Turtles are one of the most popular house pets in the world. This is because they are really easy to care for, and they are very cost-effective.

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A turtle can cost anywhere between $10 and $100 depending on the species of the turtle. If you want a more exotic turtle species it will usually cost between $250 and $500.

Since every turtle species is different, it’s normal that they are priced differently. The most common ones, like the Red Eared Slider can cost as little as $10, while rarer turtles like a Spotted Turtle can cost even $250. So it’s quite hard to say an average price, this is why I decided to make a list of the most popular pet turtles and tortoises and their prices.

Quick Note: A turtle is considered a baby if it’s younger than 6 months. The term juvenile doesn’t have a proper description, but in general juvenile turtles are between 6 month and 2 years old.

Turtle SpeciesBaby Turtle PriceJuvenile Turtle Price
Red-Eared Slider$10 to $15$20 to $25
Eastern Painted Turtles$25 to $30$40 to $60
Western Painted Turtle$15 to $25$50 to $60
Mississippi Map Turtle$15 to $20$30 to $40
Ornate Box Turtle$70 to $80$100 to $250
African Side-Neck Turtle$30 to $40$60 to $100
Eastern Mud Turtle$20 to $25$45 to $70
Russian Tortoise$70 to $80$150 to $250
Common Snapping Turtle$20 to $40$50 to $70
Florida Red-Belly Turtle$20 to $25$60 to $70
Twist Neck Turtle$80 to $100$150 to $200
Common Musk Turtle$20 to $25$35 to $50
Spotted Turtle$100 to $125$200 to $250
Chinese Golden Thread Turtles$40 to $50$75 to $100
Yellow Bellied Slider Turtle$10 to $15$20 to $25
Texas Diamondback Turtle$100 to $150$200 to $250
Gibba Turtle$50 to $60$100 to $120
Indian Star Tortoise$500 to $600$700 to $750
False Map Turtle$20 to $25$35 to $50
Belize Slider Turtle$50 to $75$85 to $100

Before we take a closer look at each species and see which of them are suitable for a beginner and which are not, let’s talk a little about how to choose from where you should buy a turtle, and which places you should avoid.

Choosing From Where to Buy Your Turtle

There are a lot of pet shops and online shops that sell turtles, but unfortunately not all of them sell healthy turtles. So it’s important to be very careful with the place you choose to buy from.

While I can’t tell you about an ideal place to get your turtle, where all turtles are healthy and reach you without any problem. I can tell you to do some research before you buy.

There are countless websites that sell turtles, as well as countless local breeders and shops. And most of them have online reviews, so to avoid any unpleasant surprise make sure you google them before you make your choice.

Another thing that you should do to avoid unpleasant surprises is to go to the vet with your turtle as soon as you get it. If your turtle has any health problem you should give it some form of treatment as soon as possible.

B Grade Turtles

When you will browse through the available turtles you might find something called B Grade turtles. B Grade turtles are turtles with small imperfections.Those imperfections usually are a missing claw, a nipped tail or small things like those.

Unfortunately most places keep baby turtles in small and crowded places and sometimes a turtle will confuse the tail of another turtle with a worm and will bite it, or they will get into a fight and one of them will get their tail bite. And sometimes, especially when they are babies their claws can get broken by mistake.

B Grade turtles don’t have any serious health problems or any kind of infection, just mall aesthetic imperfections.

If you don’t care that much about those kinds of things you should get a B Grade turtle, aside from the small imperfections they are as healthy as the rest of the turtles.

Turtle Price Examples

Now let’s take a closer look at the 20 examples I gave you.

1. Red-Eared Slider Turtle

Photo by Frank Boston on Flickr

The most common and popular species. They are usually a great turtle for somebody who never owned one before. They are relatively low maintenance and they are not very pretentious when it comes to food or temperature.

Baby Red-Eared Slider turtles usually cost between$10 and $15, a juvenile Red-Eared Slider will usually cost about $25.

Red-Eared Slider turtles are very common and this makes them the cheapest of all pet turtles. They can be easily found at almost any pet shop so you won’t have to search too much to find one.

2. Eastern Painted Turtle

Photo by Stephen Little on Flickr

Eastern Painted turtles are another popular turtle pet species. You can easily distinguish them from other turtles because of the red marks that they have on the sides of their shell.

Baby Eastern Painted turtles cost between$25 to $35, a juvenile will cost you a little more with most prices averaging around $50.

Eastern Painted turtles are great beginners. They are hardy turtles and are very tame around their owners, and people in general, which makes them more enjoyable since they aren’t constantly running and hiding when somebody gets close to them.

3. Western Painted Turtle


Western Painted turtles are closely related to the Eastern Painted turtles, they have the same red spots on their shell, but one noticeable difference between them is that Western Painted turtles have the underneath part of their shell colored while their eastern part of the family usually have white and with some occasional black spots.

Baby Western Painted turtles cost between $15 to $25, a juvenile Western Painted turtle will cost you a little more with most prices averaging around $50 to $60.

Just like the Eastern Painted turtles the Western Painted turtles are great beginner turtles. They are hardy turtles and are very tame around people.One possible disadvantage to keep in mind is that females can get a bit large,in general they reach sizes around 10 inches.

4. Mississippi Map Turtle

Photo by Peter Paplanus on Flickr

Another very popular turtle species are the Mississippi Map turtles, those turtles have a very interesting look that sets them apart from must turtles. They have a ridge of back tipped spike-like structure running along their spine, but luckily they are not sharp or dangerous.

A baby Mississippi Map turtle will cost you between $15 and $20, while a juvenile will cost you at least $40.

While not as easy to care for as painted turtles, they are still a great turtle for a beginner. So if you like the cute and dangerous aspect of the Mississippi Map turtle, you can get one without hesitation.

5. Ornate Box Turtle


Ornate American Wood Turtles are some of the most beautiful turtles that you can own as a pet and this means that the prices will be a lot higher. One odd thing that I observed while researching the prices on these species is that they usually differ a lot, at first I thought that the pattern on their shell can influence the price so I decided to call some of the online shops that I found to ask them if i can get some pictures before I would place my order but I only got negative answers, so I will tell you an average range of the prices that I found.

On average a baby Ornate American Wood turtle will cost you between $70 and $80 and a juvenile Ornate American Wood turtle will cost you at least $100 and some of the most expensive options can go as high as $250.

Even if they are really expensive when you compare to other turtles they are still a great beginner turtle. So if you really like those turtles and the price range is ok for you then you should get this turtle, the fact that you don’t have experience with turtles will not be a big problem.

6. African Side-Neck Turtle

Photo by Jan on Flickr

African Aquatic Sideneck turtles have a very different characteristic that separates them from a lot of turtles. Most turtles are able to retract their necks inside the shell when they are scared or feel endangered, but the long neck of the African Aquatic Sideneck turtle will not retract, instead it will bend sideways until it’s completely under the shell. There are very few species of turtles that can do this and the African Aquatic Sideneck turtle is one of them.

The price for a baby African Aquatic Sideneck turtle will usually be between $30 and $40 and the prices for a juvenile will be between $60 and $100.

They are a little harder to maintain compared to other turtles, so even if they are more accessible when it comes to the price than other more beginner friendly turtles, you should really consider how much time you will have at your disposal to take care of this turtle.

7. Eastern Mud Turtle


Photo by LA Dawson on Wikipedia

The Eastern Mud turtle is also known as the Common Mud turtle, as you can imagine they spend a lot of time in muddy areas, as a result their shells have a very simple aspect and are usually colored brown and some of them have their shells colored a greyer shade of brown. So their aspect is not as spectacular as other turtles but they still have that classic look going for them.

The average price of a baby Common Mud turtle is usually around $25, and for a juvenile you can usually expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $70.

Common Mud turtles can be considered good beginner pets after a while. When they are babies they are really fragile and sensitive, but as time goes by they will become tougher and less pretentious..

8. Russian Tortoise

Photo by beautifulcataya on Flickr

Those tortoises are just as tough as their name suggests, they can usually be found in the wild in harsh and arid places like sandy steps to rocky hills and sometimes in places with very high elevation. But even if they are usually found in harsh conditions doesn’t mean that they won’t adapt to a peaceful life as a pet.

On average you should expect to pay at least $80 for a baby Russian tortoise, for juvenile Russian tortoise prices usually start from $150 and can reach $250.

Since they are used to living in such harsh conditions they won’t have too many problems if you don’t have too much experience with taking care of turtles. They are generally considered to be a beginner friendly species.

9. Common Snapping Turtle

Photo by Peter Paplanus on Flickr

Common Snapping turtles are a very well known turtle species, they are renowned for their harsh appearance and for their powerful bite. Even if they are really thought they won’t usually attack humans if they are not provoked or they don’t feel any danger from them, so you don’t have to worry about that.

The prices for a baby Common Snapping turtle are usually between $20 and $40, and a juvenile can cost you between $50 and $70.

Even if the prices are accessible you should know that that is not an indication that they are good pets, even for an experienced turtle owner. When they are little they can be very cute and adorable, but they will become more aggressive as they get older and they will reach sizes that can be too big for most people.

10. Florida Red-Belly Turtle

Photo by PINKE on Flickr

Florida Red-Belly turtles have a very pleasing appearance, they have a red belly as the name suggests and they have a very nice pattern on their shells that starts from the edges of the shell and extend close to the middle of the shell.

Most places will sell a baby Florida Red-Belly turtle for about $20 to $25, while juveniles are sold for around $50.

Florida Red-Belly turtles can be a good beginner turtle, they are known for their adaptability and friendliness toward people.

11. Twist Neck Turtle

Photo by Bernard DUPONT on Flickr

Twist Neck turtles are another species that are unable to retract their necks inside the shell, instead they are able to twist their neck to the sides and hide it in the sides of the shell. They are one of the few turtle species that are able to do this.

Twist Neck turtles are not very cheap, most places will sell a baby Twist Neck turtle for at least $100, and a juvenile will cost you between $150 and $200.

Those turtles are not recommended for beginner friendly, so if you don’t have any experience with turtles you should look for another turtle to be your first pet turtle.

12. Common Musk Turtle

Photo by Kerry Wixted on Flickr

Common Musk turtles are also known as Stinkpots. They’ve gotten this name due to a gland under their shell that can emit a very powerful foul smell, this smell is used as a defence mechanism when they are attacked by predators in the wild. But most Common Musk turtles will not use those glands when they are in captivity, so this should be no problem for you.

You can get a baby Common Musk turtle for about $25, a juvenile will usually cost between $35 and $50.

Common Musk turtles are some of the best choices for a first pet turtle. Babies are a little fragile but once they become juveniles they will be very hardy.

13. Spotted Turtle

Photo by Brian Henderson on Flickr

Spotted turtles are a very interesting species, they have a black shell with white-yellowish spots on it, and the skin usually follows the same pattern as the shell.

They are not the cheapest species. You can expect to pay at least $100 for a baby Spotted turtle and around $200 for a juvenile.

A spotted turtle can be a great turtle for a beginner, but there are a few necessities that other turtles don’t. They are not great swimmers and they also like to spend their time in shady areas so you will need to make them a dry, shady place where they can spend their time.

14. Chinese Golden Thread Turtle

Photo by Author on Flickr

Chinese Golden Thread turtles originate from Asia but they are very similar to most turtles, found in America.

One of the most interesting features is the long tail, unlike most turtles who have very short tails the Chinese Golden Thread turtles have very long and noticeable tails. They also have a pattern on their shells that is formed by three interrupted lines that have a color very similar to the gold, hence the name.

Despite their name Chinese Golden Thread turtles are not that expensive, you can get a baby turtle for about $40 to $50, and a juvenile for $75 to $100.

They are not really a good choice for a beginner, but they are not the worst either. Most of them are imported from China and due to the transport conditions they will usually have a tough time accommodating when they arrive. But other than that they are not really that hard to take care of.

15. Yellow Bellied Slider Turtle

Photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife on Flickr

Yellow Bellied Slider turtles are the less popular cousins of the Red-Eared Sliders turtles. Those two turtles are very similar in most aspects.

Yellow Bellied Slider turtles usually cost around $10 and $15, juveniles will usually cost about $25.

Yellow Bellied Slider turtles are very good beginner pet turtles. Overall they are really hardy and easy to care for.

16.Texas Diamondback Terrapin

Photo by Northeast Coastal & Barrier Network on Flickr

Texas Diamondback terrapins are a very interestingly looking turtle species. They have white skin that is decorated with black spots.

In general Texas Diamondback terrapins are quite expensive, you can expect to pay at least $150 for a baby turtle, and $200 for a juvenile.

If the Texas Diamondback terrapin was raised in captivity it can get a good beginner pet turtle. But if it was caught in the wild, it’s better to leave it for more experienced turtle owners.

17. Gibba Turtle

Photo by wcs_peru on iNaturalist

Gibba turtles are a very cool looking turtle species. Their upper part is colored in a dark black which gives them a very interesting aspect. In contrast to their upper side, the bottom side of the turtle is usually yellowish white.

Another interesting thing about those turtles is that they are sidenecked species, which means that their neck won’t retract in the shell but it’s able to bend sideways to take cover under the shell.

A baby Gibba turtle will cost you between $50 and $60, and a juvenile will cost around $80.

Unlike most side necked turtles the Gibba turtles are considered a good pet for a beginner.

18. Indian Star Tortoise

Photo by Dhruvaraj S on Flickr

Indian Star tortoises have a very interesting aspect, they have a star-like pattern on their shell, and to make things even cooler the stars on their shell have a yellowish white color.

Those turtles are very expensive, you can expect to pay at least $500 for one baby Indian Star tortoises, and the prices for juveniles start from $750.

Indian Star tortoises are not very suitable for a beginner, they are as fragile as they are beautiful. So unless you have a significant amount of experience in taking care of turtles you should not hurry to buy a Indian Star tortoise.

19. False Map Turtle

Photo by Peter Paplanus on Flickr 

False Map turtles are one of the many “ Map “ species out there. While researching this species I was unable to find any reason for why they are being called False Map, but at least it sets them apart from the rest of the Map turtles.

False Map turtles are not very expensive, you can find a baby turtle for about $25, and the prices for juveniles range between $35 and $50.

They can be a good beginner pet turtle, but you have to be a little careful about the quality of the water, they can be sensitive to this. Other than that they are great for people who have no experience with turtles.

20. Belize Slider Turtle


In my opinion The Belize Slider turtles are some of the most beautiful looking slider turtles out there. They have very beautifully colored shells with an amazing pattern..

For a baby Belize Slider turtle you can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $75, for a juvenile turtle prices range between $85 to $100.

As babies and juveniles Belize Slider turtles can be a great beginner pet, but as adults they tend to grow a lot and it can be hard to find enough space for them, but other than that they are very hardy and good for a beginner.

Final Thoughts

So those are the prices you can expect to pay for a turtle. Keep in mind that the prices that I gave you in this article are the averages that I found, while doing research I found absurdly high prices, as well as lower prices.

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But remember that more importantly than the price is the quality, so don’t just buy from the place with the cheapest prices. Research the site or the shop before you.