Owning an SR20 or SR22 Monthly maintenance costs

I been flying SR22 and SR20 so sometime now. I’m contemplating purchase of one but still can’t pin down the monthly costs for maintenance that I must plan on. The rental rates are so high now I feel owning would be a better solution. Current rental rates are running $275 ph (SR20 G2) and $375-$400 ph (SR22 G3), home base is KDPA.

Can someone tell me what I should expect to set aside monthly of maintenance for both. I’m looking at the G3 models with Garmin Perspectives but are open to other ideas that may be less costly. I would expect to fly about 60 to 80 hours per year and specifically in the Midwest and down to FLA, I would think A/C would be a must around FLA.

A couple of questions:

Do you mind doing the oil changes yourself?

Do you have a hangar available?

Do you know an (good) independent mechanic that can work on a Cirrus?

Do you mind trouble shooting problems yourself?

Have you worked on your car, replacing a battery, air filter, brakes, belts and the oil?

Can you use a digital multimeter to find a bad electrical connection?

Can you change a tire on your car?

If you have this basic skill set, the maintenance costs will be dramatically less. If you just want to hand the keys to a service center and tell them to fix it - expect monster maintenance bills (several thousand dollar range).

Without this mechanical skill set, I would recommend renting if only flying 60 to 80 hours a year.

$400 per hour is a bargain to rent. If you own it will be closer to $1000 per hour in my opinion if you include reserves cost of capital, repack, etc.

How many hours per year do you anticipate flying?

Maintenance costs can vary based on the year. One year I was being particularly obsessive and spent over $20,000 on basically nothing important (chasing turbo splits and manifold pressure). Maintenance should be cheaper on the NA.

Financially even at $700/hr you’re better off renting, unless you are flying over 150 hours per year.

The main benefit of ownership is you know the maintenance history and issues and you don’t have to ask anyone permission to let the airplane sit somewhere far away. If I could rent instead of owning, I’d rent.

I have a good shop that can complete maintenance. It will be hangered and I can do minor repair myself.

If you want peace of mind, buy a plane you can pay for in cash. Do not finance it. Then budget for hangar, maintenance, training and fuel. Do not worry about cost of capital, opportunity cost, depreciation, etc.

Depending on how many hours you fly, your average cost on a G2 NA SR22 will be about $250 per hour for about 100 hr/year. Add for G3 and G5.

The peace of mind that comes from owning your plane is priceless.

Interesting, so would you say over 150 hours you would consider owning? The SR22 G3 and G5 rent for $375 and $455 ph. Don’t think the G# will be around much longer, talk of it being taken out of the leaseback. I like the SR20 at $275 but currently it has had issues.

I have an 04 22. I do my own oil changes and basic stuff…not Jensen level but it helps. With hanger, insurance (2 mil smooth), annuals/maintanance, databases/XM weather, and fuel for about 125 hours a year I come in around $200 hr. Having your own airplane is exceptionally cool…worth it even if it’s stupid money.

I agree with Tim that having your own plane is the way to go if you can swing it. My 05 22 is hangared and I have a fantastic Cirrus trained AP/IA that handles all of my maintenance in my hangar. I don’t have to travel to a Service Center. I fly about 150 hours per year. My hourly DOC without the cost of the asset is running about the same as Tim’s. My hangar alone is 10K, Insurance 3.2K -2 million smooth. Data,oil changes, unscheduled maintenance, annuals, washes and detailing is an additional. The only number I did not include is the reserve account I contribute to for life limit items and engine reserves. Every month a calculate the hours I fly in the previous month and contribute $75.00 per hour to a Mutual Fund for long term reserves. I classify this as an asset along with the plane, equipment and accessories. I think flying and getting to know your own bird adds an additional level of readiness, reliability and safety.

This has been discussed in details here.


Of course - your topic is a very “loaded question”

sort of like asking “how long is a piece of string?”

There are basically xxxx categories of expenses.

Usage based - which will include expenses that are dependent on how much you actually fly… things in this category will be dependent upon and tracked based on flight time. Things such as:

  • oil change every 30 hours (the POH recommends 50 hours - best practices range from 25-35) - cost dependent on if you perform this yourself (legally as a private pilot) or pay a mechanic. This would include oil, filter, and oil analysis.

  • Engine reserves - some money set aside for engine overhaul - the suggested hours will vary - but the current motors are either 2000 or 2200 hours.

  • Fuel - depending upon which plane - you can reasonably estimate xx gal/hour - and use a local price - for estimation - I currently use $5.00 per gallon in my spreadsheet - will adjust with the price of fuel.

  • Cleaning and general maintenance - while typically not a big item - over time, there will be supplies, time, for wash/clean of the plane - the more you use it - the more this comes up… things like tires, brakes, ware items on the plane.

  • the Magnetos need what is called IRAN (Inspect and Repair as Necessary) every 500 hours (times two of course) -

  • Spark plugs - either 500 hours, or 1500 hours (for fine wire).

  • Alternators (times two) need to be IRAN every 500 hours
    Then there are CALENDAR based items:

  • Annual inspection

  • bi-annual pitot static inspection

  • parachute repack (10 years)

  • Co detector

  • Seat belt controller

  • Air bag controller

  • Hangar rent

  • Insurance fees

  • State/local taxes (in some areas)

  • Some folks include debt service (if financed) or cost of capital -
    Many of the items listed under calendar will be included in your annual - however, you can budget if you know that these various “life limited” items are coming due. You can build a spreadsheet - and approximate some of these items reasonably - but, there are of course MANY un-forseen expenses - so you always need a slush fund. The general rule - is NEVER allow this spreadsheet of expenses to be seen by a wife or significant other - Flying is NOT a inexpensive activity, and most folks are in agreement - difficult to ever “justify” the overall expenses.

This will get you started - you have been warned… I know of MANY folks that simply don’t want to know the bottom line because it is scary - but - we still love it… and do it…



Absolutely, having a partner or two is a fantastic idea to bring down the fixed costs (which are the main expense). My airplane does 2-3 segments a week, still not quite enough IMO. If you own an airplane, fly the crap out of it, since it will bring your hourly costs down!

Best “deal” is probably rent/lease from a single-owner plane. You keep your costs predictable and get the benefit of a non-fleet airplane.

Joe, the best $65 aviation dollars you will ever spend is for a COPA membership. Forgetting that what I have learned on COPA has saved my life, I have saved thousands in maintenance costs based on what I have learned on the Members side.

COPA has tons of data on ownership costs. The reality is that it runs right at Shyam’s $250 per hour if you ignore engine and chute reserves at 100 hours. TN and Turbos are probably 10% more. Based on your hours it is better to rent. And then there is the added dental costs you would have to incur if you bought a Cirrus- you’d be smiling so much that you’d need to make sure your teeth are perfect.

Two things about airplane ownership. First, if you can’t write the check, don’t buy the plane. Second, youur ability to rationalize huge expenditures that would otherwise drive you nuts becomes simply amazing. Oh, $8k for a Turbo overhaul? Uh, it’s for the plane, no big deal…

Some things in life are just worth it. This is one of them:

I’ll throw in my two cents.

If you’re merely looking for a cheaper way to fly and you want to have a reliable budget for that endeavor then renting is the way to go.

If you place a value on ownership and the freedom to fly whenever and wherever your desires take you then I would consider buying.

Obviously flying is not a cheap pastime and at this point in time there is really no way around it, unless you have a friend that owns a plane and he or she will let you borrow it.

I owned a 2003 Cirrus SR22 and have recently traded up to a 2016 G5 NA. It has ben the best investment of time and money that I have experienced to date.

Good Luck with your adventure.


Here’s a 20-minute hack job pulling info from my Quicken file from Oct 2012 to Dec 31 2017.

I spent $172,200 for 514 hours on the hobbs for an average of $335/hr.

The number does not include the cost of my plane. I bought it (2006 SR20 G2) used. There are endless posts on how to, or not, deal with the cost of the plane.

In addition to the total, I broke down spending/flying by year.

For the total, I showed my quicken subcategories. Everyone has different names and meanings. Insurance is buried inside “recurring” along with charts, foreflight, AOPA, EAA, etc. “NewPlane” is things I bought for the plane - tug, shelves in hangar, etc. “Vacation” includes costs of things related to flying, but not necessarily the operation of my plane - i.e. EAA AirVenture camping & entrance fees, COPA Oshkosh dinners, COPA migration. COPA CPPP’s are in training Yes, I’m embarrassed at the low training number. It should be higher.

3113.2017 Flying Cummulative Spending.jpg

I do it the most expensive way possible - my local service center hangars it and does all the maintenance since purchase. I can barely turn a screwdriver let alone change my own oil!! I bought a used G3 TN and dressed her up with a new Avidyne stack. Financed it too (but just for cash flow management - I can write a check for the balance). I fly about 120 hours a year so far plus or minus.

Still worth every penny … always thinking of things she may need. And “Need” is a relative term…

Just don’t forget to include recurrent training in your budget - that’s the best $$ you can spend (after COPA membership and the purchase price that is). The peace of mind knowing every bit of the plane and who flies it, that it’s always ready to go when I am - well worth it.

Renting is definitely cheaper all in after everything. But ownership pays you back in so many other ways. So if you can swing it, I would go for it!!


IMO, it rarely makes financial sense to own a plane. Usually if it does it is tied to business use and the financial incentives with taxes coupled with additional business it brings.

I own an airplane because I am want the lifestyle associated with it. I want unfettered access to the use of it and I love all aspects of it. Maintenance is fun, as long as you don’t consider it a chore. Last minute deciding to fly to breakfast.

The utility of the use can analyzed as worth it vs whatever alternative you like. The pride of ownership and all it brings cannot.

at those prices, cheaper to rent than to own!!

don’t ask how I know

I owned a 2005 G2 and with annuals, hanger, insurance, gas etc. it cost exactly 250/hr at 100 -125 hours per year.

NOT including the parachute repack and the upgraded avionics I purchased.

it is expensive.

I sold it

and I miss it dearly


There is a difference in owning and flying a plane :stuck_out_tongue:

owning a plane isnt that much; flying the plane you own will cost you :wink:

Since i own it for personal use. I dont have a separate fund where i charge myself a fee for flying the plane, IE i dont put extra money away for OH, life limited parts etc. When something comes up i just pay for it like if my car needed new tires.

That being said. Because i dont charge my self reserves for the chute, OH etc. The actual cost to fly it is just gas, which for my TN is a average of 14.5gph; which right now just costs me out of pocket about $60/hr.

Then there are the non-flying related stuff; Nav subs $450/yr, Insurance $3200/yr, Tie down $30/m, Annual, $4000-$5500/yr, Property Taxes $2200; All of these come up once a year and just pay it when i know its coming.

The regular maintenance is $300/40hrs for a oil change (i like the mechanics doing it because they will open the cowl and look things over while its draining) and the random Qt of oil which is like $8 a qt when bought in a case.

I rented for my PPL and that cost me a small fortune. It was about 82hrs to get my PPL (long story); and the plane was rented out at a average of $210/hr wet.

When i did my IR i owned my plane, so I just had the CFI and the gas to pay for (and a oil change here and there); Because the CFI i used was new and really didnt have a great lesson plan (we basically flew all over northern cali) it too took about 80hrs. So $4800 in gas vs $18k in rental fees. I can tell you, as a blue-ish collar worker, it felt a lot less painful doing the IR than the PPL. With the PPL i felt like every week i was paying for another 10hr block at $2100;

I also find that doing IR in your own plane is greatly helpful. So if you are going to get a plane anyway, you might as well get it while training.

IF you are thinking you are going to buy a plane, use it for a few months while training then sell it; I strongly discourage this, selling a plane is like selling a house; you need the right person, with the right amount of money who will offer you the right amount; otherwise it just sits.

AC is a must in Florida if you ever plan to fly non pilots in your plane. If you are really going to fly 150 hours per year Hobbs time or more, owning is the way to go. We have. Sr22 g2 gts with ac and an aspen 540/440 DFC90 center stack. That avionics set up makes the cost to go g1000 not worth it to us. If you want the higher UL of a g5 that’s another story.

N498SR is part 135. We do get a break on maintenance. Our costs including labor and parts in our first year was 10,896.31. the plane flew 250 hours. That cost doesn’t include engine, prop reserves, fuel, insurance, hangar or our payment.

good luck. If you ever want to drop in to KGNV let me know.

I bought a 2006 SR22 GTS new. It has not had a loan for some 6 years. Our formula is simple and has worked out just about perfect over this time - $1500 per month fixed and $100 per hour flown. We have been through the chute replacement and some other timed events as well as a few unscheduled maintenance items in out ~1,400 hours of use. We have two hangars, so you could deduct $310 fixed from the monthly if you have one.

We do all of the maintenance we can by the way.