Funeral directors say the choice of hearses has expanded to reflect the interests or job of the deceased. Photograph: Alamy©. Builders and plumbers want to cut corners by taking their final journey in a white van, while farmers fancy a send-off on a horse-drawn cart, tractor or even a specially manufactured Land Rover hearse and matching limousine.

Unusual hearses – once a niche market – are setting a trend for send-offs with a difference as almost a quarter (23%) of Britons say they want to make their last journey in a personalised vehicle, according to new research from the UK’s biggest funeral director.

The choice of hearses has expanded to cater for the growing number of requests reflecting the interests or job of the deceased, says the Co-operative Funeralcare, and ranging from customised “motorbike” hearses for bikers, tractors and trailers for farmers and even milk floats and white vans. The company, which has a network of more than 900 funeral homes across the UK, carried out a study into alternative hearses which are now used in almost 40,000 funerals every year.

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