Should I Get a Limo or a Hearse?

Multiple types of vehicles are used to facilitate day-to-day funeral operations as well as funeral services themselves. When it comes to funeral services and processions, hearses and limousines are the most common types of vehicles used by a funeral business.

While both of these vehicles can offer great value to your business, they're also very different in terms of the service they offer, how they support friends and family of the deceased, and how they can support your company's long-term success. If you're interested in acquiring a new vehicle for your business but can't afford both a limo and a hearse at the same time, you'll have to make tough decisions about the value each offers your business, and what makes most sense to address your immediate needs.

To help you navigate this process, here are some of the biggest differences between funeral limos and hearses.

Limos Have a Higher Upfront Cost

While the price for a limo or hearse can vary depending on the make, model, and whether it is new or used, limousines generally cost more to purchase than a comparable funeral hearse. This can push some budget-minded funeral businesses toward a more affordable hearse.

However, it's important to keep in mind that many financing options are available to help you afford a funeral limo. If a limo offers better value to your business, you may be better off figuring out a financing solution rather than settling for a different vehicle that isn't as good of a fit for your needs.

Limos Can Increase Rental Revenue

While a limo represents a bigger initial investment, the rewards can be greater than a hearse based on the rental fee you charge to families and loved ones responsible for the funeral service. Regardless of whether your business has a hearse to transport the casket or cremains of the deceased, a limousine can generate hundreds of dollars in rental revenue per day of use.

If your business needs additional methods of generating revenue and ensuring profitability, a limousine can serve as a popular source of income—especially when paired with a rented hearse.

Hearses May Offer Lower Long-Term Maintenance

While a hearse offers a lower up-front cost than a limousine, it also tends to generate lower maintenance costs over time. The length and unique design of the limo cab can lead to mechanical and structural problems that require additional maintenance when compared to another vehicle.

From the suspension to the brakes to other components of the vehicle's undercarriage, limo maintenance can be costly, especially as the vehicle ages. Since most hearses are built on the durable chassis of SUVs, though, and since they are more compact in design, a hearse is likely to offer lower long-term maintenance costs, which can widen the value gap in these vehicle investments over time.

Funeral Parties May Request Transport Services

Every funeral business wants to ensure the needs of friends and family are met at every turn. For aging loved ones and other funeral attendees either unable to drive or lacking a vehicle, transportation from the funeral to the cemetery—or even between the funeral venue and a local hotel—can be a difficult problem to solve.

A limo service can address these challenges, shuttling many individuals to and from locations in a single trip. In addition to the space accommodations offered by a limousine, the vehicle itself also offers an elegant mode of transportation for grieving loved ones of the deceased, which can elevate your company's funeral experience and lead to better reviews of your company.

A Funeral Limo is Not a Replacement for a Hearse

While you might have heard of hearses referred to as a "hearse limo" in the past, this vehicle doesn't look like the limousine you're probably imagining in your mind. While a hearse does offer an extended cab, it is often built on an SUV chassis.

Due to the cargo space requirements for transporting a casket, a hearse typically has less seating than a conventional vehicle—only seats for the driver and a passenger, in most cases.

Comparison guide Limo or Hearse, business approach

Aspect Limousines Hearses
Prices Typically more expensive to purchase and rent Often less expensive to purchase and rent
Long-Term Maintenance May require more maintenance due to length and unique design Typically less expensive long-term maintenance
Rental Revenue Generally higher rental fees and revenue Generally lower rental fees and revenue
Purpose funerals, Passenger transportation, special events Transporting the deceased, funerals
Seating Capacity Multiple passengers Typically limited to the driver and coffin
Interior Design Luxurious and comfortable Simple and functional
Exterior Appearance Elegant and often sleek Distinctive and solemn
Customization Options Varied styles and amenities Limited, often standardized

Where Can I Find a Hearse or Limo for Sale Near Me?

Regardless of which vehicle you choose to buy, the best place to find a hearse or (limo for sale) is through a professional vehicles dealer that specializes in vehicles for funeral businesses.

These experts will have the industry insight and on-hand inventory you need to fully explore your options, understand the pros and cons of certain vehicles and features, and ultimately choose the best vehicle for your business.

Funeral limos and hearses are a big investment, with a big influence on your company's future. Make sure you choose your vehicle—and your auto dealer—wisely. Ready to start your search? Contact us today.

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Shields Professional Vehicles

850 Williams Drive

Marietta, GA 30066


Fax: 678-784-2110