As a pet groomer, you’ve already found the secret to happiness in this life—surrounding yourself and caring for pets each day! And if you are looking to expand your business, you’ve already looked at how to start a mobile pet grooming business. The next step is finding your ideal mobile pet grooming van!
The right pet grooming vehicle can set your business up for success by providing you with mobility and accessibility to your clients.
Here we’ll cover why you need a mobile pet grooming van, what to look for, types of pet grooming vehicles, and the right insurance to protect your business.
Why You Need a Pet Grooming Vehicle
Pet grooming is an excellent business option for people who have a passion for animals and want to care for them.
Taking your business mobile is an excellent way to increase your business opportunities because you don’t need to rent a space, can set your own hours, and have the flexibility to go wherever you want.
But to operate a mobile pet grooming business, you need to have the right type of vehicle. A good pet grooming vehicle is essential to your success for a few reasons:
- It can reliably get you between your clients’ homes or other locations.
- It will store all of your equipment and supplies safely while not in use.
- It’s a comfortable and functional space to conduct your business.
In short, you can’t have a mobile pet grooming business without the right pet grooming van!
Types of Pet Grooming Vehicles
Not every vehicle will be an effective mobile pet grooming van. There are two directions you can go: convert your own vehicle into a mobile pet grooming van or buy one that’s all ready to go.
Let’s look at both options.
DIY Mobile Pet Grooming Van
If you are going to create your own mobile pet or dog grooming van, you’ll need to be prepared for a bit of hard work! Converting a van or trailer is completely possible, but will take some time and technical know-how.
Here are the key steps to follow:
- Purchase a van or trailer that is big enough to operate your business from
- Carefully plan the design and layout of your mobile pet grooming van
- Purchase all supplies and equipment
- Build and install the van to how you like it
- Insure your pet grooming vehicle
There are many online resources about converting vehicles and vans, but we don’t recommend this route unless you or someone you know has technical expertise with construction and other applicable skillsets.
Prefabricated Pet Grooming Van
If you don’t want to DIY your mobile pet grooming vehicle, consider purchasing one that’s already created for this purpose. There are two popular brands for pet grooming vans:
- Wag’n Tails: This company offers a number of prefabricated vans and trailers that are designed for pet grooming. They have certified pre-owned vehicles as well. Wag’n Tails offers branding services, financing options, and comprehensive warranties.
- Hanvey: Similarly, Hanvey offers a variety of pet grooming vehicle options. They have customizations for different pets, like cats and dogs, and have a variety of equipment you can look at and specialize your pet grooming van.
Purchasing a pet or dog grooming van that’s already optimized for your work is a great direction to go if you don’t have the time, effort, or interest in developing your own.
The added bonus is having a team of professional support services to help you with anything you may need.
Features and Considerations
When considering a pet or dog grooming vehicle, you need to know what to look for. Here are some features to consider:
- Size: What is the interior size of the vehicle or trailer? Can you easily stand, move, and accommodate all of your equipment?
- Equipment: Does your pet grooming vehicle have everything you need to get work done? Is it easy to switch and move your equipment around if necessary?
- Reliability: What is the state of your mobile pet grooming van? Is it in good condition, comfortable, and reliable to travel? You don’t want to purchase something only to invest a lot of money in repairs.
- Weatherproofing: Think about where you operate and the likely conditions like snow, rain, or humidity. Your pet grooming vehicle needs to be able to function properly and be a comfortable space for clients and pets in any condition.
- Insurable: You need a vehicle or trailer that’s covered by insurance, so make sure to check with your provider (more on mobile pet grooming insurance below!).
These features and considerations will determine the usability and the cost of your pet grooming vehicle, so spend time considering it.
Cost of a Pet Grooming Van
The cost of a pet or dog grooming vehicle will, of course, depend on a number of factors.
If you are going to DIY your pet grooming van, the costs can vary significantly based on what type of vehicle you purchase and what you need to buy.
If you want an overview of what to expect, this YouTube video illustrates the breakdown. In it, the owner explains that they spent $50,000 total to purchase a van and convert it into a mobile pet grooming vehicle. It broke down to $32,000 for the vehicle itself, and the rest for the conversion.
Here are some of the things that they purchased that you can start looking for:
- A/C and/or heating unit
- Tub and hosing unit with plumbing
- Flooring and side wall paneling
- Electric table
- Clipper vac
- On-demand water heater
- Water pump
- Anti-fatigue mat
- Cupboards and shelves
- Decals for the outside with your logo
If you plan on purchasing a mobile pet grooming vehicle or having one converted from a company like Wag’N Tails or Hanvey, the cost will be different:
- Wag’N Tails pricing starts at $66,689.00 base pricing for a trailer or approximately $103,000 for a van.
- Hanvey’s vehicles start at approximately $101,999.00 for a converted van.
You will want to contact each company directly to get a custom quote based on the vehicle and your business needs. When purchasing a mobile pet or dog grooming van, here are some things you need to consider:
- Down payment and installments: If you cannot buy it outright, you’ll need to apply for a loan for the van. What you’re approved for will depend on your credit and income. If it is not enough to get a loan, you may want to consider co-signing with someone or getting an investor.
- Loan payments: Purchasing a mobile pet grooming vehicle is a two-step process. You are first purchasing a van and then having it converted, so there are two companies you are dealing with (i.e. Dodge for the van, Hanvey for the conversion).
Then, in general for any type of pet grooming vehicle, here are some extra expenses to consider:
- Business license to operate in your city, county, or state
- Mileage as a tax write-off
- All tools, supplies, and equipment
- Booking app or other software and technology to manage your business
When considering the finances of your mobile pet grooming vehicle, it’s a good idea to work with an accountant to make sure you are understanding your tax obligations as well as what you and your business can afford. This YouTube video dives into some things to think about with your mobile pet grooming business and is a great resource.
If you want to dive a bit deeper into what it takes to be a mobile pet groomer, read our resource on how to start a mobile pet grooming business.
Insurance for Your Pet Grooming Vehicle
Whether you’ve built your own DIY pet grooming van or bought one that’s already made, you want to protect your investment.
That’s where mobile pet grooming insurance comes in. Insurance is important for all business owners, and mobile pet groomers are no exception.
Mobile pet grooming insurance is essential to protect your business and yourself from third-party claims. In general, pet grooming insurance is designed to protect you legally and financially from:
- Unhappy or dissatisfied customers=
- Client accidents and injuries that happen during your services
- Issues with your vehicle
- Damage or theft of your tools, supplies, and equipment
- Loss of earnings due to business interruptions
Pet Care Insurance (PCI) offers a comprehensive mobile pet grooming insurance policy. The benefit of our policy is that it covers your services and the trailer or the vehicle itself. You can upgrade your services when needed and choose from a variety of insurance types based on what you need.
Our general liability coverage covers bodily injury and property damage within your mobile pet grooming vehicle and business. We offer coverage up to $2,000,000 aggregate or $1,000,000 per occurrence.
Other insurance options include:
- Personal and advertising injury
- Medical expenses
- Animal bailee
- Veterinarian expense reimbursement
- Equipment and inventory coverage
Our policies start at $23.16/month but are adjusted based on your unique business. Get a quote today. If you have questions, our team at Pet Care Insurance is ready and happy to help.
It’s important to note that both mobile pet grooming vans and trailers are insured differently, so speak with us at PCI to make sure your policy covers exactly what you need.
Becoming a mobile pet groomer is a great way to scale your business and do something you love each day. And finding the best mobile pet grooming van is the next step to get there! We hope you found this guide helpful—best of luck with your business!