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Civilian armored vehicles are hardy automobiles that promise high levels of security. Now more than ever before, it has become paramount to put our personal safety first especially with continued violence on the streets, random terrorist attacks as well as in increase in social injustice. With widespread violence across the globe, the alarming safety issues not only affects the rich and famous but also politicians, executives, heads of state and diplomats. It is no wonder why the armored vehicle industry is experiencing a growth influx.
The misconception about armored vehicles
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1. They are for military use only
When most people think of armored vehicles the first thing that comes to mind is the military. What they don’t know however, is that civilian armored vehicles do exist. In fact, research shows that a large number of highly acclaimed armored vehicles such as trucks, vans, cars and the likes are actually manufactured for civilian use.
2. They are not affordable
Civilian armored vehicle that have lighter protection are known to be more affordable and accessible as well for the everyday person. These automobiles offer just as much protection against rounds both at farther distance and point blank ranges. To make it even more affordable, you can opt to customize a sued chassis instead of buying one that was made from scratch. Despite your armoring level, modifying your regular car to an armored beast can still offer all the critical horizontal and vertical protection you want your car to provide.
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Who needs a civilian armored vehicle?
Generally, armored vehicles are used by people who feel like they are in constant threat or risk such as government officials, news reporters, celebrities, business tycoons and people residing or moving in conflict or war zones. Entrepreneurs, politicians and other people who can afford the hefty price of armored vehicles usually opt for them. Civilian vehicles that have been modified and converted into armored automobiles are often improvised and used by irregular forces or even militias.
Such vehicles are also used to transport money and other valuables from one place to another since armored cars tend to work as a safeguard against cargo and good high jacking or highway robbery.
Types of civilian armored vehicles
There exists an industry stigma that armored vehicles are quite expensive thus being out of reach of the everyday person. However, this is not true since there exist different types of armored cars some of which can be affordable to civilians thus ensuring them piece of mind while travelling. Here are some of the types of civilian armored vehicles:
- Armored Vans
- Armored SUVs
- Armored Sedans
- Armored Land Cruisers
- Armored Personnel Carriers
- Armored used vehicles
- Cash In Transit/ Bullion
- Armored Trucks
- Special Purpose Vehicles
These types of vehicles are either retrofitted versions of Series cars or they are manufactured in the factory. It only takes about two weeks to convert an ordinary car to an armored civilian vehicle. This involves a labor intensive process where the car’s windows are replaced with bulletproof glass and the exterior body of the car is fitted layers of armor under it. In most cases, the vehicle’s external appearance is left as it originally were to ensure that the changes made are inconspicuous.
Why are civilian cars armored?
Just like military vehicles, civilian vehicles are armored for the same reason which is to withstand an attack be it shells, bullets, shrapnel or missiles. However, there are some types of armored vehicles such as light armored vehicles that serve to fulfil ad hoc fashion interests. At present, there is also this new trend of using transparent armor for cars. This is made possible by using a special type of glass armor.
Aside from the armor, civilian armored cars are also fitted with a variety of other protective paraphernalia including the following:
- Siren or alarm system
- Temperature regulations and pressure control systems
- Explosion resistant fuel tank
- Run-flat tires
- Fire extinguishers
- Remote starting system
- Intercom incorporation between the interior and exterior of the vehicle
All these things and more are fitted to provide the future owner of the automobile with enhanced safeguard. Therefore, there is no denying that armored cars can serve much civilian interest too. They especially come in handy it times of terrorism and strife since they assure a high security level. After everything is said and done however, we must not forget that the excessive use of armor does restrict mobility. Therefore, consider getting one that is armored only to the extent that is necessary since it will also make it more aesthetically appealing as well.
A civilian armored vehicle vs a regular vehicle
At present, there are more than 100,000 civilian armored vehicles on the roads across the globe. Over the past 20 years, civilian armored cars have gone from looking like big tanks to including electric cars and other family-friendly options. Unlike military armored cars, civilian armored vehicles are designed to blend in are remain as inconspicuous as possible. In fact, at first glance, they look quite similar to regular civilian cars. So here are some of the features that make civilian armored cars different from regular cars.
Features of a good civilian armored car
1. Ballistic glass
The glass used to make civilian armored cars is slightly different from that used on a regular car off the lot. The main windows, windshield and rear window and are made from a mixture of polycarbonate substrate and leaded glass which allows them to absorb energy from attacks and other assaults without breaking. Normally, the glass is about one to three inches thick and must be reinstalled completely.
2. Robust tires and bumpers
The bumpers on civilian armored cars are expected to run through just about anything. This is because the main aim for manufacturing the car is to ensure that in case there is a dangerous event, the vehicle can get all its occupants to safety. This includes tires that can maintain their normal function even if they get a puncture and bumpers that can withstand repeated impact.
3. A steel frame that is heavy duty
One of the first things that is added to the frame of an armored car making it different from a regular car is ballistic-grade steel. In turn, this makes the vehicle’s body vastly different from that of a typical car. In fact, the whole frame of an armored vehicle is covered in tempered steel and then applies to the frame like a jigsaw puzzle without leaving any gaps. By doing so, manufacturer ensure that remodelled cars are able to maintain their shape while at the same time gain a higher level of security.
4. Rebuilt mechanics
Because of the added weight of both glass and steel, civilian armored vehicles are often equipped with modified brakes, engine and suspension components for the sole purpose of hauling the armor. Once it is fully outfitted, this means that driving your newly armored car will feel different.
So, the next time you are on the road and wondering if the car next to you is armored or not, you now have the tell-tale signs to know the difference. There are high chances though that you have already shares the road with more than one civilian armored car.
How can a regular car be armored?
Customizing both old and new models of cars, SUVs, trucks and vans is not impossible. It starts with the basic which is bullet proffing the windows as well as other parts of the car such as the tires, floor, engine and panels. Other things that can be done to upgrade your regular car to an armored vehicle and ensure protection include the following:
- Installing smoke screens
- Equipping the vehicle with mobile communications capabilities
- Door overlap protection
- Ron-flat tire systems
- Upgraded brake and suspension systems
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The difference between armor levels in civilian armored cars
One thing you need to know if you’re considering to buy a civilian armored vehicle is that not all of them are created the same. If you’re ready to purchase one, the first step you should take is deciding what level of protection is ideal for you. The level of protection you need can be determined by the following factors:
- Your perceived threat level
- How you will be using the car (will it be used for day-to-day activities or tactical purposes?)
- Number of passengers
- Your budget (i.e. cost of the car)
- Type of vehicle
- Among others
Ballistic protection levels
The purpose of a ballistic protection level is to tell you the level of assault the car can withstand or just how much security a certain level of armor can offer you. Here are some of the common ballistic protection levels:
These two classes are capable of withstanding a 9mm. however, they are rarely employed within armored automobiles
These two classes can withstand assault from handguns, sporting rifles and generally guns that have a lower bullet velocity and are shot at close distance such as a .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum.
This class provides protection from assault weapons such as AK-47s. It requires a ballistic steel-thickness of at least 7.5mm.
Having a higher level of security than the ones mentioned above, this rating is meant to stop armor piercing rounds. The B6 is among the most popular protection level since it is not complicated to implement while adding a huge security advantage
This is the strongest protection that is often offered. It stops a number of armor piercing rounds ranging from extra high-velocity rifles to even sniper rifles. In many cases, this is the highest level of protection that is fitted within civilian-grade armored vehicles. However, special purpose cars that can and more often than not, do accommodate higher levels of protection.
Keep in mind that you need to find a happy median when selecting the protection level of your car since more armor equals more weight. If the performance of your car is inhibited to a point where escape in times of danger becomes difficult, then no amount of armor will be beneficial to you.
How much does it cost to get your car bulletproof?
As mentioned earlier, you can either buy a civilian armored vehicle that was made from scratch or get your own car remodelled and modified to offer the protection you need. Now, if you are looking for bulletproof car price then you’re in the right place. The cost of bullet-proofing is dependent on a number of variable including the type of car you want bullet-proofed, the level of protection you need and the company you choose for the job. Ideally, the cost of bullet-proofing your car could range anywhere between $10,000 an $100,000.
Individual factors that play a role in the overall cost of bullet-proofing your car
Here are some of the factors that play a significant role in the overall amount you will pay to get your car bulletproof.
Bullet proofing the windows of your car is one of the first steps to ensuring your safety while on the road. However, you first need to decide what level of protection you need for your windows if you’re looking to protect yourself from bullets, shells or any other materials that can penetrate your windows.
This is where you will spend the least amount of money when bullet proofing. When it comes to bullet proofing tires, there are a number of options you can choose from that will ensure your car is not stopped by bullets or spike strips. They will ensure that you get away no matter what.
Bullet proofing the floor of your car is also essential since you also need protection from grenades or bombs that might be placed underneath your car. Similar to tires, there are also a number of ways to re-enforce the floor of your vehicle.
4. Panels and gas tank
Another part of your car that needs to be protected from bullets is the panels. With this knowledge, you can decide whether you want to protect particular panels or all panels. You also need to decide on the level of protection you need when doing so. At present, there are only a few companies offering protection against the penetrating force of a 0.5 caliber.
You might be in very big trouble should a bullet penetrate the engine of your car, this is the reason you need to bulletproof it. Having the right engine bullet protection may potentially save your life.
Reasons your business should invest in an armored truck
In the recent years, the clientele for armored trucks has increased leading to the overall sales of armored vehicles. Aside from transporting cash and jewelry, these type of cars are also used to ferry around important machines and equipment. If you are running a business that does either of the aforementioned, here are reasons why investing in an armored truck can be beneficial.
1. It will become a corporate asset
Whether your business is big or small, it can still benefit a lot from using an armored truck. Protection however, still remains the primary benefit since your employees won’t have to worry about their security and protection as well as that of the valuable goods, documents or even individuals that they will be transporting.
2. Robust and muscular protective features
There are a variety of reasons why you might need security for your products as they are being transported. An armored truck can offer protection from the valuables being transported. With muscular and robust features, armored vehicles are capable of keeping important instruments or machines from getting damaged.
3. Discreet style
Armored trucks have a secretive look that allows it to perfectly blend in with regular trucks. Long gone are the days when they used to look bulky and boxy. The only difference between armored trucks and regular trucks would be the fact that armored trucks are enhance with bulletproof glass and thick metal sheets. Because its discreet feature, your employees as well as the good they are carrying can be disguised without attracting the wrong attention.
Top civilian armored vehicles for sale
Whether it is transporting an important public figure, politician, business mogul, celebrity or simply collecting or dropping money to a bank or ferrying important documents, equipment, machines somewhere, the following cars are guaranteed to provide you with maximum safety.
1. Toyota Land Cruiser
For more than 30 years now, this globally renowned auto-making company has specialized in making sure that their clients are not hurt while riding in one of their automobiles. The Toyota Land Cruiser is built to provide you with solid protection from things like rifles. It is also fitted with a diesel engine that can cover 370 miles without having to stop for gas.
2. Mercedes Benz S600
This beauty is equipped with a blast-proof undercarriage, night vision and so much more.it also features a V12 engine that comes with extra protection in front to ensure that no one takes it out. What makes this car so great in the first place is its ability to maintain everything.
3. The Huron
This beast is heavily armored offering a high a high level of protection. If your risk level isn’t that high then you almost definitely don’t need this car but then again you can’t afford to be wrong
The Maybach can withstand a .308 caliber rifle firing armor piercing rounds. It is a combination of both class and protection. While people say that you shouldn’t attract attention to yourself if you are looking for a civilian armored car, this beauty is quite the opposite.
Produced by Texcalibur Armor who generally specialize in armored vehicles for bank transactions, the Popmobile is one of their armored vehicles that can be used for personal needs. This machine is technically called a “Presidential Vehicle” and it features a bulletproof glass.
6. Chevrolet Camaro
If you are looking for an armored vehicle that blends in with other cars on the road then the Chevrolet Camaro is the obvious choice.
7. Mercedes G-Class AMG
The windows and doors of this car can stop a .357 with full metal jacket bullets at point blanks range. This level of [protection is deemed fit enough for most mid-level diplomats by NATO. With the Mercedes G-Class AMG you’re okay, well unless you’re being attacked by an actual army.
8. Knight XV
Built from scratch to ensure your safety, this super luxurious armored car is equipped with Kevlar-reinforced ballistic fiber glass for the fenders. Its interior is 100% bespoke and you can get it with wool carpeting and suede covering everything else.
9. Chevrolet Suburban
Once featured in a Harrison Ford movie, this beauty will offer you all the protection you need.
Leasing a civilian armored vehicle
If you can’t afford to buy one or at least customize your regular car to become armored or better yet you don’t want to own one but you may need it from time to time to time then there is the option of leasing or renting one. You can get anything from a Porsche Cayenne to a discrete Camry. All you need to do is pick what you want and the vehicle comes with a driver (for most cases) who is already fully trained to help you escape dangerous situations such as ab encounter with armed thugs. Even though a bit expensive, renting or leasing a bulletproof vehicles start at a much more sane figure and are definitely worth the risk of not getting robbed or shot at.
The future of civilian armored vehicles
Thanks to advancement in technology, civilian armored cars will soon become less heavy-duty and more transparent in the near future. In addition to this, there will still be major improvements on the level of security that these vehicles offer today. As a matter of fact, ballistic glass is already becoming more powerful and lighter.
With the development of self-inflating tires as well as improved car design, it will soon be nearly impossible to tell the difference between a civilian armored vehicle from a regular vehicle.
If you can afford it, getting a civilian armored car or customizing your regular car to be bulletproof is a no brainer. We live in a chaotic world that is full of uncertainties, so why not protect yourself or your business if you can? Get one today!