How Much Does It Cost To Start A Box Truck Business

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Box Truck Business

Starting a box truck business requires careful planning and research. Like any other business venture, there are both startup costs and ongoing expenses to consider. In this article, we will break down the estimated costs of starting a box truck business from scratch, what factors can affect your costs, and answer some frequently asked questions from aspiring box truck business owners.

Startup Costs

The startup costs of starting a box truck business vary based on the size of your fleet and the services you provide. If you already own a box truck, the cost of acquiring an additional one may be lower, and you may already have some of the necessary items on hand. If you are starting from scratch, here is an estimate of costs you can expect:

1. Box Truck Purchase: If you don’t already have a box truck, you will need to purchase one. Depending on the size and condition, expect to pay between $20,000 to $50,000 for a reliable used truck. A new truck can cost up to $100,000. Be sure to factor in any financing charges if you are borrowing money to make this purchase.

2. Insurance: All box truck businesses need to have insurance coverage to protect their vehicles and their business. Commercial auto insurance generally costs $1,000 to $2,000 per truck per year, depending on the level of coverage you need. Cargo insurance is also necessary, which protects your customers’ goods during transport. This may cost an additional $500 to $1,500 per year per truck.

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3. Operating and Maintenance Equipment: You will need various equipment such as hand trucks, moving blankets, dollies, and straps, to safely move your customers’ goods. These items could cost you between $500 to $1,000 per truck, depending on the quality and quantity you need.

4. State and Federal permits: You may need to obtain a variety of permits depending on your location and the goods you transport. For example, across state lines transportation requires a USDOT number that costs $300 for initial registration and $150 per year for renewal. Intrastate transportation may require similar permits, depending on your location.

5. Initial marketing costs: You will need to introduce your business to potential customers to get clients. Initial marketing could cost between $1,000 to $2,000 or more, depending on the marketing strategies you choose.

Ongoing Costs

Ongoing costs are expenses that you will incur during day-to-day operations. These expenses will vary depending on the size of your fleet, the distance you travel, and the services you provide. Here are some common costs to keep in mind:

1. Fuel: Fuel costs will vary based on the price of fuel in your area and the distance you travel. On average, box trucks get 10 to 12 miles per gallon. Therefore, fuel expenses could range from $0.20 to $0.30 per mile.

2. Maintenance and Repair: Just like any vehicle, your box truck will need regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. Keeping up with regular maintenance can help you avoid major repair bills in the future. Anticipate spending about $1,000 to $2,000 per truck on annual maintenance.

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3. Driver Expenses: If you hire drivers, you must pay them a salary or hourly wage. This could be around $20 to $30 per hour, depending on the driver’s experience and your location. You may also need to provide overtime and other benefits that can increase your expenses.

4. Office Expenses: You may need to rent an office space or a warehouse/garage to store your goods and operate from. This can cost an additional $500 to $1,500 per month in rent.


What permits are required to start a box truck business?

The permits you need depend on your location and the goods you transport. You may need a USDOT number or intrastate permits. Check with your state and local government to get the exact permits you need in your area.

Do I need commercial auto insurance?

Yes, you need commercial auto insurance to protect your business and vehicle in the event of an accident. The cost of the insurance varies based on your vehicle, driving records, and the level of coverage you require.

How much can I expect to make from a box truck business?

The amount you can earn depends on the size and scope of your company. Revenue will depend on the number of customers, the distance you travel, and the type of services you offer. A typical box truck business owner can make between $60,000 to $100,000 annually.

Do I need a CDL to operate a box truck?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required if you are driving a box truck that is 26,001 pounds or more. If you are driving a lighter vehicle, a regular driver’s license is sufficient.

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How can I find customers for my box truck business?

Market your services to the local businesses and commercial offices in your area. You may also consider advertising online, in local directories, and through social media channels. Word-of-mouth referrals can be critical to your success and can help you attract new clients.


Starting a box truck business requires a significant upfront investment, but with careful planning and a solid business plan, it can be a lucrative venture. Always keep in mind the startup and ongoing costs, possible permits you may require, and marketing strategies to help your business grow. By paying attention to the details and focusing on providing excellent service to your clients, you can build a profitable and successful box truck business.

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