I travel to all 50 states to perform Pre-Buy's! In 2019 alone I've taken over FOURTEEN out-of-state trips on behalf of prospective plane purchasers, that's more than one a month! ♫ I've been everywhere, man... ♫
Every project is different however the cost structure is fairly straightforward. Keep in mind I am based in Southern California and travel requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis.
The cost of the actual Pre-Buy, regardless of where I perform it, is always the same: $650. All Pre-Buy Inspections include the same services. I will always call you on the day of the inspection with my general impression of the aircraft however out-of-state inspections require an additional 48 hours to deliver the printed report.
I charge the published cost for flight, hotel, and parking fees - No markup! I fly economy class on the major airlines and stay in cost-conscious hotel chains. (Flights departing from SNA do not incur parking fees.) Out-of-state Pre-Buy's require two nights hotel. I've never needed a rental car, and utilize Uber, Lyft, or the airplane broker's transportation when available. Regardless, a rental car is a potential cost depending on location. Again, there is no markup for transportation.
Travel Fee: For out-of-state Pre-Buy's I charge a reasonable travel fee of $350. These inspections typically require two days of travel, and one day of performing the inspection. This fee assumes two 8 hour days of flight/travel time - That's less than $22/hr!
I do NOT charge for incidentals like meals or baggage fees.
Essentially, I will perform your Pre-Buy anywhere in the US for $1000 plus my costs.
Some inspections are cheaper for me to drive to (e.g. Central California, Arizona, Nevada, etc.) In that case I calculate the Travel Fee ($22/hr) by using the drive hours determined by Google Maps and add the actual, round trip cost of gas.
If a plane is generally local to me but requires more than an hour drive time I will typically add a $50-$100 service charge depending the specific location (for example, a San Diego trip might be $125 plus a tank of gas.) I'll work out something fair with you beforehand. (Basically, if I can make it a single day trip and be home that night I won't charge you a Travel Fee.)
If the plane is at KFUL, KAJO, KRAL, KRIR, KSNA, KCNO, KTOA, or KLGB, travel is included in the $650 cost. (If I left your airport out, let me know! Sorry KCCB, I need $40 for gas.)
I'm a reasonable person and the travel portion of travelling typically isn't profitable for me. I travel because my goal is to offer my services to as many clients as possible! I will always provide you a quote (in writing) before we proceed with the inspection.
How quickly I can perform your Pre-Buy is dependent on my previously scheduled clients so please contact me as soon as you're thinking about purchasing a plane! I understand you need your inspection NOW! and it's not unheard of for me to head out within 24 hours. However, 3-5 days lead time is more common.
Please note: I will NOT travel to a plane unless I have reviewed the logbooks. Typically sellers send scanned copies of their Airframe, Engine, and Propeller logbooks to you or me (or even already have them available online!) Making the logbooks available is standard practice and is an essential component of the buying process. I'm not going to burn a wad of your cash and waste my time on an aircraft I can tell you is a money pit just from looking at the paperwork. (And yes, I can tell a plane is money pit just from looking at the paperwork.) My job is to SAVE your money, not waste it!
If a seller is not willing to share the relevant logbooks, consider this a free Pre-Buy and keep looking for a better plane.