Top 4 Aircraft Purchased by First-Time Buyers in 2020

AOPA Aviation Finance decided to compile a list of top aircraft financed in 2020 by our members and then share it with you. We’re breaking them out into three categories: first-time owner, mid-level and light jet/turboprop airplanes.

  • Aerial photography of Pat Smith's Beechcraft Bonanza V35 over the plains of Oklahoma.Cushing, OK USAImage#: 06-529_219.dng Camera: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

                                       Top 4 Aircraft Purchased by First-Time Owners in 2020
                                                              1. Cessna 172 Skyhawk
                                                              2. Cessna 182 Skylane
                                                              3. Piper Cherokee
                                                              4. Beech Bonanza 35

These models will not be a surprise to most of our members. After all, they are the most-produced aircraft out there by sheer numbers.  There are many thousands of these aircraft flying today, which makes finding parts and service relatively easy.

The key attribute to these airplanes is that they all have benign handling characteristics. None of them will be going so fast that you’ll get yourself into a jam too quickly. Except for maybe the Bonanza, a pilot can chop the power and get any of these aircraft under control pretty quickly. They’re all very forgiving. 

That’s why you see a lot of first-time buyers purchasing them. Also, first-timers can feel confident that when they decide to sell, they’ll have a ready market. For used models of these airplanes, values have held steady and even appreciated. It is not uncommon for resale values to be at or above the original purchase price.

From a financing standpoint, these are the very same reasons that every lender is going to be comfortable in the sub-$200K space financing a deal. Residual values on these aircraft are widely known and trusted, which is a priority for lenders.

For our members, what will determine the loan structure will be the purchase price, which will be tied to:

  • The age of the airplane
  • Hours on the engine
  • How modern the avionics are

For example, one member recently closed on a 1967 Beech V35 Bonanza for $60,000 at 5.49% for 20 years. Another on a 1976 Cessna 182 for $130,000 at 3.75% for 20 years. Avionics can also be included in the financing to help modernize your aircraft and increase resale value.

If you are a first-time aircraft buyer and would like to work with experts who can guide you through the purchasing and financing process, please give us a call. Our regional account executives are ready to help you. We also recommend first time buyers check our First Time Buyers section of our website. We’ll be highlighting other categories of aircraft in a future edition, so please stay tuned if you are thinking about upgrading to a more sophisticated, complex airplane. 

Great advice. Great rates. Helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Aviation Finance when you are buying or refinancing an airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (800.627.5263), or click here to request a quote.

                                                                                                              Click here for Part 2: Top 5 High-End Piston Aircraft
Adam Meredith
Adam Meredith
President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company
Adam Meredith, the longtime president of AOPA Aviation Finance Co., died after a long battle with cancer in December 2023. He is remembered for his passion for helping fellow pilots, leading a team devoted to putting flight training and aircraft ownership within everyone’s reach.

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