So, you have decided to add an extra level of security to your vehicle in the form of bullet resistance. After doing some research on the level of armouring and cost, you realise that your budget does not stretch to a fully armoured vehicle. Should you go the route of partial armouring then?

The Cost Equation

To fully armour a medium-sized SUV (such as the BMW X3 pictured) to B4 (handgun level) costs a significant amount of money. The reason is the high cost of the imported 21 mm AGP armoured glass and the Kevlar sheets protecting the body (including the pillars). Don’t forget the labour to strip the entire cabin, armour and rebuild to OEM spec.

The cost split between the glass and the body armour is around 50:50 (vehicle dependent). Therefore, if the client decides to only armour the glass or body, the cost would be about half of the total armouring project.

Why It Is Not A Good Idea

Although SVI would consider its client’s requirements, it is not in favour of partial armouring for several reasons. The first is that it is still an expensive exercise, but the client is only half-protected.

During a hijack situation, the occupants want to feel completely comfortable when they decide to simply drive off. It’s all about confidence. This is not possible with partial armouring as there is doubt in the mind of the driver. Where is the hijacker aiming? What if he decides to randomly spray the car with bullets? It may even lead to a nervous breakdown where the car is eventually handed over to the hijacker as in the case of a non-armoured vehicle.

Value for Money?

The cost-to-safety ratio does not make sense when it comes to partial armouring. A tip is to check if the armouring company you decide to use is also armouring the pillars.

Many clients armour only the glass and doors, leaving vulnerable ballistic gaps. It is much trickier (and more labour intensive) to also armour the pillars. However, at SVI, we believe armouring all pillars is essential.


SVI proposes that clients save up for a full armouring solution rather than opting for partial armouring for the reasons mentioned above. There is always the possibility of financing the armouring (speak to us about this) or scaling down when it comes to a new car purchase. For example, a BMW X3 plus B4 armour is comparable in price to a BMW X5 without armour.


Please contact us if you need any further armouring advice.