How much did cars cost in the 60s?
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|
|Reliant 3 Wheeler||£487||£6,700|
|Ford Cortina (four door)||£668||£9,100|
|Vauxhall Victor 101||£690||£9,400|
|Ford Zephyr 6||£900||£12,300|
|Jaguar MkII 2.4 litre||£1,389||£19,000|
|Aston Martin DB5||£4,412||£60,000|
Source:'Motor' week ending 16 October 1965, pages 180-82
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.
Add your comments
(Some) People would have you believe that inflation, since the mid 60s,is only about "11 times". This is ridiculous. I was there!
My parents house bought in 1955 was £4400 - now it's worth about 100 times that amount. A Mars Bar was 6d (1/40th of 1£) now 3/4£ ie 30 times the original cost. Wage for a police sergeant 1962 was £1000, now about £40,000. A decent suit "off the peg" was £12-15, now £400. Cars are 30x the old price. A large loaf of bread was 9d, now £1-£1.50 ie,50-70x. Which ever way you cut it, the minimum indistinguishable had been an absolute minimum of 30x inflation. That £11,000 Ferrari equates to £330,000 in today's terms - exactly as you would expect to pay today for something similarly exotic.
Hi Ian, This is a very interesting analysis. On a broad average prices have risen 14x since 1965. But some things have gone up more than others and there are reasons from this. House prices have risen because it is much easier to get large mortgages than it was in the 1960s. Incomes have gone up more than prices. Prestige cars have gone up even more because there is more inequality than in the 1960s. Bread has gone up a lot because prices were fixed by the Government in the 1960s.
On the other hand many things cost a lot less. Televisions were very expensive in the 1960s. When colour came in a basic set was around £300 in 1960s money - c£4000 in today's money. A teenager's transistor radio would have been £3 or £4 - £40 to £50 in today's money.