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Is there any market for low-end N-reg planes in Europe?

I know a guy in the UK who gets through a good number of SR22s. He has all the papers and has owned both G-reg and N-reg. He said to me the last N-reg one was hard to sell and he had to move it to G before he could sell it.

And these planes are at the top end of the piston price range – 500k to 1M. What about a 20k one like this? I would expect demand to be very low because this is really a “beginner owner” price range, but getting the FAA papers is a lot harder now than it was say 10-20 years ago. Well, unless one is just flying in their own country, using the 61.3 concession, or perhaps they have a 61.75 piggyback license.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Demand for anything real, physical, and available today is high. I’ve seen a similar N reg 172C make over €50k and it didn’t have €14k of radio equipment fitted. The demand will be dented only in a very small way for that aeroplane being on an N-reg vs a G-reg. Maybe it might mean 6 people enquire vs 10 people. It’s accessible with a low skill factor required and will do much of what a flying club standard 172N/Warrior will do.

I’d be much more worried about oddball vintage stuff being hard to sell in the long run. When all the old guys get out eventually, the next generation is not going to have the heart/skill/resources to fluter about with old vintage & classic aeroplanes. I have an Auster there for sale, and there is nobody at all out there for it.

Buying, Selling, Flying
EIBR, Ireland

Peter wrote:

Well, unless one is just flying in their own country, using the 61.3 concession, or perhaps they have a 61.75 piggyback license.

For a lot of £20k plane owners both are quite possible. For the UK in the current situation I’d consider the 61.3 concession a very valid point for N-reg sales as owner of planes like that being based in the Midlands or north of them will have a lot of flying within the UK and don’t need to go abroad. The same goes for larger countries like France or Germany, where one can fly happily for years without ever leaving the national territory.

For pure VFR, which is what these planes are, the 61.75 piggy back license is also quite an easy thing to get.

Add to that a lot of the advantages you keep pointing out which N-reg has over EU or G reg and I would not think it is a very big deal to sell N-reg simple planes.

In today’s market the bigger problem is to find lower priced airplanes at all. Particularly the popular C172, PA28 e.t.c. classical entry planes have gained a lot of value recently and often now sell for prices you could get a much more capable plane for a while ago.

A quick glance on plane check this morning reflects this. While a few years ago the 20-30k segment was full of usable planes, today is very different.

Listings are much shorter than they were. Popular planes like the 172 or PA28 had usually 2-3 pages full. Today there are 33 172’s and 20 PA28 offered.

- C172’s in usable conditions start at 40k.
- PA28-140, which before could often have been had for less than 20k are now in the 34-40k range.
- Grumman AA5 are practically not available at all. The only one that is is a Traveller at 55k. I remember Travellers for less than 20 k.
- There is one vintage Mooney (C to F) at 45k. 2 years ago J models could be had for this. There is a single J listed for over 100k.

20k airplanes are basically gone. The only ones worth looking at are Moranes.

Looking at TB20 the listing has only got 4 listings, viable candidates start at €150k.

So right now the prices are massively up. People who wish to get out of GA should probably seize the chance to get more money for their planes than in living memory. The question of course is if and how long this will last, but at the moment, it appears that there is a massive shortage of viable GA second hand airplanes and the market is a sellers market.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 03 Oct 06:54
LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

For pure VFR, which is what these planes are, the 61.75 piggy back license is also quite an easy thing to get.

That IS the limitation, right? IFR GPS these days costs 4K plus install (GPS 175), but that path is closed for a European pilot on an N-reg – you have to go to the US for your theory exam no matter what – be that a standalone or a piggy-back FAA IR.
I was very seriously considering that route (FAA PPL + FAA IR), but the fact that I have to spend a few grand for a flight to the US and accomodation has stopped me.
And from my perspective if I look at two planes – N-reg or not, N-reg means I have to spend substantially more money (I’m talking about one-off payments only).
If we are talking about the VFR, and only in the same country (maybe a few neighbouring countries as well), then the much cheaper option is a microlight.

EGTR

I think the title is misleading. What is a ‘’low end’’ N reg? As with all asset purchase the getting into it is the easy bit. Ongoing upkeep is the real financial challenge and where 15 years ago N reg in the UK was the right and proper way, I am not so sure about that today. Trust, licences, trying to find a decent maintenance shop etc.

I have recently had the usual tyre kickers interested in my Bonanza. Talk the talk, but fall away when we get to talking. The result is that I shy away from the hastle of trying to sell something. I honestly just cannot be arsed.

A bit like houses, if the market is hot, then your next purchase will be as difficult and more expensive. Unless you are getting out the game altogether.

So in summary, it is not restricted to N reg in my view. The market is where it sits. Someone wants something then there is choice. Whether ultimately they can afford it is the main discussion.

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

@BeechBaby is the N35 still 900 nm away in Poland, that is quite a distance for genuine tyre kickers :)

Oxford (EGTK)

With these planes selling for a few tens of k, I guess the answer depends on how many VFR-only pilots there are flying with FAA papers, and – post the EASA FCL anti-N-reg business – also have Euro papers. A 61.3 piggyback PPL covers this. In the UK, I don’t think this population is at all big, but someone told me Germany has a huge number of 61.3 license holders who fly VFR-only. France, I think most N-regs are used in the IFR owner-pilot sphere so higher up the market, and not numerous.

The title is intentional.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@Robert 18C……??

Peter wrote:

I think most N-regs are used in the IFR owner-pilot sphere so higher up the market, and not numerous.

I think this is pretty valid. The N reg route in the UK is a limited arena and in general populated by owner/operators. Whether they fly VFR only, or IFR, they understand the licence parameters. I have said it before that there still is a dark art perception on N reg operation in the UK. It is a pity and of course that could lead to a limit on the market sale of N reg machines.

Last Edited by BeechBaby at 03 Oct 09:58
Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

@ BB a tyre kicker is one who wastes the seller’s time by scheduling a cursory inspection with no intention of following through

A bit tricky if the aircraft is in another country:)

I think aircraft where the seller has invested in an Ad in the national magazines eg Pilot or TAP in the USA tends to filter out tyre kickers

Oxford (EGTK)

I was talking about France. This is what I wrote:

France, I think most N-regs are used in the IFR owner-pilot sphere so higher up the market, and not numerous.

In the UK, most N-regs are operated in the higher-up, IFR, community, hence my original post, which then got sidetracked. But there may be a market for these elsewhere in Europe.

Many years ago (30+) you could have an old dog of a plane which failed the UK/European CofA and you could stick it on the N-reg, but that has not been possible anytime in the 20 years I’ve been flying.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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