Direct cremation explained

  • Simple cremation without a funeral service
  • Low cost alternative - 60% cheaper than a traditional funeral
  • Lets families say goodbye their way
  • Prepay with prepaid direct cremation plans
  • Special Offer: Save £198 on a prepaid plan when you apply by 30th May 2022

Our guide explains everything you need to know about direct cremation, including what happens, direct cremation costs and how you can prepay with a prepaid cremation plan.

What is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is a dignified, simple cremation without a funeral service. Often referred to as a direct funeral, this low cost alternative to a traditional funeral is cheaper and fuss free, as there is no hearse or limousine and no ceremony.

A cremation only funeral not only saves money on funeral costs, it also gives families the freedom to choose how and when they prefer to say goodbye.

What is the difference between cremation and a direct cremation?

The main difference between cremation and direct cremation is there is no ceremony with a direct cremation. Whereas a traditional cremation includes a hearse, limousines for family and a service at the crematorium, a direct funeral is just a simple cremation.

How much does direct cremation cost in 2022?

A direct cremation in the UK, typically 60% cheaper than the average cost of a funeral, ranging from £1,000 to £2,000. The actual cost will depend on the funeral company you choose, where your loved one is collected from and the time of day. You can also pay extra for the ashes returning too.

Can you pay for a simple cremation in advance?

Prepaid direct cremation plans let you arrange and pay for a cremation only funeral in advance. With a prepaid cremation plan you fix your costs at todays’ prices, avoid future inflation and make things easier for family when the time comes.

How to choose the best prepaid direct cremation plans

The best prepaid direct cremation plans include all the services required for a cremation only funeral with no hidden extras. Some direct funeral providers, charge extra for collection from anywhere other than a hospital, collection out of hours, doctor’s fees and returning the ashes to family.

Having reviewed leading direct cremation prepaid plans, we have chosen to partner with Golden Leaves. The Golden Leaves Copper Plan includes collection anywhere in UK, at any time of the day, the cremation fees and doctor’s fees and the ashes returned to family, all guaranteed with no hidden extras to pay.

They also use crematoriums located throughout the UK, which can offer a more local service for you and your family.

Your money is held safe and secure in a trust fund, ring fenced ready to pay for your cremation services and Golden Leaves is registered and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority, which means they comply with their strict rules and code of practise as to how your money is held and the service you receive.

How much does a prepaid cremation plan cost?

The cost of a cremation only funeral plan will depend on the company you choose and how you prefer to pay. Currently we have a special offer on a prepaid cremation plan with Golden Leaves, saving you £198 on their usual price; to find out more read our review .

Single payment prepaid cremation plans

You can pay for your Golden Leaves direct cremation funeral plan in one go, or if you prefer, spread your costs over 12 months without incurring additional fees.

Monthly payment prepaid cremation plans

If you would rather pay by instalments, the Golden Leaves monthly payment option provides immediate cover for a deposit of just £49. Other cremation only funeral plan providers have a waiting period of at least 12 months, whereas with Golden Leaves, you are covered for the services included in the plan immediately.

Get a quote & save up to £198

Are prepaid cremation only funeral plans safe?

To ensure your money is safe, it is worth considering a prepaid cremation plan provider that is registered with and regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority. This will ensure your money is held securely in line with their strict rules, ready to pay for your cremation service when the time comes.

Direct cremation reviews

Industry and customer direct cremation UK reviews are worth considering before choosing the best prepaid cremation plan for you. Golden Leaves achieve an excellent rating of 4.7 with review giant Trustpilot and are highly rated by independent consumer body Fairer Finance.

Here is a selection of reviews for some of the UK's leading direct cremation providers:

Golden Leaves review

Pure Cremation review

Simplicity Review

Additional information on cremation only funerals and how they work

What happens at a direct cremation?

A direct cremation separates the funeral service from the cremation. So, the cremation takes place but with no family or friends in attendance. The ashes are then returned to family or scattered on the garden of remembrance.

Here’s how it works:

  • Your loved one is collected by the funeral company who complete the required documentation and care for the deceased until the time of the cremation
  • The cremation takes place at a crematorium, date and time that is chosen by the funeral company
  • The ashes are returned to family or scattered on the garden of remembrance

What are the pros and cons of having just a cremation without a funeral service?

Choosing just cremation without a funeral service is a big decision. In addition to reading our guide which includes the following pros and cons, talking to family may help you decide if a simple cremation is the best option for you.

Advantages of a direct funeral

  • Simple, non-religious cremation with no fuss
  • Saves money – around 60% cheaper than a traditional funeral
  • No upsetting funeral service at a church or crematorium
  • Leaves family free to ‘say goodbye’ where, when and how they choose
  • Ashes are returned to family to keep, scatter or bury

Disadvantages of a direct funeral

  • No family viewing at a chapel of rest
  • The crematorium may not be local to you
  • No funeral service at the crematorium or church
  • No family or friends in attendance

So, is direct cremation a good idea?

Direct cremation could be a good idea if you don’t want the fuss of a funeral service and would rather give your family the freedom to choose how they prefer to say goodbye. A simple cremation only funeral can also save money, which is always a good idea.

Next steps

Having reviewed our guide, if you prefer a more traditional funeral with a service, take a look at our prepaid funeral plan comparison plan section.

Alternatively if you are looking at low cost options and would rather make lower payments on a monthly basis, you may want to take a look our guide to Over 50 Life Insurance. Whilst over 50 life cover won’t provide your funeral services, it is a way you could leave a cash lump sum for family to help towards the funeral costs.

If you want to understand more about prepaid direct cremation plans, please ask for more information.

Get a quote & save up to £198 when you apply by 30th May 2022

Don't miss out...

Sign up to our monthly newsletter for the latest updates

Our trusted partners

Dignity with Distinction
Golden Leaves Funeral Plans

We are members of

National Association of Funeral Directors

Part of the Over50choices group


We are authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Get a quote