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
"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