When buying a Cessna 172, pay close attention to how much time has passed since the plane's last major overhaul, which can add or subtract thousands of dollars from the sales price. Also, choose an aircraft with basic avionics equipment to save money.
Unlike automobiles and other vehicles, aircraft are required to undergo comprehensive annual inspection and must have their engines completely overhauled on a regular basis. Most piston aircraft engines need to be overhauled every 1,800 to 2000 hours at a cost that can run up to $18,000. As a result, newly rebuilt aircraft sell for considerably higher prices than those that are in imminent need of an overhaul and those that are at their midpoint represent an average price. Additionally, pay attention to the avionics equipment included with the aircraft, as highly advanced GPS systems cost more than simple radios and are not mandatory additions in most states and circumstances.
Additional costs that should factor into the decision to buy a Cessna 172 include parking, annual inspection rates, aircraft insurance and fuel. Add an estimated cost of $1000 per year for insurance costs, and park the airplane outside a hangar to save on monthly storage costs. One of the best ways to save money on buying a plane is to purchase it with a partner, effectively halving all costs.