The choice of finite element simulation to assess a vehicle's crashworthiness often hinges on the amount of resources needed for an adequately accurate analysis. The purpose of this paper is to describe results of a study comparing computer resources needed as a function of element and equation solving decisions.The study evaluates the number of calculations for transient analysis of a simplified representation of an impacting vehicle using analytical and experimental data. It examines conventional and alternative models and numerical time-integration algorithms. It encompasses crash studies whose goal is prediction of intrusions or accelerations.Conclusions emphasize that the conventional approach is extravagent of computer resources for both quasi-linear and highly-nonlinear crash simulations. It identifies development of special purpose finite element models and integration methods as the key to reducing needs to less than 1/1000 of those of the conventional approach.