Sky High or Cloud Nine: What Is the Cost of Owning a Plane?

cost of owning a plane expenses airplane ownership

Have you dreamt of owning a small plane but always thought it was out of reach? Planes are a fun diversion from daily life, offer convenient travel, and give you a sense of status.

If you do the research and maintain a budget, the cost of owning a plane is within reach. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to do!


The Type of Plane Affects the Cost

Not all planes are the same in terms of cost. A single-seat plane, for instance, will not set you back nearly as much as a multi-engine plane. The sweet spot is in the middle: a single-engine plane.

Single-engine planes can range from the price of a modest new car to over $100,000. The popular Cessna aircraft will average about $22,000.

There's also the question of whether the plane is used or not. Opting for an older plane may sound like an obvious way to save money, but due to their high demand, these planes are difficult to find used. And when you do find older aircraft, you'll need to keep in mind that replacement parts can be harder to track down.

Other factors can nudge the plane cost up or down, and it's wise to pay attention to your plane's value if you ever want to sell it. Learn more here about what goes into determining the value of a plane.


Don't Overlook the Operating Costs

Just like with cars, planes require routine maintenance and care. The plane will require fuel and oil, and you'll need to pay the insurance and other registration fees. And, of course, if you're new to flying, you'll need to pay for lessons and prep for the flight test.

As with cars and houses, you're usually able to place a down payment and then pay the cost of the plane over time. This helps to stretch things out so that all of those other smaller costs don't feel quite so burdensome!


Other Things That Impact the Cost of Owning a Plane

If you own a plane, you need a place to park it. This place is known as the airplane hangar. Most general aviation airports will rent spaces out for a few hundred dollars per month.

If you upgrade the interior of your plane or add a fancy paint job to the exterior, that will ratchet up the price, too. And when buying a plane used, look at the number of hours logged on it. Once the number hits 2,000, you may need to have an engine overhaul, which is a pricey undertaking.

And yes, having a good credit score helps with many of these costs (especially financing for buying a plane).


The Bottom Line of Airplane Ownership Costs

The cost of owning a plane may seem steep, but with knowledge and savvy, you can find the right plane and maintain it for reasonable costs. Take the time to determine what kind of plane you want and set aside enough money to cover both the initial cost and all of those other airplane extras.

Once you're happily flying your airplane, check back to learn more ways you can carve out the life you want with some budget-friendly ideas! The sky is the limit!

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