Some funeral directors are now offering coffins for rent to cut down the costs for families.

An average funeral runs to thousands of pounds, with coffins a major contributor.

The cheapest wooden coffins on offer by Co-op funerals on their website are £450 for traditional oak, cherry or maple, while their most expensive standard coffin (white rose casket) is £2,650.

Even a cardboard coffin is priced at £450.

With many families struggling with increased costs of electricity and fuel, finding the money to pay for an expensive funeral is an added strain.

The rented coffins are used in the service and even in the burial, but are later removed with the deceased person later being cremated or laid to rest in the simple wood or cardboard liner.

US provider Everplans, which offers rented coffins, says on its website: ‘A rental casket is a casket that has a removable interior. The body is placed in a simple wooden box and the box is placed inside the casket, giving the appearance that the body is actually in the casket.

‘In fact, the body never touches the casket, and the wooden box is easily removed after the service. The body can then be buried or cremated in the simple wooden box, and the funeral home can re-use the rental casket.’