Skip to Content

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Food Truck [New or Used]?

If you are looking to start your food truck business where quality is not compromised nor the reliability of your transport, then you should be looking at having $80,000.

You can get a few years old food truck for $60,000, then remodel it to fit what you have in mind plus additional costs such as business permits, fuel, maintenance, food supplies, insurance, kitchen equipment purchases or rentals, fire extinguisher, employee expenses or advertisements.

Buying a used food truck especially with all the needed equipment already installed instead of going for a completely new one will lessen your chances of losing too much money should your business fail but you should also realize that you might need to work on the truck which will require additional investment. Ensure that you do inspections on the truck and get a full report of the vehicle’s history.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a New Food Truck?

New trucks can be expensive and you should be ready to shell out between $75,000 and $160,000 in order to get a new truck customized to meet your own needs. This amount is outside the other expenses that you will need to start and run your business successfully.

If you are therefore an entrepreneur that hasn’t been in this kind of business before, then you might need to limit your investment risk by renting a food truck instead of out rightly buying one so that you can have an idea of what would work for you and what it is like to operate a food truck.

2 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Food Truck

Food trucks come in different sizes. Either you opt for a small food cart or a massive trailer that hitches to a huge truck. Food trucks in recent years have found some creative methods to serve up their creations. To narrow the field a bit and decide on the type of food truck you would be looking at, you’ll need to make the following three key decisions.

  • Truck Size

When planning to buy a food truck, the very first thing you have to decide is the size of the truck. Don’t forget that a lot of cities have restrictions on food trucks and parking space sizes, so it is very essential that any vehicle you are thinking of buying would comply with these local codes.

  • Outfitted Truck or a Custom Build

After you must have decided how you want your truck to look from the outside, you need to still decide how you want the inside to be. A lot of food trucks available for sale are already outfitted with all the kitchen equipment and sanitation systems you need to run a successful mobile restaurant that align with local health laws.

The initial cost of a basic truck will be lower than that of an outfitted truck, but you have to still spend more to purchase and install all of the equipment and tools you will need.

The cost of buying a basic truck or an outfitted one can vary greatly based on factors like the condition of the truck, the equipment you need, and where you buy your vehicle from—so it is very crucial to compare and cancel out the prices carefully and to factor in additional considerations like the flexibility you could enjoy by choosing your own equipment and cabinets.

Buying a Used Food Truck or Van

If your aim is to buy a food truck, used vehicles are less expensive compared to brand new trucks in the short-term. We suggest you get outfitted food trucks from business owners who are closing up shop or upgrading to bigger, better trucks.

  • Benefits

This option is cheaper than buying a brand new custom truck and the work is often already done for you. Choosing the type of equipment your truck needs can be complex and confusing, especially if you want to have some flexibility in the types of food you will cook or which cities you will end up spending most of your time in.

When you buy a used food truck, it is a straightforward decision because there are fewer choices to make as much of the work has already been done for you. The best thing is to find out which used truck best fits your ideas.

  • Pitfalls

Indeed buying a used food truck can be very risky. We can all agree that it is great to cut costs on the upfront purchase of your truck, but you should not forget that you may have higher repair costs and maintenance work than someone who opted for a new truck.

We suggest that you get a trusted mechanic to check over any used food truck you are thinking of buying before you put down your money, and if you can, request a full vehicle history report to make sure you have all the information about the truck.

Where to Buy a Used Food Truck?

We believe you can find used food truck listings on some popular auction and sale sites, including eBay and Craigslist. Your local food truck association may even have a place for food truck owners to sell their vehicles and equipment.

Note that you can also check out sites like Road Stoves and Commercial Truck Trader or your local car dealership for listings of used food trucks for sale. You can also ask your favourite local food truck owners where they got their trucks.

Buying a Brand New Food Truck

If you have the capabilities to buy a new truck, you can find a brand new truck that suits your dream or find someone who can build a custom truck for you with the exact equipment and layout you need inside.

  • Benefits

When you buy a brand new food truck, nothing like costly breakdowns and major repairs will bother you for a very long period. There is no need to be concerned about whether or not the last owner really took care of the truck, and you will probably receive an enticing warranty to protect you in the case of an emergency over the next few years.

Also if you decide to opt for the custom route, you can design your truck to be set up any way you want so that cooking is as convenient, efficient, and enjoyable as possible.

  • Pitfalls

We can all agree that brand new food trucks are very expensive, so you need to be sure that you have what it takes to make a pricey decision like this one. You will also wait longer to have a custom food truck built and shipped to you than you would if you chose a used truck.