Advantages of Motorised Food Vans

A motorised Catering Van or Food Truck has all of the advantages of a catering trailer and a few more!


Without doubt, a Motorised Van is the best solution if you need to get around to a lot of different sites in a day or to different events around the country. They don’t require any heavy lifting and can be driven into position on your site.

Set Up Speed

Setting up with a Motorised Food van is brilliant. You drive up, park, open your hatch and start serving. It’s the quickest and easiest unit to operate from – perfect if you want more time to do other things!

More Work?

Many market organisers seem to be keen on quirky motorised units, such as Citroen H Vans or refurbished converted vintage vehicles, and you might be in a good position to secure more work than those with less visually appealing units.

However, if you operate from a Transit van with a hatch in the side, the opposite could be true and you might find it hard to get work at some events.

The look of your van will be critical in your attempts to secure work.

More profit?

A converted vintage van is definitely a fashion statement at the moment. This makes a statement about you and your business and can help your business in several ways:

  1. It may be easier to get work, as many Event Organisers want ‘cool’ traders that will draw the crowds
  2. You might find that more people want to buy from you
  3. You might be able to charge more for your product

A good investment?

Some traders are finding that converting a vintage van has worked out as a great investment, as they’ve been able to re-sell the vehicle for more than it has cost them in purchase and conversion combined. Perfect if you decide you don’t want to stay in the industry.

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Disadvantages of Motorised Food Vans

There are a few disadvantages to buying a Motorised Food Van that should be carefully considered.


A motorised van is probably the most expensive type of unit that you can buy, and will cost anything between £6,000 and £100,000 depending on what it is that you want. Pretty steep if you are just starting out in the industry.

On top of that you might have steep repair bills, especially if you have gone for something quirky like an old Citroen H Van or an imported American Food Truck.


If you are going to convert a vintage van then you will need to find a van that is suitable for conversion (not easy nowadays) and then either do the work yourself or get someone to do it for you (many of our Trailer Manufacturers will also do this for you). This can take a while and be stressful (and expensive).

Limited space

Many Food Vans do not have a lot of space on them, particularly the converted Vintage Vans. You
are therefore restricted to:

  • The amount of staff you can operate with (impacting on the speed with which you can serve customers and therefore the amount of money you can make)
  • The amount of stock you can carry (and therefore the amount you can serve)

Of course you might decide to convert an old bus or truck… in which case space is the least of your worries!

Access can be difficult

Some events might be in places that a motorised van might find difficult to get into or out of. For example, how will you get a van out of a wet Glastonbury? The answer is either be towed out by a
tractor or wait till it dries!

Likely to break down?

If you choose a vintage van, then you should remember that you will be buying a vehicle that is in excess of 30 years old. Vehicles of this age were not reliable when they were new, let alone now that have been to the moon and back and then sat in a field for years. It is not uncommon to hear of people taking several days to get to an event due to their vehicle breaking down and not having the right breakdown cover to get them there!

Second Vehicle needed?

If you are using a motorised unit at multi – day events is that you may need a second vehicle if there is a need to go off site either for accommodation or supplies.


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