Before you buy: Street food vehicle enquiry checklist

By James Weber on May 17, 2023 3:27:15 PM

9 min read
Build a street food truck here, tick off this checklist before you enquire

Investing in your first Street food vehicle is an exciting business endeavour, but it’s not something you should walk into lightly.

This checklist contains the information that you need to have in place in order to submit a useful enquiry to us, something we will translate into a business ready custom street food vehicle.

This information includes your vehicle, intended design, your budget, business plan, menu and regulations you should be aware of. Whilst we don’t expect you to have every single detail straight away, if you don’t have a well thought out, logical plan for what you would like to do, it will be harder for us to help you efficiently.

Once you have everything in order you can submit your enquiry using the form at the bottom of the page.

If you haven't done so already, read our ultimate guide to street food trucks before you go through the checklist. It will provide you with a high level overview of the things you need to have in place to start a streetfood business, and contains links to further resources.




Ideally you will have a vehicle in mind before you reach out to us. If you a vehicle in mind but haven’t found one available for purchase we may be able to help you, but this will be considered and billed as an additional service.

If you don’t have a vehicle in mind then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. The most practical solution is to let your menu dictate the kind of vehicle that will suit you best.

By this I mean consider the size and volume of equipment you would need to install into a vehicle in order to efficiently fulfil customer orders.

Headroom is also an important consideration, you should be able to easily stand fully upright. Mercedes Sprinter vans are very popular in the van conversion community at the moment for this exact reason.

If you are thinking more vintage, make sure the vehicle is something you can rely on, you don’t want to be dealing with breakdowns, or any other faults caused by wear and tear. Street food businesses are usually not initially profitable, so you really can’t afford to have anything go wrong with the van.

Check out our guide to finding and purchasing a quality food truck for more information.



We will of course support and guide you throughout the design process, but the journey will be much smoother if you already have a plan.

We don’t expect drawings or sketches down to the last nut and bolt, but we do expect you to have a good idea of what you want, such as a rough floorplan and some branding ideas, a mock-up image or sketch is ideal.

If you are looking for more information try our guide, you can learn how to design a food truck in just three steps!



If you’re serious about having us bring your dream street food vehicle to life, you’re going to need a serious budget too, this isn’t the kind of project that can be done on a shoe-string budget.

You might think buying your vehicle is the expensive part, but it’s actually probably the cheapest part of the process. For example, whilst initial purchase might cost £5,000 – £20,000+, converting it to serve food usually costs more than the vehicle itself, averaging about £20,000 - £30,000.

If you intend to purchase a vintage vehicle, then keep in mind it will likely need to be restored to full working order before we can convert it, which will cost another £15,000 - £20,000.

Vintage vehicle restoration is complex and skilled work, which means it takes a long time to complete. Restoration projects usually add another 3-6 months lead time on a project.  

For a full breakdown of conversion costs and services, check out how much a street food vehicle build costs.

NOTE: The prices shown in this section are estimates based on previous client projects, not guarantees.

Conversion only

If all you need is your vehicle converted to serve street food you can expect to pay around £20,000 - £30,000.

Source and conversion

If you need us to source your vehicle too expect to pay somewhere between £40,000 - £50,000

Restore and conversion

If you have a vintage vehicle and require restoration and conversion services you might pay between £40,000 - £60,000 total.

Source, restore and convert

By far our most expensive service, we will find you the perfect vehicle, restore it to full working order and then convert and fit the vehicle for purpose. This costs £60,000 - £80,000+.



Getting a new business off the ground does take substantial investment, but that's why banks and other lending institutions offer affordable business loans.

It can be stressful to think about owing large sums of money, but don't worry, we are here to help!

We've put together a detailed food truck financing article to help you understand your finance options, as there are many paths you can go down to fund your business, even if you don't have great credit history! You will learn your financing options, what you will need to spend the money on, and how you can keep your costs down.

If the price is still a big no no for you then think about starting a bit smaller to prove the business concept works in a lower stakes environment.

Set up a stall at your local market, visit local events or take on catering opportunities. Once you get to the point of profitability, you'll want to grow, and that's where a quality food truck comes in.

The freedom a branded food truck affords you allows you to travel further and exploit more lucrative events. Apart from being eye-catching, the branding also acts as a lead magnet, so the more you drive around, the more people see you, the higher your rate of enquiries is likely to be.

One of the main reasons food trucks park in laybys on A-roads and busy motorways, is for this simple reason: the truck signposts who you are and what you do to thousands of passing motorists, guaranteeing you a steady flow of customers. 


Business Plan

We don’t want to just take your money and send you off in to the world with only a vague idea of what you are actually going to do. It’s an unethical way to run our business and we don’t want to set you up to fail.

Running a street food business is hard work and margins are tight, meaning you often won’t be profitable at first.

For this reason we would like to understand your business plan, before we ok a project. It’s also worth noting that any financier, whether that’s your bank or an investor, will want to assess the viability of your business plan before they approve your loan.

If you haven’t created your business plan yet, check out how to write a food truck business plan that gets investment.



We absolutely need a final menu from you, or at least the kind of food you are planning to serve, before we can ok your project. The food you serve will dictate the layout and design of your mobile kitchen, because of the differing equipment and space requirements for different types of food.

This means that we will also require a list of catering equipment from you that we will be installing in your food truck. Nisbets is a great place to find it.

You really don’t want to be in the position of a client who changes their mind halfway through a build, because we may have to gut and rebuild sections of your kitchen in order to accommodate your changes.

It’s an expensive mistake to make, so if you haven’t decided on a final menu, read our definitive guide to the best street food menu ideas. We explore a variety of popular and profitable ideas, helping you find a solution that best fits you.



If you haven’t already, now is the time to get familiar with all the laws and regulations that govern running a street food vehicle business in the UK.

It’s quite a bit to get your head around but it is essential reading, and will save you a lot of legal trouble and other headaches down the road.

If you have a bit of homework to do, check out our guide to food truck regulations, we’ve assembled all the information you need in one handy document.


What are my next steps?

If you are ready to progress with your enquiry and make your street food dreams a reality, then fill out the form below.

If you feel you have a bit of studying up to do first, then navigate to our learning centre's street food page, which contains all the information you need to get up to speed.

If you are just looking for a quote or an idea of price, check out our pricing guide. You can quickly formulate a ballpark budget and decide if investing in a custom street food vehicle is a good idea for you.

If you have looked through our Learning Centre and can't find the answers to your questions, then use the form below to get in touch, we are more than happy to help you.


What happens if I submit this form?

After you fill out this form, a street food specialist will analyse your enquiry and pick up the conversation with you within the next business day.

The first objective will be to understand your needs, develop a plan and provide you with pricing to build your new vehicle!  

No obligations, just fill out this form to get the process started and we will be in touch within 48 hrs

Start Your Enquiry


James Weber

Written by James Weber

Content Manager