What To Consider When Buying An Ice-Cream Van
If you’re thinking about setting yourself up in the ice-cream van business, then the chances are you’ve thought long and hard about the fun stuff. Sunny days, the sound of children laughing and the pleasure of spreading a little joy.
The reality can be significantly different, especially as some of the very things that are so appealing about running an ice-cream van, such as the changes of location and the fun van styles available, can also be at the heart of some of the biggest challenges you’ll face.
However, if you’re starting out, you’re likely to think about your van purchase first. Essentially you have three options. Firstly, you could buy a brand-new van, fully fitted with a bespoke choice of equipment and options. This is obviously the most expensive route to take, and you might be looking at an initial cost of upwards of £60,000.
The benefits are that you can ‘build’ your van to the specification you have researched and require, and you know that everything will be in perfect working order. Also, a new van will be mechanically sound and able to manage the long journeys and extensive use ahead of it. You might also be able to invest in a new, electric or hybrid version, saving you money on your insurance and helping the environment too.
A five-year-old ice-cream van comes in at around £12,000 and should be a worn-in and fully functioning vehicle. You’ll want to be assured of the mechanical and electrical reliability, and you might need to reinvest in some of the equipment and storage options on board, if they don’t meet your style or requirements. However, a second-hand vehicle can provide you with a great financial deal and hold value far longer than a new model.
Lastly, you could look at a conversion, and potentially even manage some of the work yourself. This is less common, mostly due to the electrical demands, but if you are capable or know a professional who’s prepared to help then this can be a successful and relatively cheap option. You’ll need to source and install all the kit, and you will need to choose your base vehicle carefully to ensure that you can configure it well and that it remains convenient for the public, but it would certainly get you started.
Even better, you’ll have fun with the decoration as you’ll have a blank canvas to start from!
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