New Vs Second Hand (Used) Catering Trailers

Jun 5, 2021

Choosing A Catering Trailer?


One of the biggest decisions of buying a catering trailer is deciding whether to buy a new vs second hand (used) catering trailers.


The question is which is better for you?

Who doesn’t love a bargain?

Many second hand trailers seem very attractive based on their initial cost. However, in the long run, if you factor in your time, general repairs, running costs and insurance a used trailer could be a much more costly purchase.

When looking at new vs second hand (used) catering trailers each choice has its advantages and disadvantages. It comes down to your business plan and budget. We’ll list the main pros and cons of buying new and used catering trailers. So that you can make the best decision for you and your business.

new vs second hand used catering trailer choice

Buying a New Catering Trailer

If you have a budget that fits a new catering trailer is a very worthwhile investment. It will help you avoid costly repairs in the future.


  • Custom made specifically to your needs
  • No wear and tear or undisclosed damages
  • Reduces the risk of costly breakdowns and major repairs
  • Usually have great warranties
  • Fresh, clean, and polished appearance
  • VOSA approved
  • Can be delivered to you
  • Can be cheaper in the long run
  • Experienced advice and guidance from supplier/ manufacturer
  • No visiting time required
  • Can be paid for using finance


  • Can be a larger initial financial investment
  • Customization requires longer lead times

Buying a Used Catering Trailer

If you want to own a catering trailer but are hesitant to invest in a brand new trailer you may be considering buying a used catering trailer.


  • Can be initially cheaper than new trailer
  • Equipment may already be installed
  • Fast lead time


  • Higher risk of costly repairs and maintenance
  • Unknown wear and tear/ damage history
  • Lower life expectancy
  • Safety inspection required
  • Rarely buy on finance
  • Harder to customise to your specific needs
  • Rarely include delivery
  • Harder to verify credibility of seller
  • Greater time spent researching and visiting

Our Custom Made Catering Trailers Are All New

With our new custom catering trailers you’re buying peace of mind. You know it is legal and safe, and it will be wonderful for you to work in. All of our trailers come with a one year ‘back to base’ warranty. In terms of size, layout, styling and equipment your trailer is built specifically to your requirements.

new custom built catering trailer red lining
new catering trailer sinks and electrical design


The greater the risk the greater the cost of insurance will be. Not for your catering trailer but also for your business needs. A second-hand/used trailer may involve greater costs when looking for insurance. There are three types of insurance required for running a catering trailer business.

Commercial Catering Trailer Auto insurance

Covers damage caused by the trailer (and towing vehicle) to other people’s vehicles, property or injuries to them.

Public Liability insurance

Covers against legal costs and claims for compensation made for damage and injuries caused by your business activities. An essential part being Product Liability. This specifically covers compensation claims for injury or property damage caused by any product you sell.

This cover would protect your catering business against claims should a customer became ill after consuming food cooked in your trailer.

Employers Liability

Legally required if you are employing someone. Covers against claims for compensation from employees (or former employees) who are injured or become ill through working for you.

You may also want to investigate some insurance extras:

frozen food cover (if required), replacement vehicle cover and business income insurance

Things To Check For On a Second-Hand Catering Trailer

There are too many horror stories of people buying used catering trailers that looked amazing online (or even inspecting by eye) but in reality cost them dearly. So here are a few things to watch out for when you do your due diligence.

  • What equipment is included and what condition it is in
  • Warranties
  • Look at the documentation
  • Hatch size
  • Electrical certificates
  • Chassis condition
  • Gas piping and electrical cabling
  • Food grade lining
  • Fireproofing
  • Sealing/leaks
  • State of the jockey wheel
  • Reason for sale
  • Axles and coupling quality
  • VOSA certification
  • Age of trailer (manufacturers plate serial number)
  • Hidden dirt build-up
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Hand and pot washing facilities
  • History

New Catering Trailers Without The Worries

Of course with our custom-built trailers, you don’t have to worry about any of these factors. We only use quality materials (for example Aluminium Composite Sheeting, not GRP). We quality check our trailers along with VOSA testing.

What Next?

When buying a catering trailer look at your current budget and business plan. Think about future costs and having the trailer built around you. Do your research as used trailers are not necessarily cheaper than new in terms of time or finance.

Your Dream Catering Trailer

If you would like to find out how much your dream trailer would cost, designed around your specifications you can quickly fill out our instant quote form here:

If you require further advice when choosing our trailer you can use our decades of expertise by calling us on 07702 794600