How Much Does a Food Truck Cost?

The concept of food truck businesses has evolved from the previously known ‘anything-goes-food’ to Instagram-worthy meals. Times have changed so much that even popular chefs, successful restauranteurs, and caterers are now embracing a revamped version of food trucking.

While this type of food business is fun and seems easy to run, it is more complicated than people think. However, if you’re able to give it your best, the business is a highly rewarding one. You’ll make your bucks, find fun while also filling the belly of hungry customers. Here’s what you should know about food truck business and how much it costs to run.

What is a Food Truck Business?

A food truck business is a restaurant or eatery business done with the help of a food truck. The food truck itself is a vehicle equipped to help cook, serve, and sell food. The food can be food prepared right in the truck or pre-packaged food. Essentially, a food truck is a micro-restaurant on wheels. Many people opt for food trucks for their food business because it is more affordable than renting a food shop or static restaurant location.

Buying or Leasing a Food Truck

There are several factors you should consider before you decide whether to buy or lease a food truck for your food truck business. The major factor is the size of your pocket. You should first calculate the total amount you have for setting up the business.

Setting up a food truck business requires quite a handy sum of money, particularly, money to acquire the truck. Before settling for any type or size of truck, you should consider the type of food business you are going for. If you are going for pre-packaged food, you can opt for smaller trucks since you don’t have to worry about making the food.  If you are buying a truck you will be able to install your own food truck Point of Sale system.

Buying a New Truck

Food that you have to prepare right in the truck would require a bigger space provided by bigger food trucks. Of course, the bigger the size and capacity of the food truck, the more expensive it would cost. Most new food trucks cost between $50,000 and $200,000, depending on the specifications, in-house equipment, vehicle type, and brand.

Your purchase point can also determine the price of the food truck since vehicles’ prices differ from dealer to dealer. You should also know that most times, the price tag above doesn’t include the cost of decorating/outfitting the truck and providing additional instruments.

This means that you’ll likely need to cough out additional sums to design or wrap the truck and also buy additional cooking instruments which the truck doesn’t have, but you need according to your cooking specialty.

Leasing a Truck

If you are working with a tight budget without any hope of buying a food truck straight up, you can consider leasing a truck or going on a lease-to-own program. To lease a food truck, you’ll have to seek specialized dealers who deal with food trucks sales and lease. Ensure to only visit a trustworthy dealer to map out a contract.

You can lease a food truck on a monthly or annual payment, according to your contract. After saving up or building your food truck business to a considerable extent, you can then consider buying your own truck.

Buying a Used Trucks

Concerning buying a food truck, you have two options. You can buy a new truck or a used truck. As you already know, used cars are less expensive than new ones. That means that even on a limited budget, you should still be able to squeeze out money for a used truck. Typically, used food trucks range between $20,000 and $50,000.

Depending on different factors, you can get a truck for more or less than that range. There are lots of online marketplaces you can visit to negotiate used trucks. Also, you can personally reach out to mobile food business owners, they might have a food truck to sell, or they might be able to connect you with other food truck owners who might want to sell theirs.

They might also be in a position to lease or rent one to you. You should be careful and cautious when negotiating with unknown persons, though to avoid being duped or scammed. Also, endeavor to check out the truck thoroughly to ensure it is in good shape before you sign a lease or purchase contract.

Lease-to-buy Option:

For used food trucks, it is only normal that you’d have to revamp it or fix some minor issues here and there. There is also a new kind of lease option that you can use in requiring your food truck. It is a lease-to-buy option.

This leasing option allows you to lease a food truck and keep making installment payments for the truck until you’ve paid the full amount for ownership. Most times, the lease-to-buy contract lasts about three years. You can negotiate a shorter or longer duration contract with your dealer, though.

Running the Food Truck

If you are about to start a food truck business, you’d want to know how much it would cost you to run it. Well, the amount isn’t set in stone. The amount you’d spend initially and after the setup vary according to your food specialty, location, truck size, and related factors.

You should expect to spend between $10,000 and $92,000. You should contact a legal consultant to discuss your food truck business and find out the legal requirements. Also ensure you gather all the required licenses, permits, and certifications (health-related and state-related) needed to operate your food truck business.

You might need to pay for parking space at your chosen selling spot. It is also important for you to register the business and settle your tax requirements as well as other related things. More so, you should get your business insured to cover general liability, auto accidents, foodborne illness, etc. All of these would require money.

Some part of your start-up capital should be dedicated to food and food-related tools you need to make the food you want to serve your customers. You should also make a list of other items you’ll need to run your food truck smoothly.


Food truck eateries have now become openly sought in major cities and even suburbs. If you are looking to start your food business but don’t want to go for the fixed-housed location option, you can consider starting a food truck business.

It is so much you need to take into account when starting your food truck business, but the first thing you should consider is the truck. Following the tips in this post can help you get your food truck running in no time.

Team BR

Published by

Team BR

Read on your daily dose of tech updates, gadget news and expert opinion on several digital marketing segments. If interested in writing for us, CLICK HERE

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x