How to Find a Hearse

A hearse is the traditional vehicle used during funerals. It carries the coffin of the deceased to its final resting place. The word "hearse" in Old English is translated to mean a canopy placed over a coffin and, for the last 3 centuries, the word has been used to describe a coffin carriage. Original hearses were ornate carriages lead by a team of horses, but today they are luxurious custom vehicles sought after by professional funeral directors and car enthusiasts alike. It may take some time, but follow these steps and you should be able to find a hearse of your own.


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    Know what you are looking for. Decide if you are looking for a new or used hearse.
    • The most popular car manufacturers in the United States are Cadillac and Lincoln, but you can find custom hearses by almost every car company.
    • Determine what type of features you want. These can include:
    • Type of upholstery.
    • Make.
    • Model.
    • Modifications.
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    Have a budget. Pricing can range drastically when trying to find a hearse. Be prepared to pay top dollar for rare hearses.
    • These include certain years, like the 1959 Cadillac hearse, and hearses that have the tail fins on the back. These are collector favorites to find and hold onto.
    • Top of the line hearses can come with leather interior, mahogany paneling, and a variety of other features and are known to cost over $100,000.
    • A horse-drawn hearse can cost over $20,000 and there are less than 1,000 still in use by funeral homes and cemeteries in the United States.
    • If you are a car enthusiast looking to custom build your own hearse, you may be able to find one at a scrap or salvage yard. These can sell for a few hundred dollars depending on condition.
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    Check online classifieds. Hearses are a very specific car and only a limited number are produced every year.
    • Some companies sell used vehicles through online auction sites or classified ads.
    • There are also car clubs that may have listings of hearses for sale.
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    Contact area funeral homes. They may be able to assist you with a dealer who specializes in hearses. Some funeral homes will have several hearses in their fleet to accommodate the volume of business they receive and may have 1 for sale.
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    Call area scrap or salvage yards. They may have a hearse or several hearses that can be pieced together for a rebuild. They may also be able to help you locate someone who is selling a hearse or has various parts. This is a good option if you wish to build a custom one of a kind hearse.


  • The more original a hearse is (as in original upholstery and parts) and the better the condition, the higher the price will be. Understand that if you make any modifications or customize it to your own style, it will lower the value for any future sales among other car enthusiasts.
  • For funeral homes, you may be able to purchase a fleet of vehicles, which includes a hearse and limousine for the family of the departed, at a discounted rate.
  • If you are only trying to find a hearse for a temporary basis, call local funeral homes who may rent them out for a nominal fee.
  • Most dealers are now selling hearses solely online instead of having a car in the lot to sell. This allows them to include picture galleries of each vehicle and have information on the hearse available to answer any questions potential buyers may have ahead of contacting them.


  • Do not purchase a vehicle from an unknown seller without having a licensed mechanic look at it and verify that it is in the condition as listed.

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Categories: Cars & Other Vehicles