Ford V8 Pilot
Automotive Art Deco glamour: you could still buy the Ford V8 Pilot in 1950

How much did things cost in 1950?

In 1950 the average house price was £2,000. That's just £51,000 in today's money.

Comparing house prices to income growth gives a different picture. In 1950 the average weekly wage was around £5. Today the figure is about £500. Wages have increased by a factor or 100, so unfortunately have house prices. The UK's average house price in February 2022 was £260,230. Our increased income has been eaten up by house price inflation.

At the other end of the scale, Britain's most popular newspaper, The Daily Mirror, cost just 1d (11p in today's money).

These are some prices of a few other items in 1950.


The big news in motoring in 1950 was that petrol rationing ended in May 1950.

A gallon of petrol was 3s ¼d in 1950, or £3.85 in today's money.

Family cars started at around £310 for a Ford Anglia. Some other family cars from 1950 were as follows:

1950 priceInflation adjusted
Ford Prefect£371£9,900
Morris Minor (2-door saloon)£383£10,000
Austin Devon£501 12s 3d£13,000
Vauxhall Velox£550£15,000
Ford V8 Pilot£764£20,000

The big Ford V8 Pilot was a last taste of Art Deco glamour. It was based on a pre-war car. Ford dropped it the following year.

Read more about Ford cars from the 1950s

Food and drink

Food rationing was easing in 1950. On 19 May 1950, canned and dried fruit, chocolate biscuits, treacle, syrup, jellies and mincemeat came off the ration. Sugar and butter were still rationed.

These are 1950 prices for popular food products.

1950 priceInflation adjusted
Pint of beer [1]1s 2d£1.60
Bottle of whisky [1]£1 13s 4d£45
Bottle of table wine [1]12s£16
Loaf of bread (white, unwrapped) [*]5½d61p
Loose leaf tea [*] 4oz10d£1.10
Sugar 1lb [*]5d56p
Pint of milk [*]5d56p
Butter ½lb [*]1s£1.30
Cheddar cheese 1lb [*]1s 2d£1.60
Margarine 1lb [*]10d£1.10
Lard 1lb [*]1s£1.30
Eggs 1 dozen [*]3s 6d£4.70
Potatoes lb [*]1½d17p
Cabbages lb [*]2½d28p
Onions lb [*]4d45p
Oranges lb [*]9d£1
Cocoa lb [*]2s 9d£3.70


1950 priceInflation adjusted
20 cigarettes3s 6d [2]£4.70


Most people relied on coal fires in 1950.

1950 priceInflation adjusted
Coal - 1cwt [*]4s 5½d£6


Bush DAC10 radio, 1950
Bush DAC10 radio, 1950. Table radios were popular in 1950. The Bush DAC10 cost £14 16s
Image by Alexander Baxevanis licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Television ownership was only 2% of UK households in 1950. Not only were television sets expensive, but broadcasting did not cover the whole country. Most people owned radios. They were generally large console sets in wood veneer or Bakelite cabinets.

1950 priceInflation adjusted
Regentone 12" television 63 guineas£1,800
Murphy A146 console radio£35£940

Household electrical goods

Ownership of consumer durables was low in 1950. For those that could afford it they made life considerably easier.

1950 priceInflation adjusted
Astral refrigerator£37 9s 6d£1,000
Hoover Electric washing machine£31 5s£840
Hoover Junior vacuum cleaner£20 4s£540


1950 priceInflation adjusted
Champion lawn mower (Gamages)60/-£80


Prices are in pounds, shillings and pence.

Some shops priced more expensive items in guineas. A guinea is one pound and one shilling or £1.05.

The inflation adjusted prices are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

For a comparison of prices in 1950 adjusted for incomes see Income adjusted prices for 1950


[*] Data are derived from the Retail Prices Index from July 1947 to 2004

[1] Hansard HC Deb 22 May 1980 vol 985 c336W

[2] 'Labour stinging the poor' published in The Manchester Guardian, 2 November 1950, page 6

By Steven Braggs, December 2021, updated May 2022

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