Funeral Plan Types Compared  

How many funeral plan types are there?

There are five types of funeral plan.  

All funeral plans include the cost of the funeral director’s services.  A funeral plan may also include the third-party fees for cremation or burial. 

Take a look below to see which plan type is right for you.

Which type of prepaid funeral plan is right for me?

There are five types of funeral plan, catering for all preferences and budgets.  

The types range from the lowest-cost, no frills direct cremation service with no funeral ceremony and no family and friends present, to the 'bells and whistles' type of funeral that has all the ceremonial extras and no restriction on the number of people who can attend. There's an eco-friendly option for most funeral plan types too.

Explore your options through these simple guides.

What each funeral plan type includes

  • KEY
  • Included as standard in this plan type
  • Included in some plans of this type
  • Not included in this plan type
third-party fees

Third-party Cremation or Burial Fees

Cremation only

Cremation only

Before the funeral

BEFORE the funeral


Funeral arrangements made

The funeral provider will liaise with all third-parties (e.g. crematorium and doctors) and handle all paperwork.

Bringing you into care

You will be collected and cared for at the funeral home or some other suitable resting place until the funeral. 

Embalming (optional)

Embalming restores a life-like appearance.  This can be helpful if loved ones plan to visit before the funeral. Embalming isn't always necessary. The funeral director will advise.  If required, this treatment can be purchased at the time of the funeral.

Chapel of Rest visit (optional)

Loved ones have the option to visit the Chapel of Rest or some other service room in private, before the funeral.


Personalise your funeral plan with requests that don't incur an additional fee, e.g. choice of music. The funeral director will do their best to accommodate your requests when the funeral is needed.

Option to pay for special requests

Pay a contribution towards services that aren't included in your plan, e.g.  a different coffin, an additional family car, upgrade to a horse-drawn hearse, or third-party cremation or burial fees top-up.

on the day of the funeral



Choice of date and time

Your personal representative will be able to choose the day and time of the funeral.

Funeral ceremony for family and friends to attend

There will be no restriction on the number of people that can attend the funeral ceremony.

Up to 12 people can attend the committal


Basic  |  Standard  |  High Quality



Basic or Standard

Basic or Standard

Basic to High Quality


Hearse:  Traditional  |  Suitable vehicle

Suitable vehicle

Suitable vehicle

Traditional hears

Traditional hearse

Traditional hearse

Choice of procession route

You can choose which route the funeral cars take on the way to the place of service.  The only limitation is the mileage allowance included in the Plan.

All funeral staff needed on the day

Chauffeur-driven family cars

Family car typically seats six passengers.



Mileage allowance

Can be 25 miles, but most plans offer unlimited.


Typically 30 - 50 miles,  but can be  unlimited.

Typically 30 - 50 miles,  but can be  unlimited.

Typically 30 - 50 miles,  but can be  unlimited.

Listing of floral tributes 

After the funeral

AFTER the funeral


Administering charitable donations

The funeral provider will collect and distribute donations on your behalf.

Supply of 'Thank you' cards

Bereavement support for your family

Support will be provided either by the funeral staff, through a bereavement support group, or grief counselling specialist.

Return of cremated remains at no additional cost


What funeral plans don't include

It’s important to be aware of the things that aren’t commonly included in a funeral plan so that you can make financial provision for them if you want to, either as a contribution* amount in your funeral plan (if allowed) or by some other means, such as a savings account.

     Conducting the funeral outside normal workday and working hours
    Service at a separate location, e.g. church before the crematorium
  • Flowers
  • Funeral notices
  • Order of service stationery
  • Venue for the funeral reception and catering
  • The burial plot 
    Headstone or memorial
    Repatriation from outside mainland Great Britain, ferry or air fares
    Costs for removing artificial limbs and mechanisms, e.g.  pacemakers

* Other exclusions may apply.  Read your plan provider's terms and conditions.


How much does a funeral plan cost?

It depends.  Prices start from £1,595 for an unattended cremation service (including third-party fees) and from £3,120 for an attended funeral, including two family cars (excluding third-party fees).

There are three factors that will affect the cost of a funeral plan and that you need to pay close attention to.


3rd party cremation or burial fees

A funeral plan will have one of three levels of cremation or burial fees cover:  ‘Fully guaranteed’ (no more to pay), ‘Contribution’ **(may have more to pay), and ‘No contribution’.  Any shortfall will need to be paid at the time of the funeral by your representative. 

The more third-party fees cover you have, the more you will pay for the  plan.   


Tailoring your funeral plan

Some plan providers allow you to make changes, e.g. upgrade the motor hearse for a horse-drawn hearse.  Tailoring might be a cheaper solution than choosing the next level of funeral plan up, but may not provide the best overall value.  

Get in touch if you would prefer to chat through your options.


Spreading the cost

Your options include paying in a single lump sum, monthly instalments, or lower fixed monthly payments which are payable for life or up to a specified age, e.g. 90.

Lower monthly payments are attractive, but you should be aware  that you could end up paying more into the funeral plan than the funeral is eventually worth.


Plan well for peace of mind with your free Funeral Wishes Planner

You can support your loved ones financially before your time comes by paying for your funeral in advance, protecting them from continuing funeral price rises.  

You can also provide emotional support by documenting your funeral wishes in detail (right down to the choice of sandwiches at the funeral reception!), or by just giving loved ones permission to arrange your funeral as they see fit. That way, they won't have to worry about whether your send-off is the way you would have wanted it.

To make this an easier task and help you plan well before you go, download this free  Funeral Wishes Planner and write down what you would like to happen.  It's a great companion for your prepaid funeral plan and any other life planning documents you may have.  This Planner also comes with supporting and inspirational guides.
A peek inside the ultimate Funeral Wishes Planner from Before You Go

*  Source:  SunLife (2021) Cost Of Dying Report.  The average price of a UK cremation and burial funeral in 2021 is £4,184.  The cost is expected to rise to £5,044 by 2025.

**  A ‘contribution’ is the amount a plan provider sets aside to cover the third-party  cremation or burial fees.  This amount grows in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) or Consumer Price Index (CPI) until the funeral.  Because third-party fees are outside a plan provider’s control, the contribution amount is not guaranteed to cover the cremation or burial fees when the time comes . If there is a shortfall, this will need to be paid by your representative or from your estate before the funeral can go ahead. 
Figures ares based on our analysis of the lowest and highest  single payment comparable plans, from prepaid plan providers with national coverage  as at 05.04.23.