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Direct Cremation Services | Everything You Need to Know

The demand for cheaper funeral services is growing as more people shy away from expensive and lavish burial services. Direct cremations are at the forefront of filling this gap.
Author: thadues

Last Updated: April 22, 2020

Death is often unexpected and greatly affects those left behind. And while you are still mourning the loss of a loved one, you have to plan a funeral to say your goodbyes.

Indeed it is a trying time, and we would never wish it on anyone. Luckily, you can do something to lighten the load on your loved ones when the time comes. Instead of planning a costly and time-consuming funeral, opt for direct cremation. It will provide them with the chance to mourn and later give you a fitting send-off without the pressures that come with planning regular funerals.

What does direct cremation UK entail? What companies offer the best direct cremation services? In this guide, we shall answer these questions and more.

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    Note: According to SunLife insurer, the cost of direct cremations in the UK reduced by almost 7% last year. Also, there is a growing appetite for this type of service once people understand its convenience.

    Direct Cremation Service Providers UK for 2020

    1. Pure Cremation - Best for Cremation Efficiency

    When it comes to direct cremation, few companies do it better than Pure Cremation. This is because they have taken the liberty of specialising in this form of funeral service, in fact, they are well known for having their own crematorium. So when it comes to direct cremation, whether simple or complex; Pure Cremation is the company of choice for many.

    Since it opened its doors in 2016, the company has continued to provide top-notch direct cremation funeral services in the UK and saved people lots of money. The firm assures its clients of a dignified direct cremation, and at the same time offering them value for money without compromising on the standards of care.

    This company has indeed set high standards when it comes to this niche industry. This aspect is evidenced by the enormous investments in qualified staff, equipment, systems, and a pristine location to give you all the privacy you may need.

    • Ashes can be hand-delivered to a family if requested at no extra cost.
    • They specialize in direct cremation and have experienced funeral directors under their wing.
    • The collection of the body is available all over England and Wales at no extra cost.
    • The cost of direct cremation increases significantly as special cremation requests are made.
    • Cremation is limited to certain facilities in their network.

    2. Simplicity Cremations - Best for Budget Pricing

    Very few companies can beat Simplicity Cremations when it comes to reasonable pricing in the industry. They are one of the most pocket-friendly funeral service providers in the UK. In addition to this; they deliver quality services.

    As a subsidiary of the enterprise Dignity Group, the firm is regulated by and registered by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). This assures you that they will adhere to the strict code of practice, which means they will provide quality services for you or your loved one.

    In addition to being one of the leading funeral planning companies in the UK, Dignity has brought together more than 1,200 private funeral directors, making it the single largest operator of crematoriums. Furthermore, due to excellent service, the business has recieved several awards, including “The Best Direct Cremation Service Provider” in 2018.

    • Guarantees provision of all services provided in the plan
    • Provides access to more than 46 crematoriums all over the UK
    • Provides transportation 24 hours a day from anywhere in the UK
    • Special cremation requests can increase direct cremation costs
    • Sometimes, hidden charges may apply in the 'what's not included section

    3. Co-op Funeral Care - Best for Tailor-made Cremations

    This funeral care boasts of being one of the largest funeral directors in the UK. Also, they are one of the most well-known, in addition to being one of the oldest in the industry. This company is the only one that guarantees cremations as well as funeral costs.

    The Co-op provides funeral plans that are tailor-made to individual requirements and tastes. For instance, their plans include simple plans, bronze, silver, and gold classes of service. Also, the funeral care is registered by the FPA hence guaranteeing you of quality service.

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    • Any person can use Co-op plans above the age of 18
    • Burial and cremation services are a guarantee
    • The plans are adjustable and can include joint names at zero extra costs
    • You can only use a Co-op funeral director
    • Once you choose a prepaid plan, you lose the flexibility of making changes

    What is the Process of Direct Cremation in the UK?

    Simply put, direct cremation UK involves cremation without a funeral. Your loved one is collected, and the cremation is completed without any witnesses unless previously requested and arranged. Also, the ashes are returned in an urn. The process of cremation involves using high temperatures between 1,500 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit to transform a body into ashes. Having a simple cremation means the cremation cost is kept pretty low.

    Whether they are simple cremations or more complicated, many crematoriums require you to provide a vessel for the body. This container could either be rigid cardboard or a casket. It’s crucial to note that after the cremation, the remains sometimes blend with the fragments of the container.

    Steps Taken in Direct Cremation:

    • Identification of the deceased and seeking the appropriate authorization.
    • Preparation of the body for cremating.
    • The body is taken to the cremation chamber or retort.
    • After cremation, the ashes are then transferred to a vessel or placed in an urn that is provided by the kinfolk.

    What are the Costs of Direct Cremation in the UK?

    Whether you are planning an elaborate or straightforward cremation, you will find direct cremations to be among the most affordable in comparison to a typical funeral. In fact, the average cost of a direct cremation can be up to £2,000 less than normal cremation.

    Direct cremation goes for approximately £1,500 in the UK. With this amount, most service providers will not provide a limousine, procession, or funeral service. With that in mind, you will need to see what your funeral care company offer within the price and what will be charged as an optional extra.

    When checking direct cremation companies, consider the following factors:-

    • Cost of cremation
    • Transportation and collection of the body
    • Coffin or container provision
    • Doctors’ fees are usually an added cost
    • Find out if there is an extra charge for bariatric care or mileage fees

    Remember, the simpler the cremation is, the cheaper it is. For instance, for around £900, you can get a package that includes doctor’s fees, an unattended funeral, cremation fees, as well as care and transference of your beloved one to the crematorium.

    If you have special requests, you will pay extra for the cremation. For example, if you would like the body of your loved one brought in earlier than the cremation day for additional care, then be prepared to pay extra for the service.

    Direct Cremation Prepaid Plans

    A direct cremation prepaid plan is merely arranging the cremation with the provider of your choice in advance. Think of it as a contract between you and your service provider. The plan notifies them to organise a direct cremation for you when the time comes.

    What does a Prepaid Plan Include?

    The contents of the plan vary from one service provider to another. For you to get the best-prepaid plan, you need to conduct your research. Otherwise, your loved ones may have to handle the bills and expenses if there are hidden costs.

    Why Should you take a Prepaid Plan?

    The main benefit of taking a direct cremation plan is that it cushions you and your loved ones from tomorrow’s inflation by freezing today’s prices. This means you won’t pay a penny more for services you will need in the future.

    These are the other reasons why taking a prepaid plan is a viable option.

    • Take the plan you want: pre-arrangement helps you focus on essential elements of the cremation and, at the same time, ensures the service proceeds following your desires.
    • It helps with cushioning your family from the financial burden when the time comes: funerals can be expensive. Coupled with the fact that you need to pay the costs at least 28 days before the funeral means that your family will experience financial pressure as they mourn your loss. Getting a prepaid plan eliminates the risk of such financial burdens.
    • Prevents your kin from stressful arrangements and planning: wouldn’t you want to save your family from the stress and emotions that come with planning intricate funerals?
    • Your savings may not be enough: Most people put away some savings in the hope that it may be enough to cover all the funeral expenses. Unfortunately, it’s not a guarantee that the money will cover all the costs but a prepaid plan eliminates this.
    • A different celebration: Some people dislike the aspect of attending funerals and would not want their family to go through the same.


    About 70% of families in the UK cremate their loved ones, but until you are part of such a process, it may be a little confusing, if not daunting. However, with early arrangements, the process works out smoothly.

    Choosing a funeral provider is quite easy. Going for direct cremation requires that you do proper research before settling on any particular funeral provider. In that regard, highly specialised firms have the upper hand as they have invested significantly in equipment as well as experts. Luckily, not all of them are expensive, so you can get one within a reasonable budget. Moreover, you can even plan prior by going for a prepaid funeral plan.


    Do all religions permit cremations?

    Most of the religions in the world do. Nowadays, even Canon law permits Roman Catholics to cremate their loved ones. Some Muslim, Jewish, and Greek faiths forbid cremation.

    Is having a casket a must during cremation?

    Having a casket is never a requirement during cremation. Although most crematoriums will require you to enclose the body in a rigid combustible container. In case you don't have, the majority of funeral services can provide you with an inexpensive cremation vessel.

    Is it a must to have an urn?

    Although some funeral service providers may urge you to get a decorative urn for the ashes, it is not a must. In fact, you can simply make use of a simple container when the ashes are delivered to your doorstep

    What do I do with the remains?

    Your choices are endless. You can decide to bury, scatter, or even keep the remains within the family.

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    Thadeus Geodfrey has been a contract writer for Lernbonds since 2019. As a fulltime investment writer, Thadeus oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on this site. With a background as an iGaming expert and independent financial consultant, Thadeus’s articles are based on years of experience from all angles of the financial world.