Considering purchasing an SR20

I am a private pilot with low hours (about 50 total) and am considering purchasing an SR20, that I expect I will fly about 100hrs/year. I have a few questions:

  1. What should I expect as my true cost of ownership (all in - i.e., ins., payments, etc.)?

  2. What are individuals thoughts on which year to buy (balancing wanting as new as possible, but not to be hit with higher cost and depreciation).

  3. Would I be better off buying it as a fractional purchase (although, much of my flying will be during the weeks where I’ll have to keep the plane out of town for multiple weekdays as a time)?

  4. What else should I consider?

Thank you for your input.


I was in a similar position as yourself, just a few more hours.

  1. There is a good excel spreadsheet out there somewhere (sorry I’m not more specific) that estimates ownership costs for a SR22. Not sure how the numbers are different for SR20.

  2. I went with a 2006 SR22.

  3. If you can find fractional ownership at your home base, that would be a great way to go to reduce costs. My nearest fractional opportunity was 75 miles away… kinda takes the utility out of travelling by plane with that kind of drive to the airport.

  4. I would consider your typical mission. In my case, it was cross country trips with my wife and 2 young children. Not enough payload with an SR20.

Be happy to help out with any other questions.


You ask a germane but FAQ. For a start, see the results of a search on the phrase “cost of ownership”.

My view of your questions 2 and 3 is to purchase the most plane (vintage, equipment, type) you can reasonably afford. After estimating all costs, of course. Your typical mission is the key consideration here. I have used an SR-20 very happily over 5.5 years, primarily for pleasure flying. I have no regrets about my decision except on the rare occasion when I find myself staring incredulously at 2-digit ground speeds during a long cross-country. Other COPAns will swear on a stack of bibles that choosing anything less than the SR-22 is criminally negligent.

Rest assured that whatever decision you take, you are likely equipped to justify it post facto as optimal. Like all the rest of us. My meta-advice then, is that if you can afford to take the plunge, do it. There is no better time to invest in the flying-on-a-whim capability than right now.

I agree with Sanjay. I would say to take your time and survey the market well. Start with ALL Cirrus listings on Controller ( For any given year/hours throw out the lowest priced listing and look at the next four least expensive. That is where the market is. Ignore the higher priced planes as their prices aren’t realistic. I mention looking at all Cirrus aircraft because you are shopping value and I mean value to you and not to me or anyone else. There are a lot more SR22’s for sale than SR20’s. The SR20 is a fine plane but if the price is close I would go with the SR22. Climb performance is vastly different. As an example, a quick look at Controller this gives:

SR20-GTS 2006 ~400-800 TT $219K to $245K

SR22-GTS 2006 ~400-800 TT $300K to $340K

SR20 2001 ~400-800 TT $160K to $170K

SR22 2001 ~400-800 TT $180K to $200K

Newer model SR22’s are often better equipped than similar vintage SR20’s with most newer SR22’s being fully loaded GTS models. I hope this helps. Both the 20 and 22 are fine planes.


Are you planning on buying a used SR20? Nothing wrong with that, but beware the top overhaul. It appears to be relatively common for aircraft that do around 100 hours/year to need a top overhaul at about 1000 hours. So look for one that either has less than 500 hours, or which has run up 1000 hours or so in 4 or 5 years, or has already had a top overhaul.



I purchased a 2003 SR20 last May, started transition training last July, and have put just over 200 hours on it. I am very pleased overall, but the expense was somewhat more than I expected. It is an early model Avidyne full-glass panel, with Emax, STEC55X, Stormscope, XM radio - pretty much everything. I had “hoped” to be able to pay for everything on about $36,000 year. Next year I’m readjusting the budget for $45,000 which is still about half the cost of a late model SR22.

My SR20 was in pretty good shape, but I’ve had to replace the main tires, a couple of CGT probes, a field control module, a Garmin 430 battery.

A month or so ago I added Cmax and am very with that.

Purchase considerations should include sales tax. I had to pay about $13,000 in Indiana on a plane I paid $193,000 for. A pre-glass SR20 should go for under $150 K.

If I had the disposable income I’d be into a TN SR 22 in a heart beat, but the SR20 fits my budget nicely and I’m not complaining about TAS of 140 or 145 at 9 or 10 gph.

I can provide more details on cost if you’ll send me an e-mail to

Good luck in your decision - let me know if you have further questions.



Both planes have similar systems (except maybe TKS). Both have 6 cyl engines and constant speed props. Both have similar panels and avionics.

Other than the initial cost, depreciation and insurance, I don’t see why an SR22 is significantly more expensive to own/maintain than an SR20. Are these the main factors in your calculation?

And another factor is that on any given mission, you’ll put more hours on an SR20, thus arriving at maintenance based on hours, such as overhaul, sooner.


In similar posts a few months ago, someone posted that it costs $100K per year to operate an SR22. I don’t own a 22 so I can’t comment. One of the primary differences I’d guess is the cost of financing difference between $193,000 (i.e., $175,000 after the down payment) compared to the cost of financing a new/newer SR22.

I’m comfortable with budgeting $45,000 per year, that includes monthly costs of $1,000 for fuel, $1,200 financing, $1,000 (set aside for annual, engine reserve, unplanned maintenance and repair, oil changes, PFD/MFD warranty), $200 for subscriptions (XM, dual 430, CMax, paper charts), $200 hangar and tie downs,

Annual costs: $2,000 for insurance, $2,000 property tax (projected).

I hope this is conservative, but I’d rather overbudget than underbudget. I hope I can do less then $45,000 long term, but that looks like the balll park - $36K is definitely too low…

At some point I’ll move up to a 4 or 5 year old SR22, if I can figure out how to budget for it. If I could figure out a way to do a full glass TN 22 on 50K per year I’d be there in a heart beat. I guess the next step for me would be a supercharger if they get STC’d for the 20, I may do WAAS at some point as well.

I’d be interested to know what other are budgeting for annual expenses on their planes.



Congrats on considering a Cirrus, you won’t be dissappointed, they are a great plane to fly. I purchsed a 2000 SR20 6 pack (300hrs SNEW) right out of PPL. (43hrs TT) The first thing I did was join COPA they are a great bunch of people with a wealth of knowledge to share.

I’ve calculated my cost of ownership in the neighborhood of $140-$150 per hour based on 100 hr/year not including aquisitiion costs or loss of intrest income etc. You could call Jamie Steel @ Steel Aviation wold be a good resourse for payments costs. Insurance the first year just over $2200 now down to $1500, Fuel $3-5 /gal @9gph LOP (you do the math), Annual, engine & prop reserves at $4000/year, maintainence $2000, subscriptions & publications $1000, & hanger (depends on where you are $2400/yr. Note: These #'s are off the top of my head & I could be off by a bit. Keep in mind that every plane or model, I’m sure, is going to be different.

What year to buy is up to you. The newer you buy the more it will cost w/ insurance, subsciptions etc…

I don’t know much about fractionals, but, I know Ilike to have my plane available when I want it. Costs more but…

I would suggest that you sign up for Mike Busch’s Savvy Aviator class. A great resource for owners. And lastly, don’t let your wife read this post, just tell her about all the fun the two of you will have. LOL

Fly safe. Rick


I am in the same boat. I am looking to buy a plane at some point in the future - hopefully sooner than later. It’s great that you joined COPA, I did the same and also joined the Cessna Pilots Association and possible Diamonds owner’s group too. I am still trying to define my mission and my budget before I decide what I will get into but this is what I will offer as suggestions:

  1. Have you talked to a Cirrus rep yet? If not, give them a call. I can only say good things about the rep in my area - Ivy McIver. I have found that while they would like to sell you a new plane, they really want to sell you on joining the Cirrus family whether that is new or used.

  2. Have you figured out your mission yet? If you are planning on doing lot’s of long countries for business an SR20 may not be the best. If you are planning on doing more recreational flying with occasional long trips then the SR20 looks to be a great plane. Figure out your missions using the 80-20 rule.

  3. Location - If you are out West - like me - the only SR20 to look at is the G3. I have talked to enough people/instructors to say that I wouldn’t feel comfortable flying anything but a SR20 G3 or SR22. The reason has to do with climb gradient. While the SR20 climbs better than the 172’s and DA20’s I rent, it covers a lot more ground to do it. One instructor told me that he has to circle to get out of one of the passes in my area in an SR20; he has no problem in a 172. The G3 with the higher aspect wings climb acceptably and I haven’t heard of any complaints out West.

  4. Budget - My Cirrus rep has an good excel spreadsheet I have used to calculate costs. Based on what I have read on these boards, the only difference I have calculated between the SR20 and SR22 are the following: fuel, insurance, and extra systems. The SR22 uses more fuel, though it can be flown almost economically as a SR20. Insurance is going to be a lot more. This is not an exception to the SR22, it’s the fact that every high performance airplane costs more to insure. The reason Beechcraft and Cessna is less is more to do with hull value than anything. The SR20 is cheap to insure. It’s in the same class as a 172. I was quoted ~$3000 a year with 0 time in plane and 200 hours under my belt. A new 172 wouldn’t be much cheaper because of hull value cost. You also won’t get nudged as hard to get your IFR in a SR20.

  5. Pilot Capabilities - Being a 50 hour pilot is not a lot of time under belt, but probably a lot better than a 300 hour pilot that has flown for 30+ years. Time in type and currency is important! More important is comfort flying the aircraft you are in. I have demoed both the Turbo SR22 and Cessna 400 and can tell you that comfort and confidence can not be underestimated. When I flew the SR22 I never felt behind the airplane. In the 400 I felt I was always 2 steps behind - not a good feeling to have when propelling yourself at 175 knots. To know if the plane is right take a couple demo flights and feel out the plane. Factor in budget when thinking about what you buy. If you can find a plane that meets the 80-20 rule and will allow you to fly more hours, pick it over a more capable/expensive plane that costs too much to maintain proficiency. I feel that any pilot with good training can safely fly the Cirrus family of planes.

  6. Soap Box Opinion - I have been looking at the new SR20 G3’s but give current times with business I have had to look at the used market. The SR22 G2’s are EXCELLENT values. They’re is nothing more capable for the price out there. They also have taken a depreciation hit and have hopefully had the bugs worked out of them. If you plan on developing your piloting skills and getting your IFR at some point in the future a used SR22 is probably the way to go. Call your local Cirrus rep, he/she reps both new and used/certified Cirrus.


I’m not committed to the Cirrus product line yet but have a plan to get some time evaluating them in our club’s SR-22s after I get my PPL. By the way, I’m an ex-military pilot so, while mindful that there is a lot for me to re-learn, I do plan to move up to a higher performance aircraft as soon as I have my license and IR.

My wife is the driving factor behind a new(er) Cirrus with CAPS rather than an older Bo or Cardinal RG. One question I don’t see asked on this forum is what is the longest item that can be safely stored in a Cirrus? Long skis and snowboards and short surfboards are what I have in mind. The DA40 has a ski tube but I see no mention of a similar feature in the Cirrus literature. Did I miss it?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

Steve C.


The rear seats fold down providing a long clear space. Sorry, I don’t have a measurement, but have carried a full-size bicycle, front wheel removed, back there.

I regularly strap my 158 snowboard into the the back seat of my SR20. By the way, my wife loves CAPS. It is a big reason we spend so much time flying together and enjoying it.


The kid’s 6-5 and his snowboard is the least of our problems; I think it’s a 172. My skis are 215s and my shortboard is 6-8. Something has to give or I have to consider something like a Saratoga. I really think the SR-20 with the CAPs is the answer to my wife’s paranoia, though. Plus it means I don’t have to explain to her why we won’t be any safer with a twinzie up in the mountains. That would definitely not serve my motives.

Thanks for the answers, please add any comments you feel appropriate.

The decision-maker at my house was also a driving factor. [:S]

Although I trained in Cessnas and had lots of old-timers talk about the folly of a parachute, she was put at great ease knowing a Cirrus has this extra out. Performance-wise, a SR-22 ranks up there with the best of them, so it did not take long to settle on Cirrus for our aircraft.

IMHO, those 2001 SR20 prices are probably 10-15%. They will sell for more like $140-145. I do not believe there is as much room for the 2001 22s to drop though. Could well be wrong on that

Also note your insurance for 22 will be significantly higher if you don’t have high performance time.

I realize this isn’t the appropriate forum for this, but I have a high-time “antique 20” I am currently under negotiations to trade in to Cirrus. Engine is very strong despite hours (good compressions, very low oil burn and good oil analyses). It can be had for a good bit less than $140K. :slight_smile: Drop me a PM if you are interested.

Oh, and I have flown my family of 3 on 4 hour 600 mile trips before, so it can go quite a ways if your family is small like mine - the 3 of us weigh just 300lbs. [H] And I have flown myself on several almost 6 hour trips - gotta love LOP operations!!!

I wonder if I just got lucky then or if my 'better" operation of my IO360ES got me to 2050 hours yet burning only 1 quart every 25 hours and with compressions still in the low 70s. I have no plans whatsoever to do anything with this engine for (hopefully) several more years!!

Hopefully the OP can use the plane for business purposes too and get Advocate Tax to structure the purchase and operations to avoid sales tax altogether.