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A guide to buying bullet proof cars

Armoured cars are used for providing security to celebrities, state heads and other high profile individuals. The safety and functionality levels of a bulletproof vehicle are determined by several factors. Purchasing an armoured car requires an understanding of the security needs of an individual.

Considerations when buying a bulletproof car

Armoured cars have a very important job to do: to protect the lives of passengers and cargo. In a critical situation, any malfunction could prove fatal. For this reason, it is important to know the standards and specifications of bulletproof automotive vehicles before they can be used as security vehicles. Conforming to Standards All armoured vehicles must conform to specific international standards pertaining to the levels of security offered. An understanding of these standards will help in choosing what kind of armouring is desired to counter an expected threat. It is equally important to ensure that all materials used in bulletproofing and bomb-proofing a vehicle are certified. Armoured car specifications Security cars are usually fitted with bulletproof plates and bulletproof glass that can resist all external attacks using handguns, machine guns or grenades. The ballistic armouring material that covers the body and roof of the vehicle is lightweight which helps to reduce the unladen weight of the vehicle. The glass areas are usually covered by transparent armour with polycarbonate layers that can prevent spalling, the ejection of fragmented shrapnel, when hit by a bullet. Floors may be made bulletproof as well.

Standards of protection

Ballistic resistance Each armoured car has a ballistic resistance which defines the type of gunfire the vehicle can withstand. Ballistic resistance is determined by the level of protection the armoured layer provides. Bulletproof cars come with different armouring levels that measure the calibre, mass, velocity of the projectile and the distance and angle at which the shot is fired. Apart from internationally accepted standards of ballistic resistance, many manufacturers of armoured vehicles apply their own standards that match or exceed global standards. International ballistic standards Some of the international agencies that establish the ballistic resistance standards include the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Central European Normalisation (CEN), and Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Apart from the NIJ, CEN and UL ballistic standards, there are other globally recognised standards of armouring levels like German DIN Ballistic Standards, British Ballistic Standards, STANAG which corresponds to NATO standards, ASTM Ballistic Standards, Australian Ballistic Standards, Brunswick Ballistic Standards, Canadian Ballistic Standards, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Ballistic Standards, MIL-SAMIT Ballistic Standards and State Department (SD) Ballistic Standards. Almost any make or model of vehicle can be fitted with bulletproof armour. Custom armour shops specialise in vehicles often chosen by state departments or the secret service while providing bulletproof armour for other vehicle types.

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