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Key Takeaways

  • A Cessna 172 will cost between $100,000 and $500,000 depending on factors like the plane’s condition, year, and other variable costs like fuel use and insurance.
  • It costs between $100 and $1,000 per year to insure a Cessna 172, depending on the type of coverage needed and the plane's age.
  • Other planes similar to the Cessna 172 at different price points include the Cessna 150, Beechcraft King Air C90A, and Piper Cherokee 140.

One of the most widely used planes worldwide is the Cessna 172, and for good reason. But first, let’s see how much this plane costs.

The cost to buy a new or used Cessna 172 is between $100,000 and $500,000. We see most models priced between $150,000 and $250,000, but this does not include the additional costs like insurance, fuel, maintenance, and storage, which will likely add another $50,000 to $100,00 per year.

Overall, the Cessna 172 is a high-quality plane, ranking as one of the most affordable in its class. We have gathered data based on available models for sale to provide the estimated purchase price to buy one today.

Table of contents


How Much Does A Cessna 172 Cost?

The average cost to purchase a Cessna 172 Skyhawk is between $100,000 and $500,000, depending on the year, model number, and aircraft condition.

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a dependable aircraft that is an excellent option for trainer pilots and others looking for a versatile plane. It’s comfortable enough for shorter flights with a spacious cabin accommodating two or four passengers.

It also has larger windows for improved pilot visibility with modern avionics inside the cockpit, including a Garmin G1000 to make learning how to fly a breeze. It’s incredibly quiet to fly with smooth and agile handling and responsive controls.

This plane is known for being easy to fly and maintain with fewer upkeep costs, making it a fantastic choice for pilots at all experience levels. Overall, we love this plane and believe it’s worth considering for the price.

What Is The Cost To Buy A Cessna 172?

As we have mentioned, the cost of a Cessna is affordable compared to many other planes this size and with this level of performance. Our experience flying in one of these has always been positive too.

The two primary costs associated with buying a new or used Cessna 172 are the purchase price and insurance cost. These will impact how much the plane costs upfront.

Purchase Price

Right away, the purchase price is the first thing we see when discussing costs for a Cessna 172. We have already mentioned that anybody interested can expect to spend about $150,000 to $250,000 on a used model.

Older models are available for much less too. For example, some of the original 172 designs from the early 1960s sell today for only $35,000 to $75,000 but could be in better condition and have many flight miles.

Insurance Cost

Many new pilots are surprised to learn how cheap it is to get insurance for their Cessna 172. It’s possible to get $1,000,000 in Liability Only cover for only $150-$250 per year.

It’s a bit more expensive to get full insurance coverage for accident and damage protection too. This will likely be around double or triple the cost ranging between $500-$1,000 per year.

What Are The Costs To Operate A Cessna 172?

Besides the upfront cost for a Cessna 172, there are also hidden costs that many people forget about. These are variable costs, but they are all essential to using and owning this aircraft.

Some of these costs include fuel, maintenance, repairs, inspections, and storage. They are less predictable, but we can correctly estimate how much each will be to understand how much a Cessna 172 truly costs.

Fuel Cost

One thing I appreciate most about the Cessna 172 is its fuel efficiency. The plane has an excellent flight range and only burns about 7-9 gallons of fuel per hour while flying, which is relatively low.

This means the average fuel cost for this plane with gas at $6.00 per gallon is between $42-$54 per hour. It also has two fuel tanks with a total capacity of up to 53 usable gallons for around five hours of flight time.

Maintenance & Inspection Costs

It’s difficult to calculate maintenance and inspection costs because they vary widely for each plane. We have estimated it costs roughly $13-$28 per hour in maintenance and inspection costs to fly the Cessna 172.

This factors in all regular oil changes, unexpected damages, regular inspections, etc. It can be on the higher end for older planes or those in worse condition with lots of flight miles.

Landing Cost

This is not something everybody needs to factor in, but many larger airports will charge a landing fee to use a runway. This shouldn’t be a concern if the plane is only used at smaller airports.

However, we estimate the average Cessna 172 owner will spend between $100 and $400 per year on landing fees, depending on the number of flights flown.

Storage Cost

Another cost to keep in mind is storage for the plane when it’s not in use since this isn’t something that we can park in our backyard or garage. Instead, we need to rent a sport in a hangar which will cost between $100-$300 per month.

This cost ranges based on location and where the plane gets kept. For example, some people prefer a hanger storage location, while others opt to keep the Cessna 172 tied down at a local airport.

How Does Cessna 172 Price Compare To Other Planes?

The Cessna 172 is not the cheapest plane to buy, but it certainly ranks as one of the most affordable in its category. There are few planes for the price with the same performance features.

However, we would like to show some significantly cheaper planes so it’s easy to understand how they stack up together. Below we have listed a few of the most inexpensive planes.

Cessna 150

The Cessna 150 is a much more affordable, compact, and less impressive aircraft, but it’s cheaper than the Cessna 172. Typically pricing ranges between $30,000 and $60,000 for this plane model.

This is a two-seater plane with excellent maneuverability and sits roughly 24 feet long with a 33-foot wingspan. This is a flight training, touring, and personal use plane.

Beechcraft King Air C90A

The Beechcraft King Air C90A would be a premium alternative compared to the Cessna 150. This is a larger turboprop plane with a bigger price tag ranging from $300,000 to $2 million.

Most used models will range between $300,000 and $500,000, while a brand-new one will cost $1 to $2 million. This is a seven-seater plane with two pilots and five passengers, ideal for personal use.

Piper Cherokee 140

The Piper Cherokee 140 is a small two-seater or four-seater plane which is excellent for flight training and personal use. It’s also commonly used as an air taxi because it’s easy to fly and has efficient flying capabilities.

This compact aircraft costs between $50,000 and $125,000, depending on the year and condition. However, it’s possible to find some older models even cheaper.