Survival Vehicle: Bug Out In Time to Live In A Post-Apocalyptic World

Survival Vehicle

Doomsday can be caused by so many factors that it is almost impossible to think of all scenarios. When in need of a survival vehicle, the things you need to consider, depend a lot on the area you live in, the season, the number of people you’re planning to take with you and whether or not you have a simple survival bag or a whole gear to take with you.

[the_ad_placement id=”in-text-1-type-r”]

Vehicle manufacturers thought about this issue as well and they’ve built survival cars meant for bug out situations. They aren’t all running on gas and they are multi-purpose as well. Even so, the average person might not have access to such vehicles in time. That is why it is important to know what you need and get it as fast as possible.

EMP-resistance factors to consider

Survival vehicles are not easy to pick. Here are some factors that you should consider in case you’re planning to resist a possible disastrous situation: type of gas, fuel capacity, cargo or towing capability, off-road capability, ways of maintenance and repairs, easy to find parts, less controllable by a computer, blend in capacity, materials and ways to improve it.

Survival Vehicle

Although there are survival cars ready for you to buy, you should first know what to look for in such car. The following guidelines will give you a better idea of what could work in an EMP situation, but they don’t guarantee you a 100% rate of success.

  • Type of gas. In case you can’t afford or you cannot trust vehicles powered by alternative sources, then you should know which type of has is more reliable. Diesel is your best option because it doesn’t expire as quickly as gasoline and it can be obtained from crops that you can grow by yourself. It goes without saying that no one is going to produce gasoline anymore, so you have to be prepared with as much as you can carry. A vehicle powered by fossil fuels will not be usable forever, but it is a good option to run away with. See our piece on how to make biofuel to give you more options.
  • Fuel capacity. Survival cars should have a larger fuel capacity than the average car and you should add tanks to it filled with diesel. The possibility of stopping for diesel or even running into a functional gas station is low. These tanks should be virtually indestructible or else you might get away, but don’t get far.
  • Cargo capability. When you want to save your family, along with your pets, you’ll stumble upon the space problem. They will all have stuff they want to carry with them and most of them will not be survival items. So, think of attaching a trailer, a roof rack or swing outs in order to optimize space. You won’t have enough time to think this through when you’ll need to bug out, so it’s best to think about it now. When you travel solo things are much easier.
  • Type of tires. Regardless of the type of catastrophe you’re facing, you can’t rely on the roads anymore. This means that you’ll need big tires, capable of carrying you off road, in less peachy conditions. A 4-wheel drive is your best option, to which you should add all terrain tires and spares. As extra caution means, you may carry towing rope and other types of towing tools that might come in hand.
  • Repairs and maintenance. A simply built engine that is not controlled by a computer is exactly what you’re looking for. Such mechanism can easily be fixed if you also carry an instructions manual with you and some basic tools. Electronic waves might interfere with every device from Earth’s surface, so they must be excluded from your survival plan.
  • Your choice in survival vehicle will definitely be good, but things break, so what you need is a common vehicle that can be easily fixed. If you have enough money to purchase any of the modern, post-apocalyptic vehicles out there, then you won’t have to worry about fixing it. However, if you don’t, then you can stack up or rely on the commonality of your automobile. Your choice should at least get you to the place where you can take a customized vehicle that was made for survival. For tips on how to assemble a car safety kit, see our piece on this important topic.
  • Not electronic. As previously mentioned, you should avoid certain parts, such as the powertrain control module, the anti-lock braking system, the fuel injection that’s electronically controlled, as well as the electronic ignition, the negative battery terminal that is sometimes grounded to the frame of the car and pretty much anything that controls critical systems with computers.
  • Blend in. The truth is that you never know what situation you will face. It could be just environmental or it could be about surviving among other people who aren’t interested in helping each other, but taking stuff from each other. Therefore, a vehicle that can easily blend in is ideal. You know how they say, better safe than sorry!
  • Insulating materials. For you and your loved ones to be safe inside the vehicle, you have to make sure the materials aren’t conductive and if they are, to insulate them. Choose Plexiglas or plastic or any material that you know of with insulating properties. No one knows the type of disaster that will bring doomsday, so no one can be 100% protected anywhere.
  • Everything mechanic. The ignition of your vehicle, as well as the fuel injection, the carburetor and the water pumps should be mechanical. This is because you can actually repair them by yourself and you don’t need anything electronic to do so. However, this features might not all apply to the same car. It is just a point to consider.
  • Comfort points. Considering that your doomsday vehicle will be like your second home, you have to make it comfortable. Sleeping in this automobile is a real option, so make sure it is big enough for all the members of the post-apocalyptic ride. See our article on basic survival essentials for bugging out on the go.

Self-sufficient survival sources

Preppers around the world put together a list of survival cars that would come in hand in case doomsday arrives. Some of them are very futuristic and they use alternative energy sources, while others are based on simple mechanisms. They are small or equipped for an entire family to live inside them, but all of them have certain disadvantages, such as low speed in case of the Sherp, a Russian truck.

The biggest disadvantage of most cars usable after the apocalypse is their price. Unless you locate them after the world as we know it ends and you simply take it, it’s highly unlikely for you to afford such ride.


Stella is both a car and a generator for a home or for various devices that consume electricity. This prototype was developed by researchers from the Eindhoven University, together with the NXP Company. 100% Dutch invention, Stella is able to produce twice the electricity it consumes.


Image credit:

A single charge allows this vehicle to travel 435 miles on the highway, but its utility can be exploited to the maximum in other cases too. This strange car can accommodate up to 4 passengers. Its outdoor ceiling is completely covered with photovoltaic panels, which function with the help of the sun.

Dodge RAM hybrid

Dodge’s engineers invented and produced this vehicle for the local governments. They did so between 2010 and 2011. The US Department of Energy awarded them with a check of nearly 97.5 million dollars for their idea.

Dodge RAM Hybrid

Although it is only a dream for ordinary people, this car is amazing because it has the ability to regenerate energy when the driver uses the break. It runs on diesel, used vegetable oil or kerosene. It is also an energy source that works like a generator and it can be used in post-apocalyptic situations because of that.

Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza is praised and advertised as a great anti-hurricane vehicle. It is suited for off-road and it is roomy enough to accommodate a few people and luggage. In addition, it is a race car, so it can offer the type of speed that you need to run away from a hurricane.

Subaru Impreza

Fast cars are also good in case of ambushes, but they are not tough enough to resist a possible impact. It could be a bug out car in case of hurricanes, but it is not a good solution on long term.

Toyota Hilux

A pickup car, Toyota Hilux claims to be indestructible. If you think of an apocalyptic scenario where trees or parts of buildings might fall on your automobile, then you should see yourself riding this beauty!

Toyota Hilux

This car isn’t cheap, but it is much more approachable than other ones meant for the same purposes.

[the_ad_placement id=”in-text-2-type-r”]

A reliable option, it offers you and your loved ones enough space to carry supplies and gear too. It is not a perfect choice, but it can be customized and improved in order to be fitted in multiple situations.

Land Rover Defender

Another excellent off-road vehicle, this one can even get you through water. It is not an underwater car, but it is tough enough to go through a not so deep river. Suited for rough roads, it doesn’t provide as much shelter as other vehicles. This is why it’s hard to find an all-inclusive survival car; it might not be equipped for all types of emergencies.

Land Rover Defender

Also called the ultimate off-roader, Land Rover Defender will not let you down if you use it in a proper environment.


Sherp is a vehicle made by Russians that looks a little like a tank. Resistant to a nuclear apocalypse, Sherp is a sturdy car. You can drive it on ice, over trees and through water. Sherp is a truly all-terrain automobile with huge tires and a total weight of 2600 pounds. It only generates 44 horsepower and it reaches a maximum speed of 27 mph on ground and 3.7 mph in water.


In comes with an incorporated 15 gallons gasoline tank that is spacious enough to provide for an entire day. In addition, it is accompanied by extra gasoline tanks that can be previously filled for emergencies.

Sportsmobile 4WD Vehicle

According to expert opinions, this vehicle is perfect in case the world ends because of zombies. You can make this van your house, especially if you live next to the desert. The type of rugged terrain you can cross with this vehicle can be used in your favor because zombies will trip and fail to catch you.

Sportsmobile 4WD Vehicle

Image credit:

It puts a lot of space at your disposal and you can climb on top of it to look for zombies, just like people used to do in the well-know the Walking Dead series. Not one of the fastest cars, this van is fast enough to get you from zombies to no zombies.

Earth Roamer XV-LT

Speaking of vehicles that you can live in, the Earth Roamer XV-LT is a better option. It comes with amazing features, such as a twin turbo diesel engine, 10,000 pound towing capacity and it is able to use the power of the sun to produce energy.

Earth Roamer XV-LT

In addition, you can fill it with 85 gallons of water and use its filtration system as well. To make things even more awesome, it has an extra gas tank that can hold 90 gallons of diesel. On the con side, this is a family vehicle that will slow down an independent person. You better start saving 225k for this beauty!

Oshkosh Tactical Protector vehicle

The end of the world as we know it or TEOTWAWKI might not be void of people. It could be filled with survivors who will want war. If so, you’ll need to get your hands on the Oshkosh Tactical Protector Vehicle because it offers you nuclear, chemical and biological protection.

Oshkosh Tactical Protector

Image credit:

It might not be rich in sustainability options, but at least it has side gun ports and a top gun turret for the machine gun that you’ll need as well. With an ability to stop up to 14.5 mm Armor Piercing Rounds, this vehicle is ideal in dangerous situations.


Buffalo has been used since 2003. It is a vehicle sent in Afghanistan that is bullet proof and grenade proof. It comes with 6 huge wheels and a 30 foot robotic arm equipped with an iron claw. Its arm is ideal for clearing the route whether there are other cars, tress or even zombies.


However, owning such vehicle is kind of Utopic, so might want to build a similar arm to your own survival car.

Rheinmetall Fuchs

If you’re looking for a vehicle that is able to detect all kinds of dangers and you can also drive it through water, then you found it! Rheinmetall Fuchs is a German vehicle that besides being fully amphibious, it is also equipped with 2 propellers. This means it can reach about 6 miles per hour underwater.

Rheinmetall Fuchs

Furthermore, it comes with lots of weapons that can be controlled with the help of a remote. Again, you’ll have to rob a bank to get this one!

Armored Audi A8

Things might not be devastating, but you might have to bug out anyway. So, the armored Audi A8 version should be among your top choices. It is highly comfortable, it can offer you the thrill of speed and it is rare enough to make everything more challenging.

Armored Audi A8

It is said there are only 22 pieces in the whole world, so you might want to hurry up with your investments! The Spanish government is the one that ordered this customized type of Audi. It’s time to infiltrate!

Survival cars for VIPs

Moving on to survival automobiles that are unlikely for anyone else to have but the VIPs, we can count the Popemobile and Obama’s Cadillac, which is also called the Beast. The Popemobile is a Mercedes-Benz that features a throne surrounded by a bullet-proof glass. As for the Beast, it is sealed to ward off biochemical attacks.

Survival_Vehicle infographic

It includes fire-fighting equipment and tear gas cannons, not to mention an 8-inch thick armor plating that ensures more mobility than you can think of. Obama’s Cadillac is untouchable, but the Popemobile doesn’t seem too difficult to duplicate.

Prepared to bug out

Now that you know the fundamentals, you should start preparing to bug out anytime. Try to take as many factors as you can into consideration.

[the_ad_placement id=”in-text-3-type-r”]

Although you’ll find automobiles based on electric impulses in the list above, keep in mind that they are sensitive to EMP events, so try to avoid them as much as possible. If you can, prepare more than one survival car for yourself and your loved ones. Money might be a problem, so adapting pricey features to your vehicle could be tricky, but it is definitely not impossible!

Survival Kit Inside Vehicle

Image credit:

In case of TEOTWAWKI, you can escape in an automobile equipped by you and look for one of the expensive models that you couldn’t afford until then. Simply taking such cars won’t count as stealing anymore!

Our interesting article on how to survive on the run using your bug out vehicle is a must-read, so check it out!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

David Dawson

David Dawson is a retired security specialist with over 20 years of experience. He worked for a secret manufacturing facilities and hospitals in Illinois. David's responsibility was to protect people in case of any disaster or cataclysm that might occur. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and survive flood, earthquake or even war.


  • These are all powerful cars that may survive any situation, but as you say, they come with a price. Also, I agree, building a survival bug out car is possible and doesn’t have to be pricey, just do your homework.
    In the case of zombies, I think even a tank can’t get through a massive horde unless you can decimate them turning them into dust.

    • Well said, John. You can transform your SUV into a survival vehicle if you do not have enough money to buy the ones recommended in this article.

  • I don’t have much money to buy any survival vehicle you mentioned above. Haha. Even the customization will be pricey too. What I did instead was to put necessary goods inside my backpack (towels, spare clothes, canned goods, emergency lights, batteries, medicine, soap, alcohol, and papers) and store it inside my SUV. I have asked my family members to do the same thing. We did this after our country was devastated by a super typhoon. From time to time, we change the clothes and canned goods inside the backpack.

    • Hi Steven,
      At times you do not necessarily need to have the aforementioned survival vehicles, but you can improvise and use your SUV. However, you have to be good in backpacking to make sure you are bringing along essential items.

  • How about a small 10-wheeler warehouse truck? It is reliable, strong and spacious too. It is best for family and can be a permanent shelter too. You can customize the windows and wield some metal bars.

    • Hi John,
      A warehouse truck is a good choice. A truck is a solid choice, not only does it make sense in any survival situation, a warehouse truck is useful in hauling supplies and equipment to your
      bug out location in non emergency times.

Leave a Comment