Best EMP Proof Vehicles: Which Vehicles Make The Cut?

An electromagnetic pulse of proper proportions would be a devastating event

Best EMP Resistant Vehicles

The majority of our population is completely dependent on power sources for our daily lives. 

One item in particular, a vehicle is the life blood of our everyday operations. 

If you do not believe me, take a moment, and think about this. 

You wake up one morning, get ready for work, and walk out to your vehicle. 

You get inside but the vehicle will not start. You soon find out that most other vehicles are “dead” as well.

In this situation you cannot:

  • Get to work
  • Visit loved ones 
  • Make a trip to the grocery store for food or anywhere else for the numerous supplies you need to live
  • Go to the doctor or hospital should you become ill or injured

As you can see, without a working vehicle, how we live our modern lives is not possible and much would have to change. 

However, do not lose all hope as there is a way around this with EMP proof vehicles…

Older Vehicles are more EMP Proof

Make sure to also read out best bug out vehicle choices as it ties into this article.

While the full effects of a large-scale EMP are not known we do know that modern electronics, solid-state electronics, like those found in vehicles, can be highly susceptible. 

Newer vehicles depend heavily on electronics to start a vehicle let alone run everything on board. This means they are the most vulnerable. 

But if we travel back just forty years or so, vehicles did not have near the number of electronics. 

This does not mean they are completely EMP proof but they will be more resistant to its effects and they have far fewer parts that may need to be replaced. 

Given the many benefits of diesel fuel, a vehicle that ran on it would also be great to have. 

The Disadvantages 

The biggest downfall to vehicles better suited for handling an EMP is that they are older.

Vehicles that are suggested for this purpose across many articles can be hard to come by. You are not going to be able to run to your local dealer and find most of them. It will take research on your part to find them as well as a decent amount of travel to pick it up.

To purchase these vehicles at an affordable price, they will have to not be restored to some degree. And that means they are going to be in rough shape due to the miles driven and the overall wear and tear of time.

Extra money and time are going to be required on your part to bring them up to speed as well as finding replacement parts that can be stored. 

Fully restored vehicles from forty plus years ago are going to cost a good chunk of change. You will have to decide if it is reasonable for you to spend that kind of money for “just in case.” 

Best EMP Proof Cars

With all of that in mind let’s take a look at what kind of vehicles would serve you well post an EMP event. 

Keep in mind that some of the vehicles on this list may have some components that could still be affected by an EMP.

The main difference here though is that those components are very few and could easily be changed out with spare parts and a little elbow grease.  


Cars before this date are going to be more likely to survive an EMP and will be easier to work on when spare parts are available. 

A popular choice that pops up time and time again is the Volkswagen Beetle.

The diesel engine Beetle is known for its simplicity, and many have said its reliability as well as sturdiness. 

Its downfall would be its capacity for both passengers and supplies. 

Best EMP Proof Trucks 

Pre-1980 Trucks 

American made trucks before this date were very simple machines that were built to work. With four-wheel drive capability, a large bed to carry supplies, and the ability to pull heavy loads, these trucks make a great choice when there are only two or three people in your group. 

Pre 1980 Jeep CJ-5

Jeeps run well on the road but what makes them a popular choice is their off-road capabilities.

Traveling after an EMP will not be subjected to always staying on the road. 

Jeeps have always had a place as an off-road vehicle that can tackle anything from mud to large rocks to steep inclines. 

The main downfall of a jeep is the limited space for both passengers and supplies. 

Best EMP Proof Alternate Vehicles 

The following vehicles may take more physical work on your part, they may not be as powerful or fast but if you want some options that are completely EMP proof, look no further. 

A Bicycle 

Best Way To Bug Out With Mountain Bike

A vehicle does not get more EMP-proof than a bicycle. 

It can be stored indoors or outside, requires no shielding, and it will not be affected by an EMP because it has zero electronic components.

When everyone else is trying to get their vehicles started, a bicycle can be immediately used to get you from point A to point B much quicker than traveling by foot. 


If you live near the coast or a large body of water, a sailboat could prove worth wild to have. Of course, living on one of these certainly has its downfalls, especially for a family. 

Space is limited for both people and supplies and having a desalinator will be a must. 


These beautiful and powerful animals have been used for a long time as a mode of transportation for both people and supplies. 

With a horse, you do not need to worry about the effects of an EMP whatsoever, but you will need to be very knowledgeable in the care and maintenance of them. 


If you live in a region surrounded by waterways, a canoe or other type of paddle boat would be very useful in getting around. 

While they may not get you to the front step of where you are going, they are easy to use, require little maintenance, are silent in their operation, and can carry a fair amount of supplies. 

Open questions about EMP Resistant vehicles

Can a vehicle be protected from an EMP?

About the only two sure proof ways to protect a vehicle is to store it underground or in an EMP-proof structure like a giant faraday cage. 

If a vehicle is affected by an EMP can it be fixed after the fact?

A: Only if you have spare parts that were shielded from the EMP and the know-how for doing the work. This is why older vehicles are preferred. They have fewer parts that need replacing and they are certainly easier to work on. 

Wrap Up

An EMP event can be frustrating to prepare for because there are so many variables to consider when figuring out what is affected and how far the effects will be felt. 

When prepping for an EMP event the best thing to do is go as low tech as possible. 

Thanks for reading and stay prepared!

Written by Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. Recently, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. Read more of Bryan's articles.

6 thoughts on “Best EMP Proof Vehicles: Which Vehicles Make The Cut?”

  1. A pre-1980 diesel Beetle? I've heard of a few prototypes, but are there any out there for people to buy?

    That said, as the former owner of a '65 Beetle, I'll second the old (original) Beetle as a great low-tech vehicle. The whole car was super simple and user-fixable. No clever electronics. Chunky ignition coil. Basic breaker points, thick wires. You could do 90% of the service with a basic socket set and screwdrivers. The old Beetles were so light, that their rear-engine over the drive wheels was almost like 4WD. I took that thing on a lot of questionable roads, like across frozen lakes in northern Minnesota — and seldom got stuck. The times I did get stuck, I managed to push myself out of it.

    I sure wish I still had that little beast.

  2. Any non-computerized vehicle would be a good choice. I have a 1986 Chevy pickup truck that has no computer, and I keep a spare distributor in a sealed EMP-proof container. I keep a 12 volt solar panel in the same "kit" to provide enough power to allow push-starting if needs be.

  3. A VW with the air cooled boxer engine is the one. These have been made into sand rails, dune buggies, baja bugs. I have seen cut down buses and even the suitcase motors used in this fashion. Sadly, they do not pass modern smog laws, but an old baja bug(licensed for the street) could make a great bug out vehicle. Replace the running boards and build an external roll bar/roof rack, you could bug out almost anywhere. They do not use much fuel, carry 4 Jerry cans of fuel and you can get out of Dodge easily. Even running goat tracks at 20mph, you could get 2 to 4 people out of danger. Bigger family? How about a VW bus? Driven below 55mph(which was what they were designed for), they will last a long time and can carry a bunch of people, still being light enough to go most places and can be pushed when stuck or to start. Having one of these and keeping it in running order is not very expensive, especially if it is body damaged. Yes, the old busses are expensive, but if you look, you can find a beat up Baja Bug a lot cheaper.

  4. The VW Thing was as simple as the original Bug and was to work on as well. I wish a manufacturer would make a vehicle that was as simple as that.


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