Most prospective mobile food vendors will, at some time, have to take up the task of shopping for a food truck. While it is generally exciting and fun, it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know what you are doing. Keep reading for some useful advice that can help things go smoothly and make decision making a great deal easier.

Shopping For A Food Truck The Right Way

Get Online

Look online for a great deal on a food truck. Only go to the dealer when you know exactly what you want. Spend some time online comparing your options and learning about the most important features of a food truck. These are vital, yet not every salesperson will explain them to you about upfront.

Check online to find the best deals. Looking online can help you save thousands of dollars. When you see the car you want, either go to the dealership selling the car or have your own dealer get the car for you. If the actual dealer offering the car is relatively close by, think about going there yourself in order to realize the most substantial savings.

You should be aware of what you want out of a food truck. It is a good idea to determine this by researching different type of trucks online so you know what you like. You will also find out what it should ultimately cost.

Do Your Research At: Food Trucks for Sale at Mobile Cuisine

Know Your Budget

Before you go shopping for a new or used food truck, assess your budget. You must know just how much you can afford to spend. Come up with the amount you will be able to spend in cash or on monthly payments. If at all possible, get your financing in place before you buy the truck. Use this handy loan calculator to estimate monthly payments.

When you are shopping for a food truck, you need to make sure it has as many features that fit into your budget. If you can’t make every item on your menu, you may have to consider switching up your priorities. Also, never purchase a vehicle that does not have a kitchen installed that can meet licensing requirements of the municipalities you will be operating in. If you can’t get permitted to operate, why bother?

RELATED: 5 Areas To Include In Your Food Truck Budgeting

Dealing With Salesmen

The seller’s goal is to get as large of a profit as possible. Although this is obvious, you can easily forget when talking to a charismatic salesman. Avoid falling for additional fees and unnecessary packages that often are added to the selling price. A food truck that appears like a bargain sale may increase by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Incentives need to be understood before negotiations begin. Find out about trade-in values, rebates, warranties, bank fees and any incentive programs. You will get a better deal if you actually know what to expect when you make your way into the dealership.

Understand the type of service department that you will be dealing with. Find out about the type of service that you will receive after purchase. Give the department a call and ask for advice you’ve looked up the answer to and test them. Select a dealer that has a competent staff so that you have a good source to turn to when the need arises. Every day your food truck is off the road, is one more day you aren’t making money.

Negotiating The Price

If you don’t negotiate down when you’re shopping for a food truck, then you’re throwing away your money. You should never end up paying the sticker price. Food truck dealers inflate prices to give room for negotiations and to give you the impression you are getting a good deal even though they may only give you a small discount.

Ask the dealer to eliminate any advertising fees that are attached to the price of your truck. You should never pay that fee. If you are being forced into it, don’t buy it.

When the person selling you a car asks their manager to give you a new offer, remember that this won’t yet be the lowest offer. Provide another counteroffer.

Have The Truck Looked At

Ask the dealer if the vehicle can be inspected by a third-party mechanic. This should be someone you trust. Avoid using mechanics that the dealer recommended. Your mechanic will be able to let you know whether or not the truck is worth the asking price and road-worthy.

You should hire a trustworthy mechanic to look at the vehicle you are interested in. If the owner balks at this, it may not be wise to proceed with the deal. There might be issues with the truck that could be problematic and expensive to fix. You don’t want to buy a food truck with problems without knowing about them first.

Note! Never buy a vehicle unless you have taken a test drive. It’s imperative that you make sure that your truck drives like it’s supposed to.

Additional Shopping For A Food Truck Tips

  • Get a warranty. Try to avoid an as-is warranty at all costs when shopping for a food truck. This decision can ultimately cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Never agree to purchase a used vehicle unless you are assured at least a 30 day warranty. If the transmission or engine blows the day after you drive off the lot, you will be responsible for the repair.
  • Shop at the end of the month. If you can, wait until the last days of the month before you purchase your vehicle. There are monthly quotas that all dealerships are trying to meet. Buying a food truck at month’s end helps them ring up the last-minute deals so that they can beat the quota. Sometimes, you can use this to your advantage and negotiate a better price on the truck you want.
  • Research trade-in value. Find out how much your trade-in is worth (if they accept trade-ins) ahead of your dealership visit. This way, you’ll know how much you can reasonably expect to get for your old truck.

The Bottom Line

Getting a food truck is great, but you must think these things through to eliminate the stress that goes with it. Thankfully, if you spend some time to do some research, buying a food truck can be fun. Hopefully, this article has provide you with advice in making your food truck purchase a more enjoyable experience.

Do you have any additional tips to add for those shopping for a food truck? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Facebook | Twitter