Starting your food van venture can feel overwhelming with all the options of vans to choose from. Whether you buy brand new or second-hand, we’re here to help you during your catering van conversion journey.
We’ve already covered buying a Second-hand Catering Van, and how much it can cost to convert a van to a food truck, so make sure to check those out for more information.
In this blog, we shall we running down a list of the best vans on the market fit for food truck conversions.
So without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we?
Should I buy a new or used food truck?
Before you start shopping around you need to ask yourself one question, whether or not to invest in a van that has already been converted.
Obviously, there is no single answer that will suit all, however, there are a few pros and cons to consider before you make your decision:
New Food Van
- No previous history comes to you as a blank canvas
- Customisable to your exact needs
- More often than not comes with a manufacturer's warranty
- Tend to be quite pricey if you opt to finance
- Will take a lot longer to build
Used Food Van
- Better financially if you’re on a tight budget
- Will already have been converted (less hidden costs)
- Ready to use from the get-go
- How it has been treated previously is unknown
- Will last a shorter amount of time in comparison to a new van
- Higher maintenance and repair risk
How to choose the right food truck for your business
These days there are so many options out there for catering vehicles, so you do not need to worry about not being able to find something to fit you and your business.
Factors to consider:
- Do you plan on having a big team?
- Health and Safety - will you need a pop-top/high-top roof to allow enough headroom?
- How much room will you need to prepare/operate
- Never buy the first van you see - it is important to shop around and find a vehicle for a good price
- Make sure to take a good look around the van before flashing the cash - remember this is a massive investment, make sure you’ve made the right choice.
Best Vans for Food Truck Conversion:
1. Ford Transit Full-Size Van
Are you looking for something classic and reliable? Then the Ford Transit is here for you.
The Transit is arguably one of the most popular vans in the UK and with 487.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and the rear doors locking open at 270°, there’s plenty of space for appliances such as grills, fridges, and room for food preparation.
With many variations of the Transit Van out there, you have plenty of options to choose from. So whether you want a fully electric vehicle, or something smaller/bigger, there’s a Transit Van perfect for everyone.
|Average price (new)||£32,985|
|Average priced (used)||£15,000|
2. Nissan NV2500 Cargo
Next up on the list is the Nissan NV2500 Cargo.
Powered by V8, the engine allows you to get around quickly in it. And with a high-roofed tank, there’s plenty of room to move around with ease.
The NV2500 can also tow up to 8,700 pounds, giving you peace of mind if you need to tow any catering equipment you may have. This model also has electrical plugs in the rear and front cabins.
Now when it comes to this particular model, it can only be bought second-hand. However, if you wanted something similar to buy new, it would most definitely be worth checking out the E-NV200 is a fully electric vehicle with similar dimensions, and will set you back around £25,000 depending on the model.
|Average priced (used)||£10,000|
3. VW Camper
If you’re looking to give your food truck a retro feel, it is worth looking into the iconic VW camper.
Thanks to the VW’ retro looks, this van is easily noticeable in crowds and helps it stand out against other typical generic catering vans.
As it is a camper, it does come with a fridge and oven already but you'll likely be able to update or upgrade these for your catering-specific needs. Also, depending on the model, the roof can pop up, giving you extra room to move around with ease.
The vintage style vans can only be bought second-hand, however, there are plenty of modern models to choose from that have similar functions, like the California 6.1, which averages around £60,000 depending on the exact model you buy.
|Average priced (used)||£20,000|
|Length/width/height||4.5/1.84 - 1.87/1.92m|
4. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van
As one of the more popular vans from Mercedes, the Sprinter van gives you plenty of room for appliances and food creation. With three different trim lines to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
The van comes in four different lengths and three different roof heights, meaning you can include appliances and storage space, and still have room to move around in.
Prices can vary depending on what size van you’re looking to purchase, so be sure to keep that in mind if this is the van for you.
|Average price (new)||£23,315 - £47,870|
|Average priced (used)||£20,000|
5. Citroen H
The Citroen H is another van with retro charm, that can put your food truck above others thanks to its unique look.
As the Citroen H is an older model, it may be harder to find parts for it, so you will need to bear this in mind if this is the model you are considering - it can work out far more expensive if something needs fixing.
There are also options available to purchase the van static if you’re in love with the looks and plan to use a trailer to tow the catering van around.
As this is a retro vehicle, it can only be bought second hand, however for £30,579, the similar styled Citroen HG Panel Van could be yours new.
|Average priced (used)||£20,000-£35,000|
6. Piaggio Ape
Now to the last addition on this list, we have the Piaggio Ape.
Piaggio are well known for its iconic Vespa Scooter, however, what you might not know is that they also produce a collection of vans ready to convert to catering vehicles.
You’ll be pleased to know that Piaggio has also created an electric version of this van, so if you’re planning to switch to electric this could be your ideal next step.
Last but not least, if you are tempted by a Piaggio Ape for your catering vehicle, we here at Lexham are Piaggio Ape Insurance specialists, so make sure to get a quote with us direct!
|Average priced (used)||£20,000|
The Last Stop!
Once you’ve picked the right van for you, the next thing to consider is making sure it is fully insured - our catering van insurance is here to help you out.
Last but not least, if you are interested in dipping your toes into the world of catering vans make sure to check out: