Ako A. lives in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk with his wife and four children.
He was part of the forces fighting against ISIS militants.
When it came time to buy a car, Ako went to a local auction.
After looking around, he found an early 1990’s BMW and paid $10,000 for the car.
One of the reasons the old car cost so much was because the BMW was armored.
Ako wanted to be able to drive around the war zone without the constant fear of ISIS snipers.
He told local media…
My friends were very happy when I bought the armored car. We started driving in it to the front line near Kirkuk, not worried about ISIS drive-by shootings or roadside bombs.”
But one day, dozens of ISIS militants carried out coordinated attacks in Kirkuk.
The militants targeted local security forces as well as civilians.
More than 100 civilians were wounded by ISIS snipers firing from rooftops.
During the fighting, Ako knew he needed to help the innocent civilians.
“I told myself, this is the right time to help people, this is the right moment to do it. I am a fighter and I have a bulletproof car, shame on me if I can’t help,” he says.
Ako drove his armored BMW through the city, returning again and again to gather injured civilians. All while ISIS fighters peppered his car with bullets.
Ako used his car to transport more than 70 wounded civilians to safety.
When the fighting was over, the BMW had more than 50 bullet marks on it.
But the bullets from the ISIS fighters and snipers didn’t penetrate the armored vehicle, and nobody inside the car was hit by gunfire.
Ako says he turned down an offer from the German carmaker to trade in his bullet-riddled BMW for a new one.
He wanted to keep his armored car because it saved countless lives.
These days, the sales of armored cars even in the US have skyrocketed.
I have friends that build armored cars and they’ve got wait lists of several months.
Although they’re very expensive, there are a few factors to keep in mind if you have ever considered getting an armored vehicle.
Levels of armor:
When armor is added to a vehicle many other upgrades also take place.
Depending on the level of armor the vehicle might need stronger suspension, brakes, and other weight capacity-related parts.
In the U.S., all armor is rated to a protection level.
If you are going to armor a vehicle you should do it the right way.
In my opinion, it’s a waste of money to armor a vehicle to protect against 9mm rounds at the most.
Instead, you should have armor that protects against .50 caliber rounds.
This level should also protect against roadside explosions.
Also, you can add air systems that can filter out biological and chemical agents.
How it changes your vehicle:
Adding armor to a vehicle obviously makes the doors and glass thicker, and increases the weight of the vehicle.
Armor can add about 1500-2500 pounds to the weight of the vehicle.
One problem is that this can mean the vehicle is more prone to rollovers.
Also, acceleration will be reduced, and it will take more distance to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Lastly, too much weight added to the vehicle could exceed the manufactures recommended capacity.
This is why most armored vehicles are big trucks or limos built on truck frames.
How much does it cost?:
Prices for an armored car can vary. The man mentioned above spent only $10,000. But the car was also 30 years old.
The cost of adding armor to a vehicle can be as much as buying the vehicle itself.
You can expect to start at around $50,000.
And if you buy a vehicle that is already armored you can expect to spend at least $100,000.
This is a starting price and the more high-end the vehicle the more you will pay.
For example, armored vehicles used by the police and military start around $250,000.
But even if you wanted to spend that amount it’s not easy to find these vehicles.
Also, there is added expenses to maintenance and fuel costs, because of the added weight.
If you’re considering an armored car for a bug-out vehicle, a good option is to buy a used armored money transport truck.
These can be found in decent condition for about $20,000.
It’s much better than buying a new armored car that costs more than your house.