it would not include expenses such as flowers, venue hire and limousine hire.

Cremation costs have increased at a faster rate than burials since 2014, the pension and investment company said. The average cremation cost has increased by 4.2 per cent to £3,294, while the typical burial cost has increased by 3.7 per cent to reach £4,110.

Funeral costs across the country can vary by more than £4,000, the report said, ranging from £2,976 for a cremation in Greenock to £7,216 for a burial in Beckenham in Kent.

The report found that funeral costs in Wales have increased particularly steeply over the last year, by 5.2 per cent, while costs in Scotland have increased by 2.4 per cent and those in Northern Ireland have seen a 1.9 per cent increase.

Within England, costs increased particularly sharply in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside, which both saw increases of more than 4 per cent.

A survey of 2,000 people for the report found that one in seven people (13 per cent) struggle to pay for a funeral and the typical debt left for those who find it hard to cover the costs is £1,318.

Royal London’s research also found that when it comes to their own funeral, more than one in three (36 per cent) people would prefer their families to spend as little as possible. Just 3 per cent of people surveyed said they wanted “a good send off with all the frills”.

Simon Cox, a funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: “Our study shows people are striving to meet funeral price hikes, which they have little control over. Given the stressful situation, shopping around for a funeral is often not an option.”

The report used various sources, including two consumer surveys and data from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and website yourfuneralchoice.com.

Here are the average costs of funeral across the UK regions, according to Royal London:

London: £4,402

West Midlands: £3,903

Yorkshire and Humberside: £3,716

East of England: £3,668

South East England: £3,654

North West England: £3,651

North East England: £3,624

East Midlands: £3,540

South West England: £3,536

Wales: £3,461

SCOTLAND: £3,481

Northern Ireland: £3,008

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