Aircraft Valuations

What is everyone using to gather value data on aircraft purchases or sales ?


  • The vref website is very useful...utilized by many companies.

  • That's what I used in 2018 when I sold my Seneca and purchased my Arrow.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Trade a Plane used to have an appraiser program, don't know if they still do. I remember it was a different program than AOPA's.

  • Aircraft appraises have better data than the rest of us, but Vref is a good start and is my base line for info.


  • I haven't done any extensive research but it appears that vRef and Aircraft Bluebook are the only two sources targeted specifically to light GA aircraft. I find vRef to be next to useless. Even after 20 years, their free application hasn't changed much. They don't update it and most categories are either incomplete, inaccurate or confusing.

    As a example, they have a category for "GPS" where you'll find a Garmin GNS 650 - yet not a single Avidyne EFD is listed. Yet the GNS 430W and 530W are not listed in that section but do appear in the "NavCom" section (where the 650/750 do not). They list 5 Century autopilots and 7 S-Tecs yet the one of the biggest avionics coups in decades was certification of the Trio and TruTrak autopilots and Garmin's 500/600 but neither of them appear at all. They do, however, have a generic category for "GPSS." Electronics International has been making engine monitoring equipment for years yet their absence makes that section look like JPI "paid-to-play."

    In the end, their application simply dumps the final estimate on the user in a non-listed upgrade box where you assign your own values to upgrades. So as a decision-making tool when doing an upgrade - and in the absence of a specific brand or model of upgrade - you have no idea, for example, whether the market is willing to pay more on resale for a Garmin 650 or an Avidyne IFD 440.

    So I use a combination of vRef and take the time every 4-6 months to scour the ads in Trade-A-Plane, ASO, AeroTrader, etc. to capture listings comparable to my aircraft and capture that in an Excel spreadsheet.

  • Good comments and I agree. A year ago I used vRef and while it was better then nothing, and certainly a good place to start, in the end you really have to do your homework to come up with accurate data.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • edited April 1

    Aircraft Dealers have some kind of BLACK BOOK that they can use to quickly find a ballpark value on an aircraft. Has anyone ever seen one ? Yes, TRADE A PLANE had NAAA evaluator program but now it has disappeared from their site ..........

  • Vref, but with a grain of salt. For example, Vref gives you $3K credit for having a Garming GTX-345 ADS-B In/Out transponder. It costs $6-$7K installed and should not lose that much value....When I sell, I'm definitely not giving it away for $3K...I'd rather replace it with the old transponder than lose $4K on it....

  • Aircraft valuations never (or rarely) include the cost of labor to install. When you upgrade avionics, insurance companies won't generally insure the labor cost of the upgrade (as I've been told by others with more experience anyway). It as suggested that when you upgrade, you ask the avionics shop to include the cost of the labor and the hardware as one price so when you provide the documentation, if requested by the insurance company, they have to determine what the labor cost may have been. You're probably not going to dodge the bullet completely but you if will may only be a "flesh wound" rather than a mortal shot. Sorry for the analogy.

  • Makes sense...Damn insurance mafia
  • On the other hand, the insurance company is apt to increase the estimate for installation which would result in a diminished unit value plus the depreciation.

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