Skip to main content


What You Need to Know About Single-Engine Aircraft Sales

Posted July 06, 2023 in Aircraft Sales

4 Minute Read:

There’s much to know about aircraft sales, whether you’re selling or buying. And sometimes, it can take time to figure out where to start.  

At Foothill Aircraft, we’re here to help! Here’s your guide to aircraft sales and how to get your best airplane deal if you’re a buyer.

Small airplane in hangar.

Which Aircraft Sales Company Should You Choose?

Whether the small aircraft you plan to sell or buy is a Cessna, Cirrus, or Mooney, start with finding a reputable on-site representative or company at an airport. And while that goes without saying, you may wonder how you can know which company you can rely on.

Choose an aircraft sales company that:

  • Has been around for some time (at Foothill Aircraft, we’re proud to say that we’ve been servicing the light aircraft sector for 60 years)
  • Has positive reviews
  • Answers your questions directly and gets back to you quickly
  • Offers prices that seem fair, given the aircraft style, age, and condition
  • Is easily reachable via phone, in-person on-site, or via a website
  • Can supply testimonials so you can see others’ experiences with the company

Communication is key — especially if you’re new to aircraft sales. The more you can trust the company helping you make the sale or purchase, the happier you’ll be with the outcome.

What to Ask About Single-Engine Planes

It’s easy to spot that single-engine craft you can fall immediately in love with. This is particularly true if the exterior has been well-kept. 

This is when it’s time to slow down and consider everything about the aircraft you’re thinking about buying. Ask about:

  • The age of the craft
  • The number of previous owners
  • Any accidents or mishaps the craft has been involved in
  • Total hours of flight time
  • Inspection status

A reputable small aircraft dealer will not hesitate to give you these details. Check the dealer’s spec sheet, and always make sure you have information in writing.

How Much Should You Pay for a Light-Sport Airplane?

That’s the question of the day, isn’t it? Of course, as with any vehicle sale, the price will vary.

Your best bet is to check the plane’s value on a reputable site such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Valuation. After you know the plane’s value, consider the vehicle’s age and condition. 

If the seller asks far too much or too little, these are red flags. Move on to another craft and, likely, another seller.

How Much Can You Sell Your Light Aircraft For?

This also depends on various factors, especially the model, age, and condition of the aircraft.

Privately selling a single-engine aircraft puts you in control, but it can also have its pitfalls. Private selling can be a complicated process in which you aren’t sure you can trust your buyer.

Or you may think you have the sale in hand, and then it falls through. (We’ve had quite a few clients tell us about this frustrating experience.)

In these and other cases, consignment can be your best bet. Consignment involves selling your aircraft to a dealer, who will then put the plane up for sale to their customers. This takes all the pressure and the details off your shoulders.

Of course, you’ll want to choose a reputable company. Use the list above to ensure the company you’re dealing with is trustworthy, experienced, and fair.

Maintenance Is Key

If selling a small aircraft, you should always get a routine maintenance check first. Then take care of major issues. 

Selling an airplane is about more than curb appeal. Being able to tell a private buyer or consignment company that you’ve had recent maintenance can boost the final sales price for your craft.

If you’re buying, you can save yourself headaches later by purchasing your craft from a consignment location that performs maintenance on your specific make of choice. If the private seller hasn’t had recent maintenance and inspections, the consignment company will probably have gotten these important measures completed for you.

Have More Questions About Aircraft Sales? We’re Here For You

When you’re ready to buy or sell a sport single-engine plane, we have the knowledge and technical skill to help you make the perfect choice. Our experts at Foothill Aircraft have been assisting our Southern California aviation community since 1962. We are conveniently located at Cable Airport in Upland, California. 
Contact us today for the best deal on that plane you’ll enjoy for years to come.