Why buy: Be honest, you’ve not seen many hearses screaming down the outside lane of the M1. With most of their working life spent crawling the streets at a respectful 25mph, it’s safe to say the retired hearse won’t have any skeletons under the bonnet. There’ll certainly be plenty of life left in the powerplant, too. You’ll also get to display a hilarious ‘No corpses left in hearse overnight’ sign.
Refinement and performance: While most of clientele encountered during its professional life wouldn’t have cared too much about refinement, hearses will always be based on large, comfortable models without a sporty bone-shaking chassis below the black coachwork. It’ll soak up the scarred surfaces of Britain’s roads, while making an ideal motorway cruiser. Performance-wise, hauling a cargo of hefty pall-bearers and ‘client’ in heavy wooden overcoat isn’t to be underrated, so expect plenty of power buried beneath your right foot. Typically, you can expect at least a V6 to help cremate the rubber.
Practicality: Buying an ‘alternative’ car might dictate you compromise a little practicality for your quirky runaround – but not so with a used hearse. Most will have room for four to ride (in seats), but it’s the huge loadspace that’ll impress when doing the weekly shop or paying a visit to your local Ikea.
Buying guide: Providing you’re not planning on moonlighting as a cabbie touting one-way trips to the local crematorium, your MoT and insurance will be just the same as any regular car. When buying used, look out for rotten bodywork, as retired hearses can be left standing for long periods before they’re sold on.
Type of licence required: Standard car licence
How much: From £1,200 for models based on donor cars such as a Ford Granada, but expect to pay much more for an upmarket cruiser straight from the undertaker.
Where: Click here to search