What To Look For When Purchasing An Ice Cream Truck For Sale

The familiar sound of an approaching ice cream truck is one of summer’s most enduring pastimes. There isn’t anything more refreshing on a hot day than the sweet taste of your favorite iced dessert to cool you down.

Begun in the 1800s as a simple cart serving up flavored ice, the modern day ice cream truck has proved itself to be a sure fire way to earn a profit during the warmest months of the year.

With the familiar sounds of its beckoning ice cream truck music playing through the street, both children and adults alike rush towards it like an artic pied piper.

If you’re considering entering this lucrative business, however, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind when investing in one.

Where To Look

Two of the most common places to find an ice cream truck or van for sale are Craigslist and eBay. Both of them can serve up some great deals.

You’ll be wise to keep an eye out over time to catch someone selling at the lowest price possible. Of course, price on its own isn’t the only consideration.

The operating condition and other factors of this type of vehicle are also very important. Don’t sink your business before it‘s able to float by making the mistake of purchasing a lemon!

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How Much To Pay?

The cost of an ice cream truck will vary according to its age, condition, and features. You can expect to pay anywhere from around $3000 on upwards to $15,000.

Take a good hard look at the history of any used truck. You can get a good deal on an older model but ideally, you’ll want it to be maintained well.

In some cases, you might even find one that has a brand new engine or other new parts recently installed.
Nevertheless, make sure to drill the current owner on specifics such as:

• How many previous owners operated the truck?
• Was it a converted vehicle or purpose built ice cream truck?
• How old is the freezer?

Like any automobile, some basic inspection of the state of the engine is prudent. Take a test drive and pay attention to how the motor sounds. Any strange noises could be a sign that it’s due for a costly repair.

If you’re not comfortable assessing the condition of the engine, arrange to have a qualified mechanic look at it. Having a third party who can give an objective point of view can be a big help here.

The next major part of the truck or van to look at is the freezer. Have the owner turn it on before you meet. Take a thermometer with you and check the temperature. It should read between -15 to -20F.

If it doesn’t then this can mean trouble. Hauling around a load of melted ice cream won’t exactly be good for business.


Owning and operating an ice cream truck can make you a lot of money. Just make sure you get your business off to a good start by choosing a reliable vehicle using these tips.

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