How Much Is a Private Jet?

Corporate Jet.
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Few things are as symbolic of astronomical wealth as owning a private jet, which are commonly associated with members of the extreme elite such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Taylor Swift

As you may have expected, the private jet market in the U.S. — so very VIP and exclusive — is exceptionally small. 

“Over the past few years, records show that the private jet market averages just over 1,000 aircraft listed for sale,” said Shawn Holstein, president of Holstein Aviation. “This quarter, just under 4% of the total private jet fleet is listed for sale. This number is expected to gradually increase over the next few years.” 

How Much Does a Private Jet Cost to Purchase?

“The cost of private jets differ according to the size and features it provides,” said Lokesh Pant, founder of BargainAirTicket, who outlined the types of jets and their average prices. 

Type of Jet Seat Size Cost
Turboprop Up to 8 people $1 million to $3 million
Light Jet Up to 9 people $4 million to $8 million
Midsize Jet Up to 12 people $8 million to $15 million
Heavy Jet Up to 16 people $15 million to $30 million
Ultra-Long-Range Jet Up to 19 people $35 million to $62 million
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Other Costs Involved With Buying a Private Jet

“The main ongoing costs of owning a private jet are fuel, maintenance and crew salaries,” Matt James said from the travel blog Visitingly. “Fuel costs will vary depending on the size and range of your jet, but you can expect to pay about $200 per hour in fuel costs. Maintenance costs will also vary depending on the size and age of your jet, but you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $5,000 per month for routine maintenance. Crew salaries will vary depending on the size of your jet and the number of crew members you need, but you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 per month for a two-person crew.”

Other cost factors to consider are:

  • Insurance: “A big cost associated with owning a jet is the cost of insurance,” James said. “Jets are expensive to insure.”
  • Storage: “If you’re not going to be using your jet all the time, you’ll need to factor in the cost of storage,” James said. “Jets need to be stored in a hangar.”
  • Pilot training: “If you’re not a pilot, you’ll need to factor in the cost of pilot training.”
  • Financing: “If you’re not paying for the jet in cash, you’ll need to factor in the cost of financing,” James said. 
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Can You Write off a Private Jet on Your Taxes?

“Aircraft owners may be able to claim 100% bonus depreciation on their asset within the first year of use,” said Steven Clements, VP of airline operations at Jet It. “It could equate to a 100% tax write-off on a multi-million-dollar asset while [you enjoy] the benefits of convenience, increased privacy, security and ease of flying privately. Other expenses such as fuel, maintenance and management costs are also tax-deductible if the aircraft is used for business purposes 50% of the time. There are very specific qualifications needed to receive these benefits.”

How Much Is a Private Jet a Day?

Holstein broke down how much it costs, roughly, to charter a private jet for a day — on an hourly basis: 

  • Turboprop: $1,100 to $1,400 per hour
  • Light Jet: $1,900 to $2,500 per hour 
  • Mid Jet: $2,600 to $3,700 per hour 
  • Super Mid Jet: $3,500 to $4,800 per hour
  • Heavy Jet: $4,200 to $7,800 per hour 

Is It Ever Cheaper to Fly Private?

“As a rule of thumb, [it is not ever cheaper to fly private],” said Clements. “However, people are finding the convenience, time, avoiding the long lines, security and general risk to exposure to COVID type sickness as significant considerations to cost.”

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What Are Some Ways To Make Flying Private Cheaper?

“In some cases, you may be able to travel with a group of people for a typical first class seat price on a major airline,” Clements said. “Another consideration is that Charter and personal aircraft allow point to point travel to smaller airports near your destination. Most people only think about one of the 37 major airports when traveling. In fact, there are over 5,000 public use airports in the United States. One of these airports may be very close to your departure and intended destination eliminating the drive and arriving at an airport 2 hours prior to departure.”

You may also want to look into a fractional model ownership program. 

“A fractional model ownership program allows you to purchase a percentage of an aircraft and typically has a number of days per year you can utilize the aircraft at a reduced hourly rate,” Clements said. “A fractional ownership plan may also include the use of other aircraft operated by the company as a fleet. The benefit of a fractional program is the aircraft is professionally managed by the Charter Certificate company. Insurance, pilots, maintenance and other associated costs are the responsibility of the charter company.”

Another option that Clements says may be worthwhile is to purchase an aircraft and place it into a 135 Charter Operation “for the sole purpose of conducting charter operations and entering into a revenue sharing contract.” 

Is Buying a Private Jet Worth It?

Money is obviously a gigantic factor here, but if you can afford it, buying a private jet can be worth it.  

“Investing in a private jet can save you a vast amount of time as well as provide greater convenience, privacy and flexibility,” Holstein said. 

When Is It Worth Buying a Private Jet and When Is It Not?

Buying a private jet may be worth it if you meet the following criteria, according to Holstein. 

  • If you fly more than 400 hours per year, your best option may be whole aircraft ownership or leasing.
  • If you fly between 50 and 400 hours per year, your best option may be fractional ownership or leasing.
  • If you fly 50 hours or less per year, your best option may be fractional jet card or charter card membership.
  • If you fly infrequently, or less than 20 hours per year, your best option may be on-demand charter.

The Final Word 

There’s no way to get around the fact that a private jet is outrageously expensive. Even if you go the cheapest route and buy a turboprop for a million bucks, you’ll still be saddled with a list of expenses including the costs of maintenance, pilot training, crew and fuel — which is its own enormous expense.

The one fairly substantial silver lining here is that if you’re buying a private jet for business purposes — and can prove it — you could be eligible for a 100% tax write-off. You may also be able to write off 50% of the maintenance costs, provided you meet the criteria. 

But one cost no one can get around is the environmental one. According to a report by Transport & Environment in 2021, just one private jet can emit 2 metric tons of CO2 in a single hour.

If you’re considering buying a private jet, you’ll need to enlist the following experts: 

  • An aviation broker to help you find the right plane for your budget and needs 
  • An aviation a attorney to help you navigate the ins and outs of aircraft ownership 
  • An aviation CPA to manage the financial aspects of your purchase and to help you maximize your tax benefits 
  • An aircraft manager to manage your annual budget for owning a private jet, and to assist in recruiting and training your crew, should you need one.

Information is accurate as of Sept. 12, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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