It has been accepted for many years that the cost of care for the burn-injured patient is high. There is, however, little published data to show how "expensive" it is. At the Welsh Centre for burns we have undertaken a costing exercise in an attempt to define the true cost to the treatment of burns. Using our current cost base and activity, we established a cost per health related group (HRG) for burns and also prospectively calculated costs for three inpatients to determine whether HRG-based burn tariffs accurately represent these costs. The NHS is under increasing pressure to provide evidence to support budgetary requirements; we feel this paper offers a framework for burn care costing upon which calculations could be based.