How much did cars cost in the 60s?

Fiat 500
At £470, the Fiat 500 was the cheapest car you could buy in the UK in 1965

The cheapest car for sale in UK in 1965 was the Fiat 500. You could buy one for £470. There was even a sunroof included! In today's money that would have been £5,600. You would struggle to find a new car for that price in Britain today.

The most expensive cars were two Italian super-cars, the Ferrari 275LM and the Ferrari Superfast PF Coupé. The manufacturer's price for each car was £11,519. In today's money they would have cost £158,000.

An average house cost £3,400 in 1965. You could have bought three houses for the price of the Ferrari.

Most cars cost from £500 (£6,800 in today's money) for small cars such as the Mini and Ford Anglia, to around £1000 (£13,600) for the large Fords, Vauxhalls and Austins. Cars were much cheaper in the 1960s than today. Try finding a new BMW 5 series for £13,000.

This table shows a range of well-known cars and their prices in 1965.

Cost In today's money
Austin/Morris Mini £470 £6,400
Reliant 3 Wheeler £487 £6,700
Ford Anglia £492 £6,700
Hillman Imp £509 £7,000
Vauxhall Viva £538 £7,400
MG Midget £624 £8,500
Austin 1100 £644 £8,800
Volkswagen Beetle £650 £8,100
Triumph Spitfire £666 £9,100
Ford Cortina (four door) £668 £9,100
Hillman Minx £680 £9,300
Vauxhall Victor 101 £690 £9,400
Morris Oxford £782 £10,700
Austin 1800 £833 £11,400
MGB £855 £11,700
Ford Zephyr 6 £900 £12,300
Triumph TR4A £968 £13,200
Vauxhall Cresta £974 £13,000
Austin Westminster £998 £13,700
Humber Hawk £1,095 £15,000
Austin-Healey 3000 £1,107 £15,000
Rover 2000 £1,298 £18,000
Jaguar MkII 2.4 litre £1,389 £19,000
Jaguar E-Type £1,867 £25,000
Aston Martin DB5 £4,412 £60,000

Source:'Motor' week ending 16 October 1965, pages 180-82

Used cars

Used cars up to about five years old held their price well. For example a 1961 Austin Cambridge was offered for £390. The equivalent new car was £772.

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Add your comments

"It's all well and good saying it's 'todays money' but the article doesn't say when it was written!" Ralph Proudcock 10/12/2020

"It was written in January 2020. Bear in mind that these are not precise measurements. It's to give an idea of how prices have moved.

Many things have got cheaper in real term since the 1960s. But cars are a major exception. Manufacturers have favoured features over price. Sometimes these features are necessary, such as improved safety. Some are not essential. The market has decided people can pay more for cars." Steven 11/12/2020

"Things seem to be cheaper nowadays." Billy Walker 25/01/2021

"Cars were much cheaper in the 1960s. They were more basic. But if cars had only gone up in price with inflation you would be able to buy a basic small car for about £7,000, e.g. a Ford Fiesta." Amy 25/01/2021

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Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

20th Century History ★ Antiques & Collectibles

Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

★ 20th Century History ★ Antiques & Collectibles ★