Used vs. New Aircraft: The Pros and Cons PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Friday, 21 August 2015 22:52

Used vs. New Aircraft: The Pros and Cons

If you’re a private individual who really wants to buy a plane, you’re immediately faced with a choice as to whether to buy one used or brand new. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you need to consider them so that you get the best value for your money. Asking a dozen different pilots won’t get you a unanimous decision as to which option is better, but for the most part your decision should be based on your answers to the three most crucial questions:

  1. What’s your skill level?
  2. What do you need a plane for, exactly?
  3. How much are you willing to spend?

Buying a New Aircraft

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of buying a brand new car, then in some ways the feeling of owning a brand new airplane is the same, although in a much more exciting way. The feeling—the knowledge—of being the first owner is hard to describe, but it can truly bond a person to his plane.

But it’s not just psychological. The newness of the aircraft means that it should perform at optimum levels, and new planes tend to have more advanced gadgetry as well. Many of these pertain to safety, so that means you’re safer all around.

You may also find that insurance, operating costs, and maintenance expenses are lower in general when everything is brand new. And when everything works fine every time, it’s a lot more fun as well.

On the other hand, the cost of new aircraft can be truly substantial. It’s not uncommon to shell out at least five times the price of a used aircraft when you are buying a brand new one. And if you have experience buying brand new cars, then you know about the reality of depreciation. When you decide to sell the aircraft a few years down the line, you’ll get far less than what you paid for it originally.

Getting a Used Aircraft

The best thing about getting a used plane is that it’s generally much more affordable even when insurance, maintenance, and operating expenses are factored in. It also tends to retain its value well, since an old aircraft is often fully depreciated.

As for reliability, just make sure to get a professional to assess the quality of the plane before you buy it. There are a lot of undervalued planes out there in excellent working condition. You may have to endure some glitches due to its age, but for the most part knowing that you paid so little in comparison for the same privilege of flying has its upsides as well.

Which One Is Best for You?

No one can answer that question except you, and that answer will depend on the answers you provided for the first three questions mentioned above. Make the wrong choice and you’ll end up wasting your money and flying will be a lot less enjoyable for you. Make the right choice and you are ready for an adventure that those stuck on the ground will probably never ever understand.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:12