how much does a private plane cost

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. So what is the cheapest private jet to buy and how much does it cost to fuel a small plane? Keep reading.

How Much Does A Private Plane Cost

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.

private jet charter cost estimator

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.

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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Leasing

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.

cheapest private jet to buy

Owning a private jet might sound like the domain of the uber-wealthy, but the cost of the cheapest private jets might surprise you. Whether you’re shopping ‒ or window shopping ‒ for a short, mid-weight or heavy jet, the most affordable private joptions can be a fraction of the price of the most expensive. We’ve listed the cheapest private jet in each category to give you an idea of what’s available.

Very Light Jet: Cirrus Vision Jet

The tiny Cirrus Vision Jet landing
The tiny Cirrus Vision Jet landing

The cheapest private jet on the market is the small but mighty Cirrus Vision Jet at $1.96 million. The Vision Jet is the world’s first single-engine private jet, powered by a Williams International FJ33-5A turbofan engine that produces 1,800lbs of thrust. The aircraft took 10 years to design and build and features a unique V-tail instead of a traditional rudder. It can cruise at 345mph at a maximum altitude of 28,000ft, with a range of 1,150 miles. Although designed to be flown by the owner, a pilot can be hired instead.

Passengers can enjoy a spacious cabin at 4ft tall and 5ft wide, with large windows and seating for up to five adults and two children. Luxurious amenities include an in-flight entertainment system, mood lighting and USB charging points. There’s a panoramic windshield in the cockpit, as well as a cutting-edge Garmin Perspective Touch avionics suite and sidestick technology. The Cirrus Vision Jet even boasts a flight envelope and parachute system for emergencies.

Light Jet: Cessna Citation CJ3+

Close up of the exterior of a Cessna Citation CJ3+ parked at an airport
Close up of the exterior of a Cessna Citation CJ3+ parked at an airport

If the Vision Jet sounds a little tight, you can buy a brand new Cessna Citation CJ3+ for $8.3 million. Launched in 2014, it’s a new and improved version of the CJ3 – named “Best of the Best” in the light jet category by Robb Report in 2011– with a more comfortable cabin and an upgraded Garmin 3000 avionics system. The aircraft is certified for single-pilot operation and has an impressive wingspan of over 54 feet that’s designed for extra lift and less drag.

The cabin can accommodate up to nine passengers and is 4ft 10in wide, 4ft 10 tall and 15ft 8in long. It features 14 large windows, swing-out seats, LED lighting, Wi-Fi and a standard lavatory, with six different design themes to choose from. In addition, the jet has a maximum range of 2,040 nautical miles, a luggage capacity of 1,000lbs and is cheaper to run than its closest competitors such as the Phenom 300.

Midsize Jet: Cessna Citation XLS+

The Cessna Citation XLS+ on the runway
The Cessna Citation XLS+ on the runway

The world’s best-selling business jet can be yours for $12.8 million. Launched in 1998, the Cessna Citation XLS+ is a very versatile aircraft, delivering high performance on short- and long-haul flights. It has a maximum cruise speed of 507mph and a transcontinental long range of 2,100 nautical miles. The jet can also take-off from shorter runways and has a state-of-the-art Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system.

The cabin comes in six colour schemes and is the largest in its class at 5ft 6in wide, 5ft 8in tall and 18ft 6in long. Passengers can relax with fully-reclining leather seats, foldaway tables, an entertainment system and Wi-Fi. You can even configure the cabin to include a side-facing couch. There’s seating for up to nine passengers and a galley for food preparation, as well as space for over 800lbs of baggage.

Super Midsize Jet: Cessna Citation Sovereign+

A long shot of a white Cessna Citation Sovereign on a runway
A long shot of a white Cessna Citation Sovereign on a runway

Cessna does it again. Their powerful Cessna Citation Sovereign+ is the most affordable super midsize jet available today at $18 million. With a maximum range of 3,200 nautical miles, passengers can fly from Bangkok to Dubai nonstop. The Sovereign X+ is known for its excellent runway performance, with the shortest take-off among private jets in its class meaning it can fly from a small airport. In addition, it has powerful Pratt & Whitney PW306D turbofan engines and a 22.05-meter wingspan with range-enhancing winglets.

The cabin is 5ft 6in wide, 5ft 8in tall and 25ft 3in long. It can accommodate 12 passengers in luxury, with various configurations including an optional couch. There are new recessed armrests for extra aisle space and a Clarity Cabin Management System for in-flight internet. Even more remarkable is the best-in-class external baggage compartment, which can carry up to 1,435lbs of luggage.

Heavy Jet: Embraer Legacy 650E

A Blue and White Embraer Legacy 650E on a runway with bright blue skies in the background
A Blue and White Embraer Legacy 650E on a runway with bright blue skies in the background

While the cost of large jets almost always elicits sticker shock, the cheapest private jet in this category may surprise you. The luxurious Embraer Legacy 650E comes in at $25.9 million, a relative bargain when compared to the similarly-sized, $61.5 million Gulfstream G550. The E stands for Evolution and the model certainly offers that, with two Rolls-Royce AE3007A2 engines and Honeywell Primus Elite Avionics. As an aviation industry first, the plane also comes with a 10-year or 10,000-hour warranty.

The Embraer 650E has seating for 12-13 passengers in three separate cabin zones, allowing some to work while others sleep in leather seats. There’s broadband, Apple TV and a worldwide phone service, as well as multiple configurations which can include a conference table for business meetings. The 3,900-nautical-mile range allows for longer flight hours, so travelers can fly nonstop from New York to Munich, for example.

Best of the rest

Looking for more low-cost private jets? Here are some other options:

Stratos 714 ‒ This very light jet is scheduled for release in 2019 and is being positioned as a competitor of the Cirrus Vision Jet, since it will be the second single-engined private jet on the market. Stratos estimates the aircraft will have a 1,500-nautical-mile range and accommodate up to six passengers. The 714 will feature a Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5 engine and is likely to cost around $2.5 million.

Embraer Phenom 300 ‒ This light jet is worth $9 million compared to the $8.3 million Cessna Citation CJ3+. The Phenom 300 has a range of up to 2,000 nautical miles and can accommodate up to seven passengers.

Bombardier Learjet 45XR ‒ This midsize private jet costs $13 million brand new (just slightly more than the Cessna Citation XLS+), with a lower price tag for second-hand versions. The Bombardier Learjet 45XR has a range of around 2,000 nautical miles and can seat eight passengers.

No matter how affordable these private jets may sound, prices don’t include additional costs that affect private plane owners, such as inspections, insurance, hangar space, pilot expenses and interior customizations. You should also take into consideration fuel costs, which vary depending on flight time and aircraft type.

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