The Diamond DA40-180 STAR is a single-engine, piston-powered plane that I hope to own one day (I’d better start saving!) I delved into the costs of owning and flying both new and used models. Here’s what I’ve learned:

In 2024, a new Diamond DA40-180 STAR comes with a price tag of $493,500. The market for used DA40-180 STARs varies, with prices between $179,000 and $450,000. Yearly ownership costs, excluding depreciation but covering insurance, maintenance, and hangar fees, are estimated at $14,975. Operating the aircraft costs about $50 per hour, based on 100 hours of flight time annually.

Diamond DA40-180
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Why the Diamond DA40-180 STAR is an Exceptional Aircraft

The Diamond DA40-180 STAR is a popular choice among newly certified private pilots due to its relatively affordable price, fuel efficiency, and effortless handling. This versatile aircraft offers an excellent balance of performance, comfort, and value for pilots of all skill levels.

The Diamond DA40-180 STAR is not only a versatile aircraft capable of carrying up to four passengers, including the pilot, but also offers a range of ownership and financing options. In this article, we’ll explore the total cost of ownership and various financing options available for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR.

Cost of Purchasing a Diamond DA40-180 STAR

There is a significant price difference between purchasing a new or used Diamond DA40-180 STAR. A new Diamond DA40-180 STAR has a starting price of approximately $493,500. By purchasing a new aircraft, you can rest assured that it will be in perfect working order.

Additionally, there are many optional extras to choose from, such as advanced avionics, automatic flight control systems, lighting systems, extra fuel tanks, additional instrumentation, and other add-ons to customize your aircraft.

For those on a budget, a well-maintained used Diamond DA40-180 STAR can be found within the $179,000 to $450,000 price range for models produced between 2001 and 2020. This option provides an opportunity to own a reliable and efficient aircraft without incurring the full cost of a brand-new model.The Diamond DA40-180 STAR is a highly sought-after aircraft, thanks to its widespread popularity since its launch in 1997.

The ease of acquisition, along with continuous production to this day, means there are plenty of options available on the market. Pricing for this aircraft varies based on factors such as condition, age, and location. However, a decent condition Diamond DA40-180 STAR typically sells for around $179,000. Be prepared for a quick sale, as these aircraft tend to move fast once listed.

Diamond DA40-180

Ownership Costs of a Diamond DA40-180 STAR

Purchasing a Diamond DA40-180 STAR is just the beginning of your expenses. You’ll also need to account for fixed and variable running costs. The total cost of ownership is estimated to be around $14,975 annually.

This breaks down to approximately $6,175 in fixed costs and $8,800 in variable costs, based on 100 annual flying hours. Keep in mind that there will also be depreciation costs, but these are more challenging to estimate, as they depend on various factors unique to your specific circumstances.

Owning an airplane, such as the Diamond DA40-180 STAR, involves various fixed and variable costs that beginners might not be aware of. These expenses apply to all aircraft, regardless of the make or model.

When purchasing a new or used Diamond Aircraft Industries plane, you can either pay in cash or finance the acquisition. If financing, remember to account for interest repayment costs.

Learn about the top small planes on the market in our comprehensive guide.

What Are the Fixed Costs for Diamond DA40-180 STAR Ownership?

Fixed costs of aircraft ownership refer to expenses incurred regardless of whether the plane is flown. Even if your DA40-180 STAR remains grounded, you still need to cover fixed costs such as the one-time purchase price, hangar fees, insurance expenses, and the annual inspection charge. The total fixed costs amount to approximately $6,175.

Don’t forget about the depreciation of your aircraft’s value as an asset. Numerous variables influence depreciation, including the age, cost, resale value, and market conditions. While it’s crucial to be aware of depreciation, it’s difficult to provide an accurate estimate due to these factors.

Preparing for the annual inspection usually involves addressing any required maintenance to pass the assessment. Although some people categorize these maintenance expenses as variable costs, it’s more appropriate to consider them as fixed costs since they are likely necessary regardless of the plane’s usage.

Factor in subscriptions for services like weather updates or ForeFlight, which can add to the overall fixed costs of owning a Diamond DA40-180 STAR.

Hangar Costs for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR

The cost of hangar space for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR can differ significantly based on location and the storage facility being rented.

In the United States, monthly hangar fees can start at around $70, though enhanced amenities and security typically require a higher investment. Aside from renting, you may also consider building or purchasing your own hangar to accommodate your aircraft.

How much does insurance cost for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR?

Insurance rates for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR may be more affordable than anticipated. Similar to hangar costs, insurance premiums are influenced by factors such as geographic location, flight frequency, aircraft value, and the chosen coverage type.

To obtain the most accurate estimate, it’s essential to consider these variables when exploring insurance options. Insurance costs for aircraft can vary significantly based on numerous factors.

This type of coverage doesn’t include damage or loss to the aircraft itself, but it does cover damage or injuries to third parties. The primary factor in determining the insurance cost for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR is the aircraft’s valuation.

The annual insurance cost for a used Diamond DA40-180 STAR is approximately $2,850. In contrast, insuring a brand new Diamond DA40-180 STAR will be significantly more expensive, owing to the high replacement value of a new aircraft.

How much is an annual inspection for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates an annual inspection for all aircraft. This inspection costs approximately $1,100 for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR.

In addition to the yearly inspection, you’ll have to ensure that all components are functioning correctly, and that oil levels and other essential fluids are adequately maintained. Fixed maintenance costs, including the annual inspection, can amount to around $6,175 per year.

What Are the Variable Costs for Diamond DA40-180 STAR Ownership?

The variable expenses associated with owning a Diamond DA40-180 STAR, such as fuel, oil, unscheduled maintenance, and miscellaneous costs (like landing fees, parking, and minor travel expenses), can amount to approximately $8,800 annually. The hourly variable cost for flying this aircraft is typically around $88.

These figures are merely estimates, as individual experiences may vary when it comes to operating a DA40-180 STAR.

Generally, the longer you own the aircraft, the more likely it is that annual variable expenses will increase over time. Unlike fixed costs, these variable expenses are only incurred when the airplane is in use.

Diamond DA40-180 STAR Fuel Costs

The Diamond DA40-180 STAR operates on avgas, which costs approximately $50 per flight hour. With the current avgas price at around $5 per gallon, the Diamond DA40-180 STAR consumes 9.2 gallons per hour. Compare avgas prices at various airports, as they can vary based on location and traffic volume.

Diamond DA40-180 STAR Oil

For those with technical aptitude, performing oil changes on the Diamond DA40-180 STAR can result in significant savings on labor costs.

If you don’t cover the costs of labor, oil, and filters yourself, you’ll need to pay for them out of your own pocket. Based on my calculations, the oil cost for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR is typically around $3 per running hour.

Diamond DA40-180 STAR Engine Maintenance Costs

Approximately every 2,000 hours, the engine of a Diamond DA40-180 STAR must undergo an overhaul.

The overhaul cost can escalate quickly, as it depends on factors such as the engine’s condition, age, and hours of wear and tear. Since safety is of utmost importance, this procedure is essential for maintaining the aircraft’s performance.

During the engine overhaul process, each component is meticulously inspected. This includes the pistons, bearings, cylinders, and other engine parts, ensuring that the Diamond DA40-180 STAR operates efficiently and reliably. Repairs or replacements are conducted as required.

As an engine accumulates more flight hours, it will need to be overhauled more frequently. We have covered the fixed and variable costs, so now let’s discuss how to afford one!

How Much Does A Diamond DA40-180 STAR Cost?

Financing Options for Purchasing a Diamond DA40-180 STAR

There are several financing options available for acquiring a Diamond DA40-180 STAR, as I have friends who own this type of aircraft. One option is obtaining a loan from a bank or financial institution.

Leasing the aircraft offers another alternative, allowing you to use it for a specified period before returning it or potentially purchasing it at the end of the lease. Consider buying a share in one with a small, trusted group of individuals. By leveraging these financing options, you can make owning a Diamond DA40-180 STAR a reality.

When considering the purchase of a Diamond DA40-180 STAR, it is crucial to carefully review all terms and conditions before signing any agreements. Understanding the full terms and potential costs you may be responsible for is essential.

Taking out a loan for a Diamond DA40-180 STAR

One option for financing your Diamond DA40-180 STAR is applying for a traditional loan from a bank or credit union. If you possess a strong credit score and a stable financial history, this could be a smart decision.

Alternatively, you may consider applying for a loan specifically designed for aircraft financing. These loans often provide more flexible terms and may be more willing to work with individuals who have less-than-perfect credit.

Practical advice: Before selecting a lender, it is always wise to compare rates and terms from multiple lenders. Assess your financial situation thoroughly and ensure that you can manage the loan payments comfortably.


For individuals who prefer not to commit to purchasing an aircraft outright, leasing a Diamond DA40-180 STAR can be an accessible and cost-effective financing solution. By leasing a plane, you agree to use it for a predetermined period – typically spanning several years – in exchange for a fixed monthly payment.

At the end of the lease, you have two options: return the aircraft to the owner or potentially purchase it for a pre-agreed amount. Leasing options include wet leases (which provide a pilot) and dry leases (offering only the plane). Most individuals opt for the dry lease alternative.

It is essential to thoroughly research and compare leasing opportunities from multiple providers. Lease agreements often involve extensive paperwork, so it is crucial to review the fine print carefully. Similar to loans, consider your ability to make the required payments throughout the lease term.

Buying a Share in a Diamond DA40-180 STAR

Purchasing a share in an aircraft allows you to co-own a portion of the plane and operate it in collaboration with other owners. This option could be a practical alternative to an outright purchase or long-term lease if you require access to an aircraft.

Fractional Aircraft Ownership: Shared Access to the Skies

Fractional ownership, sometimes referred to as “shared ownership,” has become an increasingly popular solution for individuals and organizations looking to access the benefits of owning an aircraft without bearing the full financial burden.

This arrangement typically involves an initial investment for a share in an aircraft, such as the popular Diamond DA40-180 STAR, followed by ongoing maintenance and operational expenses.

Many potential owners first become aware of fractional ownership opportunities through local flying clubs, which often facilitate these arrangements. The primary advantage of fractional ownership is the ability to split the initial purchase price and ongoing costs among multiple shareholders.

This makes aircraft ownership more affordable, accessible, and feasible for those interested in using the aircraft for personal or professional purposes, even if they lack the funds or necessity to own a plane outright.

The percentage of aircraft ownership and associated responsibilities for maintenance and operational expenses are proportionate to the size of each shareholder’s stake.

This model can be particularly advantageous for companies requiring regular access to an aircraft but unwilling to take on complete ownership and its accompanying financial and administrative responsibilities.

Fractional ownership delivers a cost-effective solution for individuals and organizations seeking the advantages of aircraft ownership without shouldering the entire financial commitment.

Through shared ownership, access to the skies becomes more attainable and practical for personal and professional aviation enthusiasts alike.

Diamond DA40-180 STAR Specifications

Manufacturer: Diamond Aircraft Industries
Model: Diamond DA40-180 STAR (Diamond Star)
First flight: November 1997
Production years: 2000-present
Role: Light, single-engine piston aircraft
Seating capacity: Up to 4 passengers (including pilot)
Engine: 1 x Lycoming IO-360-M1A air-cooled, horizontally-opposed piston engine
Horsepower: 180 hp (134 kW)
Wingspan: 39 ft 2 in (11.95 m)
Length: 26 ft 5 in (8.05 m)
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Maximum speed: 172 mph (277 km/h)
Cruise speed: 150 mph (241 km/h)
Range: 720 miles (1,159 km)
Service ceiling: 16,400 ft (5,000 m)
Rate of climb: 1,120 ft/min (5.69 m/s)
Wing loading: 14.7 lb/ft² (71.7 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.11 hp/lb (0.18 kW/kg)
Fixed tricycle landing gear configuration
Known for: Sleek design, composite construction, and advanced avionics
Popular uses: Personal transportation, flight training, and air taxi services
Avionics: Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpit provides state-of-the-art navigation, communication, and flight management capabilities

Final Thoughts

Owning a Diamond DA40-180 STAR, like any plane, involves significant costs. Yet, for those with a passion for aviation and the financial capacity, it’s an investment that pays off in unparalleled flying experiences. The DA40 stands out for its relatively moderate operational costs.

The overall operating cost for a DA40 comes to about $149 per hour, covering both fixed and variable expenses, with variable costs like fuel, oil, and maintenance at around $88 per hour. For many new pilots, renting a DA40 might offer a more budget-friendly path to the skies.

Wishing you safe and enjoyable flying experiences!