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Cheap Funeral Plans Compared: 5 Low-Cost Options in The UK

If you are looking for cheap funeral plans in the UK, we suggest 5 lockdown-appropriate low-cost funeral plans. With no end in sight to social distancing, and the need to shield the elderly and vulnerable from Coronavirus, cheap prepaid funeral plans make more sense than ever before.
Pavel Pudakov
Author: Pavel Pudakov

Last Updated: May 6, 2020
Cheap funeral plans UK
Cheap funeral plans UK

Coronavirus appropriate funerals will be with us until we get a real solution to the pandemic. There’s little sense for many people spending huge amounts of money on elaborate funerals that few will be able to attend, with extras and ceremonies that won’t work properly due to social distancing and which the elderly or vulnerable should not be in attendance. Add to that, we may have rough economic waters coming soon.

That’s why this article covers the subject of Cheap Funeral Plans in the UK.  Cheap does not have to mean poor quality. We have selected five good quality affordable funeral plans. We look at what those plans cover, the upfront costs (and any extras), some affordable pre-paid plans options and some reliable recommended service providers. The article provides the answers you need to the common questions that people are now seeking when searching for cheap funeral plans.

Table of Contents

    Avalon - Best UK Funeral Plan

    Our Rating

    Avalon Funeral Plans
    • Cremation options available with and without funeral service
    • Coverage starts after one year of payments
    • No restrictions on date and time of service
    Avalon Funeral Plans


    Cheap Funeral Plans that Work in Lockdown

    It’s pretty clear that many aspects of how we live our lives are going to change as a result of the Pandemic and way we choose to live our lives is going to change too once it’s is over. The elaborate funerals of the past really don’t make sense to many people anymore and might not come back for years.

    A cortege and procession beforehand can’t happen for now and there isn’t any point in an elaborate ceremony that few can attend, nor a wake. Put that all together and without the attendance of any mourners, a lot of funeral extras, whether cremation or burial, aren’t appropriate right now for many people.

    Not everyone planning a funeral in ‘normal’ times wants a full-service funeral anyway and many do not see the value in traditional ceremonies with hearses and pallbearers. Many deem it better to use the money more constructively like bequeathing it to relatives or friends or donating to charity, especially as there are many deserving causes that are crying out for donations. What’s more, some people simply don’t want the fuss and would rather hold a celebratory event instead.

    So, whatever your reasons, and there are many, cheap funeral plans and especially cheap prepaid funeral plans never made more sense.

    Of course, some people worry that if you go too cheap the quality of service will be poor. That’s why when you select a budget funeral you need to choose a reputable and dependable provider.

    Best Affordable Funeral Plans in 2020

    We have chosen 5 quality providers of cheap UK funerals. Some offer good and cheap prepaid funeral plans, which generally are the best value for money.  Choose any one of these providers of affordable UK funeral services and you won’t be let down:

    1. Coop Funeralcare - Well-Deserved Reputation for Quality

    The Coop is a leader in funeral services and has a long and well-deserved reputation for quality. Unlike most funeral providers, the Coop is not geared simply to bottom-line profit maximisation. They are, as their name suggests, a Cooperative; this is the first score in their favour, as it helps keep prices down and aligns with their whole ethos, which is to provide a service to the community.

    The second score in their proposition is that they have a totally standardised and quality-controlled set of packages. This means wherever you go, you know exactly what you will get. This includes bereavement and ceremony advice, which can be very helpful indeed to the friends and family who are responsible for carrying out your wishes.

    The third point in their favour relates directly to the second, that they cover the whole country. This is important if you move after taking out a pre-paid plan, as you plan moves with you.

    We like their 'Simple' plan which is based on cremation and includes a simple coffin, which is really all you need for a lightly attended or unattended cremation, and a very low-key ceremony with either no attendees or a few people. You can either pre-pay £3,295 in full or choose pay in instalments, from £21 per month. If you take the monthly payment option, and you die before it is fully paid, the Coop will still perform the services.

    There are some restricted dates and times of day for visiting the chapel of rest and the funeral, but considering the current Government Covid-19 policy, this may not be an issue in any case.

    Our Rating

    • Cremation and Burial: No extra fees associated with either type of funeral
    • Quick Coverage: Funeral plans take effect after 12 monthly payments
    • Expanded Body Collection: No charges for body collection up to 50 miles
    • No Disbursement: There’s no disbursement to cover extra services your family desire

    2. Simplicity - Affordable Cremation Funeral Plans

    As their name suggests, Simplicity Cremations are specialists in no-fuss, low-cost funerals. They cover most of the country and like the Coop, if you buy a pre-paid plan and you subsequently move home, your plan moves with you. Simplicity also has a standardised and quality-controlled offering. What sets them apart is their very low-cost starting point, which is for an unattended cremation for slightly under £1,000. In practice, this is a headline price and the option we would suggest is the Lily plan, which starts at £1,495 in full or £ 17 per month.

    For that, you get the collection and transportation of the deceased to their mortuary facilities and a direct cremation in a simple wood effect coffin. You also get the return of the ashes and a certain amount of telephone support. We recommend the prepaid option, first because it works out more affordable and secondly because if you die with the monthly instalments unfinished, then a friend or family member will have to organise and pay for the remainder.

    Simplicity also has two slightly higher-level standardised plans if you want a short funeral for up to 12 people with the Magnolia plan at £1,795 or £ 20 per month or a more elaborate funeral with the Orchid plan at £2,295 or £ 25 per month. All offer good value for money.

    • A highly reputable company with a guaranteed level of service across the country
    • You know what you will get as the various plans are standardised
    • Ideal if you want no fuss
    • If you do want something elaborate, there are better alternatives
    • No disbursement

    3. Dignity - One Of The Largest Networks Of Funeral Directors

    Dignity is another large and well thought of provider of affordable funerals, although they also cater to much more expensive requirements. They have over 800 locations across the UK and offer 4 prepaid funeral plans.

    Their base Limited Funeral Plan is £2,995.00 for a simple cremation; you get collection and transportation of the deceased, care and preparation of the deceased, a basic coffin viewing of the deceased in a private chapel, and a hearse with a procession.

    Some restrictions apply to the location, day and time of the funeral and it’s not possible to make a contribution towards any extra or special requests so we recommend you could also consider the next plan up which is the Amber Plan which costs a little more at £3,395 or £23.05 per month.

    This Amber package is the top end of low-cost funerals; you get a comprehensive service which allows burial as well as cremation plus a traditional set of trappings including a full hearse and funeral procession to the crematorium or burial site.

    In both cases, if you move, then the plan moves with you.

    Not everyone realises that the charity Age UK (now Age Co UK) offer funeral plans, along with all their other products and services, which they do via a subsidiary of Dignity. Age Co UK plans are essentially rebadged versions of those from Dignity, the difference being that some of that profit will go to charity.

    • All plans include a £1,220 disbursement for burial
    • National network of more than 1,200 funeral directors available
    • Your plan is fully honoured if you die before paying in full
    • Medical certification fees are not covered by Dignity funeral plans
    • Your family does not get to select a specific funeral director
    • Limited Plan restricts the date and time of your funeral

    4. Pure Cremations - Affordable And Hassle-Free Service

    Moving back very firmly into cheap funeral plans, Pure Cremations offer an unattended cremation funeral service with a headline price of £1,195 across almost all the UK. Pure Cremation make the very sensible point to some that there are many ways of celebrating someone’s life without an expensive funeral. So, with Pure Cremation, there is no funeral service at all. What you get is the deceased moved to their central facility, a pine ‘eco-coffin’ and an ashes container with identity disc.

    It’s an affordable, dignified and hassle-free service with ‘no frills’. We recommend it if you really are looking for straightforward cheap prepaid funeral plans.

    • Elaborate network of crematoriums across England, Wales and Scotland
    • If price changes with time, the premiums don't increase during your plan
    • All plans cover doctor's fees
    • The cremation happens in specific crematoriums affiliated with the company
    • The cremation cost increases with special requests funeral requests

    5. Golden Charter - Best for Local Funeral Services

    If big companies are not your thing, then another route to consider is Golden Charter.

    A funeral plan with Golden Charter is a service provided and owned by local, independent funeral directors which is around 3,000 local funeral directors at present.

    Unlike Co-op, Simplicity Cremations, Dignity/Age Co or Pure Cremation, you can use your local providers, which will appeal to some. On the other hand, you don’t get a standardised (or homogeneous) product although you get something pretty close with the four pre-created packages offered: Value, Standard, Select and Premier.

    Since in the article we are focusing on cheap funeral plans, we’d recommend you take a look at the Value package, which is a very reasonable £2,895 or £13.59 per month. However it gets a bit complicated as there is an £800 cap on fees to third parties, which includes the burial fees or cremation fees, so depending on where the service is done, how it is done and who is doing it, you might be fully covered or you might not.

    That said it’s a good package on offer as you get support arranging logistics, collection and transportation of the deceased to a Golden Charter local funeral director’s premises, but only within a 25-mile radius and during working hours.

    You also get use of a chapel of rest or service rooms, family viewing, a basic coffin and the funeral service at either a local cemetery or a local crematorium.

    So, if there is, for example, a local independent funeral director who you has been recommended to you then Golden Charter is well worth considering for a cheap funeral plan.

    Our Rating

    • Huge Network: More than 3,000 funeral directors around the UK
    • Disbursement Included: £800 or more to cover additional funeral costs
    • Installment Payments: Full coverage after 24 monthly payments
    • Funeral Restrictions: Value plan only allows a weekday funeral
    • Limited Body Collection: Only within a 25-mile radius and only during business hours

    Conclusion – Five Different Options for Cheap Funeral Plans in the UK

    So, we have looked at five quite different low-cost funeral services; each with something unique about it. The Coop offer quality control across the whole UK on a cooperative basisand Simplicity Cremations offer a hassle-free experience for those who don’t want a fuss. Dignity offers some higher-end affordable funerals which you can also buy via a charity. Pure Cremation offers a no-frills product that is real value for money whilst Dignity offers local funerals with an independent’s touch.

    Avalon - Best UK Funeral Plan

    Our Rating

    Avalon Funeral Plans
    • Cremation options available with and without funeral service
    • Coverage starts after one year of payments
    • No restrictions on date and time of service
    Avalon Funeral Plans


    What’re the real advantages of buying in advance with a lump sum?

    In a nutshell, it is peace of mind. With a lump sum, there’s nothing for you to worry about and you don’t have to worry about your friends or family being gouged by a less than scrupulous funeral director just at a time when they are upset. What’s more, they might be struggling for cash anyway – we live in uncertain times – so prepaying with a lump sum avoids them having to borrow a fairly hefty amount of money if they are already at a time of need. They really don’t deserve that, in many people’s view. What’s more, if you do the sums it’s generally the case that you will save money by a lump sum, rather than with payments. Finally – you might run into unexpected money troubles down the line and the last thing you want is to have funeral plan repayments to worry about.

    What about monthly plans that pay out anyway?

    Yes a few providers – like the Coop – will guarantee up to a point if you die before making the monthly payments. But this is generally the exception. So, if you can afford the lump sum now, a pre-paid funeral plan will help cash flow problems for you and also your family in bereavement. Also, note that prepaid plans are exempt from the Inland Revenue hitting your beneficiaries for inheritance tax. Finally, there’s another wrinkle that If you put money in a savings account to pay the plan later, your local council might not like that account if you're being assessed for help towards care costs.

    What about the issue of moving?

    Funeral costs can vary between parts of the country, so if you choose a prepaid plan in a cheaper area but later you move to an expensive one – you win.

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    Pavel Pudakov

    Pavel is a VPN expert and online privacy evangelist. He holds an MBA in Marketing and has been in Cyber Security for a number of years. With a passion for Digital Marketing & content optimisation, he currently oversees VPN, Antivirus and Password Protector fields for Finixio.