When to start:
Usually secondary school - many sax players also play the clarinet.
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Alto saxophones from about £600. Tenor and Baritone saxophones are considerably more expensive. It's better to avoid the cheaper end of the market. Secondhand instruments are easily available but rather variable in quality so always seek the teacher's advice before buying. Other: Reeds need replacing often - about £2. Otherwise very little - apart from occasional adjustments and pad replacement.
Fairly easy to learn, and a must if you want to play jazz.
There are too many people playing the alto saxophone, which means that getting into a band is virtually impossible. You might consider instead Tenor or Baritone sax, fewer people play these.