Six Ways to Evaluate Food Trucks for Sale

food trucks for sale

Are you thinking about starting a food truck business? Before you can start slinging street tacos or burgers, you first need to invest in a food truck. In this article we are going to give a detailed overview of the different ways to evaluate food trucks for sale. With so many options (and customizations) available for food trucks, it can be hard to determine which food truck is the best.

Food trucks can cost over $100,000. With such a big investment, you should be sure to evaluate the food trucks for sale to find one that works for you. Owning a food truck can be expensive and complicated, but a clear business plan can help everything go smoothly.

Consider all of the points made in this article before you purchase a food truck. Doing the due diligence research on the different kinds of food trucks and how to evaluate them for businesses is an essential step for preventing errors when starting up a food truck business.


One of the most important things to consider about food trucks is what kind of equipment they hold or are able to fit. In order to know what kind of equipment you need for your food truck business you must have a clear plan of attack for the menu. The food truck equipment is going to account for a huge chunk of your investment.

Some food trucks may come with equipment pre-installed such as a refrigerator or stove. You should evaluate what equipment the food truck comes with, how much equipment you need to add to run your business, and how much the equipment costs. Do not forget to think about how you are going to power the food truck as well. 


Foot trucks can be an expensive investment, so it is important to not rush into things and buy the first food truck you see in your price range. As with many things in life, the cheapest option may not be the best option. Going all out with the equipment and design of the food truck may also take away from the budget.

Evaluate the overall cost of the food truck including the market price, what equipment you need, energy costs, and all aspects of the food truck which will affect your budget. Most people need financing to purchase a food truck, so you may want to start your search by applying for a loan. Your credit score will determine what kind of interest you can expect to pay on a loan for a food truck.

Permits and License

In most states you need some sort of permit or license to operate a food truck. The truck itself will have an effect on what kind of permits or licenses you need. In order to park and drive your food truck in certain areas you must first be sure of the legality and be sure to apply for any permits or licenses.

There may be additional fees for licensing and permits. If you plan on parking the food truck on busy streets or in a food truck lot, then you will need approval. The size of the food truck can have a huge affect on what kind of license you need and where you can bring the food truck.

Used or New

You have the option of buying a new or a used food truck. There are pros and cons to both. Starting with buying a new food truck, the benefits include less maintenance, less likely to break down, clean appearance, little renovations necessary, and you can customize the food truck however you like. The disadvantages of buying a food truck brand new is that a new food truck will come with a bigger price tag. Spending too much money on a new food truck up front may stifle your chances for expansion later on if you are stuck in a financing agreement.

Buying a used food truck is a great option if you are looking for a budget-friendly solution. The downside to saving money by buying used is that there is a greater chance of breakdowns, electrical problems, and high maintenance costs with an older food truck. If the previous owners did not take good care of the food truck, they may have patched it up for sale.

Buying new helps you to avoid buying a lemon, but unfortunately you may have less peace of mind in the integrity of the machinery. The appearance of a used food truck may be run down or covered in branding from the previous owner, so you will need to do some renovations. It can actually be harder to find shops to customize a used food truck than a new one. If you are a “DIY” sort of person, then fixing up a used food truck can be a fun project.


Judging a book by it’s cover happens to food trucks and restaurants too. If you want to draw in a loyal customer base then having a great visual design for the food truck is essential. You can customize the appearance of the food truck with wraps, stickers, paint, and personalized designs. Your food truck should be clearly and vividly branded so that it is recognizable.

For both new and used food trucks you will have to make difficult decisions on how to customize the appearance. When shopping for a food truck, do not make the appearance the only factor you consider, but it should be something to think about. A great looking food traffic will draw in more traffic. There are ways to get creative with the design without hurting your budget too much, such as hiring a local art student to do a custom design.


If you want to start a food truck business, but do not know where to start then consider going the franchising route. As a franchisee you have the added benefits of having a proven business model to work with. It can make the process of buying a food truck far easier when you have a detailed business plan to work with. If you are looking for a food truck investment, Philadelphia has Zac’s Burgers. Starting a burger food truck through us is a fast casual franchise with unlimited room for growth.

Zacs Food Truck

Zac's Burgers is presently not selling franchises and does not have a certified franchise disclosure document.  Zac's is offering licensing opportunities, however, potential licensees must meet all federal and state requirements.

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