8 fun facts about Ice Cream Vans that you probably never knew

Will Shiers
July 31, 2019
  • There are an estimated 5,000 ice cream vans on Britain’s roads.
  • The world’s largest parade of ice cream vans took place at Wychwood Park, Cheshire in October 2018. In total 84 vans travelled in convoy.
  • There are mainly two types of ice cream vans in the UK, a hard van, which sells scooped ice cream and is only equipped with a freezer and a soft van, which also has a whippy machine.
  • Ice cream was invented in China in 200BC, some 2,129 years before the first ice cream van hit the roads.
  • O Sole Mio is the most-used jingle for an ice cream van.
  • The world’s biggest ice cream van was built by Skoda in 2013 to celebrate the release of its new car the Octavia vRS. The vehicle, weighed 5.5 tonnes.
  • An ice cream van for dogs, which served gammon and chicken sorbet and canine cookie crunch ice creams, was designed for the Boomerang Pets Party in London in 2010.
  • Ice cream vans have traditionally only been allowed to play their chimes for four seconds at a time, and only once every three minutes. In 2013 the law was changed to allow chimes to play for up to 12 seconds, and every two minutes.

Learn everything about the process of turning vans into ice cream selling machines by reading our 6-page feature in the Summer Special issue of Commercial Motor magazine. Coming out on 8 August, this bumper issue will feature 16 extra pages!

Subscribe and get your copy delivered to your door. Or, you can pick up an issue from our stand at Convoy in the Park on 10-11 August.

About the Author


Will Shiers

Will has been the editor of Commercial Motor magazine since 2011 and is the UK jury member of the International Truck of the Year.

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