Should I Buy a Used Hot Dog Cart?

A101 hot dog cart

Should I Buy a Used Hot Dog Cart?

Although saving money on a used hot dog cart may seem appealing, it may cost you money in the long run.  Many people run into issues with used carts when getting their food cart licensed and health inspection. Don’t let yourself be one of those people!

Before making any serious commitments, you must ask the seller these very important questions:

  • Did the used food cart pass all the health department requirements in its last inspection?
  • Where is the cart used?
  • Do you have the original cart paperwork and ownership?

If the cart was used in another state or county, it may not meet the requirements for the area that you are wanting to operate in.  Every city, county, and state have slightly different regulations for cart vendors. If the used food cart you’re planning to buy didn’t pass its previous health inspection or your local inspection, then you won’t be allowed to sell any food. You could potentially end of spending more money than the cart is worth getting upgrades made to it. Even worse, you might have to deal with reselling the used cart again!

The age of the used hot dog cart matters!

Don’t buy a hot dog cart that is more than four years old. The reason for this is that the Health Department’s rules are constantly changing. Upgrading the cart to comply can be expensive and time-consuming.
You also want to make sure the cart comes with the original ownership, paperwork, and VIN number. When you go to the DMV to get the cart licensed, they will require this to properly transfer the cart into your name. You don’t want to risk towing a trailer illegally.


In closing, be very careful when purchasing a used cart. In the long run, it may save you money to purchase a new cart from a reputable company that has a solid warranty. We have talked to so many clients about this, and the opinion is consistent across the board. The stress of getting upgrades done to a used, old cart combined with the costs incurred often are not worth the price difference between a new and used cart. At Willy Dog, we have the best price on hot dog carts as well as an excellent hot dog cart warranty. We even have monthly sales and specials on hot dog carts depending on the season. Before you pull the trigger on a used hot dog cart, talk to us about the benefits and savings of a new hot dog cart.


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