Cars priced at $15,000 in 1983 $21,395.48 in 2019

Historical Price Inflation for Cars

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Prices for Cars, 1983-2019 ($15,000)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for new cars were 42.64% higher in 2019 versus 1983 (a $6,395.48 difference in value).

Between 1983 and 2019: Cars experienced an average inflation rate of 0.99% per year. In other words, cars costing $15,000 in the year 1983 would cost $21,395.48 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.62% during this same period, inflation for cars was lower.

In the year 1983: Pricing changed by 2.57%, which is above the average yearly change for cars during the 1983-2019 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1983 (3.21%), inflation for cars was lower.

Price Inflation for New cars since 1953

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1975 (8.59%), 1980 (8%), and 1979 (7.94%).

Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for New cars:

Year 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
CPI 47.242 46.442 44.833 46.042 48.475 50.017 52.175 51.500 51.517 51.317 51.000 50.858 49.717 48.817 49.275 50.650 51.458 53.058 55.208 54.742 54.758 57.933 62.908 66.892 70.442 75.800 81.817 88.358 93.750 97.367 99.867 102.758 106.042 110.617 114.600 116.867 119.242 120.975 125.325 128.367 131.492 135.983 139.017 141.417 141.675 140.700 139.550 139.550 138.925 137.292 134.692 133.933 135.233 136.408 135.860 135.394 136.686 138.097 142.230 144.181 144.926 144.470 144.394 143.688 142.652 141.969 142.446

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Buying power of $15000 since 1983

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Cars, over time, for $15000 beginning in 1983. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1983 $15,000.00 2.57%
1984 $15,434.33 2.90%
1985 $15,927.49 3.20%
1986 $16,614.65 4.31%
1987 $17,212.95 3.60%
1988 $17,553.40 1.98%
1989 $17,910.13 2.03%
1990 $18,170.48 1.45%
1991 $18,823.85 3.60%
1992 $19,280.71 2.43%
1993 $19,750.08 2.43%
1994 $20,424.73 3.42%
1995 $20,880.34 2.23%
1996 $21,240.82 1.73%
1997 $21,279.62 0.18%
1998 $21,133.18 -0.69%
1999 $20,960.45 -0.82%
2000 $20,960.45 0.00%
2001 $20,866.57 -0.45%
2002 $20,621.24 -1.18%
2003 $20,230.72 -1.89%
2004 $20,116.82 -0.56%
2005 $20,312.08 0.97%
2006 $20,488.57 0.87%
2007 $20,406.17 -0.40%
2008 $20,336.24 -0.34%
2009 $20,530.29 0.95%
2010 $20,742.14 1.03%
2011 $21,363.01 2.99%
2012 $21,656.00 1.37%
2013 $21,767.91 0.52%
2014 $21,699.43 -0.31%
2015 $21,688.03 -0.05%
2016 $21,582.01 -0.49%
2017 $21,426.42 -0.72%
2018 $21,323.79 -0.48%
2019 $21,395.48 0.34%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for cars, 1983-2019

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2019 / CPI in 1983 * 1983 USD value = 2019 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for New cars was 99.867 in the year 1983 and 142.446 in 2019:

142.446 / 99.867 * $15,000 = $21,395.48

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $15,000 in 1983 has the same "purchasing power" as $21,395.48 in 2019 (in the CPI category of New cars).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for New cars in 1953. In addition to cars, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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