How Much Does A Tortoise Cost?

Getting a tortoise for the first time is overwhelming. I know you have a lot to plan and prepare for welcoming this new member to your family. But have you considered the initial investment you would need to purchase and house a tortoise? Admit it or not, money is a game-changer while buying or accommodating your pet tortoise.

Usually, buying a tortoise will cost you somewhere between $250 to $2000. Prices of some exotic species are even more. The species, age, sex, size, and availability of a tortoise decide its market value.

If you are thinking about getting a tortoise, I suggest you read this article to the end. Here, I will discuss the market price of a tortoise and offer you an insight into the maintenance cost for this pet.

How Much Does A Tortoise Cost?

Researching the market rate beforehand will help you get a good deal on the tortoise purchase. You can compare the price and finalize your decisions.

The best thing about tortoises is that they do not cost more. Also, maintaining these pets is easier and cheaper than getting a dog or cat. And compared to most other domestic pets, tortoises company you for more years.

Here is a chart including market value of different tortoise species:

Tortoise Species Price Range
Sulcata Tortoise$45 to $6900
Red-Footed Tortoise$120 to $1200
Russian Tortoise/Horsefield Tortoise$50 to $450
Hermann’s Tortoise$130 to $850
Indian Star Tortoise$200 to $9900
Greek Tortoise$40 to $600
Leopard Tortoise$150 to $600
Aldabra Giant Tortoise$300 to $20,500
Pancake Tortoise$400 to $1700
Marinated Tortoise$100 to $500
Cherry Head Red Footed Tortoise$140 to $2900
Egyptian Tortoise$1000 to $2000
Elongated Tortoise$120 to $1300
Galapagos Tortoise$3000 to $60000
Yellow Footed Tortoise$170 to $3900
Burmese Black Mountain Tortoise$289 to $1900
Forsten’s Tortoise$200 to $1350
Hingeback Tortoise$99 to $350

N.B. The chart does not hold an accurate cost of different tortoise species. Instead, an estimated price range has been shown there. You may notice a downfall or increase in the market rate for individual tortoises.

In the subsection below, I will show you the price differences within the same tortoise species.

Sulcata Tortoise

Sulcata or African spurred tortoises are the third largest tortoise species in the world. Instead of the bulky appearance, the Sulcata tortoises have the best adaptability to any environment. Due to these characteristics, the species is well-admired as pets and available in the pet market.

The Sulcata tortoise may deposit up to 6 clutches a year, and each one consists of 15 to 20 eggs. This species can be found in every store, and it is considered one of the cheapest tortoises. It is true that African Spurred tortoises cost only between $45 to $1500. However, you might have to pay around $230 to $6900 to own an exotic Sulcata tortoise.

Usually, the babies or Sulcata hatchlings cost around $45 to $100. For adult ones, you need to pay somewhere between $250 to $1500.

Some exotic subspecies of the Sulcata, you need to count more dollars. For example, Ivory Sulcata tortoise price ranges from $230 to $2700++. Even for a baby Ivory Sulcata, you need to pay around $230 to $750.

Albino Sulcata tortoises have gained much popularity in the USA, and sometimes getting this species may cost you a fortune. The babies come in with only $230 to $600. But the price can go up to $6900 or even more.

Usually, the female Sulcata tortoises cost more than the male ones.

Check out the latest price of Sulcata Tortoise Here.

Red-Footed Tortoise

A red-footed tortoise has gained much popularity in South America with its attractive look and great pet qualities. The species is not expensive, and the maintenance is also easy.

You can purchase a red-footed tortoise for only $120 to $1200. The hatchlings cost around $120 to $200+. The older the tortoise, the more the market value.

Check out the latest price of Red-Footed Tortoise Here.

Russian Tortoise

Russian tortoises are also known as Horsefield tortoises. Due to their small size and easy maintenance, the species is excellent as a beginner pet. Also, the price of a Russian tortoise is much affordable.

You can get a Russian baby tortoise by spending only $50 to $100. Depending on the size and gender, the price can go up to $450. Usually, the adult Horsefield tortoise costs $150 to $300.

Check out the latest price of Russian Tortoise Here.

Hermann’s Tortoise

I will be lying if I say Hermann’s tortoise personality and docile characteristics do not attract me. The species has made a solid fan base because of the quick adaptation to human contact.

Buying Hermann’s tortoise will not cost you around $130 to $850. Generally, the babies and young are cheaper and not more than $250. But for an adult Hermann’s tortoise, the price may cross $850.

Check out the latest price of Hermann’s Tortoise Here.

Indian Star Tortoise

Starry markings on the shell stand out from the Indian star tortoises from other species. Stunning beauty, easy adaptability, and friendly behavior are the reasons why these tortoises are high in demand.

However, as the Indian star tortoises are originally from India and Sri Lanka, transportation costs add up and make the species expensive. The market price of an Indian star tortoise is between $200 to $9900.

You will get an Indian star hatchling for $200 to $400. Average prices of young and adult tortoises are usually around $500 to $6000.

Recently, the export of Indian star tortoises has been declared illegal due to their threatening conservation. Authorities are concerned that mass breeding and a lack of monitoring might push the species towards extinction.

Greek Tortoise

Greek tortoise is small, fits in any space you put, and acts friendly with humans. All these qualities have helped the species top the priority list of tortoise lovers. This species also goes by the name of Mediterranean Spur-Thighed tortoise. Owning a Greek tortoise will cost you as low as $40 to as high as $600.

The hatchling Greek tortoises are available at around $40 to $250. Some subspecies of Greek tortoises are more expensive.

Leopard Tortoise

Leopard-like markings on the shell make this species stunning and attractive. The species is considered the second largest tortoise in Africa and the fourth in the world. If your dream is to raise a big tortoise, you should definitely consider the Leopard tortoise.

African leopard tortoise has two main subspecies, and each one is quiet and docile in nature. These tortoises’ price ranges from $150 to $4900+. The market rate of the creatures depends on the size, gender, or subspecies, and adult leopards are more costly than hatchlings.

Check out the latest price of Leopard Tortoise Here.

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Aldabra giant tortoise is the second largest tortoise in the world and requires a spacious outdoor habitat to grow up. Unlike other species, the Aldabra giant tortoises are not much available. In some states, petting these tortoises is still illegal.

Getting an Aldabra giant tortoise will cost you $300 to $20,500 or more. Very few pet stores are licensed to sell this species. As adults are more expensive, people often purchase hatchlings and nurture them over the years.

Pancake Tortoise

The pancake tortoise is different from other species because of the flat shell. Usually, it is hard to breed this species in captivity and hardly available in the market. So, how will you collect a Pancake tortoise?

Generally, licensed breeders sell Pancake tortoises for a minimum of $400. The price can go up to $1700.

Marginated Tortoise

The hatchlings of Marginated tortoises look attractive and colorful. But with growing age, the colors fade away.

As these tortoises are available, you will get them at a low price. Marginated baby tortoises cost around $100, and the price range for grown-ups is between $200 to $500.

Cherry Head Red Foot Tortoise

The cherry head is a subspecies of the regular red-footed tortoise and usually costs more. With a budget between $140 to $2900, you will get a Cherry head red-footed tortoise. Hatchlings’ price starts at $140 and goes up to $350.

Check out the latest price of Cherry Head Red Foot Tortoise Here.

Egyptian Tortoise

Egyptian tortoises are one of the smallest tortoise species available out there. As these creatures are listed endangered, owning them is illegal in many countries. In the USA and UK, the owner might need to apply for approval to get an Egyptian tortoise.

Due to the unavailability, the price of an Egyptian tortoise is high. You need to pay a minimum of $1000 for getting this species. Depending on the market, the shops can charge you up to $2000, or even more.

Elongated Tortoise

Elongated tortoises are known for their distinctively long and flat shells. The market value of these tortoises ranges between $120 to $1300. The average price of an adult elongated tortoise is around $400.

Check out the latest price of Elongated Tortoise Here.

Galapagos Tortoise

If you want to own the biggest tortoise species, Galapagos is the perfect option. However, due to their limited population, the species is not available and up for sale. In most states, selling and owning a Galapagos is illegal and needs authority approval.

The costs of baby Galapagos tortoises start with a minimum of $3000 to $9000. You need to pay at least $20000 for a female adult. The male Galapagos tortoises are the rarest and will cost you $60000 or more.

Yellow Footed Tortoise

Yellow-footed tortoises are considered the largest in South America. These tortoises are available for a minimum of $170 and can cost you up to $3900. The yellow-footed hatchlings are less expensive than the adults.

Check out the latest price of Yellow-Footed Tortoise Here.

What Is The Cheapest Tortoise To Buy?

There is not one but several tortoises that do not cost a pretty penny. Sulcata tortoise, Russian tortoise, and Greek tortoise are considered the cheapest.

Sulcata tortoises are available and cheaper because an adult female can lay more than 60 eggs per year. You know the price of a Sulcata starts at $45. But depending on size, age, gender, or subspecies, the market value can hit up to $6900.

Russian and Greek tortoises are another two budget species. You can own a hatchling by spending only $40 to $50. Each of these tortoises is friendly, docile, and makes excellent pets for beginners.

7 Factors Affecting The Cost Of A Tortoise

Have you ever wondered why the shops charge different amounts for the tortoise of the same species? The answer lies in some factors, which decide the price of any tortoise. Such as,

  1. Species
  2. Age
  3. Size
  4. Gender
  5. Availability
  6. Physical condition
  7. Shop

Species:

If you notice the upper sections, you will see, the price of a tortoise changes with the species. While the most demanding and rare tortoises cost more, the available ones are always on budget.

The price of different tortoises from the same species may vary depending on the breed or subspecies. For example, the Cherry headed tortoise is a subspecies of the red-footed tortoise and costs more than usual.

Age:

The age of the tortoise is one of the main factors that decide its age. A hatchling always costs less than the adult ones. Owners often prefer buying baby tortoises and nurturing them. While many tortoises keepers go for the adult ones as they are easier to handle.

Size:

It goes without saying that small tortoises are cheaper than the bigger ones. Breeders or shops charge extra money for raising them for so long.

Gender:

The sexual orientation of the tortoise affects its price. In some cases, the female tortoises cost more than the males, for example, the Sulcata tortoise.

Availability:

Endangered, threatened, or rare tortoises are hardly up for sale. Even if they are, they will cost you a lot more than the usual tortoise species, and you would need state approval for owning the species. Take Galapagos or Indian star tortoises as examples.

Physical Condition:

You can not eliminate the chance of having one or two deformed or unhealthy hatchlings in a clutch. You can not leave the weaker captive-bred baby tortoises at the mercy of nature. The shops often sell physically deformed tortoises at a discount or great deals.

Shop:

From where you are buying a tortoise might play a minor role in deciding the price. You can purchase from pet stores, retailers, or private licensed breeders. Never buy from the black market to save a few bucks.

Where Can I Buy A Tortoise?

You can buy a tortoise from either a local pet store or any online reptile shop. Most owners find it convenient to make a purchase by thoroughly examining the pet, and physical shops are better options for them.

However, many online stores have an exclusive tortoise collection and offer discounts. For owners looking for a rare or exotic species, buying online can be a smart move.

Where will you look for a trustworthy online reptile shop? Do not worry. I have got it covered. I am adding the list of the renowned tortoise shops, which are ready to provide you top-notch service,

Shop Name Available Tortoises Price Range (Approximate) Additional Information
XYZ ReptilesSulcata tortoise, Russian tortoise, Red-footed tortoise, Cherry head red-footed tortoise, Leopard tortoise, Yellow footed tortoise, Elongated tortoise, Hermann’s tortoise, Indian star tortoise$149 to $699XYZ Reptiles is one of the very few online shops I trust for buying turtles and tortoises, and they top my list. Name a tortoise that they can not deliver to you.   Their selfless service to satisfy the buyers’ experience is the reason why I prioritize this shop. Besides, the 100% live arrival guarantee, flexible shipping, and return policy are truly appreciable. You can check out the store from this link.
Tortoise TownHermann’s tortoise, Sulcata tortoise, Russian tortoise, Leopard tortoise, Hybrid Leopard tortoise Egyptian tortoise, Greek Tortoise, Cherry head tortoise, Red-footed tortoise, Yellow-footed tortoise, Star tortoise, Aldabra tortoise, Marginated tortoise, Burmese black mountain tortoise, Forsten’s tortoise$200 to $5800Tortoise Town offers a grand and unique collection of tortoises. A 7-day health guarantee, overnight shipping, and confirmed refund policy make the shop different and more trustworthy. Also, the customer service of the store is always active to help the buyers fulfill their needs.
Backwater ReptilesHingeback tortoise, Yellow-footed tortoise, Impressed tortoise, Marginated tortoise, Elongated tortoise, Greek tortoise, Pancake tortoise, Burmese black mountain tortoise, Star tortoise, Cherry head red footed tortoise, Hermann’s tortoise, Red-footed tortoise, Sulcata tortoise, Russian tortoise, Leopard tortoise$139 to $2499Backwater Reptiles are fast with their deliveries and offer a 7-day health guarantee on any living animal. For any DOA situation, the store compensates the buyer with a replacement or a refund.
My Turtle StoreRed-footed tortoise, Greek tortoise, Yellow-footed tortoise, Hermann’s tortoise, Burmese tortoise, Russian tortoise, Sulcata tortoise, Indian Star tortoise, Marginated tortoise, Leopard tortoise, $300 to $4600My Turtle Store has been providing quality service for years. The fast delivery, 14-days return, and refund policy attract the buyers. Also, the shop claims their reptiles to be of the highest quality. You will find all the supplies you might need to raise the pet.
CB ReptilesYellow foot tortoise, Sulcata tortoise, Indian star tortoise, Sri Lankan tortoise, Leopard tortoise, Hermann’s tortoise, Greek tortoise, Marginated tortoise, Aldabra tortoise, Russian tortoise, Burmese tortoise, Red footed tortoise, Pancake tortoise, Egyptian tortoise$195 to $9900CB Repiltes are very careful with their packaging and delivery service. The store offers overnight shipment and a 7-days health guarantee. For purchasing original supplies and captive bred reptiles, this store is recommended.

N.B. It is my job to suggest you trustworthy shops. But I would advise you to compare the market and do more research on the shops and price. I will not take responsibility if you face any trouble while purchasing from any pet store mentioned above.

Is Keeping A Tortoise Expensive?

With an average budget of $200 to $500, you will get your desired tortoise species. But housing and maintaining the pet will cost you extra dollars. Generally, to accommodate your tortoise in a furnished enclosure, you need to spend around $200 to $600. And the annual expense to run the tortoise is somewhere between $150 to $700, depending on the care.

Initially, you have to invest in the enclosure and other tortoise supplies. And then, you have to bear expenses that include food, vet fees, and half-yearly supplies replacement.

Here is a list of mandatory items needed to raise a tortoise,

  • Enclosure
  • Heating and lighting arrangements
  • Water bowl
  • Hiding shelters
  • Plants and other decorations
  • Electricity
  • Substrate
  • Food
  • Vet fees

Enclosure

When you get a tortoise hatchling or a young one, you are most likely to put it in an indoor space or enclosure. Various sizes of tortoise tables are available in the market to accommodate your pet. These tables are available at $70 to $150.

For a decent home, you need to spend an average of $100. However, you can not house an adult tortoise in an indoor space, and you must move it to an outdoor habitat.

Heating And Lighting Arrangements

Like turtles, tortoises also need external sources to warm their bodies. With a heating lamp, you can provide the warmth the pets need. When you raise tortoises in an indoor habitat, you need to install a UV lamp to fulfill their UVA and UVB exposure requirements.

To install these two lamps, you might have to spend $70 to $300. The amount totally depends on the quality of the product. Many owners install ceramic heaters in the enclosure as it radiates heat in the night without irritating the tortoises’ eyes.

Maintaining a suitable temperature is significant in a tortoise enclosure. The whole task becomes easy if you install a thermostat, which costs only $15 to $80.

Water Bowl

Tortoises are not a big fan of swimming. Hence, they do not need a deep water source. But for drinking water and soaking their bodies, a water dish should be present in the enclosure.

Water bowls for tortoises come in at a cheap rate, only at $5 to $10. It is a one-time investment.

Hiding Shelters

Come on! Your pet tortoise also deserves some personal space. Usually, when a tortoise feels stressed, it prefers to hide from the world.

Building hiding shelters inside the enclosure will help the pet maintain mental stability. Hiding spots cost around $5 to $20.

Plants And Decor

Adding live or plastic plants is the best idea to give the shelter a natural and aesthetic vibe. You can also put some decorations to make the enclosure more appealing. The expense behind each plant or decor is around $5 to $15+.

Electricity

Though the tortoise lamps consume a fraction amount of power, you can not ignore the annual sum. Depending on the usage, every month, the bill may reach up to $15.

Substrate

Tortoises prefer burrowing, and that is why you need to provide bedding at the bottom of the enclosure. Organic soil, peat moss, coconut noir are considered suitable substrates for the tortoises.

Several bags of substrate may be required to cover the habitat, and do not forget to replace the bedding every one or two months. Substrate bags usually cost around $10 to $40.

Food

The Diet preference of your tortoise depends on its species. But generally, tortoise food does not cost much. You may have to spend $250 to $400 yearly, including the supplements.

Vet Fees

A regular vet check-up is mandatory to avoid any health risk of the tortoise. Once or twice a visit will do just fine for your pets. Vets can charge $150 or more depending on the condition of your tortoise.

Additional Costs

You might have to spend your money on many more sectors. For example, tortoise insurance, security for the outdoor habitat, hibernation center, and so on.

Conclusion

The cost of a tortoise can be as low as $40 and as high as $60000, depending on the species. If you are a beginner, do not run after the exotic tortoises. Also, the maintenance of a tortoise can be expensive sometimes. It is wiser to estimate and compare your budget before purchasing the pet.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping turtles as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my turtle keeping knowledge with you.

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