Jaunty last journeys

Flamboyant, fun, formal or eco-friendly – the choice is yours!

A SURPRISING array of eye-catching transport options is driving the change towards unique and personal funerals.

A sombre hearse still has its place for some, but there are also dozens of other choices for that final journey that can put a special stamp on funeral plans, from a leopard-print Daimler to a vintage bus. Sometimes it just takes a little thought and inspiration to create a unique day.

Something for everyone

Recently, a family from Essex saw their dad off in a canary yellow Reliant Robin, inspired by his love of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. They wanted a service that reflected their father’s sense of fun.

Perhaps more formal, but no less personal, last year Prince Philip took his last drive in a specially-converted Land Rover which, it emerged, was so important to him that he had been working on it for 16 years before his death.

While advance planning is undoubtedly helpful, bereaved families can speak to funeral directors about how to inject a dash of vehicle va-va-voom that reflects the life and loves of the person who has died. Among the many options are VW campervans for adventurers, electric hearses or even bicycles for the eco-conscious, Union Jack hearses for patriots, motorbikes with sidecars for keen bikers, and even Poppy’s Funerals’ gorgeous lilac vehicle for those looking to cast a rosy glow on proceedings.

Union Jack Hearse by Green's Carriages
Classic Volkswagen Hearse by Volkswagen Funerals

Something old, something new

Funerals have for so long been governed by formality that families are often afraid to steer away from convention. They worry that other mourners may disapprove or that funeral directors will shrug their shoulders and hand over the traditional hearse brochure instead.

But a quiet revolution is underway. Increasingly, those in the funeral business are embracing change and will do all they can to meet a family’s needs. A company that won’t be flexible or open to alternatives may not be the right choice for a family looking to do something a little bit different.

While modernists will love the rainbow hearse or leopard-print Daimler at Green’s Carriage Masters, others may look to the past. A horse drawn hearse is one of a kind, while having your loved one’s coffin carried on a vintage 1920s Guy funeral hearse is a wonderful way to honour a transport or trucking enthusiast. A converted Morris Minor may be a more low-key mode of transport, but certainly no less special for classic car tinkerers.

Morris Minor Hearse by Alternative Hearse Hire
Rainbow hearse by Greens Carriages

You wouldn’t guess it from the traditional cortèges that we often see processing to the crematorium, but there really are dozens of different ways to steer away from the norm. If you think your loved one would get a kick out of turning heads, an alternative kind of transport could be a wonderful way to say goodbye.

Emma Bromwhich at Green’s tells Whiteballoon, ‘it is really exciting to see an increasing openness to types of funerals, and funeral planning within the industry. Even though the majority of our fleet are still black, traditional vehicles, the demand for something different is high. It is refreshing to see all our alternative fleets going out across the country.”

Get inspired

Find some brilliant ideas on Whiteballoon’s Transport inspiration page and our Inspiration Wall.

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