The term armoured car is commonly used for three types of vehicles. There is the armoured limousine type for the safety of VIPs, the security van/armoured truck type for the transport of valuables and military armoured cars
Military armoured cars
The automobile practise of custom coachwork allowed the grafting of armour and armament onto the chassis of commercial trucks and powerful touring cars.
In the aftemath of World War I Russian and German armoured cars were also used to maintain internal security. Sometimes referred to as combat cars later inter-war armoured cars were often used to allow armies to practise armoured warfare tactics in lieu of tanks.
The early World War II armoured cars refined the practise of militarised commercial chassis. With the availability of tanks armoured cars came to be used in the Armoured reconnaissance role.
Not immediately obvious in most vehicles, the power of modern armoured cars lies not so much in their armament but in their electronics and sensors, producing vehicles that act as the eyes of armoured formations.
For the counter-insurgency mission the tank killing capabilities of vehicles like the AMX-10-RC are un-needed. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced simpler armoured vehicles mating mobility, the firepower of a medium machine gun and protection from small arms fire, vehicles very similar in principle to the vehicles of the interwar era.
Humvee with add on armour and machine gun copula in Afghanistan.
An improvised armoured vehicle belonging to a private security contractor in Iraq.
Also sometimes referred to by the public as armoured cars are AFVs based on small APCs used for internal security.
A Hong Kong police Saracen, an APC used by the British for internal security
Other wheeled AFVs
Armoured cars are not the only wheeled AFVs. Other wheeled AFVs not usually considered armoured cars include: