Mobile Catering Units

There are special issues to consider if you are thinking of opening a mobile catering unit and wish to trade in the Wealden area.

You must register with the local authority for the area in which your vehicle will be kept overnight, and this might be different to where you intend to trade. If you will be keeping your vehicle at an address in Wealden overnight then please visit our Registering A Food Business page. If you will be keeping your vehicle at an address outside Wealden then please contact the local authority for that area.

Mobile catering units are subject to the same food safety inspections as all other food businesses and the same basic hygiene rules will apply. Your vehicle must be clean and in good repair and condition. A wash hand basin and a sink will be expected, without exception. For more information on the general standards required in any food business please visit our Structural Requirements  page.

When buying a vehicle please be aware that we do not operate a pitch system, in other words you are only buying a vehicle to sell food from. You have not bought the right to sell food at a particular place.

You will need to check with the land owner before you operate from any private land or car parks. All of the roads and laybys in the Wealden area are owned by East Sussex County Council and it is best to check that they are happy for you to park on a highway location. They can be contacted on 0345 6080 193.

If you will be trading in another local authority’s area then you must remember to check with them if any restrictions apply.

Planning permission may also be required in certain circumstances if you wish to trade from private land. Generally this applies if the vehicle remains in one place continually. Both yourself and the site owner should therefore seek Planning Advice.

In any situation you still need to abide by the Road Traffic Acts and the Highway Code and the police do have the power to move you on if you are illegally parked.

Any gas appliance or installation in a mobile catering unit must be installed by a Gas Safe engineer and our officers will ask to see the latest certificate during your routine food safety inspection. For more information on gas safety please visit www.hse.gov.uk (external link). To check that your engineer is qualified please visit Gas Safe Register (external link).

If you plan to sell hot food or hot drinks between the hours of 11pm and 5am, then you will also need to apply for a Premises Licence for Late Night Refreshment. For more information or to apply for a Premises Licence please visit our Premises Licence page.