Have you ever flown in a small plane? They offer a unique experience that can’t be found in any other form of transportation. But how much does it cost to rent or buy a small plane?
In this post, we’ll give you an overview of what factors will affect the cost of a small plane, as well as some average prices for different aircraft types. By the end, you’ll have a good idea of how much a small plane costs and what factors to consider when purchasing.
How Much Does a Small Plane Cost?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to fly in your own aeroplane. Even though it’s not restricted to those with great money, many end up disappointed. We’ll review pricing and factors to consider when purchasing a small aircraft.
Purchase Costs: Factory-New Small Planes
The aircraft type determines the initial price of a small plane.
Ultralight aircraft are the most inexpensive option, and you can find these for sale used for less than $8,000. They’re less durable, have a shorter flight range, and are generally less comfortable than other small aircraft.
Single-engine planes will typically cost you between $50,000 and $100,000. The lower end of this price range is for used planes, while the higher is for brand new models. The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is one of the most popular beginner aircraft, priced at under $100,000.
Twin-engine planes will cost you at least $250,000. For example, the Piper PA-44 Seminole has a base price of $369,000.
Of course, these are just ballpark figures. The actual price of the aircraft will depend on the make and model and any additional features or modifications you want.
Purchase Costs: Pre-Owned Small Planes
Although the initial purchase price of a small plane can be substantial, you may be able to find a good deal on a used aircraft. Just like with cars, the value of an aeroplane depreciates quickly. You can often find used planes for half the price of a new one or even less.
For example, a good-quality used Cessna 150 can be had for as little as $30,000, according to Plane & Pilot Magazine.
If you buy a used plane, get a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection. If underlying flaws are not discovered and repaired during a thorough pre-purchase examination, they may cost thousands of dollars in labour and damage the aircraft’s resale value.
Costs of Financing a Small Plane:
If you don’t have the cash on hand to buy a small plane outright, you’ll need to finance your purchase. The interest rate you’ll pay will depend on the type of aircraft, as well as your credit score and the loan length.
Several elements can influence a loan’s interest rate to buy a small aircraft. According to Investopedia, these factors include your credit score, the type of plane you want to purchase, how frequently you intend to use it, and the condition of the plane (particularly its year, make, and model).
Costs of Storing a Small Plane:
You’ll also need to factor in the cost of storing your aircraft. You’ll need to rent or lease a hangar if you don’t have space to keep it at your home. The price of a hangar will depend on its location and size, as well as any features or amenities it offers.
The average hangar cost according to a 2021 Investopedia article, the average hangar cost is $350 per month plus $100 in tiedown equipment.
Maintenance and Inspections Cost:
Once you’ve purchased a small plane, you’ll need to maintain it to keep it in good working condition. The cost of maintaining an aircraft will vary depending on its make and model and how often you fly it.
According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, you can expect to pay around $1,200 per year for light general aviation aircraft. This includes the cost of oil changes, engine tune-ups, and other routine maintenance.
You’ll also need to budget for annual or biannual inspections, which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires. The cost of an inspection will depend on the aircraft type and how long it takes to complete.
For example, a Cessna 150 will cost around $200 to inspect, while a larger aircraft like a Piper PA-44 Seminole will cost closer to $500.
Aircraft insurance covers damage to your aircraft and provides liability coverage during an accident. Aircraft damage is classified into two categories: in-flight harm and external harm.
The cost of aircraft insurance is determined by several variables, including the sort of aircraft, the amount of coverage required, and other elements such as the pilot’s experience. It’s essential to consult with a qualified aviation insurance agent when purchasing small aircraft insurance, which might cost anything from $500 to several thousand dollars per year.
Small Plane Fuel Costs:
Aviation fuel is more expensive than typical automotive fuel, so you’ll need to factor that into the cost of owning a small plane. The price of aviation fuel can vary depending on the aircraft type and where you purchase it.
For example, 100LL (low-lead) aviation gasoline costs around $5.50 per gallon, while jet fuel costs more than $4.00 per gallon.
According to the SherpaReport Guide to Private Aviation, fuel is the most expensive variable cost of owning a small plane. It may “account for as much as 70% of your variable operational costs.”
The cost of a small plane can vary greatly depending on the make and model of the aircraft, as well as how you plan to use it. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 for a small plane.
When budgeting for your purchase, consider the cost of leasing or renting a hangar, maintaining and inspecting the aircraft, and purchasing aviation insurance. You’ll also need to account for fuel, which can be quite expensive.
Considering all these factors, you’ll have a better idea of how much it will cost to own a small plane.