► Car buyers’ guide Parkers turns 50!
► Vote for the last 50 years’ best cars
► Plus: cost of motoring 1972-2022
Our sister website Parkers.co.uk is celebrating its 50th birthday with a quest to name the most influential car of the past half century.
You can vote in the Parkers poll, selecting from their favourite picks from its launch in 1972 to the present day. From Peugeot 205s to Saab 900s, the Citroen CX to the Talbot Matra Rancho – it’s your chance to name the most groundbreaking models from the past 50 years.
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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