When you’re planning a funeral, especially your own, it’s surprising how many aspects of the big event you can tailor. Take getting there…
The way you are conveyed on your final journey to the funeral (as well as the route) can help those left behind better understand who you were. You might like to take care of the transport arrangements for loved ones too, so getting to the funeral on time is one less thing for them to worry about. This guide looks at some of the transport choices available and offers suggestions.
Who is this guide for?
Traditionally a hearse transports the coffin, with the option of additional vehicles (‘family cars’) to convey the chief mourners to the service. These are typically one or more limousines (petrol and electric versions), each of which can carry up to six people, sometimes seven (the passenger seat next to the driver).
Limousines are not essential – some people feel more comfortable in their own cars – but many people appreciate having others to share such a poignant journey.
Taking care of the transport takes care of the people you care about, by removing one stress and worry on the day, ensuring t they’ll get to to the funeral on time.
Some funeral hearse transport ideas
And what about the hearse – what if you’d prefer to flout convention and go out in the style of your choosing? After all, it’s your last chance to make a statement!
A traditional motor hearse is classy, and there are electric versions for the eco-minded. Or how about a horse-drawn hearse with a glass carriage and feather plumes in your favourite colour for the horses? Still a bit conventional? You could opt for a fire engine, a JCB (yes, really!), or a tractor. Perhaps something more retro would tick your boxes, such as a motorcycle and sidecar (that’s where you’d be), a trike motorbike hearse, a vintage lorry, a milk float for a very special delivery, or a VW camper van?
Prefer to keep things simple? What about an estate car, a Land Rover, or – popular with natural meadow and woodland burial grounds – a bicycle hearse or a handcart?
And if you’re determined to have the last laugh, there’s always Del Boy’s three-wheeler from Only Fools & Horses reimagined as a hearse, or one that looks like the Batmobile.
You can more or less ask for whatever you want. Essentially, if it’s legal, your funeral provider will try their best to accommodate.
Prices for an alternative hearse will be about double what you would expect to pay for a traditional motor hearse. If budget is your primary consideration, the lowest cost option is what’s termed a 'specialist vehicle’ or ‘suitable vehicle’ – typically a private ambulance or estate car.
Procession route: Going down memory lane
You can specify the route to be taken on the way to the funeral.
Instead of going direct to the crematorium or place of burial, you could leave instructions for the cortege to depart from your place of rest (e.g. your home or funeral home) and take in places along the way that were meaningful to you. That might be the park you walked the dogs, the place where you got married, your favourite pub (also handy for showing people where the reception is!), your local footie ground or a bench where you’ve enjoyed watching the world go by. You could even specify a drive through your hometown on the way to your journey’s end at the crematorium or place of burial.
The only limitation on where and how far you travel will be if you use a funeral director. The funeral director has services with and without the option to travel a particular route, and within a number of miles – which can sometimes be extended for an extra cost per mile.
What transport options are included in a funeral plan?
The short answer is: it depends. There are a variety of prepaid funeral plans to suit all needs, with transport or without, and the option to upgrade, e.g. to a horse-drawn hearse.
A plan will include a traditional hearse or a suitable vehicle as standard, and typically up to two limousines. The funeral cortege will start its journey either directly from the funeral home or from outside your home. Some funeral plans offer scope for personalising the journey within a mileage allowance.
Funeral plan providers’ terms differ as to when you can make changes to your Plan - at the time you buy, during, or after a final payment – and indeed, if you can make changes.
Only Fools & Hearses - bygc.me/onlyfoolsanrdhearses
Vintage Lorry - bygc.me/lorry
Motorcycle Hearse - bygc.me/motorcycle
Trike Hearse - bygc.me/trike
Morris Minor Hearse - bygc.me/moggy
Land Rover Hearse - bygc.me/landrover
Bicycle Hearse - bygc.me/bicycle
Chevrolet 3001 Pickup - bygc.me/chevrolet
Ford Funeral Handy Van - bygc.me/handyvan
VW Camper Van - bygc.me/vw
Fire Engine Hearse - bygc.me/fireengine
Hot-rod Hearse - bygc.me/hotrod
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