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Where to buy a food truck: Everything you need to know

Food trucks are one of the most affordable ways to break into the restaurant industry. However, the increased modern food truck boom has been more recent, gaining traction within the last 15 years. Food trucks are a restaurant business model that can turn entrepreneurs into restaurateurs more affordably. One of your most significant investments will be the truck itself for individuals wanting to embrace starting a food truck business. There are countless types of food trucks to purchase and many purchasing methods, but it will solely depend on your available budget. Taking this into account, here are some of the different purchasing options to buy a food truck for your business and get it rolling in no time at all.

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Purchase your food truck new from a manufacturer

Buying your food truck new may seem like the easiest route to take when purchasing a food truck. A new food truck is an excellent option if you have a large amount of funds to invest in your food truck. You can order your truck from a customized manufacturer or have it built directly through them. There are a few benefits and liabilities to purchasing a new food truck for your business. Below are some of those points to consider when buying a new food truck for your business from a manufacturer before purchasing it.


  • The truck can be custom built to meet your business needs.
  • It removes the potential of noticeable wear and tear or undisclosed damages to the truck.
  • Reduction in the risk of costly breakdowns and major repairs as well as holds good warranties.
  • New trucks have a more fresh, clean, and polished appearance than used. 


  • Requires a significant upfront investment of money or may need you to secure a large business loan.
  • Customized new food trucks have more extended processing and build timeframes.
  • Your business could outgrow the initial new food truck quickly.

Lease your food truck over time

Leasing a food truck is a good option for many just branching into the food truck industry. You can rent a food truck from a manufacturer or a truck vendor such as Roaming Hunger. This approach to leasing a food truck allows you to get started in the industry without a significant money investment up front in the truck. Leasing your food truck allows for smaller payments over time, enabling you to get a brand new, high-end food truck without a sizeable initial funding requirement. The main downside to leasing is that you have to either turn the truck back in at the end of your lease or buy it out of the current lease. However, leasing is an option that is best ideal if you’re new to the foodservice industry or are testing if your brick and mortar restaurant will do well as a food truck. 

Buy your food truck pre-owned/used

Buying a used food truck is a common way that many future food truck restaurateurs start their business. Used food trucks allow you to invest substantially less in your truck than if you purchased one new. You can source a pre-owned food truck online marketplaces, classified ads, or from corporate fleet dealers. Buying a used food truck does not come without its benefits and liabilities to purchasing them. There are several advantages and disadvantages of purchasing used food trucks to consider when purchasing a used food truck.


  • It is a more cost-effective purchase option than a new truck.
  • Established conversion of a used truck will allow you to see if the kitchen layout works ideal for you and your food truck business.
  • Necessary equipment is already installed and ready for use, cutting down on additional expenses needed to fit your food truck business needs. 


  • An increased risk liability of costly repairs and regular maintenance needed.
  • There can be previously unknown wear and tear or underlying issues.
  • A reduced life expectancy of the vehicle.
  • Problems with sourcing vendors can enhance and customize to fit your business needs.

Build the food truck yourself

Don’t let this section title fool you; building the truck yourself will still require purchasing a truck of some sort. Those who opt for this method will buy either a vintage truck or a truck that needs a good amount of repair work and TLC to bring it back to life. Places you can source purchasing a truck to build are commercial vehicle junkyards and online truck vendor marketplaces that sell more heavily used trucks. It can demand a great deal of patience, time, energy, and funds to get your food truck business going, but you will find the way if you have the will. Building your food truck is not the easiest route to go for your business, but it can still be rewarding knowing you put in the time and effort.

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Buying a truck will be the most significant investment in your food truck business. From purchasing at the start to the long-term investment, you will need to maintain your mobile business. It is still a thriving and sought-after business opportunity. As long as you take the time to budget accordingly and research the best investment option for your business, you will have your food truck rolling to serve hungry customers in no time.

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Amanda Scheldt
Amanda is a self employed content writer with a diverse and multifaceted niche background. After over a decade in the…
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