What’s the Right Way to Assess an Aircraft’s Value?

aircraft listingsWhether you’re selling or buying, you want to make sure a preowned aircraft is valued accurately so that it’s priced fairly. But how can you determine the right value?

The first step in establishing an aircraft’s value is often to consult an aircraft bluebook, which offers standard prices for many aircraft makes and models. You can turn to subscription-based resources, such as Aircraft Bluebook Price Digest, VREF Aircraft Value Reference (free to AOPA members), and the Airliner Price Guide. These databases list current prices for many types of business and general aviation aircraft. Another option is the AvBuyer’s Aircraft Price Guide, a free resource that gives an average price range for various categories and models of aircraft.

Bluebooks give you a baseline but can’t provide an accurate valuation of a specific aircraft; each plane’s true value depends on many factors. An accurate aircraft valuation takes into account considerations such as these:

  • Engine hours, specifically time between overhaul (TBO).
  • Exterior and interior condition, including paint, presence of corrosion, state, cleanliness, and fit of interior items (e.g., seats, lighting, storage compartments).
  • Avionics and other installed equipment.
  • Accident and damage history.
  • Aircraft history, particularly the owner’s compliance with FAA Airworthiness Directives.
  • Maintenance history.

Get an expert opinion

Once you have a base value, you’ll need to consider specific factors that affect a plane’s worth. Unless you are highly knowledgeable about aircraft valuation, your wisest choice is to have the aircraft appraised first, then consult with a reputable, established broker who has extensive experience buying and selling the type of aircraft in question. A broker can provide a realistic valuation based on market data and in-depth experience with the aircraft. A reliable aircraft appraiser is certified by the National Aircraft Appraisers Association (NAAA) and analyzes various factors to determine an aircraft’s current market value (aka an opinion of value). As experts at both buying and selling aircraft, L & L International can guide you through the valuation process and assess your aircraft’s worth.

It’s not unusual for aircraft owners to overvalue aircraft they want to sell — or for inexperienced buyers to have unrealistic price expectations. By understanding the factors involved in valuation and using the services of a professional who’s knowledgeable about aircraft valuation, you’ll improve your chances of getting the best deal for your aircraft.

Contact L & L International if you need assistance in purchasing or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

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