Are you in the market for the cheapest private jet to buy? Long lines at airports, delayed flights and shrinking seats and legroom on planes have made commercial air travel an unpleasant chore. And while flying by private jet used to be a privilege reserved only for the ultra-rich, more people are taking private jets now because they’re becoming more accessible. But make no mistake: Buying or chartering a plane can still climb into the tens of millions of dollars. So how Much Does A Private Plane Cost?
Some key takeaways to consider before buying a private jet include:
- New private jets can cost anywhere from $3 million to $90 million.
- The cost to charter a private jet can be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per hour.
- If you’re considering purchasing a private jet, you’ll have to factor in maintenance, fuel and staff salary costs.
- You may be able to fund a private jet purchase through personal loans, leasing options or private jet memberships.
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cheapest private jet to buy
How Much Does A Private Plane Cost
The price for a brand-new private jet ranges from $3 million to $90 million. Though secondhand jets are cheaper, they still cost millions of dollars. For perspective, a pre-owned Gulfstream G650ER, the company’s flagship private jet, costs $33.5 million to $49 million on the Gulfstream website. With extras and customization, the price can soar to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Given the costs, it’s easy to see why so few opt for private ownership. The purchase price of a private jet represents only a fraction of the cost of owning one. Maintenance and repair costs depend on the size of the aircraft but typically range from $500,000 to $4 million per year.
The price of a private jet depends on its size, the number of passengers it can hold and the distance it can fly. Because of that, fuel is one of the highest costs for jet owners. Planes with larger fuel tanks for long-range flights require more fuel. For example, the Bombardier Global 8000 has a fuel capacity of nearly 50,000 pounds. Depending on how much the plane is flown, fuel costs can reach $400,000 to $900,000 per year.
The cost to charter a private jet
While renting a private jet is considerably more expensive than flying on a commercial flight, it is still much cheaper than buying your own jet. Flights on private jets are charged by the hour. Prices vary depending on the size of the jet, length of the flight and the number of people on board. The typical cost is between $1,000 and $10,000 per hour to charter a private jet. Renting a jet for an entire weekend can run $100,000 or more.
However, unless you spend at least 150 hours a year flying, renting is probably a better option than buying — that way, you avoid many of the yearly maintenance costs.
Can you afford a private jet?
Before you buy or charter a private jet, it’s important to evaluate the factors that influence the full price tag of a jet. Think ahead to the types of trips you want to take and the frequency at which you’ll take them; long trips with many people will likely require a more expensive plane than shorter, infrequent trips. When determining the overall cost of a jet, also make sure to factor in things like fuel, insurance, storage and maintenance.
Things to consider
When deciding whether or not you can afford a private jet, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind.
How many people will fly
Is your plane for you and a buddy or is it how you plan to travel with your family? The number of people on the aircraft will determine the size of the plane you’ll have to look for. The more people you need to fit into your plane, the costlier it could be compared to a smaller plane fit for a couple of people.
How often you will fly it
Some planes are good for quick getaways and others are made for longer trips. Take into consideration when you plan to use your plane. If you think you’ll use it every few months, you might fly a different type of aircraft than someone who flies every weekend.
Where you want to fly
Are you on the East Coast and hitting the Bahamas? Are you in California and wanting to head up to the Pacific Northwest? Shorter trips mean using an aircraft with a smaller fuel tank. If you’re heading overseas or on a trip with many stops, consider getting a plane with greater fuel capacity.
If you’re buying new or used
The cost of a brand-new plane might be higher than that of a used plane. However, the model and size of the plane also determine the cost. In general, older planes cost significantly less than newer ones, although keep in mind any additional maintenance, insurance or upkeep costs.
The number of staff members on board
You will also have to factor in the cost of hiring pilots and flight attendants, whether you’re buying or chartering your jet. According to Aviation Voice, you’ll have to budget upward of $200,000 per year for a skilled crew. You can find a crew through an aircraft management company or through the company chartering your jet.
How much maintenance you’ll need
In addition to fuel costs and flight crew salaries, you’ll need to budget for regular — and sometimes unexpected — maintenance expenses. A cracked windshield or a mechanical issue can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and that price may be higher for older models. Minor maintenance should be performed regularly, just like with a vehicle.
How to finance a private jet
If you do decide to purchase a private jet, you’ll need to determine how you want to pay for it. Very few people can afford the cost of a jet in full, so our first recommendation is to get a personal loan.
With a personal loan, you can borrow money from a bank or credit union to pay for the jet upfront, then repay the loan over time. However, getting a personal loan for a private jet is much more difficult than getting one for a new car. Even the cheapest private jets can cost millions of dollars, and only select lenders will approve a loan for that much money.
If you approach a bank for a private jet loan, make sure you have a great credit score and a solid financial history. You can also look into getting a secured personal loan, which would require you to put down a valuable asset, such as your home. If you aren’t able to repay your loan, the lender would be able to legally seize your asset.
Some lenders cater specifically to loans for private jet financing, including JetLoan Capital, JetLease Capital and Global Jet Capital. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association also offers an online loan financing calculator to help estimate your monthly payments.
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If you’re not quite ready to purchase a private jet, consider leasing, which has many of the same benefits of owning a private jet. Leasing a private jet is similar to leasing a new car, with the option to sign a lease from several months to several years. Most aircraft companies allow you to choose between a few different types of leases:
- Wet lease: The lessor pays for the aircraft itself and at least one crewmember. Wet leases are a more expensive option because of the added cost of paying for a pilot or crewmember services.
- Dry lease: The lessor pays for the aircraft without the cost of a crew but is required to use their own crewmembers. This is a cheaper option if the lessor already has a pilot and crewmember they can hire for flights.
Leasing a private jet is also a great way to test out different aircraft before making the full investment in purchasing one. And because lessors don’t legally own the aircraft, they don’t have to deal with depreciation or reselling the plane if they decide to purchase a new one.
Private jet memberships
Another way to fly on a private jet without having to own one is to invest in a charter flight membership. With these clubs, people pay for a single seat on a plane rather than the entire jet, but it’s still a very pricey option. For example, Wheels Up, a popular jet charter company, charges members between $3,000 and $30,000 to join and $2,500 to $15,000 per year after that to get access to shared flights. Memberships in these clubs come with some advantages, though, including guest passes and discounted deals for an entire family.
Where to buy a private jet
If you’ve decided on owning a plane over chartering one and have figured out the type of plane you want, there are a few places you can browse through selections:
- AeroTrader.com lets you buy or sell aircrafts. Potential buyers can browse by size, location, aircraft condition (new or used), manufacturing year and even price range.
- Controller lets you search for planes by state, manufacturer and aircraft certification. If you’d like, you can search for multiple models at once rather than searching for one model at a time, giving you the option to compare different options at a glance.
While many websites let you browse for planes near you, you can also do a broad search of private jets in your area. Some sellers don’t list their planes on all websites, and you may find more luck reaching out to individual owners through businesses or marketplaces. If you have a specific model in mind, some companies like Gulfstream also advertise pre-owned aircraft on their websites.
The bottom line
Purchasing a private jet is an enormous expense that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even if you travel frequently for business or pleasure, it will be decades until the cost of a private jet is less expensive than that of flying commercially. Before making the investment, it’s important to make sure that you can afford not only the upfront costs, but also the long-term expenses associated with gas, crewmembers, insurance and repairs.
If you are going to purchase a private jet, think about getting a personal loan from a reputable bank or explore your options with aircraft-specific lenders. As you would with any loan, shop around and get quotes from multiple providers to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.
What are the most popular private jets?
With private aviation showing robust growth over the last few years, latest demand for exclusive flight services exceeded pre-recessionary levels over the course of 2017-2018. This is underpinned by strength across all segments of the industry including private jet rentals and used jet purchases. In this market currently, the most popular private planes are:
- Bombardier Challenger 350: According to data released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Bombardier Challenger 350 made 60 deliveries in 2018 continuing its upward trajectory from 56 in 2017. Offering excellent range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,926 kilometres) integrated with leading-edge technology, cabin comfort and design, it is consistently the first choice of experienced flight operators around the world. Powered with an impressive range of performance attributes, the planes are designed to purvey an exclusive private jet experience.
- Cessna Citation Latitude: After entering the private jet landscape in 2015, the Cessna Citation Latitude has consistently ranked amongst the top 10 best private medium jets in a host of range and performance metrics. As the most-delivered midsize jet for the third year in a row, the Cessna can accommodate 9 passengers with a seats-full range of 2,877 nautical miles. Offering increased comfort through a lower cabin pressurization, the Latitude also offers the most spacious cross-section of any Citation built by Cessna.
- Embraer Phenom 300: From 2013 to 2016, the Phenom 300 (now 300E) was the most-delivered light private jet in the world. As the fastest and longest-range single pilot aircraft in the world, the planes are designed with gen-next avionics, impressive cabin space and a top speed of 834 kilometres per hour. Seating 11 passengers, these planes are powered to achieve peak ranges of 3,650 kilometres.
What are the best business jets?
While business travel was traditionally regarded as the primary use of private jets, latest technology advancements and increased wealth have made private flying – which is considered the most expensive form of flying – more accessible to leisure travellers as well. Nevertheless, the corporate market still represents a substantial share of the overall industry. Below are some of the planes best equipped for corporate travel:
- Embraer Legacy 600: Via the feature of a spacious cabin space, the Embraer Legacy 600 can accommodate up to 13 passengers and is segregated into three areas within the cabin plus a galley and washroom. This makes it ideal for business travel, enabling the passengers to work, relax and interact separately while the galley is large enough to house a 3-course dining menu configure option. For clients travelling in larger groups or preferring to bring more luggage aboard the plane, this aircraft offers an exclusive experience that lies at the intersection of comfort and economy.
- Airbus ACJ 319/320 NEO: While the commercial counterpart has seating for 160 passengers, the Airbus ACJ in its private jet avatar accommodates approximately 18. The space is instead taken up by conference rooms, dining tables, and a VIP suite that boasts a bedroom, en-suite shower and office. Coupled with trademark fuel efficiency and quieter engines, the Airbus ACJ 319/320 is a recurring favourite of top 10 lists, business executives and sports personalities.
- Dassault Falcon 7X/8X: While the Dassault made its name in the military and commercial aircraft space, the larger Falcon jets carved out a niche in the business space due to their impressive range (5,950 nautical miles), a digital flight control system and an ability to customize the plane’s interiors into 30+ formats depending on usage priorities. With the versatility to make both long-range and short-range trips courtesy of a tri-jet engine, the Falcon models offer speed, efficiency and improved comfort.
Best private jets for international travel
Over larger, long-haul flights, commercial travel can often be cumbersome, time-consuming and inefficient. For clients seeking to alleviate these factors when travelling internationally, the following options have consistently been recognized in media articles as the latest champions of long-range travel:
- Gulfstream G650ER: Passengers looking for comfort, range and high speeds need to look no further than the G650ER that offers a range of 14,000 kilometres with 14 hours of flying time. Coupled with best-in-class cabin altitude of 3,290 feet, and a cabin that is longer and higher than any other ultra long-range private jet, the plane has seating for 19 passengers and can carry up to 103,600 lbs. of luggage. Inside the plane, there is a flexible cabin design with the option to customize the layouts to passenger preferences, handcrafted seats, digital audio/video equipment and porcelain dinnerware for a truly high-class experience.
- Bombardier Global 6000: The closest competitor to the Gulfstream is the Bombardier Global 6000, eponymously named for its ability to fly 13 hours or 6000 nautical miles (11,000 kilometres). Powered with industry-leading technology and performance, the 6000 is designed to provide a smooth ride, complete with wider leather seats, hardwood flooring and ultra-fast digital connectivity. All cabin controls are available at a single click while a large media bay enables passengers to wirelessly watch movies, mirror live streaming or display documents onto HDTV monitors, making it the perfect option for long-haul flights.
- Boeing VIP Dreamliner: As the most expensive option on the private jet charter market, the Dreamliner was originally designed to carry up to 335 passengers and bags. In the private jet version, it can carry up to 40 passengers for a range of 15,000 kilometres (17 hours flying time). The Dreamliner is separated into a master suite with a close en-suite washroom, a spacious main lounge, a guest cabin, and kitchen.
Most luxurious private jet interiors
While private planes have certainly enjoyed the largest resurgence in recent times following the recession in 2008, there are some models that truly stand out even amongst this exclusive set of aircraft that are reputed for luxury and resplendence. Some of the latest, most expensive, and notable ones include:
- Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ: As the most expensive plane in the world, the 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ has approximately 4,800 square feet of space with a full office, bedroom and grand dining room, which can further be transformed into a corporate boardroom based on the passengers’ usage needs. As far as luxurious interiors go, the Dreamliner is headlined as the “Queen of the Skies” with a $403 million price, dazzling passengers with gorgeous interiors complete with wide, leather seating, and a breathtaking design that can be configured into the passenger’s preferences.
- Boeing 757: The plane probably holds a place in recent public memory as President Donald Trump’s personal air travel vehicle of choice after he bought it for approximately $100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011. Powered with Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan engines, the plane has a silk-lined master bedroom, master bathroom with 24-karat gold features, big-screen entertainment with leather seats, dining room, private guest room, 2 bedrooms, galley and main lounge – all features that serve to exemplify the palatial aura.
Which is the best private jet to buy?
Due to the increased popularity of charter flying and an undeniable asset appeal, private planes have attracted a range of long-term investors who seek to leverage its demand from high net-worth individuals and/or other flying enthusiasts. However, private jets are multi-million dollar prospects from an up-front capital outlay perspective with that must be managed carefully. As such, a premium is placed on value retention and durability over the life of the plane.
- Cessna Citation family planes: In the private jet market, Cessna planes have a reputation for being workhorses. In a study conducted by AVBuyer in 2015, three Cessna planes (CJ3, CJ2+ and CJ1+) ranked in the top 10 private jets that had the lowest depreciation (assuming standardized policy) over 10 years. It speaks to the resilience and longevity of the planes across different versions. However, beyond their operational excellence, Citation jets also fulfill a key need for prospective private jet owners. By fulfilling a popular goal to have a private jet that is still within affordable price parameters, the Cessna family of planes the preferred choice of many corporate houses and “newly-rich” business executives.
- Gulfstream G550: A new G550 is worth approximately $61.5 million depending on configurations. In the same study mentioned above, it achieved 10-year depreciation of 35% i.e. 65% price retention after 10 years. As the most successful model in Gulfstream history, the aircraft is equipped for long-range flights, with annual costs of $2.85 million equating to a per hour cost of $7,135 (assuming 400 flight hours).
- Embraer Lineage 1000E: With a $53 million price tag, the Embraer 1000 and 1000E version pack a punch with its overall offering. In the ultra-large segment, it offers the lowest cabin altitude with a maximum range of 4,500 nautical miles that enables it to go from London to the US east coast, Riyadh from Beijing and Lima from Los Angeles. It is also for this reason that it is a popular choice amongst buyers from the Middle East.
Most luxurious & fastest private jets in the world
Users of private planes primarily value three things: comfort, convenience and time. As such, it is pertinent to explore the aircraft that provide luxury matched with speed for truly exclusive experiences tailored towards discerning travellers:
- Dassault Falcon 900B ($45 million): The fuselage of the Dassault Falcon 900 is built from a combination of materials including Kevlar, titanium and carbon fiber allowing the jet to weigh significantly lower than other in-class twinjets. This then translates into significant fuel economy and a top speed of 644 miles per hour with a range of 4,598 miles. Equally impressive on the interior, the 900B carries on the Dassault Falcon tradition of spacious cabins, leather interiors and quality craftsmanship to provide an unparalleled luxury flight that delivers passengers refreshed and on time to their destinations.
- Bombardier Global 7500 ($73 million): In December 2018, the G7000 entered the markets and consolidated its place as one of the fastest private jets in the world with a top speed of 650 miles per hour. In 2021, the aircraft’s cabin then won the Red Dot Design Award for its clean aesthetics, viewing windows and leather interiors. At an impressive range of 7,700 nautical miles, this flight coalesces luxury and speed like no other.
Best private jet trips
As private jets have proliferated in popularity, there has been a good level of interest in rentals for milestone birthdays, large celebrations and other milestone moments in people’s life. From a leisure perspective, some of the most popular private jet destinations include:
- Rome and Paris: In Europe, Rome and Paris remain tourism hotspots frequented by people from all over the world. In recent times, airport statistics have showed accelerated inbound activity from private planes in these two destinations. Offering a delectable range of historically significant attractions, natural beauty, and cultural appeal, these two cities encourage big-ticket purchases by offering excellent infrastructure to accommodate private flying and value for money over the duration of the stay.
- Las Vegas: The social scene of the American city is legendary the world over, and has been crystallized over the past few decades via media articles and Hollywood. It is no wonder then that Las Vegas ranks as amongst the go-to places – particularly amongst the younger demographic – for luxurious social gatherings and life events.