So the great questions....."How much does it cost?/How long does it take?".........."What does it take to become a private pilot?"
It takes time, money and commitment. An absence of any of the above will prevent you from reaching your goal. Less of one can be made up for by extra of another, but you will need at least some of each. The FAA requires the following:
Total Time: 40 hours minimum which consists of at least:
Dual: 20 hours minimum of flight training with an instructor on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
1. 3 hours of cross country flight training in a single engine airplane;
2. 3 hours of night flight training in a single engine airplane, that includes at least:
a. 1 cross country flight if over 100 nm total distance; and
b. 10 T/O's and 10 landings to a full stop with each involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport.
3. 3 hours of flight training by reference to instruments in a single engine airplane; and
4. 3 hours of flight training in a single engine airplane within the 60 days prior to the practical test.
Solo: 10 hours minimum of solo flying in a single engine airplane on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
1. 5 hours of solo cross country flying;
2. 1 solo cross country flight of at least 150 nm total distance with full stop landings at 3 points and one segment of at least 50 nm between T/O and landings; and
3. 3 T/O's and landing to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.
*Rates: Cessna 172 with fuel - $140 per hour
CFI - $45 per hour (for flight training and ground training
Student Supplies - $200-$300
You will also be responsible for any incidental costs. (landing fees, ramp fees, etc.)