How to Prepare to Buy Your Own Plane
Buying an aircraft for sale is no small decision. Although you can find a small private jet for sale for less than $800,000, the annual costs of ownership add up.
But if your lifestyle could benefit from a jet, then owning one may be completely worthwhile. Let’s explore how you can take to the skies in a private jet and what you should do to prepare for your purchase.
Step One: Calculate How Much Money You Can Spend
Owning a private jet comes with lots of fees aside from the purchase price, including every time you fly anywhere.
These costs can vary based on where you travel, how many trips you take per year, and the size and age of your aircraft. When calculating how much money you can spend on a jet each year – beyond the purchase price – you’ll want to include fees like insurance policies, storage or hangar fees, flight crew costs, maintenance, fuel, ramp fees, landing fees, costs for upgrades, and more.
If you have a low budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy a jet. However, you may not be able to buy a particularly large one full of the latest and most high-tech amenities. Less expensive jets tend to be smaller and capable of flying shorter distances, but you’ll still get the same benefits of private aviation by owning one.
Step Two: Hire a Reputable Dealer or Broker to Represent You
To get the best deal on a plane, and to ensure the complex purchase process goes smoothly, you’ll need to work with an aircraft dealer or broker.
It takes a special level of expertise to find aircraft for sale and negotiate a transaction. Your broker works only for you, and in your best interests.
Think of the jet-buying process as just as complex – if not more complex – as buying a house. You definitely want a professional in your corner for the process.
Step Three: Look at Planes for Sale
Once you’re satisfied you have a good handle on your budget, and you’ve hired a broker or dealer to help you find your ideal jet, it’s time to start shopping for planes!
Most first-time jet buyers shop for used aircraft because of the more affordable purchase price and faster turnaround times, versus ordering a custom jet straight from the manufacturer and having it delivered.
Your broker or dealer will locate jets that fit within your budget constraints, but still meet your needs. Then, you can make your decision about which to buy based on your personal preferences.
Step Four: Follow Through With Your Purchase Transaction
Don’t expect to find an aircraft, close the deal, and fly away the very same day; planes are not like cars you buy from a dealership.
There are many, many steps you must complete before you can close on your purchase, and it can take anywhere from a month to several months to complete.
Jet-buying requires securing financing (if necessary), signing up for a variety of insurance policies, paying sales tax on your jet, and paying for an inspection to ensure the plane you’re buying is in suitable condition. You can then use the results of the inspection to negotiate repairs or changes to the purchase price.
While you do these tasks, your broker or dealer are working behind-the-scenes, along with your lender, to ensure the completion of a title search; prepare documents; set up an escrow account; authorize insurance binding for all your necessary policies; and much more.
It pays to be patient; rushing along the process could land you with a jet that you don’t particularly love, or dealing with terms of purchasing that you didn’t really want to agree with.
Step Five: It’s Time to Fly!
If you were able to locate the perfect jet for you, and your broker or dealer helped you complete your business transaction, then you can now take to the skies and travel wherever your heart or business takes you.
The benefits of private aviation feel endless: no TSA security checks, fly on your own schedule, move about the cabin, and choose your own snacks and meals from the galley. Plus, you’ll save lots of time flying from major or regional airports, because you won’t need to arrive hours before your flight.
Private aviation is also considered much safer than flying commercially right now, as flying in your own jet could protect you from catching coronavirus from one of many strangers you’d interact with during more traditional air travel.
Many corporate travelers cite private aviation as being the keystone of successful and productive business trips. Now that you own your own jet, you can experience it for yourself.