Renting vs buying can only to a certain extent be decided on the basis of a spread sheet.
The main reason being that with buying you will always have to factor in a large portion of uncertainty especially if you are going for something not new.
With renting you will always know exactly what the outlay per a given number of hours will be, by owning the thing you will be less able to do so as a number of things can and will go wrong on a non scheduled basis.
And what price the luxury of just being able to turn up and go, even in most syndicates the use of the aircraft is so low on an annual basis that availability is an issue.
When I was in the Robin syndicate I reckoned that if I did 2 or more hours per month I would break-even, excluding capital outlay/loss of interest on the money invested.
However due to the ease of access and the relatively small amount of on cost once you have made the nominal payments you will fly a lot more and hassle free so that the overall pleasure is many times greater.
I firmly believe that buying your own (either solo or in a syndicate) can be a very satisfying way of flying, not cheaper but your money will go a lot further.
Frank have you suddenly become commissioner of the Fun Police?
I have sold tKf a share in my almost completed Pitts Model12. Taildragging biplane with a 400hp counterclockwise radial, tKf's mum and sis liked the colour, Bob liked the fact that it was an amalgum of Russian muscle and American know-how, made him feel very comfortable with world order.
I've guessed 3 hrs conversion from the C152 (lowest common denominator trg bus) would be enuff, so I threw that in - I have stipulated that I won't show him any aeros unless he either starts shaving or pays for for the motion-lotion!
Yound Ed's first flight is currently scheduled for receipt of PPL plus 10 days...... and counting!
I did the sums, and a spreadsheet, but that was a long time ago.
The numbers are a guess on both sides of the equation - rental prices can go up and down, and maintenance on an owned aeroplane is a highly variable feast.
We used "most probable" numbers, which have proved reasonably accurate over the past 9 years. For an Arrow III, we found that a sixth share breaks even compared with hiring a club Archer if you fly 23 hours a year.
BUT: if you own a share,
- you get to fly a nicer aeroplane;
- the next hour costs a lot less;
- you can be pretty confident the previous pilot looked after it properly.
Personally, I think that FD is right to give the lad a friendly kicking. Where's the soul in a spreadsheet? He's a good lad, and has done well to get his multi IR space shuttle rating before his twelfth birthday, but he's been spending too much time with the "will I crash my spamcan if I don't wear a hi viz jacket" lot in the Flyer Forum, and needs to go upside down more.
Dad is still cool with the idea but mum's getting cold feet as she has just realised that it only has one seat, has no boot and that Mr Cohen won't let tKf land in the carpark at the Canterbury Tesco to do the weekly shop.
I understand that shopping was one of the chores added to his weekly burden to qualify for his inheritance whilst both parents still have time to spend it! Apparently he is going to subcontract the Soave and Advocaat purchase to his elder sis as she is legally allowed to buy intoxicating liquor and he at 12 3/4 must wait another 15 months or until most of the acne has gone.
Undeterred, tKf is planning a trip to the vendor's strip to view the beast this very weekend. The inclement weather is not a deterrent because equipped with his IMC rating and his CAT 1 Raleigh Chopper (an original!) he is quite confident on finding the destination, punctures and broken chains, notwithstanding.
I don't think one can produce a meaningful spreadsheet for a decision between owning and renting.
The cost of ownership is unpredictable once the aircraft is out of warranty, especially as it gets as old as the average UK GA plane is (25 years currently). Yet, unless one flies say 500 hrs/year in which case the fuel and airtime-based maintenance will dominate, unexpected maintenance costs are a huge feature in any calculation.
One could buy a new plane and get a 2-year warranty, and even purchase an extended warranty for some bits. But one pays a price for this in the amount of capital tied up. This capital could be invested. But if you invest all capital, you will die very rich but you will not have had any fun. So that doesn't make any sense either. If one always looked at the alternative returns on capital, one would never do anything. So, buying a new plane has got to be the cheapest way to fly... you just have to find the money
If one disregards the above stuff, it usually works out that the breakpoint between owning and renting is somewhere in the 100-300hr area. But this is almost meaningless unless the client is entirely happy to limit himself to the sort of very limited flying that's possible on self fly hire.
All this is before one gets into really subjective arguments like the value of easy access, ability to take it away for some days or weeks, have it maintained to one's own standards and not "standards" which others are prepared to pay for, knowledge that somebody hasn't bent it and kept quiet about it, the very low marginal hourly cost of flying...
I know almost nobody who keeps reasonably current on self fly hire VFR and I know even fewer people who keep current on self fly hire IFR
Incidentally I am pretty sure that if a flying school/club set up with brand new £150k-£200k planes, they would not have to charge a penny more than the school next door operating 25 year old planes. And this is Avgas for Avgas. Diesel would be even better, though I doubt today's diesels are ready for prime time yet in a training environment.
God, what a surprise - more horse manure is being produced from the odd balls at stiknruda International.
Well only another few months and they'll go back into hibernation for the winter - they're like that in rural Norfolk.
As for the buying vs renting thing..... Much to stik's dissappointment, I didn't have the 40k for the Pitts, so I've had to downgrade somewhat to a VP-1. The idea's still very much in the pipeline (heck, I haven't got a license yet!) but none the less, it's being considered!
We've all heard the pros and cons of the renting v buying thing before, so I'd suggest we don't start it again at the moment, thanks.
I have constructed and regulary use, (to check on my finances), such a spreadsheet. (Microsoft Excel)
It's split into two - one side shows ownership, the other side shows rental, (I do both)
You simply type in the hours the aircraft does, will do, or expects to do, YEARLY. Spreadsheet then breaks down all costs, variable or fixed, (insurance, checks, annual, etc), and gives you a MONTHLY PROFIT (not turnover), figure.
Why not join a "non capital" syndicate? Thats what I did, becasue I haven't got any money after the Mrs bought a new Kitchen
I basically pay for 25hrs (or whatever), by monthly dd, dry, and the rate after fuel works out better than renting a doggy old Warrior for something far smarter. The benefit is that I can book the plane when I want over the Internet, just turn up and off I go. There are no minimum hours, so if I want I can hop in, fly the 15 miles to Compton Abbas, stop for three days and then fly home again.
The other benefit is that if it breaks, its not my problem
I'm not a spreadsheet kind of person, but it is pretty difficult to argue with the proposition that for the great majority of pilots, it is almost impossible to justify aircraft ownership on purely economic terms (at least single ownership, as opposed to a share in a syndicate).
Don't buy an airplane that you can easily rent (i.e., a spam can). If you must own, purchase something that would otherwise be unavailable to you (e.g., a float plane, a Pitts, etc. etc.); at least you'll get maximum fun value for your money.
There are no minimum hours, so if I want I can hop in, fly the 15 miles to Compton Abbas, stop for three days and then fly home again.
If one is fortunate enough to own an aeroplane then there really should be no reason for anything to remain u/s or to remain in the aircraft!
My aeroplane does have love lavished on it, if something is broken it is repaired or replaced immediately. If you put it off, it still needs to be done eventually. If not done it turns into one of those dogs that starts to be under utilised and when utilised not treated as well as it deserves. You've all seen them. There are aeroplanes out there that I won't get into!
I love flying my toy and I enjoy working on it, too! Pride of ownership doesn't stop at polishing it, it goes hand in glove with owning a safe and fully functioning aircraft. Let's face it - these things can kill you.
If tKf's trust fund administrators allow him to buy a Veepee then I am sure that he will acquire a lot of mechanical skills that the average teenager is unable to gain from a PlayStation or XBox.