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Direct Cremation Service

What is  Direct Cremation?

Direct Cremation is an affordable way to cremate a body which does not include a funeral service and the cremation is not attended by family, friends or visitors which means costs are cheaper.

No Funeral, Just Cremation

The recent rise in costs of cremation has given rise to this new trend of simple cremations as a cost effective way to say goodbye to a loved one. There typically is no official service, which means the crematorium/crematory can perform the cremation at a less busy time. This also means no family or friends are in attendance during the cremation with the ashes being delivered to the family after the cremation, making it a cheap funeral to arrange

This doesn’t stop you holding your own celebration after (or before) the cremation. A lot of families opt for direct cremation and then arrange a celebration with the ashes at a time to suit them or during the scattering of ashes celebration.

Rising Trend of Direct Cremation

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How to Arrange a Direct Cremation

Arranging a funeral of any kind is a horrible task, we have attempted to answer all questions and guide you through the process below, if you have any more questions, please contact us.

If you are considering this option, my first point would be to tell your funeral director, if you are using one, asap so they know. Some companies do not offer this service so its best to be upfront as early as possible.

How Much Does a Direct Cremation Cost?

The cost will be between £1200-£1500 in the UK.

Direct cremations are a lot cheaper due to the fact that bodies tend to be cremated quite quickly after death, cutting down storage costs. The service is conducted during quiet times to escape premium fees. Typically a low-cost coffin is used and because there is no wake, embalming is also not required.

direct cremation

Companies Offering Direct Cremation

Below I have listed the 4 most popular companies who offer a direct cremation service in the UK along with their prices. Using these companies will mean you do not need a funeral director.

Please note I have no previous experience with any of these companies, we are not responsible for any of their services.

Service Co-Op Simplicity Memoria Pure
Cost £1,395 £1,095 £1,395 £1,095 £1,195 £1,195
Deceased Collection YES YES* YES YES YES YES
Collection from Private Residence YES NO YES NO £240 £250
Collection Out of Hours YES £150 £150 NO YES YES
Care & Preparation of Deceased YES £250 YES YES YES YES
Unattended Cremation YES YES YES YES YES YES
Attended Cremation NO £250 £250 NO NO £200
Can You Choose Crematorium NO NO NO NO NO NO
Supply Urn NO £50 £50 NO NO NO
Ashes Delivered £95 £75 YES YES YES YES

Cheapest Direct Cremation Service

There are a number of different services in the UK offering a low-cost alternative to traditional cremations. Usually, you will be able to find a local operator in your area and this will oftentimes be cheaper than going for a well know brand such as the cooperative. Our advice would be to contact a couple of your local funeral directors and ask exactly how much they charge for this service and refer them to one of the nationwide services to ask how they stack up.
Alternatively, please fill in the below form, click send and we will be in touch with a recommend, authorised provider in your area – all included in our service.

Co-op Funeral Care

Co-op tends to be the most popular choice due to their huge presence in the UK. Their costs are comparable to the other services with the major difference being that it seems they do not offer the choice of an attended cremation.

It is worth noting the additional charges for a collection from a residential address (home address, nursing/care home, funeral directors) of most of the providers in the above table.
If you require an urn, your provider should be able to help alternatively, we can arrange to deliver one of our cremation urns to the crematorium in time for the service for you – please contact us for more information.

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Direct Cremation Vs Traditional

What is the difference between a direct cremation and traditional cremation?

I first want to say that I am neither for or against direct cremation, the info below is just an outline of what you can expect for each. Each service is 100% dependant on the family and your choice/religion.


When someone dies, the traditional route to take is you will call your funeral director who will handle most of the process. The funeral director will:

  1. Come and collect the deceased
  2. Handle the care and preparation of the body
  3. Consult you on your preference of funeral service and cremation service (flowers, cars, times, location, coffin, urn)
  4. Handle all of the paperwork and legal documentation for you
  5. Arrange for the collection of the ashes and return them to you
  6. Help arrange after funeral options (burying ashes, scattering ideas/celebrations, purchase of headstones etc)
  7. Be available if you have any questions and to help support you


With direct cremation, a lot of this is skipped or handled by the company you appoint. You provide the company with the information of the deceased and they will:

  1. Collect the body and arrange the care
  2. Arrange all paperwork and legal documents
  3. Arrange a no frill cremation at a time and place to suit them
  4. They will deliver the ashes back to you at a designated time (extra costs might be applicable here)
    * additional aspects to the service can be paid for including attending the cremation and delivery of the ashes to you

AVERAGE COST – £3,312.43


Scattering Ashes

If you plan a direct cremation then you will be left with the ashes and must decide what to do. Options include, scattering them at the crematorium garden of remembrance, placing them within an urn for ashes to be kept or buried or scatter the ashes, we have provided some extra ideas for scattering ashes in our resource.

cremation urn

Direct Cremations in Scotland

Costs are cheaper in Scotland due to slightly different rules for doctors notes.
Co-op, Simplicity & Memoria all offer direct cremation in Scotland as will most local funeral directors.
Co-op direct funeral costs reduce to  £1,230 for Scottish residents.

What are direct funerals?

A direct funeral, much like direct cremations are a type of low cost funeral that looks to reduce the cost by removing the service and other non-essential elements from the funeral session. They are popular with people who may have limited money or those that simply have specifically requested to have a very basic ceremony.
This may include a direct burial whereby the body is taken straight from the funeral home to the place of burial. At the very basic end, there will be no one present and the funeral director will choose a time to suit all parties in a bid to keep the costs as low as possible.
Direct funerals do tend to be more expensive than cremations mainly due to the cost of the land which is required for burial and the added job of arranging the grave to be prepared.

direct burial coffin

Life insurance & funeral insurance plans

Often times life insurance policies can be bought with the provision of including a payout that goes towards a funeral, you will need to check with individual companies to check their options.
Alternatively, you can purchase a dedicated prepaid funeral plan from a variety of different companies. Options range from including aspects of equity release so your estate can help cover the costs through to straight cash lump sums so that you do not need to worry about the cost of your send-off when the tie does come.
We would always recommend you take time to compare each prepaid funeral plan provider and weigh up the resources, where there is money at stake, you will always run into companies who do not operate with the best intentions at heart. Companies life Sunlife, co-op and DignityFunerals are the authority companies in the market, you can be sure they are regulated and comply with the strict financial conduct authority, so look at reviews and go with the one you feel most comfortable with. Remember, you are under no obligation to sign up to any of them, take your time and consider every option – it also might be advisable to discuss the choice with a registered solicitor.
Bereavement support is available in some instances, it is worth reading the options offered by the government 

FAQ & Guides

Can You Be Cremated Without a Coffin?
Yes, the alternative is a shroud. The body must be covered or enclosed in one of these items

Do the Coffins get Cremated too? 
Yes. This is another reason why the cost of a direct cremation can be a lot less, there is no need for a fancy coffin. Most direct services use cardboard coffins or bamboo shrouds to keep costs low

Do the Clothes Stay On During the Process?
Yes. The body is usually cremated in the state it was before death.

What Fees Do I need to Pay?
This will depend on the service provider you go with, but the below fees are applicable when arranging a cremation

  • Doctors Fees
  • Cremation Fee

Other fees might include the collection of the body from a private place or an additional fee if the death was unexplained or an accident due to the coroner needing to be involved.

Further Reading

Step by Step Cremation Process

The Cost of Cremation

Cremation statistics in the UK

Water Cremation, the new norm.

Cremation vs Burial Comparison