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How is funeral transportation developing from 2017?

11th January 2017   Funerals Latest News

Funerals have come a long way since 60,000 BC, a variety of options are being introduced and as leading South West funeral directors, we remain open to the ever-changing world of funeral transportation. Having been long associated with mourning and grief, as the human race develops and grows, this has transformed for many into life celebrations and focus on joy and gratitude for the life of the deceased. In modern culture, this is demanding to be reflected in funeral services across the world.

Looking to make a statement, alternative style services and hearse options are taking a whole new shape. The growing movement of modern burials seek a way to find personal ways of celebrating life.

As more people sway from traditional funeral methods, there is a growing expectation of further changes to be made. Death will always be taken seriously, but it’s now shifting in other ways and leaving room for growth, particularly when it comes to funeral vehicles of choice.

>> Why are more people seeking humanist funerals?

Is this the fate of funerals?

The difference and switch in emotion is said to be what has swayed many to seek life celebrations and personal funeral services that reflect them as a person. Not only this, but more of us are looking to go green and plan eco-funerals.

Those arranging funerals for themselves or others are no longer limited to hearses and lead cars, the array of options available continue to back up the fact that many of us are now seeking a more intimate service, as opposed to a standard ceremony.


As professional funeral directors, we’ve noticed a demand for alternative funeral options when it comes to clothing, transportation and the service in general. The traditional British hearse is an icon in its own right. Having been used for millions of services, it seems as though more of us are leaving are options open, desiring something that truly means something to us, something special.

Funerals aren’t going away anytime soon, but they’re certainly being redefined in some profound ways, we look at the array of funeral transportation options and how they’re looking to develop as time goes on…

The electric hearse

When it comes to planning funeral transportation, it seems as though the Brits in particular are free-spirited and creative. The Brahms electric hearse scooped the ‘Best Green Funeral Product Award’ in 2016. This particular vehicle is based on The Nissan Leaf E-Car and contains a coffin deck. It’s predicted that many funeral directors will add these to their fleet to provide options to those looking to go eco.



A hearse – that you can drive yourself!

There is now a carriage master that will supply you with a hearse and allow you to drive it. For many, taking their deceased loved one on their final journey in this world is the ultimate tribute and honour, although it will most likely make an emotional trip, it’s one that’s looking to be favoured in the coming years.

The bicycle

Death is no obstacle to cycling and paying a tribute to those who lived their lives on two wheels is not impossible. The pedal-powered hearse can be difficult to power, but it’s looking to become more common for passionate cyclists to have their last trip driven by bike. With niche funeral directors specialising in this area, it’s foreseen to become a way to make a real statement.


The fire-engine hearse

Carefully restored fire-engines are happening now, but are envisioned to become a common funeral journey option. Obviously a niche but popular choice with those who have served as fire-fighters, it leads back to the fact more of us are wanting to act in a humanist manner and maximise the celebration of life, therefore selecting a carriage that truly reflects us and the lives we’ve lived.


Bus hearses

Whether the deceased had an association with buses or there is a large party of people looking to travel as one, buses – also a popular wedding option are looking to transform the future of funeral transportation. As a statement of solidarity and support along the journey, the loved ones of the deceased travel together. Making it personal, the bus will often have the name of the passed at the front of the vehicle.


The retro horse-drawn carriage

Often associated with romance, the way the horse saunters reverts back to classic funeral arrangements, however it is blended with a modern approach and is becoming more prevalent. Hearses were originally horse-drawn, but silent electric motorised carts were introduced and horses began to be phased out. As the future of funerals adapt, the horse is looking to make a comeback. By adding a hint of retro to the traditional horse and carriage, you’re adding a contemporary twist.



Motorcycles are becoming a popular choice of funeral transportation. An ideal and unique way to represent motorcycle enthusiasts, this type of transfer is usually a motorcycle with a special sidecar attached, built to carry a casket. Whether one lived as a hardcore biker, motocross champion or someone who simply wants to break out of tradition, this style of funeral transportation is predicted to take the world by storm.

motorcycle funerals

Volkswagen campervans

Offering an uncommon approach to the death of a loved one, VW camper vans can be lovingly converted into a beautiful hearse that is designed as an alternative to the limousine or standard black hearse. A popular choice for buddhist, eco and woodland burials, the Volkswagen campervan has consistently been associated with the ‘free spirit’ lifestyle and is particularly esteemed amongst young people.

Volkswagen funeral services

Army tanks

It may not be the most obvious choice, however army veterans are predicted to be given more opportunities to make their final journey in a tank. Fitting the style of those who lived as soldiers, the army tank will highly appeal to servicemen, women and tank enthusiasts. The tank hearse is an iconic vehicle that will make more and more appearances during funeral services.

army tank funeral hearse

Land Rover’s

Land Rover and 4×4 enthusiasts are often collector’s of the vehicles and spend much of their time in their beloved road runners. Land Rover transportation provides people with a bespoke service that resonates with them, making a safe, respectable and authentic final journey for the departed.

land rover funeral hearse


There’s no need to go too wacky and wild when it comes to funeral hearses. The refined, elegant and luxurious cadillac is modernised and designed to carry caskets and coffins with room for passengers.

Will custom-made vehicles be the future of funerals?

Some are choosing even less conventional routes for their concluding journey. There has been an increase in people wanting their transport to reflect their hobbies and interests. Tractor and Range Rover hearses have grown in popularity within the agricultural and rural communities, and some have gone as far as adapting more outlandish utility vehicles milk floats, vintage trucks and ice-cream vans. The future of funeral transportation is looking a lot like….

  • Union-Jack painted cars
  • Football-themed hearses
  • Pink / barbie-style hearses
  • Film inspired transport
  • Vintage lorry hearses
  • Morris-minor hearses
  • Goth style hearses

Even if your obsession is Only Fools and Horses, you can hire a Del Boy reliant 4-wheeler hearse to stretch and carry your coffin.

From 2017 onwards, the possibilities are endless and expected to grow more and more personal.

ISCA Funerals Directors

As professional funeral directors, we offer a range of options including alternative services, if you’d like to discuss requirements with us, we provide a caring, honest service and are here to help you day or night. Our helpline is available 24/7.

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ISCA Funerals