The Only Nationwide Prebuy Service for GA

Savvy’s nationwide footprint means that no matter where an aircraft is located in the U.S., we can arrange and manage your prebuy. Savvy’s incomparable team of account managers, each a seasoned A&P/IA with 20+ years of GA maintenance experience, has managed hundreds of prebuys. Learn how SavvyPrebuy will get you your dream plane or save you from a lemon!

  • Piston single: $750
  • Piston twin: $1,000
  • Turboprop single: $1,500
  • Turboprop twin: N/A
  • Turbojet single: $2,000

For a modest fixed fee we provide professional management through every stage of the prebuy process:

Conducting a complementary preliminary logbook review to make sure that the aircraft is a good purchase candidate and that there are no major show-stoppers or red flags. We do the preliminary logbook review at no charge, preferably before you enroll the aircraft in the Savvy Prebuy program.

Reviewing the purchase/sale agreement between you and the seller, also at no charge, before you sign it to make certain that it protects your interests and that you won’t sign something you might later regret. (Seller- and broker-furnished agreements are often stacked for the seller against the buyer.)

Selecting the best shop or mechanic to perform the prebuy examination, ensuring that it is performed by a fully qualified and impartial maintenance facility with the requisite expertise in make and model, located reasonably close to where the aircraft is situated. And, we know which shops to avoid.

Providing the prebuy shop with specific guidance through a checklist tailored to the make and model that defines the exact scope and detail of the examination to be performed. Our two-phase checklists catch show-stoppers early.

Arranging for a test flight to verify that all aircraft and avionics systems are functioning properly. It’s impossible to assess these systems (especially the autopilot) without test-flying the aircraft.

Reviewing the prebuy and test-flight findings in order to advise you of both the significance of any discrepancies we have found and whether you or the seller should bear the cost of repairing the differences..

Coaching you through your final negotiations with the seller until the deal is done and title is transferred. Generally, it’s better to have the seller reduce the price for corrections instead of the seller correcting them.

What is a Savvy-managed prebuy?

Aircraft sellers are often represented by brokers, and Savvy’s prebuy program is designed to provide a similar level of professional advocacy for buyers. Most aircraft buyers understand the value of a prebuy. But they often run into problems like being unable to find a competent and unbiased shop, overpaying for the examination, and lacking a source of professional and objective advice throughout the process. That’s particularly true in the 21st century where most buyers locate aircraft via the Internet and often find themselves needing to arrange a prebuy on an aircraft located hundreds or thousands of miles away from their home base.

Savvy has managed nearly 1,000 prebuys for its clients since we started doing this in 2008. Our SavvyPrebuy program offers you the experience and expertise of Savvy’s incomparable team of account managers, each of whom is a seasoned A&P/IA with 20+ years of GA maintenance experience. We have a nationwide footprint and work with hundreds of maintenance shops and mechanics throughout the U.S. (and in a dozen other countries), so we’re able to manage prebuys no matter where the aircraft you’re interested in is situated.

Savvy provides you (the buyer) with professional management through every stage of the prebuy process.

Performing a preliminary logbook review to ensure that the aircraft is a good purchase candidate and that there are no major show-stoppers or red flags. By reviewing the aircraft logbooks, we can learn a tremendous amount about how and where the aircraft has been operated; how, where and by whom it has been maintained; and what the major areas of concern and concentration should be during the prebuy exam. IMPORTANT: We do the preliminary logbook review at no charge, and we prefer to do it before you enroll the aircraft in the Savvy Prebuy program, preferably before you sign an agreement with the seller. We don’t want you to spend any money on a prebuy (including our fee) until we’re confident that the aircraft is one worth considering.

Reviewing the purchase/sale agreement between you and the seller before you sign it to ensure that it protects your interests and that you won’t sign something you might later regret. IMPORTANT: We do this at no charge, too, and do it before we ask you to enroll the aircraft in the SavvyPrebuy program.

Selecting the best shop or mechanic to perform the prebuy examination, assuring that it is performed by a fully qualified and impartial maintenance facility with the requisite expertise in make and model, located reasonably close to where the aircraft is situated.

Providing the prebuy shop with specific guidance in the form of a checklist tailored to the make and model that defines the exact scope and detail of the examination to be performed.

Arranging for a test flight to verify that all aircraft and avionics systems are functioning properly.

Reviewing the prebuy and test-flight findings, advising you of the significance of any disrepancies found and whether you or the seller should bear the cost of repairing such discrepancies. (The general rule is that the seller is responsible for any airworthiness issues, and the buyer is responsible for non-airworthiness issues.)

Coaching you through your final negotiations with the seller until the deal is done and title is transferred.

Savvy charges a fixed one-time fee that varies with the complexity of the aircraft involved. In most cases, this fee is $750 for piston singles and $1,000 for piston twins, $1,500 for single-engine turboprops, and $2,000 for single-engine very-light jets.

For most of our clients, the cost winds up being only half of that. If you purchase the aircraft and place it under SavvyMx management (as most of our prebuy clients do), we credit 50% of the prebuy fee against your first-year SavvyMx annual management fee. So in most cases your net cost for our management of the prebuy is just $375 for piston singles, $500 for piston twins, etc.

If you opt to place your new-to-you aircraft in the SavvyQA consulting program instead (e.g., because the aircraft doesn’t qualify for SavvyMx), we’ll also credit you 50% of your first-year SavvyQA fee.

If you decide NOT to purchase the aircraft and choose to have Savvy manage a prebuy for you on another aircraft, we will transfer as much of the unused portion of your prebuy fee to the next prebuy as we can. How much we can transfer depends on how much effort was expended on the prebuy before you pulled the plug, but we try to be as generous as we can.

See our fee schedule for complete details.

IMPORTANT: The fees discussed above are for Savvy’s management of your prebuy. In addition, you will need to pay the labor charges invoiced by the shop Savvy selects to perform the physical examination of the aircraft. For most piston singles, expect the labor to run 8 to 10 hours; the hourly rate can vary between $70 and $120 depending on geographic location. Depending on your arrangement with the seller, you may also need to bear some or all of the cost of ferrying the aircraft to and from the prebuy shop. So for a piston single, figure on an all-inclusive cost of something between $1,500 and $2,000. (That’s money well-spent to make sure you’re not buying a lemon.)

How does a Savvy-managed prebuy work?

To get the ball rolling, we ask that you fill out a short online form to let us know what kind of aircraft you’re interested in buying and where you are in your search process.

Perhaps you’re a first-time buyer who would like guidance on which makes and models would best fit your needs. Perhaps you’ve narrowed your search to two or three specific aircraft and want help deciding which one to make an offer on. Or perhaps you’ve already made an offer on a specific aircraft and are ready to have logbooks reviewed, a prebuy shop selected, and the prebuy examination scheduled. Your answers to the questions on our online Inquiry Form will help us understand where you are in the process and what kind of assistance you need.

Once you’ve narrowed your search to one or a few specific candidate aircraft, we’ll ask you to provide Savvy with a scanned copy of the aircraft logbooks (airframe, engine, propeller, etc.) for a preliminary review. We do this preliminary review at no cost, and we prefer to do it before you enroll the aircraft for a Savvy-managed prebuy. We don’t want you to spend any money on a prebuy (including our fee) until we’re confident that the aircraft is one worth considering. If you are considering a few different candidate aircraft, you will probably find our preliminary logbook review quite helpful in deciding one to make an offer on.

The best way to provide scanned logbooks to Savvy is by using our online Inquiry Form. If the logbooks are already online on the web or in the cloud somewhere, just provide the URL where we can access them. Otherwise, the online form allows you to upload one or several files (preferably in PDF format). Once we have access to the scanned logbooks, we try our best to get back to you with our impressions and recommendations within a day or two.

IMPORTANT: Completing this form is NOT a commitment to subscribe to the paid SavvyPrebuy service, and costs you nothing. There is no payment and no obligation unless and until you are under contract with a specific seller to purchase a specific aircraft and formally engage Savvy to manage your prebuy of that specific aircraft. Prior to that, we are happy to help you without charge.

If Savvy’s preliminary review indicates that the aircraft you’re interested in looks like a good purchase candidate, the next step is for you to make an offer on the candidate aircraft, have your offer accepted by the seller, and enter into a written conditional purchase/sale agreement with the seller.

In this agreement, you agree to purchase the aircraft at an agreed-to price conditioned on the results of a prebuy examination, the seller agrees to allow you to perform such a prebuy examination, and you both agree on who is responsible for paying to repair any discrepancies found during the prebuy. (Normally, the seller should bear the cost of repairing any airworthiness discrepancies, and you should bear the cost of repairing any non-airworthiness discrepancies.)

IMPORTANT: We strongly recommend using the industry-standard specimen purchase/sale agreement endorsed by AOPA as a template for your agreement with the seller. If you are considering signing an agreement furnished by the seller or his broker, we strongly urge you to let us review the agreement before you sign it to make sure there aren’t any “gotchas” in the agreement that could make your life difficult. (If the agreement was drawn up by the seller or his broker, you can bet it’s heavily biased in favor of the seller’s best interests rather than yours.)

Once you’ve struck a deal with the seller, it’s time for you to engage Savvy to manage a physical prebuy examination of the aircraft by enrolling for SavvyPrebuy online. At this point, we’ll then charge your credit card for the SavvyPrebuy management fee, assign one of Savvy’s account managers to manage your prebuy, select a prebuy shop, get your prebuy on the shop’s schedule, arrange to ferry the aircraft to the shop, and generally hit the ground running.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the seller gives you at least 10 business days to complete the prebuy. The best shops are also the busiest. Please give us enough advance notice so we can get your prebuy scheduled with the best.

The SavvyPrebuy service agreement defines what you can expect Savvy to do for during the prebuy. Be sure to read it carefully before signing up, and let us know if you have any questions.