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The Basics of Armored Vehicles

Choosing to invest in an armored vehicle is a significant decision, and one that must be made carefully. There are a number of important factors to take into consideration during the decision-making process, and only after developing an understanding of the basic knowledge of these factors should any decisions be made. 

The primary purpose of any armored vehicle is to be able to protect its occupants and contents from any threat or attack. An armored vehicle must be able to withstand gunfire, explosions, and any other weapon that may be used against it. It needs to be able to perform in unpredictable and hostile settings in order to safely drive out of any dangerous or threatening situations. 

While armored vehicles are fitted with bullet-resistant glass, that does not mean the glass is bulletproof, meaning that while they must be able to withstand initial impact from guns or other weapons, they must also be able to get out of their location to avoid a sustained attack. It is imperative that an armored vehicle never become completely immobilized and they must be designed in such a way that attackers are not able to gain control in any situation.

While traditional passenger vehicles often prioritize performance over other qualities, an armored vehicle has to strike a delicate balance of performance and protection. The more durable and ironclad the vehicle, the lesser its performance, which makes it very difficult to manufacture a vehicle that does both exceptionally. 

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Armored Vehicle

When choosing your armored vehicle, the most important criteria to consider are that the armored vehicle is able to withstand potential threats and that it is able to perform well enough to maneuver out of dangerous situations. You’ll also want to think about the maintenance it may require after weathering a hostile situation, and you’ll need to ensure you have another vehicle to use while the former is being repaired. 

Furthermore, vehicles that withstand attacks are likely to have shorter lifespans. It’s important to consider what sort of environment your vehicle will function within, taking care to choose a model that blends in as much as possible and can handle the additional weight it must carry when fully armored.

Beyond those factors, you will want to keep in mind the following:


The way that an armored vehicle is made has a great impact on its durability. It is inevitable that any vehicle, no matter how expertly crafted, will have seams and gaps that are the result of its manufacturing process. Seams are the product of two pieces of metal being placed next to one another to cover an area of the vehicle. Seams are the part of the vehicle that are weakest when stuck by the force of a bullet.


A vehicle’s payload is defined as the maximum weight it can carry when you combine cargo, occupants, and equipment. Payload also indicates the amount of armor a vehicle can accommodate. Any vehicle that exceeds its payload capacity by a substantial amount will not be easy to maneuver and will be difficult to stop or accelerate. Furthermore, a vehicle that exceeds its payload will have a shorter lifespan and may experience tire issues as a result of carrying too heavy of a load.


Due to the nature of the glass that must be used to build the windshields of armored vehicles, it’s common for there to be some distortion in places where the glass curves. This distortion can lead to difficulty looking left or right for drivers, and as you might expect, the more protective the glass is, the greater the level of distortion. Increased distortion can cause limited visibility in the dark, and for some drivers may cause headaches or nausea. It’s vital that you test drive any armored vehicles in the dark before you make a purchasing decision, because there is a stark difference between daytime and nighttime visibility.


It’s important to be aware of the level of certified ballistic and explosive resistance that pertains to the armored vehicle you are considering. Ballistic standards serve to classify the type and volume of rounds a vehicle or the materials from which it is made can withstand. It’s imperative that you get specific when speaking with the dealer. You must know the caliber of rounds that the vehicle is capable of stopping, the distance from which those rounds can be stopped, the volume of rounds it can protect against, and which areas of the vehicle will stop those rounds. Before having any conversations with dealers, you may want to take the time to learn more about ballistics standards and the levels of armor defeat.

Additional Costs of Ownership 

In the same way you would with any other sort of vehicle, you will incur various costs that come along with armored vehicle ownership, even if your vehicle is never forced to weather any hostile situations. The weight that armored vehicles carry puts an incredible amount of strain on all of its systems. Brakes, cooling systems, and transmissions will need more consistent maintenance than any standard vehicle. Armored vehicles require a greater level of maintenance than standard passenger vehicles, and in most cases that maintenance will be more specialized. 


It’s easy to underestimate the importance of tires on armored vehicles, but second only to the armor itself, tires are the most important component of any armored vehicle. They must be able to handle the heavy loads that armored vehicles carry, and when you bring your vehicle in for routine service, the armorer will need to determine the weight distributed to each tire. 

Run Flats

Run flats give armored vehicles the ability to run for several miles despite a flat tire, which is critical to getting out of dangerous situations. Run flats are difficult to install and to remove, and may require additional training or service to do so.

Spare Parts

As a result of the nature in which they are used, armored vehicles typically need parts replaced more frequently than standard passenger vehicles. This is doubly true of brakes, which wear out significantly faster on armored vehicles than other types of vehicles. Before making your purchase, speak with the dealer about any additional parts that may be offered.

When you decide to purchase an armored vehicle, you are making a decision that may save your life or the lives of other passengers. It’s not a decision to be made with haste, and only after you’ve developed a thorough understanding of the factors that impact your choice should any decision be made. Once you’ve considered all of the important factors that go into choosing your armored vehicle and you feel confident in your knowledge, you are ready to make an informed and educated purchase. 

More valuable insight can be found at www.bluelineprotectiongroup.com/insight-into-the-armored-car-industry

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