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Direct Cremation

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 or friends 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 effect way to say goodbye to a loved one. There typically is no official service, which means the crematorium 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. Alot of families opt for a direct cremation and then arrange a celebration with the ashes at a time to suit them or during a scattering of ashes celebration.

Rising Trend of Direct Cremation

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 alot 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.

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

Co op Funeral Care

Co op tend 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.

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 a direct cremation alot 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.

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 reduces to  £1,230 for Scottish residents.

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