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Cessna airplanes are among the most popular in the world for pilots and enthusiasts. Here’s how much it really costs to own and fly a Cessna.

Are you thinking about getting your wings and taking to the skies in a plane of your own? If so, then you’ve probably considered buying the most popular brand in the world — Cessna. But don’t get too caught up in just the purchase price, since that’s not the only cost associated with flying and owning a Cessna. So let’s make sure you know what’s really involved.

On average, it costs around $5,000 to $10,000 per year to own and fly a Cessna airplane. This includes both fixed and variable costs such as insurance, hangar space, maintenance, fuel, repairs, oil changes, landing fees, cleaning costs, and more. This figure doesn’t include the purchase price!

Owning a Cessna airplane costs more than just the initial purchase. There are many costs associated with owning and flying one of these airplanes, including fuel costs, maintenance costs, insurance costs, hangar rental costs etc. All of these costs can add up to make this an expensive endeavor. In this article, we will discuss all the fixed and variable costs that come along with owning and flying a Cessna airplane so you're not surprised when you get your first bill!

If you’re reading this article, then you want to know what the true costs of owning and flying a Cessna are. And here at SkyTough, we want to provide you with the most helpful content we can. To do so, we’ve researched all the costs really involved in owning a Cessna and have discussed the rates with others in the industry that own the planes themselves.

Table of contents


What Costs Are Involved In Owning A Cessna?

Owning and flying your own airplane is not as simple (or as affordable) as just paying the purchase price and being done with it. Think about your car for a second. You have to pay for things like gas, maintenance, insurance, repairs, cleaning, and more. Well, you’ll have all of those same types of cost for your Cessna, but they’ll typically be much higher on average than your car.

And that’s just some of the additional costs that you incur by owning and flying your own airplane. For the most part, these can be broken down into two major categories: fixed costs and variable costs of Cessna ownership. Let’s dive into each one and see how much it really costs to own and fly a Cessna of your very own.

Fixed Costs Of Owning And Flying A Cessna

As the name suggests, fixed costs are ones that do not change based on how much you fly the airplane. You could put 1,000 flight hours into it during any given year, or the plane could never leave the ground. In either case, fixed prices do not change. These are the prices that most people think about when they’re considering buying a Cessna, like the purchase price and insurance, for example.

Sure, there might be some slight variation year to year, but these are just the basic costs of ownership, not taking any actual flight time into account. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start flying at a young age and get my wings as soon as I could just so that my airplane could sit in the hangar and never leave the ground! But if that’s the case, these are the costs you’ll likely still have to pay.

Cessna Purchase Price

The single biggest cost you’ll face when owning and flying a Cessna — the purchase price. Since we’re not talking about any particular model of Cessna here, nor are we distinguishing between new and used, the purchase price can vary wildly.

For example, a used Cessna 150 is one of the cheapest planes to buy and only costs around $14,000 to $16,000. On the other extreme end of the spectrum a brand new Cessna Citation Longitude will cost more than $25 million. For most people buying a Cessna, expect to pay around $20,000 to $50,000 for a quality (used) Cessna 150 or Cessna 172.

Cessna Insurance

When you are flying a Cessna, it is important to have the proper insurance. The costs of owning and flying a Cessna can be expensive, so it is important to make sure that you are covered in case something happens. Cessna insurance can protect you from any potential damages or injuries that may occur while you are flying a Cessna.

How much does it cost to insure a Cessna?

That really depends on what you are flying and the costs associated with your insurance company. There may be monthly costs, annual costs, or both that you will have to pay for when insuring a plane such as this one. There are costs associated with many things, including the plane itself and its parts as well. Things to consider when getting Cessna insurance:

  • What is the cost of the insurance policy?
  • What are the costs associated with damages or injuries that could occur while flying?
  • How much is the deductible?
  • What costs are involved if something happens to your plane while flying it?

All that said, the average price for Cessna insurance is about $150 to $250 per year for basic liability coverage, and upwards of $450 to $1,100 per year for full coverage (for a plane worth about $50,000). This is likely even cheaper than most of your car insurance payments, so it’s not too bad in the grand scheme of things!

Hangar Space Costs For A Cessna

For an in-depth analysis into how much hangar space costs, you should check out our full article on the topic. We took a deep-dive into the cost efficiency of buying a hangar, building a new hangar, and renting hangar space from someone else. For most people, the best option is going to be renting a hangar, so that’s what we’ll touch on here.

Cessna airplanes are average-sized across the board, so you typically don’t need any sort of special hangar space or anything out of the norm in terms of size. If you can rent from a hangar owner, it might only cost you about $50 to $200 per month. If you need to rent space from the airport itself, expect to pay about $200 to $400 (or more) per month.

Cessna Annual Maintenance And Inspection Costs

The annual costs of maintaining and inspecting a Cessna typically range from $600 to $800. This cost can vary depending on the type of aircraft, its age, and the level of maintenance required. In addition, pilots are responsible for adhering to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which may require more or less frequent maintenance checks.

Variable Costs Of Owning And Flying A Cessna

On the flip side, variable costs refer to those that depend almost entirely on how much you actually fly your Cessna. If it just sits in the hangar for a few years, then variable costs often won’t come into play much at all. But if you’re getting out there and really flying your Cessna and putting some time into it, then the variable costs will start to creep up and up.

For the most part, variable costs are directly related to how much you fly your Cessna. The more you fly it, the more you’ll have to pay for these additional costs. That’s just how the game works, but flying your own plane is worth every penny! Well, in my opinion at least. Let’s dive in and see how much you have to pay to fly your Cessna.

Fuel Costs To Fly A Cessna

The costs associated with owning and flying a Cessna airplane will vary based on the type of aircraft being flown. Costs to fly depend greatly upon how much fuel is used during each flight, what type of fuel your Cessna airplane runs on, and how efficient that particular model of Cessna is.

Cessna airplanes typically use AvGas 100LL fuel, which costs about $4.73 per gallon to purchase at a local airport. It's important to note that the price of AvGas is typically regulated by law – in most places, it cannot be increased or decreased more than 15% each year.

Other types of fuel that Cessna airplanes use include  mogas (motor gasoline) and Jet A fuel. Mogas costs about $4.24 per gallon, while Jet A is just a little bit more expensive at around $4.80 per gallon.

As you can see, even with the different types of fuel that Cessna airplanes run on, the actual cost per gallon is all relatively similar to one another. So it will almost always come down to how much you fly your Cessna and how fuel efficient that particular plane is, rather than what type of fuel it runs on!

Cessna Oil Changes

One big cost for airplane owners is the cost of oil changes. How often should you change the oil in your Cessna? The answer depends on how you fly your airplane and what type of engine you have. If you are a VFR pilot who only flies short cross-country trips, you can probably get away with changing the oil every 100 hours. If you are an IFR pilot who flies a lot of instrument approaches and holds, you may need to change the oil every 50 hours or even less.

How much do Cessna oil changes cost?

That depends on how many quarts of oil you need to change and what type of oil you use. A quart of standard mineral oil costs about $12, but synthetic oils cost more. You can expect to pay around $25 for a quart of synthetic oil. If you need to change the oil in your Cessna,  the cost will be between $50 and $100, depending on how many quarts you need to change and the type of oil you use.

Changing the oil in your Cessna is a necessary expense, but it's one that you can plan for. By knowing how often to change the oil and what it costs, you can budget appropriately.

Irregular Maintenance And Repairs Costs For A Cessna

On average, maintenance and repairs on your Cessna should cost you  about $600 per year. Of course, your costs may vary depending on the age and condition of your aircraft, as well as the type of maintenance and repairs you need to have done.

To help minimize costs related to maintenance and repairs on your Cessna, it is important to keep up with your regular annual inspections. Most mechanics will recommend a certain schedule of inspections (based on the age and condition of your airplane) that should be followed in order to catch any potential problems before they turn into costly repairs. You can also save money by doing some of the work yourself if you’re able to!

Let’s take a look at the most common repairs and maintenance costs that you’ll run into during your Cessna ownership.

Tire Repairs and Replacements

A typical Cessna uses two tires and new ones cost around $100 each, so you can expect to pay around $200 for a pair of new ones. You might owe another $200 for labor costs if the mechanic needs to replace your tires during one of his regular annual inspections or after an accident. If you have a flat on the side of the road, it will cost you closer to $500 to have a tow truck bring your plane to a nearby airport where you can get new tires.

Engine Overhauls

Cessna engine overhauls usually cost between $5000 and $15,000, depending on the type of engine in your Cessna. If your airplane is more than 20 years old, chances are you may need to get your engine overhauled at some point. This costs more than a regular annual inspection because the mechanic has to take apart and rebuild every single component in (or on) your plane's engine (or engines).

Engine Replacement

If you need to put an entirely new engine in your Cessna, expect to pay between $15,000 and $50,000 depending on what kind of engine you need. If you are flying a single-engine Cessna with a piston engine or propeller, it’ll be on the lower end. If you own a high-end luxury Cessna private jet, you’ll likely need to pay significantly more than even the $50,000 threshold, since these jet engines are not cheap!

Landing Fees While Flying A Cessna

Landing fees are just one of the costs to keep in mind when flying a Cessna. Just as the name suggests, a landing fee is just the price you’re charged to land at certain airports. Some airports don’t charge any landing fees at all, and others charge somewhat of an exorbitant amount. It all depends.

Landing fees at small airports might only be a few dollars, while larger metropolitan areas could charge several hundred dollars per landing. Pilots should always be sure to check with their local airport for the latest rates before each flight.

Cessna Cleaning Costs

On average, you should expect to have your Cessna cleaned every  year or two. This will ensure that your plane is always looking its best. While you can do it yourself if you really want to, it’s almost always much faster and easier to just pay to have it done, just like getting your car detailed (but on a bigger scale).

For most Cessna airplanes, you can expect to pay about $100 or so for a basic exterior wash, and it will go up from there. If you want to get really fancy, you can pay $250 to $300 for an engine polish and make your Cessna look brand new again.

What Does It Cost Per Year To Fly A Cessna In Total?

As you can see, the costs of owning and flying a Cessna are not only limited to the purchase price. You need to factor in Annual Fixed Costs and Annual Variable Costs. Annual Fixed Costs are things like hangar or tie-down fees, insurance, annual inspections, and avgas costs. Annual variable costs are the costs that vary from month to month depending on how much you fly, like fuel, oil changes, repairs, etc.

Annual fixed costs can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the type of aircraft you own. Annual Variable Costs are more difficult to estimate because they vary so much, but they could easily add up to another several thousand dollars per year.

So what's the total cost to own and fly a Cessna?

It depends on the type of aircraft you own and how much you fly, but it could be anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per year on average. If you don’t fly your Cessna at all, then your annual costs to own and operate it will be relatively low. If you fly your Cessna every day of the year (or as much as possible), then expect to pay upwards of $10,000 per year or more.

Is A Cessna Worth The Price?

It costs thousands of dollars every year just for fuel, annual inspection maintenance, rental space at an airport with tie-downs (or hangar), insurance coverage including liability protection in case you are responsible for someone else’s loss or property damage due to your negligence or carelessness related to aviation activities/businesses.

Plus there could be other expenses that come up like parts replacement if repairs need to be made on your aircraft because of some type of accident or incident during flight operations. These events can occur from time to time; you can never predict when and how severe an event might be.

So, if you are asking yourself whether or not the cost to purchase a Cessna airplane is worth it (or if flying one makes financial sense for your needs), consider all of the associated expenses that come with ownership and operation.

Is buying a Cessna worth it?

Definitely! You just have to decide whether buying one will help benefit your life financially because airplanes are "expensive" toys. However, they can still be affordable enough for most people IF purchased wisely from a reputable dealer who sells used aircrafts at fair market values set by competitive pricing levels among other dealers.

If you’re buying a Cessna for a business that you have or that you’re starting, then it can definitely be a great investment to make. If your business can pay for the entire cost of the Cessna on it’s own, plus make a tidy profit on top of that, then you have literally nothing to lose by buying your own Cessna airplane.

Should I Buy A New Or Used Cessna?

The cost to own and fly a Cessna can vary greatly depending on the type of aircraft you choose, how often you fly it, and where you live. If you're considering buying your own Cessna, it's important to do your research to understand all the associated costs between buying new or used.

The cost of a new Cessna can vary depending on the model. For example, the price for a new Cessna 172SP starts at around $275,000, whereas you could spend upwards of $26 million or more on the luxurious private jet known as the Cessna Citation Longitude. I’m going to assume most of our readers aren’t spending that much on a Cessna, but who knows! If those prices seem insane, you may be able to find used models for less than half that price.

The cost of ownership will also depend on how often you fly your plane, which will affect whether you should buy a new Cessna or a used one. If you only fly it a few times a year, you'll need to factor in hangar and storage costs. In addition, pilots who live in areas with high aviation taxes or expensive airport fees will likely pay more for owning and flying their planes than those living in states with lower taxes and fees.

So is it worth it to buy new or should I get a used Cessna?

The answer really depends on your individual circumstances. If you're able to find a good deal on a used plane and you can afford the ongoing costs of ownership, then buying used may be the better option for you. However, if you want the peace of mind that comes with owning a new aircraft, then purchasing a new Cessna may be the right decision.

No matter which route you decide to take, it's important to do your homework and understand all the associated costs involved in owning and flying a Cessna. By taking into account things like hangar fees, insurance premiums, and maintenance costs, you can make an informed decision about whether or not buying a Cessna is right for you.