Vehicles priced at $20,000 in 1935 $147,196.39 in 2021

Vehicles Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Vehicles, 1935-2021 ($20,000)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for new vehicles were 635.98% higher in 2021 versus 1935 (a $127,196.39 difference in value).

Between 1935 and 2021: Vehicles experienced an average inflation rate of 2.35% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, vehicles costing $20,000 in the year 1935 would cost $147,196.39 in 2021 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 3.49% during this same period, inflation for vehicles was lower.

Price Inflation for New vehicles since 1935

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1947 (50%), 1949 (9.10%), and 1948 (8.93%).

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

Year 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 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 2020 2021
CPI 20.300 20.400 20.800 21.800 21.300 21.400 23.000 23.000 23.000 23.000 23.000 23.000 34.500 37.580 41.000 41.220 43.360 46.940 47.254 46.508 44.877 46.138 48.546 50.108 52.246 51.569 51.562 51.362 51.054 50.908 49.792 48.892 49.346 50.692 51.515 53.131 55.277 54.792 54.808 57.985 62.985 66.969 70.523 75.900 81.923 88.469 93.869 97.477 99.877 102.631 106.054 110.600 114.385 116.515 119.162 121.400 125.985 129.208 132.738 137.585 140.954 143.669 144.254 143.438 142.862 142.754 142.108 140.000 137.854 137.062 137.908 137.585 136.254 134.194 135.623 138.005 141.883 144.232 145.783 146.275 147.135 147.358 146.992 146.287 146.834 147.600 149.404

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Buying power of $20000 since 1935

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Vehicles, over time, for $20000 beginning in 1935. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

Year USD Value Inflation Rate
1935 $20,000.00 -
1936 $20,098.52 0.49%
1937 $20,492.61 1.96%
1938 $21,477.83 4.81%
1939 $20,985.22 -2.29%
1940 $21,083.74 0.47%
1941 $22,660.10 7.48%
1942 $22,660.10 0.00%
1943 $22,660.10 0.00%
1944 $22,660.10 0.00%
1945 $22,660.10 0.00%
1946 $22,660.10 0.00%
1947 $33,990.15 50.00%
1948 $37,024.63 8.93%
1949 $40,394.09 9.10%
1950 $40,610.84 0.54%
1951 $42,719.21 5.19%
1952 $46,246.31 8.26%
1953 $46,555.51 0.67%
1954 $45,820.39 -1.58%
1955 $44,213.72 -3.51%
1956 $45,456.61 2.81%
1957 $47,828.72 5.22%
1958 $49,367.18 3.22%
1959 $51,474.04 4.27%
1960 $50,807.12 -1.30%
1961 $50,799.55 -0.01%
1962 $50,602.50 -0.39%
1963 $50,299.36 -0.60%
1964 $50,155.36 -0.29%
1965 $49,056.46 -2.19%
1966 $48,169.76 -1.81%
1967 $48,616.90 0.93%
1968 $49,943.16 2.73%
1969 $50,754.07 1.62%
1970 $52,345.59 3.14%
1971 $54,460.02 4.04%
1972 $53,982.57 -0.88%
1973 $53,997.73 0.03%
1974 $57,127.70 5.80%
1975 $62,053.81 8.62%
1976 $65,979.54 6.33%
1977 $69,480.86 5.31%
1978 $74,778.33 7.62%
1979 $80,712.39 7.94%
1980 $87,161.80 7.99%
1981 $92,482.00 6.10%
1982 $96,036.38 3.84%
1983 $98,400.91 2.46%
1984 $101,114.06 2.76%
1985 $104,486.55 3.34%
1986 $108,965.52 4.29%
1987 $112,694.20 3.42%
1988 $114,793.48 1.86%
1989 $117,400.53 2.27%
1990 $119,605.91 1.88%
1991 $124,122.77 3.78%
1992 $127,298.22 2.56%
1993 $130,776.81 2.73%
1994 $135,551.35 3.65%
1995 $138,870.78 2.45%
1996 $141,546.04 1.93%
1997 $142,122.02 0.41%
1998 $141,318.68 -0.57%
1999 $140,750.28 -0.40%
2000 $140,644.18 -0.08%
2001 $140,007.58 -0.45%
2002 $137,931.03 -1.48%
2003 $135,816.60 -1.53%
2004 $135,036.00 -0.57%
2005 $135,869.65 0.62%
2006 $135,551.35 -0.23%
2007 $134,240.77 -0.97%
2008 $132,210.53 -1.51%
2009 $133,619.10 1.07%
2010 $135,965.97 1.76%
2011 $139,786.59 2.81%
2012 $142,100.57 1.66%
2013 $143,628.87 1.08%
2014 $144,113.15 0.34%
2015 $144,960.59 0.59%
2016 $145,179.84 0.15%
2017 $144,819.93 -0.25%
2018 $144,124.82 -0.48%
2019 $144,664.04 0.37%
2020 $145,418.95 0.52%
2021 $147,196.39 1.22%*
* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.

How to calculate the inflation rate for vehicles, 1935-2021

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2021 / CPI in 1935 * 1935 USD value = 2021 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for New vehicles was 20.300 in the year 1935 and 149.404 in 2021:

149.404 / 20.300 * $20,000 = $147,196.39

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $20,000 in 1935 has the same "purchasing power" as $147,196.39 in 2021 (in the CPI category of New vehicles).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for New vehicles in 1935. In addition to vehicles, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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