New research by Direct Cremation by Harbour shows that cremation costs are very different across the country and that the price people are expected to pay is often based solely on location.

The average cost of cremation in the UK is £3,885 but with cremation fees rising faster than inflation, the average cost of a funeral is expected to be over £5000 by 2030.

Yet some people are paying more than others, depending on the area in which their loved ones are cremated. It is often unrelated to the cost of living or affluence of the area either. For instance, it costs an average of £317 more to be cremated in East London than it does in West London.

So why are costs so variable? The main reason is lack of competition. The UK’s 300 crematoria set their own prices and can charge what they like. Planning restrictions make it almost impossible to build near existing crematoria to compete, so there is no incentive for crematoria to lower their prices.

To add to the inequity, throughout the pandemic people are often paying increased prices for a shorter memorial service and fewer guests, which means they are effectively paying more for less. Some venues allow only a maximum of 20 minutes for the service, including the time it takes for mourners to arrive and leave the room.

It is therefore not surprising that people are increasingly seeking alternatives to a traditional cremation funeral. And it’s not just about the cost: more people are looking for a less formal, less religious funeral or a more personal and individual funeral.

Direct cremation services versus a traditional funeral 

Direct Cremations now account for one in 14 funerals. These offer an average saving of around £2,900 and are a more flexible alternative to a traditional funeral, allowing people to celebrate their loved ones lives in their own way.

Steven Cains, founder of Direct Cremation by Harbour, says, “Currently crematoria have a captive market and can charge what they like. As people become disillusioned with expensive and hurried traditional funeral services, we expect the popularity of a more flexible and fairly-priced service like direct cremation to continue to rise.”

Memorial service: About Direct Cremation by Harbour

Direct cremation by Harbour separates the cremation process from the attended service. The cremation happens quickly and they can personally deliver the ashes anywhere in the country. Friends and family can then hold a service or memorial event at a time and place of their choosing.  The company is committed to affordability and fair pricing. Prices start from £895.

For more information contact Direct Cremation by Harbour on 0800 133 7961 or send an email to You can visit the website at: