Buying a Used Food Truck For Sale

Buying a Used Food Truck For Sale

Are you in a food truck business looking to buy a used food truck for sale by owner?  here are 10 important questions to ask the food van owner.

The pickup truck business can be very rewarding if done right. One of the very first decisions you need to make is what type of trucks you will use for your business. You have to decide whether you should buy a new truck, lease a truck, or even buy a used one. When picking up a used catering truck, keep in mind that you need to be very careful with the condition of the truck as no refund will be given. What you see, and sometimes you don’t see, is what you get.

Why buy a used food truck?

There are many benefits associated with this. when buying a used truck. First of all, the cost of a used food truck is attractive. The price of a used food truck is significantly lower than that of a new food truck. If you are financing the truck yourself and don’t want to take out a loan, the cost will be the deciding factor, or if you buy a grocery truck that has recently been on the road, it may already be cleared for travel. the region. It saves time.

Why Due Diligence Is Important When Buying a Used Food Truck

Buying a used food truck also comes with its own issues and challenges. As with our regular vehicles, if warranties have been provided for the vehicle or kitchen equipment, they will most likely expire. It means you are alone when something breaks.

Also, if you buy a used truck and equipment, you don’t have a 100% idea of ​​what works and what doesn’t. If the owner is willing to sell, it can be difficult to assess the overall condition of the truck and the kitchen. The owner may have postponed maintenance to save money which means you will inherit more issues.

Be aware that buying a used truck carries the risk of major repairs. Also be aware that it is next to impossible to obtain financing for a used food truck. Since the condition of the truck and equipment is questionable, it is too risky for banks and financial brokers to lend.

You are also stuck with the kitchen layout and accompanying hardware, which may or may not work depending on your power concept (difficult to make changes as all plumbing, electrical and gas lines are installed). If you make any major changes, you may need to resubmit new designs for permit approval and then recheck with your local government agency before you can hit the road.

Remember this, because the food truck was once on the road, doesn’t mean it’s ready to go. Your catering truck must be inspected and approved before you can begin serving customers with it. Also, even though everything is fully functional and tested, the used food truck can look a bit rough. Extensive cleaning or redecoration inside and out may be required.

10 Important Questions To Ask When Buying A Used Food Truck For Sale By Owner

Buying or renting a food truck is an important step towards making your dreams come true. Whether you are choosing a used truck, a new truck, or a rental truck, the most important thing is to choose a vehicle that meets your goals in the commercial vehicle industry and in which you also feel comfortable. questions to answer before owning a catering van.

Leaving or quitting your job and owning a food truck is a big deal, and a lot has to happen before you start selling food in your new one. workplace, especially when buying a used truck. Here are some questions to ask a salesperson before purchasing a used food truck.

  1. Why are you selling?

When looking to buy a used food truck, keep in mind that owners will have a reason to sell their truck. In most cases, by asking this question, you will be able to better understand the total cost of the truck. The seller may be ready to upgrade or the size of the truck no longer matches their business. It is good to know the reasons for the sale, as you might run into the same issues in the future.

  1. What is the condition of the truck and the current mileage?

This question gives the seller the opportunity to notify you of any known truck problem or defect in appearance. Mileage is more or less the main indicator of a car’s value, and also gives an idea of ​​the condition of the car and any maintenance costs. Trucks with high mileage are more likely to wear out or need repair. The price you negotiate will almost certainly depend on mileage, resale value, and insurance premiums.

  1. Can you accomplish anything you want with this truck?

This question is very important, especially when you are about to spend a lot of money on a used food truck. That’s why you need to find it out and make sure it meets all of your needs. Does he have the right truck equipment? Is it located where you want your operations to run smoothly? Do you even like the configuration of the trucks? These are all very important things.

  1. Was there a problem? Has this been changed? Offered for sale with title?

Please note that the Truck History Report will allow you to better understand the condition of the truck, as well as answer important questions about its mileage, ownership history, and whether it has had any accidents. To understand this, you need a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

It is usually printed on decals located on the driver’s side on the dashboard, in the engine compartment or on the door frames. In the meantime, a truck damaged in an accident does not have to violate the terms of the agreement if the damage has been repaired properly.

The same goes for modified trucks – high quality mods are good, but a job poorly done can be a big deal. It is probably best to avoid vehicles sold with salvage titles; they indicate serious problems with the truck in question, and registering a truck that has already been granted salvage rights can be difficult.

  1. Has anything been changed on the truck or updated?

Please note that new or recent updates may increase the value of the truck. From your perspective, this data will also let you know how much money you can expect to invest in a vehicle in the future.

  1. Can I view maintenance records, receipts and title?

Maintenance records will indicate that common routines such as oil changes have already been taken care of and will inform things like emergency repairs and recalls. These receipts will serve as proof that this has actually been done and will give you an idea of ​​the cost of maintaining your vehicle.

Note that regular maintenance needs vary from model to model, so do a little research to find out what to look for. Keep in mind that the less documents the owner can provide, the more unknown the vehicle will be.

Delayed maintenance may cause problems in the future, and some parts may need to be replaced, which will make you uncomfortable if you take responsibility for them. Another key question, however, is the title. If the person you are buying the car from does not have one, it will be difficult to buy a car. They may not even be eligible to sell it to you.

  1. Who did you buy the food truck from and when?

This is very important when buying a used truck. By asking this question you can get more information about how the truck was driven, who the previous owners were, and what happened in the life of the truck. This information will also tell you whether the truck was purchased from a dealer or private seller and whether the vehicle was purchased in another province or country.

  1. Have a licensed personal mechanic inspect your vehicle

This is really the question you need to ask yourself to know the condition of the truck personally. A licensed mechanic will help you identify problem areas in the food van and let you know what you are potentially hitting. If the owner doesn’t allow your mechanic to inspect the car, don’t buy it. A truck inspection by a mechanic is sure to give you the information you need. This information may include:

  • Interior: A licensed mechanic will help you see if electrically operated items such as windows and air conditioning are working and will detect any strange noises. The mechanic will also check the trunk, spare tire compartment, and front leg wells for rust, moisture, or a musty odor, as these areas can trap water.
  • Personal Injury or Repairs: Note that body panels that are different in color or have mismatched paints may have been repaired or replaced. Bring a magnet and make sure it sticks to the metal panels. Otherwise, under a thick layer of body putty. Also check for rust.
  • Under the Hood: Check for exposed wires and fluid leaks. Check the belts for cracks and make sure the pipes are stiff or brittle (both signs that parts need replacing). Check the oil for metal particles, a sign of a serious engine problem.
  • Exterior and interior trim: If any is missing or damaged, please ensure this is reflected in the final price.
  1. Request a test drive

If the owner denies your request to try the catering truck, it is really obvious that there is a serious problem with the truck. You should never buy without a test drive. It is also best to invite a friend to help you. On a test truck, you will find out how much better a used truck is for the business you plan to start. What you should pay attention to:

  • Before driving, turn on the headlights and have a friend check if they are working. Also have them check for excess smoke from the exhaust.
  • Also check if the steering wheel is loose or if the truck tilts to the side when driving in a straight line or when braking.
  • Be careful and keep your ears open for unusual squealing and hissing sounds. Check the vibrations at higher speeds.
  • A gear that seems uncomfortable or jerky when changing gears is a bad sign. Shift the manual transmission into gear above 30 mph and put the throttle on the ground. Very rapid ramp-up is a sign of clutch slippage.
  • Make sure the acceleration is smooth and steady, not jerky.
  • Listen to the brakes squeal and make sure the pedal is steady for a few stops.
  • Drive in a circle in the parking lot. Check whether there is friction or knocks on the steering wheel.
  1. Does the warranty come and the truck has been in extreme weather conditions?

Keep in mind that the weather conditions in which the truck spends its time affects the overall condition. Trucks in snowy climates tend to be more prone to rust due to driving on salty roads each winter. Additionally, vehicles damaged by flooding may appear to be in good condition, but may mask significant flood damage.

Also note that if your food truck (and kitchen equipment) is out of warranty, of course you will have to pay the price when – and if – the truck breaks down. This is the risk that you do not want to add to the table. After all, getting into the food truck industry / owning a business is enough risk for a business.


Just like buying a used car, buying a used car from a food truck can be risky and intimidating. Okay, it’s great to reduce the cost of pre-purchasing your truck, but note that this route carries a higher risk of repair and maintenance costs than that. who chose a new truck.

It is advisable that a reliable mechanic check any used restoration truck you can think of before you put any money aside – and, if you can, request a full vehicle history report to make sure that you are fully informed about the truck you are looking for. … Purchase. As someone new to the industry, you don’t want to start missing scheduled truck stops right after you start work because your car breaks down unexpectedly.

Note that you can find used truck listings on many popular auction and sales sites, including eBay and Craigslist, and in your local food truck association, food truck owners can also sell their trucks. vehicles and their equipment.

Consider checking out sites like Road Stoves and Commercial. Truck Trader or your local truck dealer for used food truck listings. It is also imperative that you ask your favorite local food truck owners where they got their trucks. While most trucking companies lead very busy lives, many will happily answer a simple question or two about where they bought their trucks to help another future highway train owner.