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Have you ever wanted to purchase your own Cessna Caravan? Who doesn’t hope for convenience and a chance at leisure moments that a small plane can offer?

The original Cessna Caravan was made thirty years ago, in 1984. A hugely successful aircraft, Cessna has developed many new variants of the Caravan which remain in production to this day!

A Cessna Caravan costs between $2.1-3.2 million new, and ranges from $1.75-2.16 million used. It can cost you roughly $1,200 per hour to operate under a budget adding up to $510,000 per year. A typical Cessna Caravan has fixed costs of $180,000 and total variable costs of $330,000.

Utility turboprops can easily hold on to their massive power and carry a desolate lightweight. They have proven to operate in various demanding environments. If you are ready to jump the gun and own a Cessna Caravan. There is a lot that impacts the price of one. It could vary from; the production year, condition, or value of each Cessna type, was it redeveloped or upgraded since it was designed?

As an avid aviation reader, this article will absorb factual information from aviation experts’ published work and commentary from aviation professionals worldwide, in the hope that this article will help guide you through the costs associated with buying and owning a Cessna Caravan.

Table of contents


A detailed understanding of each Cessna Caravan Model

Now that you have a general estimate of how much a typical Cessna costs. It is time to unpack the models and dive into what makes each one different from the next. The Cessna company has produced four Caravan models and a few variations ever since. These four models are:

  • The Cessna 208 Caravan: The single-engine airplane was first produced in August 1984 after the prototype flew in 1982. Its interior holds up to 12 passengers.
  • Caravan Amphibian: This aircraft is more modern than other Cessna models. They produced the airplane in 1996 with a Pratt & Whitney turbo engine. Highly capable of holding 8 passengers to land on water. It has features such as being versatile, the ability to endure up to 6 hours of operation and its amphibious floating aspect.
  • Model 208B Grand Caravan: Probably the largest manufactured Cessna airplane, even the newer variants are larger than the original with a powerful gargantuan engine. The single pilot plane was manufactured in 1986 and holds up to 9 passengers. This Caravan’s baggage compartment doesn’t have capacity for anything over 5 cubic ft.
  • Grand Caravan EX: The “multitasker” airplane was introduced on July 23 2012 and became known for its ability to bear demanding missions. It comprises features that are depended on for cargo operations around the globe. Depending on the area’s regulations, the interior allows up to 14 passengers.

These four models also have variants of their own. The Cessna 208 Caravan has variants ranging from Cessna 208 Caravan I, Caravan 675 and Cessna 208A Cargomaster.

As it currently stands, the Cessna company has manufactured 2,900 Cessna Caravan aircraft. And all certified in over 100 countries worldwide.

You might wonder why the need to manufacture these variants of a perfect utilitarian aircraft. The perfect answer is a better, bigger engine after every production era and to produce a modern aircraft with more capabilities than the original version.

How much is a Cessna Caravan (cost)?

So you’re ready to purchase a Cessna Caravan, but how much are you likely going to end up spending?

According to Cessna, a new Cessna Caravan can cost anywhere from $3.1 to $3.2 million depending on a variety of factors, namely the variant you buy and the specific specs, interior and any extra add-ons you choose.

At present, new costs for Cessna Caravan variants stand at:

  • Cessna 208 Caravan 675 - $2.1 million
  • Cessna 208B Grand Caravan - $2.2 million
  • Cessna Grand Caravan EX - $3.2 million
  • Cessna Caravan Amphibian - $3.2 million

Sadly no longer in production, the original Cessna Caravan variant cost around $1.5 million new.

The average costs for used Cessna Caravan

That being said, if you’re dead set on buying a Cessna Caravan, you don’t necessarily have to fork over $3 million or so and sit through a long wait period to get your aircraft. The secondary market is full of used Caravans looking for another chance.

A used Cessna 208 Caravan 675 could average $1.8 million and a $1,600 hourly rate to operate. The average price for the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan is $1.4 million. The other variant, the Cessna Grand EX can cost $1.8 to $2.4 million.

Before I go any further I should also point out that it is best to have any used aircraft, no matter how new or old, used or unused, thoroughly inspected before you part with your money.

Whilst this will cost you a tidy sum, usually around $1000 in most areas, it will lessen the likelihood that you’ll have any issues with the aircraft maintenance-wise; as not all people selling you second hand aircraft will do this for you.

The operating costs and other airplane information

Say you’re leaning more on the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan. Here is how your operating costs budget could look like.

The fixed costs would be where you spend the most, as it amounts to 78% of all costs. Annual trip support or insurance would amount to 13.92% and cockpit subscriptions of 6.18%, whilst annual cabin services cost up to 1.09%.

Based on 300 hours a year of operating, other financial costs include crew, hangar, hull insurance, liability insurance and miscellaneous costs. All of this could total $129,000.

The Economics of owning a small aircraft

It’s true, there are other costs aside from the purchase price and operating costs you need to be informed about. Let’s get into that so you know hidden costs that may not be clear in the beginning stages of cost research.

Big things do really come in small packages because owning a small plane like the Cessna Caravan requires a lot. The costs include: maintenance, repairs, upgrades, oil changes, landing fees and cleaning costs.

With all the costs piling up, there are ways to eliminate unnecessary maintenance costs. Being updated with regular repairs and maintenance with technicians gives you a high chance of avoiding potential damages.

Damages to any part of your purchased plane is costly, so if you’re up to speed with the required sessions. Those technicians can diagnose a potential threat before it becomes real damage that may require insane amounts of money upfront.

The Upfront Costs Broken Down

For your chosen airplane, you’ll need to find storage and hangar space. Storage or outdoor space is cheaper than hangar spaces. The costs per month could average $200 from someone who privately owns a hangar space.

Should you need to rent space from an airport, it would cost $200- $400 per month.

Maintenance and repairs is mandatory for any airplane, and there are annual costs to be aware of. A Cessna plane would range from $600-$1200 per year. The total amount covers the engine, avionics, propeller, airframe overhauls and other unforeseen expenses.

Your Cessna airplane will need to change oils every four months. Small airplanes can use up 5-10 gallons per hour. A Cessna Caravan‌ can be fueled with either AvGas 100LL, Jet A or and Mogas.

Mogas costs an average of $4.24 per gallon, whilst Jet A costs about $4.80 per gallon. That being said, most pilots tend to fuel their Cessna Caravans with Avgas 100LL, which is considerably more expensive, at around $6.76 per gallon.

One of the most expensive costs has to be oil changes for small airplanes. The number of times it takes to change oil will depend on how you fly the plane or what type of engine your Cessna uses.

The costs for oil change will range from $50-100, and this will depend on the type of oil your Cessna uses. If you opt for a quart of standard mineral oil, it costs about $12. Also, it could cost $25 for a quart of synthetic oil.

The positive aspect of oil changes included in your annual budget is that you can plan and budget by choosing an oil for your Cessna that suits your preferences and budget range.

How far can a Cessna Caravan fly?

The Cessna Caravan may be an old build but it has decent miles on it. Whether the airplane is pre-owned or new, it can fly for 530 miles.

A typical Cessna Caravan has: a maximum cruise speed of 186 KTAS, a maximum range of 1,070 nm, a takeoff distance of 2,055 ft, landing distance of 1,625 ft and a maximum operating altitude of 25,000 ft.

Any Cessna aircraft in good condition can fly a distance better than most other turboprops in its category. So when choosing any of the Cessna Caravan models, its range shouldn’t be something to worry about.

In this stage you have now figured out the cost of the actual aircraft, the additional costs that climb up the scale, being well-informed about all the main models of a Cessna Caravan. You know how much an original Cessna Caravan is. Are you now ready to take the leap and decide?