Superior UK Creates Temporary Protective Screen For Limousines During Lockdown

The funeral industry continues to deliver crucial support to families facing extra levels of stress during bereavement, and funeral directors must protect people travelling in fleet vehicles.

Superior UK’s smart solution creates a hygienic partition, so funeral directors can offer a continued level of service.

Superior hygiene screen for limousines 2

The temporary Perspex Protective Screen is suitable for all makes and models of limousines. The non-invasive installation clips onto head restraints, leaving no marks.

Kevin Smith from Superior UK explained how the Perspex Protective Screen is helping his customers provide a traditional funeral for families.

“This hygiene screen means funeral directors can continue to provide families a dignified experience, with one limousine per family, for minimum disruption at such a hard time,” he said. “We will be in a lockdown situation for some time. These temporary partitions are a smart solution to a delicate challenge.”

Three New PilatoMercedes “Polaris” Hearses For FC Douch Of Dorset


When Jonathan Stretch and Nick Douch of FC Douch heard that Pilato were building a hearse, they knew they had to see it. Following a trip to the Pilato factory in Italy with Kevin Smith from Superior UK Automotive, the Douch family placed an order for six PilatoMercedes ceremonial vehicles – three hearses and three limousines. Jonathan Stretch told us how the Polaris hearses have been received.

“We have been ordering funeral vehicles from Superior UK for 15 years,” he said, “and have had over 25 vehicles from them over the years. When Superior UK became official partners of Pilato, we knew we had to see those vehicles.”

FC Douch is an independent funeral director, with seven offices and two coroners’ contracts throughout Dorset and on the Isle of Purbeck. Founded by Frederick “FC” Douch in 1910, the business remains owned and run by the family.

“When it was time to renew our previous hearses, we were adamant that we wanted to stick with Mercedes,” said Jonathan. “They are so reliable and economical to run. We asked Kevin for advice. He invited us out to the Pilato factory in Italy to meet with the team there and see some vehicles in build.”

The only problem Jonathan and Nick faced was making a decision on the final details of their vehicles.

“We were absolutely spoiled for choice at Pilato,” said Jonathon. “They offer a bespoke service even down the colour of the stitching on the interior of the vehicle.”

FC Douch opted for metallic black hearses, to reflect their traditional values, with an illuminated coffin chamber and Superior Rise&Fall decking.


“Our hearses function like a shop window for the quality of our services,” Jonathan said. “The Polaris hearse is so well illuminated and shows the coffin off in a unique way.

“We opted for electric rear doors – the first time we have had this feature in a hearse – and pull out decking made by Superior which can be lowered to showcase the coffin when there is a big floral tribute.”


Kevin Smith from Superior UK Automotive says it was a pleasure as always to help Nick and Jonathan with their vehicles.

“Our families have worked together for many years now and it is always a pleasure to help the Douch family with their vehicle orders. They have a very clear idea of what they want, and it is an honour to work with Pilato in Italy to bring that vision to life,” he said.

“During the visit to Pilato, we carried out a consultation and put together a fantastic specification. The vehicles are finished in metallic black paintwork with bespoke wheel centre caps and tailgate glass logo. The coffin chamber is trimmed with leather appointments and warm LED lighting. The result is a stunning hearse that keeps FC Douch’s fleet modern, traditional, and eye-catching.”


The third of FC Douch’s three Polaris hearses was delivered at the end of February, and the cars have been received very well.

“They look fantastic,” said Jonathan. “They are striking but subtle, with unmistakable Italian flair. We are extremely happy with them, and now look forward to the arrival of our three PilatoMercedes limousines later in the year.”

“Three New PilatoMercedes “Polaris” Hearses For FC Douch Of Dorset” is a post from the Superior UK Automotive blog – our main website is here.

Superior Automotive UK – Here For You During COVID-19

A message from the Superior UK management team

Dear Funeral Professionals,

As the UK enters a second week of “lockdown” due to COVID-19, and the world continues to respond to rapid changes, we want to reassure you of the situation here at Superior Automotive UK.

We are still open, albeit on reduced staffing as we take all necessary measures to protect the safety of our staff and their families.

Our head office near Reading is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, and our workshop is active.

We continue to supply parts (where available), and we are doing plenty of repair work and removal vehicle builds.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have been inundated with enquiries about removal vehicles. We are building van-based Rise&Fall decks as quickly as possible. Here are some of the vans we are working on at the time of writing.
VW T6 Int Side DrawerVW T6 Int Deck

At present we have two Rise&Fall deck removal vehicles available – a black metallic VW Transporter 4MOTION and a Silver metallic Vito – but please get in touch with any other enquiries.

VW T6STK754 Vito 114
We are here to help and support you, your families, and your businesses during this time. If you require our assistance during the lockdown, or as the situation changes, please get in touch with the team:

Kevin Smith
Head Office, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

T: 0118 971 4444


Greg Platt (Northern Area)

T: 07968 195 722


Jon Helm (Southern Area)

T: 07879 252 224


With best wishes from all at Superior UK Automotive.


A Surprise New Vito For Frank Cobbett With Help From Superior UK

When Superior UK delivered a new Vito private ambulance to F Cobbett & Sons family funeral directors, it was news to Frank Cobbett. His son, Warwick Cobbett, tells us how he worked with Superior UK’s Kevin Smith to keep the new vehicle a complete surprise for his father.

Vito Side Load Bier.jpg

“We have six branches in and around South London,” explains Warwick Cobbett, “so all our vehicles cover a lot of miles, with our private ambulances going all over the country. It was time to replace one of our existing removal vehicles. We have an older one with Binz decking in it, and that deck had actually outperformed a newer vehicle with a different deck system fitted. So I went to Superior UK to get a replacement Vito with their interior.”

Kevin Smith at Superior UK was happy to help Warwick Cobbett with a modified Vito that would meet the needs of a busy London funeral firm.

“F Cobbett & Sons’s vehicles cover a lot of ground, including airport runs,” he said. “The new Vito had to be carefully customised to fit their needs, including a reliable deck that could keep up with the workload for many years to come.”

Vito Decking Grey
Superior UK and Warwick worked together to finalise the specs, which included non-standard amendments and that famous Rise&Fall Superior decking.

Kevin at Superior UK explained the changes they made to the standard Vito. “We modified the upper deck to accommodate a flight tray, and modified the lower deck to allow a wheeled lattice bier, latex glove storage box and disposal pocket to be fitted,” he said. “The results was a flight tray on both the upper or lower decks. The vehicle itself had a lovely specification, with the uprated 116 (163hp) engine, plus 7-Speed automatic transmission, air-conditioning, parking sensors and satellite navigation.

During the build, Warwick visited Superior UK’s Reading headquarters twice to see all the changes taking place.

F Cobbett & Sons Delivery 150917 LR
On the day of delivery, Frank Cobbett (Warwick’s father) had no idea that he was receiving a new private ambulance, let alone one kitted out with a top range Superior decking, new interior details, and a smart exterior finish. Kevin Smith was there on behalf of Superior UK to personally hand the vehicle over.

“Warwick had done a great job in keeping the new vehicle order under wraps,” he said. “Together we presented the new Vito removal vehicle to his father Frank, who was delighted with the latest addition to their funeral fleet.”

F Cobbett & Sons – who operate under Evershed Brothers, incorporating John Knox & Stanley Clare, now have a fleet of two hearses, two limousines, and two private ambulances. This busy London firm has been operating since 1924 and Warwick is third generation of the Cobbett family. As the business expands and grows, Superior UK look forward to supporting the family with reliable, top quality vehicles.

“ This is the first vehicle we have supplied to Warwick,” said Kevin Smith at Superior UK, “and it’s been a real pleasure.”

A Surprise New Vito For Frank Cobbett With Help From Superior UK is a post from the Superior UK blog. The main Superior UK website is here.

Superior UK On 2 Wheels – France, Monaco, The Alps



Superior UK’s Kevin Smith isn’t just passionate about funeral vehicles! He loves anything on four wheels…. or two wheels!

Fun Facts!

Kevin got his first motorcycle when he was 8 and has had one ever since. He first tasted freedom at 16 having passed his moped test, and by 18 he had moved straight onto big bikes (500cc then 600cc and then 750c) riding every day, even through winter months. He actually spent 5 years racing 1000cc superbikes – and finished 8th in the National Championships in 2005 before hanging up his race leathers to concentrate on the family.

Here he is in 2001 at a Track Day.
2001 Track Day

Superior UK’s Annual Roadtrip

In 2001, Kevin toured the American East coast – New York to Maine – on a Harley Davidson. Since then, he’s tried to get away annually for a few days of carefree riding with a group of biking friends.

2011 – off road touring in the mountains of Andalucia on a Honda CRF450
2012 – toured France, Alsace mountains on a Harley-Davidson
2012 – 2013 – various Hare & Hound Enduro events
2014 – toured the Scottish Highlands on a Triumph 800xc
2015 – toured France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland on the Triumph 800xc
2016 – toured France, Italy, Austria on the Triumph 800xc
2017 – did a French Training Tour with IAM/ROSPA

This year’s trip was touring France and into Monaco – here are some highlights.

Day 1
11 hours and 543 miles of riding, starting in Calais and arriving in Macon.


Day 2
A day of riding through Vercors complete with 1000ft drops and spectacular scenery. The guys headed off towards Grenoble and climbed up into the mountains, and took a little jaunt through the Vercors. They had a run over a few mountain routes, but the Col de la Machine was the most spectacular (even though the main photo point was closed for repairs).

After an overnight stop in Gap, they were getting ready to head off when they saw the first vehicle of the day… (there’s no getting away from the funeral industry!)

Day 3
Started fresh at altitude (approx. 800m) and the guys climbed into the Alps Cote D’Azur. Fabulous roads, picture postcard scenery, what more could you want!

They zig zagged their way to the D900c, what a route! Headed south and picked up Route Napoleon (some of which was closed for resurfacing). The detour was a gem – and featured a great biker bar (Snack Du Lack)
As they ran down the side of the Alps, the Mediterranean Sea was looming large. They had a lovely run along the sea front through Nice and onto Monaco.

Monaco was mayhem, with roadworks, traffic, construction and the casino – and surrounding roads closed for a private function.

The guys finally reached Menton in the mountains for an overnight stop.

Day 4
Brought some serious altitudes as they started to tackle the Route des Grande Alpes – which would take a few days.

Kevin says this was probably the slowest he’s ever ridden, averaging 15mph over 6hrs, but the views were amazing. He now fully understands why it’s called “Route des Grande Alpes”. With the Maritime Alpes complete – they moved into the Rhone Alpes.

Day 5
A fresh start to the day (only about 5*C) as Kevin and co left from an altitude 900m.

The day’s ride was only 180miles but took 9hrs and they covered some epic roads and unbelievable views.

They topped out at just over 2,600mtrs – high enough for a dash of snow here and there. But they also passed through some big ski resorts which Kevin says looked quite strange covered in grass! (everywhere closed and deserted until December)

Then through Albertville where the 1992 Winter Olympics were held, a lovely town popular with cyclists, surrounded by plenty of nice roads.
They stopped to admire Mont Blanc, before heading to an overnight stop in Annecy, a fantastic town with excellent restaurants and its own lake.

Day 6
They started to move towards home, but there was more adventure still to come.

The ride up was great, 320 miles covered in 9 hours of riding. There were no peage AutoRoutes so they got see some of Northern France.

They arrived in Epernay on Saturday evening, and unfortunately the Champagne houses were all enclosed up so they had to resort to window shopping…

Are you a motorbike fan? Have you ever ridden any of these routes?

This is a blog post from Superior UK – the main Superior UK website is here.

About Superior Automotive UK

About Superior Automotive UK

For generations, Superior Automotive UK have been proud to be the preferred choice of many funeral directors thanks to our specialist knowledge and genuine customer care. We hope you’ll find the same quality and industry knowledge on this blog.

Most of the posts will be written by me, Kevin Smith, Managing Director (and second-generation of the Smith family here at Superior Automotive UK). I’ll write about customer handovers, case studies, industry comment and news.

Superior Automotive UK are an independent family owned and managed company, supplying new and used funeral vehicles (and specialist aftercare services) to funeral professionals.

We really understand the requirements of funeral directors and are known for more than the quality of our vehicles – what keeps customers coming back to Superior Automotive UK is our experience and aftersales care.

Our HQ in Aldermaston near Reading, Berkshire, is where our team helps you find the very best in high-quality, customised, bespoke limousines, hearses and removal vehicles.

For more about us please go to our main website – Superior Automotive UK.

About Superior Automotive UK is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here.