Citroen food truck

Citroen H(Y) van - Food Trucks

Buying a Citroen food truck - what are my options?

A Citroen H(Y) van is an almost perfect food truck chassis. Born as a workhorse for French industry in the fifties, the original vans made after 1962 are extremely versatile and durable with many oldtimers lovingly restored to mint condition or as vintage catering vans by experts. Not as spacious as the maximum length Step Van food truck – but be surprised – with a long wheel base Citroen catering vans can be over 20ft in length.

Karpatia offers more than vintage food trucks for sale: a brand new Citroen Jumper can be outfitted with cosmetic corrugated paneling to look like a classic type h van, with all the perks of driving a new truck. Or consider one of our two other options, a static van restoration or replica van can be made. 


Sourcing your Citroen van

Karpatia does not stock vintage units – this allows us to keep our prices fair. 

We are experts at scouring the European countryside, Facebook groups and local listing sites for your vintage van in 30+ languages. Karpatia also handles shipping and all import- and export paperwork.

Engine & Mechanical overhaul

On request or if necessary all mechanical parts are removed and cleaned, including the engine. 

If there is a requirement to regularly drive longer distances using the actual truck then a full engine replacement is the way to go. 

Bodywork Restoration

Dents, rust and other damages are removed as the body is sandblasted clean and recoated. 

If there is no restoring some part of the van, we custom fabricate sheet  metal replacements parts in our workshops, or replace parts with aluminum or fiberglass to meet new weight requirements. 

Food Truck Conversion

From service window to 3-sink system, raised roof and HACCP proof flooring with classic diamond plate or a modern cast plastic option. 

Karpatia does everything that’s not required to be done by an in-state service professional for licensing and permits. 

Custom vinyl printing on a corrugated body is tough – but we can certainly do it. 

Original - Restoration of Vintage Citroens

Pricing an original restoration is tough – they are very time intensive and each pre owned truck has its own peculiar set of problems. A base version, derelict on a french farm or just barely not in use as a food truck can be found on major listings sites with wildly varying ranges from $4000 to ~$20000. 

Yet they all usually end up around a minimum of $85k exw. when fully converted including all works and equipment. Are there bargains? Yes, they can be had. But do not base your business plan or conversion cost on that. 

We offer a transparent pricing per hour worked and quote all the works and materials separately where you pay as you go, with one big downpayment to secure the van and initial works. We can then work with monthly installments based on either your budget or our availability or agree a capped quote beforehand..  

Long wheel base Citroen H van vs. Extended van

There are Citroen H vans with a longer wheelbases – up to 20ft. These are quite rare and priced accordingly. As such it is usually a faster option to extend the wheelbase of a regular Citroen van, starting at $19500. 

A longer wheelbase van is not the same as an extended van – extending a van means extending the body beyond the rear axle whereas an extended wheel base moves the rear wheels and axle further to the back. 

Replicas Vans and Static Vans - from $35k exw.

Karpatia offers replicas made in Mexico – to US standards – starting as low as $35k. 

Replica vans are not road legal vehicles. In fact, they are not even technically a vehicle in terms of the DMV/DOT/MOT and their qualifications. This offers several advantages such as much lower tariffs, taxes and no need for vehicle insurance. Additionally there is virtually no maintenance involved and you maintain it like you would any kitchen equipment.

Replicas are best for fixed vending units or in use for an event catering company or other mobile business. Not officially being a vehicle has as a downside that some jurisdictions will not allow you to obtain a food truck permit or license using a replica van. 

Static Citroen van restorations

A great alternative to a replica is restoring an original vintage van without doing the mechanical and engine overhaul. Vintage restorations are measurably less costly if we can disregard the brakes, engine and all other mechanical bits and bobs. 

If you are a restaurateur or hotel using the food truck as a static decor item for your service then this might just be the perfect solution if you do want the genuine brand experience but not the price tag. 

For catering companies too, the practicality of driving an oldtimer tens of thousands of km per year will get to you no matter the restoration quality, which is why we recommend to always transport by or as a trailer. Then if you do need the self-propelled version a replica or static van fitted with a tow point is a great deal. 

New Citroen H Van - Premium Food Truck

Using a new Citroen Sprinter as the base and applying cosmetic paneling we are able to recreate the classic look of a type h van using a fully modern truck profile as the base. 


The biggest advantage in doing this is the singular reliability of the van, allowing you to not only pass the DOT/DMV/MOT (as do the oldtimers) but to also have a significantly reduced worry about engine trouble when driving and being able to ditch the trailer, operating as a fully independent truck. 

Another advantage is that a lease on the van itself can be obtained at much lower interest rates than for equipment financing as is done for food trucks. 

Citroen HY van for sale - USa considerations

Shipping Containers for Sale & Rent - Custom conversions of shipping containers for food service and hospitality

Karpatia is able to offer Citroen Type H vans for sale in the USA at great prices – over 10%  less than some classic car importers! – as we essentially “dropship” them. Not from China of course, from Europe. Meaning these vans are out there in France or Belgium somewhere and we have not taken the risk and stocked the inventory yet to get them to you faster. 

As virtually all of our customers are looking to convert a type h van in to a food truck, and we can do the conversion and revision to a very high quality standard at a fair price in Holland, this saves you a bundle over going with a US based classic car importer. 

We handle all the import- export paperwork, technicalities and logistics. 

our process


By assessing your dreams we come to a shared understanding of who we are building for and why

Exploring multiple design options lets us find the solution that best suits your business goals



We refine the concept and provide you with a detailed design that meets your needs

Close monitoring during production ensures we meet your standards. You can always fly- or drive in and take a look!



We offer a range of extra services to support your operation, so you can keep your focus.



Karpatia provides the best quality to value ratio in the industry - from CE conforming standards fit for a 5-star hotel on Asian products to high end European replicas and authentic conversions.


With Karpatia Trucks, you have an endless amount of possibilities. We will provide you with the best kitchen equipment and customizations such as full body wrap or painting – fast and easy.


We also provide additional services to help you get started – from financing to food truck websites 

Is a citroen food truck right for your business?

Frequently Asked Citroen H(Y) Food Truck related questions

If you have a MOT (RDW/TÜV or other local) pass then yes, even the oldtimers can be driven road legally. Replicas can not be driven legally on the road.

Most low emission zones will first ban the older Citroens based on their actual CO2 output yet then also make a carveout for oldtimers or professional vehicles used to carry out the business. In our experience it is possible to obtain an exemption in most cases but make sure to ask your local council first. 

Yes, we will drive the European replica or converted-refurbished truck on the back of a trailer from Lithuania or Hungary to your doorstep. In case you order(ed) a Chinese or Vietnamese replica, we will ship the container to the nearest port and arrange local forwarding.

Yes, we ship to the USA and connect you with a local forwarder.

Containers go everywhere, and all trucks can always be shipped to the nearest port.

We might not have a local forwarder in your country (yet), in which case we will find one together with you. 

We have our refurbishment and conversion workshops in Eastern Europe – a short distance away from international airports of BUD and VNO. In addition, we do not not use original parts in a restoration when it is not necessary.

A true afficionado may die a little on the inside when using off the shelf wipers for their Citroen restoration, but the people ordering coffee or fries at your service window will not notice the difference.

Karpatia has no showroom – but of course, we are always happy to show the workshop. You can make an appointment through our contact form. 

Yes, of course! When restoring an original van to working condition as a catering van one of the biggest things to start off a quality build with is sourcing a good used vehicle. If you’ve already found one that is great and we are happy to assess the works needed to get it back in shape.

Absolutely. We restore vintage units to mint condition for approval and “new vintage” Citroen Jumpers with the cosmetic h van paneling are some of the most reliable catering vans out there and both will meet the DOT standards without issue.