The 3 Best SHTF Bug out Vehicles

I got a letter today from a long time reader who was curious to see what I would recommend for a bug out vehicle. I am sure if you asked most preppers secretly they would prefer something like the battle truck out of Mad Max The Road Warrior but the harsh reality is plenty of us do not have the money to afford a “wish list” bug out vehicle.


So what sort of criteria is important for bug out transport?

I would say you need something with a bit of room say, seats 4 people plus ample storage space too. A motocross bike may come in handy to weave in and out of traffic jams and for traversing rough terrain but is next to impossible to accommodate grandma and your 4 yo daughter.

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Our bug out vehicle has to be able to handle rough conditions (so 4 wheel drive ideally) and be affordable. If we are factoring in the possibility of an EMP attack (or solar flare) then you may want to also own an older vehicle that doesn’t have all the on board computers that most modern day vehicles have. After an EMP a pre-computer vehicle has a much better chance of working – even if the starter system is fried you can always roll start it. If one can afford it, a spare alternator/generator, starter, dry battery and battery acid, would be nice to have, just in case

Considering that we are not planning on owning a Mad max battle truck it also make sense to purchase something we can use on a day to day basis too. All joking aside on Mad Max battle trucks but keep in mind in a SHTF bug out situation driving a vehicle like that may make you a prime target for looters and roaming gangs as they are going to think you have a lot of items of value on board. In this sense it might pay to be more “hidden in plain site” like an 80s style station wagon with a reinforced bumper than some tricked out $200,000 Hummer.


So what are some good affordable options?

My 3 main choices would have to be one of the following depending on your personal tastes and whats available in the local market near you

4wd Jeep – you can get some great used jeeps out in the marketplace now that seat 4 or more people and are 4 wheel drive versions, for those of us who are concerned about a long term societal collapse and the degradation of fuel quality there are diesel options available too.Keep in mind most recent year models you will be looking to spend over $25,000 so you may have to opt for a 1990s model.


Crew Cab truck – there are some great choices out there in the marketplace these days – just make sure you get a 4 wheel drive option. Invest in reinforced suspension and a cover for the flat bed and you are good to go.

SUVs – another smart choice for a bug out vehicle as they are everywhere and do not look too out of place. Again like pick up trucks make sure you get one with good four wheel drive.


Finally if you are still enamored by the idea of a Mad max Battle truck you could get a diesel school bus super cheap well maintained and very cheap to buy. They can roll over and you can survive and they can push things out of the way it’s like a big tank all steel bumpers etc.

Ultimately, a lot comes down to your personal choice but I think really any vehicle that is a reliable runner and you have fuel for can be your Bug Out Vehicle, heck even a solid mountain bike might get you out of dodge when all the gasoline goes bad. Stay Safe folks.

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8 thoughts on “The 3 Best SHTF Bug out Vehicles

  1. I have a 98 Jeep Wrangler and it has been the most unreliable POS I have ever driven. I’ve had it for about 9 years and it’s pretty much been breaking down from the beginning. A money pit. I’ve had the transmission rebuilt twice, not to mention all the other repairs. I need a new engine, too (oh, yeah, had that rebuilt once, too). Anyway, unless you can afford a brand new Jeep and you are a skilled mechanic, I wouldn’t recommend one.

  2. Why not be real… Try a Hard-side Truck Camper like an Arctic Fox (Built for extreme weather / large fresh water and LP tanks / Setup for Solar / Strong and Built to last) that in combination with a F450 4×4 diesel dully. You and your family would be very safe and well prepared.

  3. uk spec , landrover 300 tdi discovery 1 .same running gear as a defender but more comfortable . will run on veg oil as well .

    • Thanks Graeme appreciated! I don’t know about you but in the last few years I have got more and more interested in bio fuels for cars after the SHTF

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