Spiking funeral costs sees Northampton ranked in top 20 most expensive places to die in the UK

Northampton has been named as the 18th most expensive place in the country to die.
Northampton has been named as the 18th most expensive place in the country to die.

Northampton has been ranked the 18th most expensive place to die.

The cost of funerals in the UK has spiked by a third in the past two years and will now cost on average £4,241 at a time.

But the cost of laying a loved one to rest in Northampton now sits at around £4,665 - 10 per cent more than average - and places the town in the top 20 most expensive places to pass away.

Meanwhile, Watford was named the most expensive place to expire at £5,814 for an average service. London was number two.

The stats have been revealed by funeral comparison website Beyond who compared the average funeral cost, made of funeral director fees, a basic wood veneer coffin, urn, flowers, celebrant/minister, hearse and one limousine.

James Dunn, co-founder of Beyond, said: “It looks like a football league but this is one table you don’t want to be topping.

“A lack of transparency in the funeral market is what’s fuelling price rises, particularly among the big chains.

“Death means big business, with half a million Brits dying every year, but a disinclination to shop around is resulting in mourners, who are often vulnerable, paying over the odds.”

It comes after a Northampton man was unable to lay his grandfather to rest for nearly five months after his family was unable to pay the upfront costs for the funeral.

Beyond claims the spike is being fuelled by price hikes among the big chains, who have raised their already-high fees by more than £500 in two years. For their services alone, you will pay an average of £3,573, and this is before you add in the cost of the cremation or burial.

Meanwhile, independent funeral directors, who represent roughly a third of the market and reportedly have been found to have dropped their fees over the past 12 months.

However, Co-Op Funeralcare say they "do not recognise the data within the study".

A spokeswoman said: "Over recent years, we have taken a number of steps to lead the way in tackling funeral affordability.

"We conduct almost 100,000 funerals every year, and our average funeral cost including third-party fees is significantly lower than the figures quoted.

"Furthermore, following a price reduction in our most affordable funeral option over two years ago, we have since held our prices at the same level. We have also introduced a new lower priced choice funeral option this year, which is priced at £1,395, including third party costs.”