Now well admit, a hearse may not be the first vehicle that comes to mind when youre hunting for a new car, but bear with us on this.
For those not put off by the morbidity of driving around in something thats carried hundreds of people to their final resting places, there is plenty to recommend a hearse as transport for the open-minded.
One careful owner
Youll not have failed to notice that funeral processions arent normally held at breakneck speed. As such, you can expect an ex-hearse to have led a fairly easy life. Itll always have been driven with the utmost care, out of respect to its late passengers and their grieving families. Even when not on duty, as it were, the vehicles used arent really suited to being driven quickly, so this is one used vehicle that wont have a dodgy history.
Itll be comfortable
You could argue that comfort doesnt matter too much for the hearses typical passenger, but to ensure smooth and dignified travel, the coachbuilder will usually choose a large, comfortable saloon car as the basis for the vehicle. That means itll waft over the worst of bumps, but it also means the seats up front should be comfortable enough too.
It's great for Ikea
If youre a regular at Ikea, youre in luck. There are few vehicles more suited to carrying large, wooden boxes than a hearse, and whether you keep the decorative platform in the back or gut it all out to free up even more space, youll not find more practical vehicles this side of a van. You can always cover up the rear windows to keep luggage safe from prying eyes, or fill up the back with seats and use it as a unique take on an MPV.
Plenty of performance
Though hearses tend to be driven gently, as weve mentioned further up, they also tend to have reasonable powerplants stashed under the bonnet. Theres a reasonable amount of metalwork back there and caskets are pretty heavy, so a large engine is required to make progress easy. Typically, youll find something like a V6 under there, which also tend to be quite refined.
Black never goes out of fashion
Just as with the old London taxi we featured a while back, most hearses tend to be black. Thats great news, as black looks good with everything. Youll often get a splash of chrome trim too, which youd normally have to pay extra for. If you ignore its previous purpose, this is one classy vehicle.
So there you go - if youre looking for an unusual people mover, an alternative to a van, or youre a goth and dont fancy driving around in a brightly-coloured Fiesta, then a hearse could be the car for you.
Just make sure your grandmother has a sense of humour before you pick her up from the bingo hall in it