Parkers turns 50
Parkers has reached the Big Five-Oh. When the Parkers Used Car Price Guide was launched in March 1972, the world was a very different place. Petrol was 35p per gallon and the bestselling car in the UK was the Ford Cortina. Sir Edward Heath was the Conservative Prime Minister and the most popular TV included Till Death Do Us Part, Opportunity Knocks and On The Buses.
How life has changed… Below you can read more about then and now, and have your say on what the best car of the last 50 years is for the chance to win a £50 amazon voucher!.
As well as the poll, the car-buying bible and valuations experts at Parkers have been busy researching the cost of motoring – a hot topic in 2022, as prices spiral and household bills soar, driven by a potent cocktail of Brexit, Covid and war in the Ukraine.
Cost of motoring: are drivers better off now or then?
The bestselling car when Parkers was born was the Ford Cortina, which sold for between £963 and £1210. According to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, that translates to £13,520-£16,988 in today’s money, not far off the showroom price of 2022’s bestselling Vauxhall Corsa (£17,380-£28,905).
So cars are more expensive today, but Parkers’ research reveals that most running costs are considerably cheaper. It found that insurance, road tax and other bills were lower in today’s more competitive market – even fuel, when growth in average earnings is taken into account, is surprisingly cheaper today and modern cars are far more economical.
Keith Adams, editor of Parkers.co.uk said: ‘I’m an age when I can remember petrol being 35p per gallon, and don’t ever recall it feeling cheap at the time. Seeing these numbers adjusted for inflation backs up that impression potently – we might be paying more for petrol and diesel in real terms now but seeing as the average wage is double what it was then and cars are considerably more economical, it soon becomes clear just how much better we have it today, despite current worries about rising costs. It’s not just fuel either, as it’s the same story for all running costs – aside from purchase price.’
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