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How Much Does a Food Truck Cost: Budgeting Tips and Insights Before You Buy One

Food trucks isolated vector cars

Food trucks have become a trendy dining option across the globe, offering a unique and convenient way to enjoy delicious meals on the go.

But how much does it cost to build a food truck and operate a successful business?

While it may seem like an exciting and profitable venture, the reality is that owning a food truck involves significant expenses, from purchasing and maintaining equipment to securing permits and licenses.

This comprehensive guide will provide a detailed breakdown of the actual costs of owning a food truck and tips on budgeting effectively and maximizing your profits.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Food Truck?

Retro food truck vector mockup on white for vehicle branding, advertising, corporate identity.

When starting a business, you need to learn about the prices of food trucks, including factors that impact the price, and how to budget effectively for this critical investment.

Buying a new food truck

Purchasing a brand-new food truck is the most expensive option, typically ranging from $70,000 to $200,000, depending on the size, features, and customization.

However, a new truck comes with a manufacturer’s warranty and may require less short-term maintenance than a used truck.

Buying a used food truck

Getting a used truck is more cost-effective, with prices ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the age, condition, and equipment included.

While the average cost of a food truck may be lower, it’s essential to factor in potential repair and maintenance costs that may arise with an older vehicle.

Looking for a reliable and efficient food truck manufacturer? Feed Wagons is here for you. We specialize in creating high-quality food trucks that cater to your specific needs.

Whether you’re looking for a new food truck or you have an old one that needs restoration, we can customize it to your liking. Don’t settle for anything less than the best – choose Feed Wagons as your leading food truck manufacturer today.

Building a food truck from scratch

Starting a food truck from zero can be the most affordable option, with costs starting at around $15,000 for a basic build.

However, this option requires a lot of time, effort, and expertise in areas like electrical and plumbing work.

Additionally, building a truck from scratch may result in a longer wait before the business can officially launch.

Feed Wagons offer flexible financing options that fit your budget, so you can get the food truck of your dreams without breaking the bank. Contact us today to get started and take your food business to the next level.

Factors Affecting Food Truck Costs

White realistic food truck

From the initial investment in the vehicle to ongoing expenses like permits, licenses, and ingredients, understanding the factors affecting food truck costs is crucial for anyone looking to start a successful mobile kitchen.

  • Size and type. The size and type of truck can significantly impact the price of a food truck, as larger trucks typically cost more to purchase and operate than smaller ones.
  • Kitchen equipment and appliances. Outfitting a food truck with necessary kitchen equipment and appliances can be a significant expense. 
  • Permits and licenses. Getting the necessary permits and licenses to operate a food truck can also impact costs.
  • Insurance. Insurance coverage is critical for any business, including food trucks. The insurance cost can vary depending on the truck’s size, the number of employees, and the type of cuisine served.
  • Branding and design. Investing in branding and design is essential for creating a memorable and recognizable food truck brand.

While these expenses may not be as significant as others, they can still impact the overall cost of a food truck and operating a food truck business.

At Feed Wagons, we’re passionate about creating the best food trucks in the industry. We offer a range of customization options, from unique branding and logos to custom kitchen layouts and equipment.

Ready to take the first step? Contact us today to get started and let us help you make your food truck dreams a reality with Feed Wagons.

New Food Truck vs. Used Food Truck: Which One is Better?

Each option has pros and cons, from the initial cost and maintenance expenses to the quality and reliability of the vehicle.

Buying a New Food Truck

If you are considering purchasing a new food truck, consider the pros and cons that come with it so you can make an informed decision.

Pros of New Food Truck

These are advantages of purchasing or manufacturing a brand new food truck, as opposed to buying a used one.

  • Customization options. A new food truck can be customized to meet the specific requirements and preferences of the business owner, allowing them to create a unique and functional kitchen space.
  • Warranty. New trucks typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty, providing added peace of mind and protection against unexpected repairs or breakdowns.
  • Low maintenance costs. With a new truck, the maintenance costs in the short term are typically lower than with a used truck, as the vehicle is less likely to have mechanical issues or require significant repairs.

Cons of New Food Truck

Below are the disadvantages of purchasing or manufacturing a brand-new food truck, as opposed to buying a used one.

  • Higher cost. The high initial cost is the most apparent drawback of purchasing a new food truck. A new truck can range from $70,000 to $200,000, making it a significant investment for any entrepreneur.
  • Depreciation. Like any vehicle, a new food truck will experience depreciation over time. This means that it may lose value more quickly than a used truck, which could impact the resale value and potential profitability in the long term.
  • Limited availability. Depending on the manufacturer and model, new food trucks may have longer lead times for delivery or customization, which can delay the business’s launch.

Buying a Used Food Truck

Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of buying a secondhand food truck and weigh down its condition, reliability, and customization options.

Pros of Used Food Truck

These are the benefits of purchasing used truck compared to buying a new one.

  • Lower cost. The most significant benefit of purchasing a used food truck is the lower initial food truck cost. A used truck can be found for as low as $20,000, making it a more accessible option for entrepreneurs with limited funds.
  • Immediate availability. Used food trucks are readily available, and entrepreneurs can often purchase and start operating them quickly, reducing the time it takes to launch the business.
  • Potential for customization. A used food truck can be modified or retrofitted to meet the needs and preferences of the business owner, making it a more affordable option for entrepreneurs who want to customize their kitchen space.

Cons of Used Food Trucks

Below are the disadvantages of buying used food trucks that you need to consider.

  • Higher maintenance costs. Used trucks may require more maintenance and repairs, which can add up quickly in time and money. This can also result in downtime for the business, leading to lost revenue.
  • Limited warranty. Used food trucks typically don’t come with a manufacturer’s warranty, leaving the business owner responsible for any repairs or maintenance expenses that arise.
  • Unknown history. It can be challenging to know the complete history of a used food truck, including previous accidents, maintenance records, or any mechanical issues. This can create uncertainty and potential risks for the business owner.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to upgrade an existing food truck, Feed Wagons is here to help! Contact us today to learn more about our custom food truck manufacturing services.

How to Own a Food Truck?

happy couple of young sellers at food truck

Owning a food truck can be an exciting and profitable business venture but it requires careful planning and execution.

Know the laws

The first step to owning a food truck is researching the local laws and regulations for mobile food businesses.

This includes obtaining necessary permits and licenses and understanding the zoning and parking requirements for operating a food truck in the area. Researching the competition and determining the target market is important to ensure a successful business plan.

Purchase a food truck

Once the legal and regulatory requirements are met, purchasing or leasing a food truck is next. This involves determining the budget and deciding whether to buy a new or used truck.

Customize the food truck

Entrepreneurs can also customize a truck to fit their needs or hire a professional to retrofit an existing truck.

Invest in equipment

In addition to the truck, entrepreneurs must also invest in the necessary equipment and supplies, including a generator, propane tanks, cooking equipment, and food storage and preparation items.

Develop your business plan

Finally, a menu and marketing strategy is essential to attract customers and build a loyal following.

This includes creating a brand and social media presence and building relationships with local businesses and event organizers to secure prime locations for the food truck.

With careful planning and execution, owning a food truck can be a fulfilling and profitable business venture.

Where To Buy a Food Truck?

When considering purchasing a food truck, entrepreneurs need to know where to buy one. Several options are available for buying a food truck, including new and used truck dealerships, online marketplaces, and private sellers.

Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the right one will depend on the entrepreneur’s needs and budget.

New truck dealership

One option for buying a food truck is through a new truck dealership. These dealerships specialize in selling brand-new trucks and often offer financing options, warranties, and customization options.

The downside to this option is that the food truck purchase price can be high, ranging from $70,000 to $200,000, and the lead time for customization can be lengthy.

However, purchasing a new truck from a dealership can provide peace of mind with the added protection of a warranty and the knowledge that the truck is in top condition.

Private seller or dealership

Another option is to buy a used food truck from a private seller or dealership. This option can be more cost-effective, with prices ranging from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the condition and age of the truck.

Private sellers can be found through online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, food truck associations, and trade shows.

However, buying a used truck comes with risks, including the possibility of hidden mechanical issues and the need for extensive repairs and maintenance.

It’s important to thoroughly inspect any used truck before purchasing it and to research the seller’s reputation to ensure a successful transaction.

Financing Options for Food Trucks

Financing Option Concept

Entrepreneurs have various financing options to fund their food truck business, including bank loans, crowdfunding, equipment financing, and personal savings.

It’s essential to research and compare the options to find the most suitable and affordable option for the business.

Traditional financing options

Entrepreneurs can consider traditional financing options like bank loans, credit unions, and other lending institutions. These options typically require a good credit score, a business plan, and collateral to secure the loan. However, traditional financing options may have higher interest rates and longer approval times than other financing options.


Crowdfunding is a new financing option that involves raising funds through many small investments from individual investors. Entrepreneurs can use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to generate interest and funding for their food truck business.

Crowdfunding can also help entrepreneurs gauge market interest and receive feedback on their business idea. Still, standing out in a crowded marketplace and securing sufficient funds for the business may be difficult.

Grants and loans

Entrepreneurs can also explore grants and loans specifically designed for small businesses and food trucks. These options include SBA loans, which offer lower interest rates and flexible terms, and grants from organizations like the National Association for the Self-Employed or the Small Business Innovation Research program.

However, grants and loans may have strict eligibility requirements and longer approval times.


Self-financing involves using personal savings or assets to fund the food truck business. This option may be suitable for entrepreneurs with sufficient savings or investments who prefer to avoid debt or interest payments.

However, self-financing can be risky as it may exhaust personal resources, and entrepreneurs may face challenges in obtaining additional financing if needed.

Don’t wait any longer to start your own food truck business! Feed Wagons can help you make it happen by providing financial plans suited to your budget. Contact us now and let’s make it happen together.

Get Your Custom-made Food Truck Today

Feed Wagons is a food truck manufacturer that provides premium and quality service to entrepreneurs looking to start their food truck businesses.

Our customized approach ensures we create a food truck that meets your vision and requirements. 

From the initial phase to the final execution, our team works closely with you to ensure that your food truck is precisely what you envisioned.

At Feed Wagons, we understand that starting a business can be financially challenging. We provide flexible financing plans to help you create your food truck business.

Our financing options are tailored to suit your individual needs and budget, so you can focus on running your business without worrying about the financial burden of starting up.

Whether you need help with initial capital or want to expand your existing food truck business, our financing plans make it easy to achieve your goals.

Our team is committed to providing exceptional customer service and support. We accommodate any questions you may have and offer guidance throughout the process of creating your food truck.

We take pride in delivering a personalized experience to each of our clients, and our goal is to help you bring your food truck dreams to life.
Let us help you create a food truck that stands out from the rest and becomes a successful business venture. Contact us today to get started!


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