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Posted 31/08/2023 in Buying Guides

Pros and Cons: New vs. Used Aircraft

Pros and Cons: New vs. Used Aircraft

When considering buying an aircraft, one of the most important decisions to make is whether to invest in a brand-new plane or opt for a used one. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on a myriad of factors including your budget, needs, and long-term goals. This article will dissect the pros and cons of new vs. used aircraft to help you make an informed decision.

New Aircraft: The Pros

State-of-the-Art Technology

New aircraft come equipped with the latest avionics and navigational aids, offering advanced features for improved safety and convenience.

Warranty and Reliability

Most new aircraft include a manufacturer’s warranty, giving you a safety net for unexpected repairs or issues.

Customization Options

When buying new, you often have the opportunity to customize your aircraft to your exact specifications.

New Aircraft: The Cons

Initial Cost

New aircraft are significantly more expensive upfront compared to their used counterparts.


A new aircraft will depreciate faster, particularly within the first few years of ownership.

Wait Time

If you’re ordering a new aircraft, you may have to wait months or even years for delivery, depending on the manufacturer and model.

Used Aircraft: The Pros

Lower Purchase Price

One of the main advantages of used aircraft is the initial cost savings, which can be substantial.

Slower Depreciation

Used aircraft tend to depreciate at a slower rate, especially if well-maintained.

Availability and Faster Possession

Used aircraft are usually readily available, allowing you to take possession in a shorter amount of time.

Used Aircraft: The Cons

Wear and Tear

A used aircraft will generally have more wear and tear, potentially leading to higher maintenance costs down the line.

Outdated Technology

The avionics and systems might be outdated, necessitating future upgrades.

Limited or No Warranty

Used aircraft often come without the safety net of a manufacturer's warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

How significant is the depreciation for new aircraft?

New aircraft can depreciate up to 20-30% within the first few years, whereas used aircraft tend to hold their value better.

Is financing easier for new or used aircraft?

Financing options may be more favorable for new aircraft due to their higher residual value and manufacturer support.

What should I consider when buying a used aircraft?

Look for comprehensive maintenance records, recent avionics upgrades, and get a pre-buy inspection to evaluate the aircraft's condition.


Both new and used aircraft have their pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your specific needs, financial considerations, and operational requirements. By thoroughly assessing these factors, you can make a decision that aligns with your aviation goals.