Funerals are considerably cheaper than the public perceive, with bereaved families spending, on average, £1,100 less than Britons expect to, a major new survey into the British public’s perception of funerals and funeral directors has revealed.

Families have spent, on average, £3,601 on a funeral in the last five years, nearly 30% cheaper than the £4,746 they had anticipated having to pay, the polls shows.

It was one of a number of issues covered and questions put to the British public, and there are some surprising results.

The survey was commissioned by the NAFD and Cruse Bereavement Care as part of ongoing research into the British public’s perception of the funeral industry, and conducted by YouGov.

The results are now available on the special Funeral Matters page (linked).

Other findings include:

  • Cost is the seventh most important consideration (28%) when planning a funeral behind:
    • following the wishes of a loved one (65%)
    • making it a celebration (56%)
    • making it personal (43%)
    • making sure everyone who wants to be there can attend (40%)
    • keeping it simple (38%), and
    • giving them a proper send-off (32%)
  • Over half of GB adults (55%) say they would choose a funeral director based on reputation and 43% would choose based on a recommendation or if they were the choice of the person who’d died.
  • Less was spent on funerals in the past five years than the average GB adult expects to spend (£3,601 average spend on a funeral in the last five years, compared to £4,746 anticipated cost)
  • 80% of adults surveyed, who had organised a funeral in the last five years, said they had received good value for money.
  • 95% of people who organised a funeral in the past five years said they were satisfied/very satisfied with the service they received from their funeral director.
  • 74% of all GB adults are more likely to ask a funeral director to organise a funeral than do it themselves (8% without a funeral director, 19% don’t know). However, 94% of those with previous experience of arranging a funeral are more likely to turn to a funeral director again in the future.
  • Britons rate funeral directors as professional, caring, helping and responsive – whether they’ve worked closely with them or not. The most popular qualities that GB adults would use to describe a funeral director are: Professional, Caring, and Helpful, Respectful, Expensive and Sympathetic (all 7%).
  • One in seven (14%) Britons say nothing would prompt them to think about their own funeral.
  • Just over 1 in 8 Britons (12%) felt they would have no way of paying the costs of an unexpected funeral, compared to almost three-quarters (71%) who would either use savings, put it on a credit card or use another bank finance facility such as a loan.
  • 63% of Britons expect to be able to check or compare prices before selecting a funeral director

Jeremy Field, NAFD President, said: “The Association is proud that the survey shows the satisfaction rating with funeral directors to be high and that they are providing value for money. However, we know we still have work to do and we are supporting members in making sure their prices are easily visible to bereaved families to help them make an informed choice.”

For more results, statistics and graphics from the YouGov research, please visit the Funerals Matter page.