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How much does a funeral cost in Spain?

Organising a funeral takes a huge emotional toll when you've lost a loved one. Unfortunately, it can also take a financial toll too. What costs do you have to factor in and what should you be paying in your region of Spain?

How much does a funeral cost in Spain?
According to figures from Spain’s Organisation of Consumers and Users the average price of a funeral in Spain in 2021 was €3739. Photo: MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP

The old adage goes that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. Well, death, it turns out, or more specifically organising and paying for a funeral in Spain, might actually feel like paying a big chunk of tax – as it can be very expensive.

But how much does a funeral cost in Spain, and how does it stack up against other countries?

Funeral costs in Spain

According to figures from Spain’s Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) the average price of a funeral involving a traditional burial costs €3,739.

Cremation is cheaper, but only slightly: a funeral service with cremation will set you back €3,617 in Spain.

In both instances that includes the service, which can be expensive enough in itself, but anyone who has had to organise a funeral in the past knows that that’s just one part of the funeral.

The costs add up

Factor in the cost of the coffin, the flowers, whether you opt for a full burial or a cremation, extra costs to the funeral home, the cost of a tombstone, and a death certificate, and the funeral becomes not just a terribly sad event but a very expensive one too.

Then, on top of that, you’ll have to pay for costs such as an obituary if you want one, the funeral car, the preparation of the body and, above all, pay the staff. 

READ ALSO: What to do when a foreigner dies in Spain

According to a report from Panasef, Spain’s National Association of Funeral Services, 56.7 percent of funeral costs in Spain go on administrative and medical procedures, including tanatopraxia – the process of preserving, dressing and preparing the body for the funeral – whereas the actual burial itself, or the cremation if you choose that, only makes up around 16.5 percent of the total cost.

Of all the costs of a funeral, however, the single greatest expense is the coffin. In Spain, a regular coffin without any luxuries or personalisations (which can add hundreds or even thousands to the price) can cost anywhere between €600 and €1,300, depending on the material. The average cost in Spain is around €1,200.

According to the OCU figures, the average Spanish funeral costs €1,198 for the coffin, €646 for the burial itself and the cemetery expenses, €546 for the funeral home, €319 for obituaries, €291 for staff and service, €211 for the funeral car, €205 on administrative procedures, €186 on flowers and another €137 on contingency expenses.

Regional differences

The OCU study, which was based on data from 113 funeral homes in 29 Spanish cities, also found that there are significant price differentials for funeral costs across Spain. Vigo, in the northern region of Galicia, is the most expensive in the whole country, with costs topping €5,000.

Costs also break the €5,000 threshold in Alicante, Santander, Madrid and Pamplona. 

READ ALSO: How to avoid problems with a family member’s Spanish bank account if they die

On the other hand, some of the cheaper places for a funeral in Spain include in Zaragoza, Cádiz, Albacete, Logroño and Tenerife, where funerals can be arranged for under €3,000.

Key areas and prices

Alicante – Burial: €5,455. Cremation: €5,533.

​​Barcelona – Burial: €3,863. Cremation: €4,052.

​​Madrid – Burial: €5,196. Cremation: €3,565.

Malaga – Burial: €2,969. Cremation: €2,860.

Murcia – Burial: €3,051. Incineration: €3,454.

Palma de Mallorca – Burial: €3,636. Cremation: €3,002.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Burial: €2,975. Cremation: €3,079.

Valencia: Burial: €3,368. Cremation: €3,583.

International prices

Funeral costs in Spain can certainly add up, but how do they compare to other countries around the world?

The world’s most expensive funeral costs are in Japan, where all costs combined add up to a jaw dropping €25,908. In Europe, the most expensive country to bury someone is Germany, where it costs on average €7,250. 

Funerals in France are also far more expensive than in Spain, averaging out at €4,110, but surprisingly Sweden is cheaper, at €2,705, as is Portugal at €2,770.

Some of Europe’s cheapest funerals are in Italy, where it costs €1,948 on average, and in Croatia (€1,168) and Denmark (€1,131). 

Across the pond in the United States, average funeral costs are a pricey €6,799, and in the UK it’s €4,715.

It should be noted that all prices and expenses quoted in this article are averages based on OCU data without having death insurance, something that would significantly lower funeral costs.

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Black Friday in Spain: What you should be aware of

Here's what you need to know about the Black Friday sales in Spain in 2022, from when they start to which retailers are offering discounts and why the sales aren't always as good as they're made out to be.

Black Friday in Spain: What you should be aware of

Black Friday is the day when some of Spain’s biggest retailers hold huge sales and give massive discounts (or so they claim) in the run-up to the start of the Christmas shopping season.

The tradition originated in the US as it was held the day after Thanksgiving.

READ ALSO: Where Americans can celebrate Thanksgiving

While Spain doesn’t generally celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday, it does however go in for Black Friday in a big way, along with many other countries around the world.

Spain began getting in on the Black Friday action in 2011 when the regulations on promotions and sales changed.

When is Black Friday?

This year, Black Friday will be held on Friday November 25th, but many companies and online retailers decide to hold sales throughout the month or even extend them for a whole week instead of just one day.

For example, tech store MediaMarkt began giving discounts on November 1st and will continue its sales until November 30th, while Mr. Wonderful began its discounts early too on November 18th.

Inditex group (which includes clothes stores Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho and Stradivarious) will publish their discounts online on Thursday November 24th.

Many stores will also extend their offers until Monday November 28th, which has become known as Cyber Monday. On this day, more tech companies and online retailers will be offering discounts too.

What will there be discounts on?

There will be Black Friday sales in Spain on everything from fashion and beauty to sports equipment, homeware and technology, among others.

Businesses are also allowing the return periods to be extended until January 6th 2023 or even into February, so that people can start their Christmas shopping early.

Spanish stores such as Mango, Zara and El Corte Inglés will all be having sales, as well as international and online retailers such as Amazon and Primark.

Swedish furniture giant Ikea will be doing something a little different this year, having a Green Friday where they’ll buy back some of your old furniture. 

According to a study by online marketing company Webloyalty, it is expected that online spending will grow by 25 percent compared to 2021, despite the rise in the cost of living and the financial squeeze many are experiencing.

Are Black Friday sales in Spain really that good?

Research conducted by Spanish consumer watchdog OCU over the past seven years has proven that many shops put the prices of their products up before Black Friday, so that the discounts they then apply aren’t really bargains for shoppers, but businesses get to capitalise on the shopping frenzy. 

In 2021, OCU spent 30 days writing down prices for almost 17,000 products in 52 stores. Almost a third of them rose in price (32.5 percent of the products), 11.8 percent of which cost less in the week of Black Friday. Overall, an average price rise of 3.3 percent was calculated.

There’s even a Twitter hastag #timofertasBF ( abit like ‘ripofferBF’) where user post the products that claim to be on discount but really aren’t.

Therefore, when it comes to big purchases in particular, make sure that you’re familiar with the average price of the product before Black Friday by comparing prices online. That should help you to ascertain whether you’re actually getting a good offer. 

If it’s a top-of-the-range product that’s just been released, don’t expect it to be on sale, and if it is, you should be suspicious.

Watch out for Black Friday scams

Be aware that while Black Friday can mean some great bargains, it’s also a day that brings out scammers and people who are waiting to steal your personal details.

In the past, there have been situations where second-hand items never arrive, the setup of fake online stores and discounts that contain malware.

You should particularly look out for phishing scams, where people try to steal your identity or personal details and fraudulent text messages.

Experts agree that there are several ways to protect yourself against potential Black Friday fraudsters including avoiding suspicious links or online shops you’re not aware of, using only official websites, creating strong passwords, not trusting any discounts that seem way too good to be true and using online security software.