New vehicles cost less than they did a decade ago, according to a new study that examines automobile prices from 2009 to 2019

2019 CPI Graph

2009-2019 CPI Increases by category

Synergy Research, a division of the Synergy Media Group has just released a report comparing the cost of a new automobile as it relates other major consumer expenditures for the ten-year period of 2009 to 2019.  All data is sourced from the US Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Auto Prices rose 4.49 percent over the last ten years according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That translates into .044 percent per year.  When factoring in the overall inflation rate of 1.76% annually, automobiles are more affordable than they were ten years ago.

Stephen Fasano, head of research and strategy for Synergy Media said “When we look at major categories of consumer spending including housing, food, health care, and education, automobile prices are by far the lowest, and even below that of inflation.  New automobiles are more affordable now, when it comes to real dollars than they were in 2009.

“In addition, when you look at what you’re getting for those dollars, in most of those categories it’s the same thing.  Groceries, housing, education, consumers are paying more for what is a product or service that hasn’t really improved.  However, when it comes to automobiles, there’s a vast improvement in technology, safety and efficiency.  Technology means that more passenger vehicles come with navigation systems, phone integration.  Safety systems including ABS, Stability control are essentially standard, and many vehicles come with AEB, lane keep assist for active safety, and more airbags and hold up better for passive safety.  And finally, they’re much more efficient with the average vehicle getting 5 more miles per gallon according to the EPA.  Combine that with a lower actual cost of a gallon of fuel, and not only is it less expensive to purchase a new car, it’s also less expensive to drive it.”

 

Source: 2009-2019 US CPI Index:

Prices for Cars, 2009-2019 4.49%

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for new cars were 4.49% higher in 2019 versus 2009 (a $673.25 difference in value)

Between 2009 and 2019: Cars experienced an average inflation rate of 0.44% per year. In other words, cars costing $30,000 in the year 2009 would cost $31,346.50 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 1.76% during this same period, inflation for cars was lower.

Prices for Food, 2009-2019 18.46%

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for food were 18.46% higher in 2019 versus 2009 (a $3.69 difference in value)

Between 2009 and 2019: Food experienced an average inflation rate of 1.71% per year. In other words, food costing $20 in the year 2009 would cost $23.69 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 1.76% during this same period, inflation for food was lower.

Prices for Housing, 2009-2019 22.40%

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for housing were 22.40% higher in 2019 versus 2009 (a $22,402.02 difference in value).

Between 2009 and 2019: Housing experienced an average inflation rate of 2.04% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, housing costing $200,000 in the year 2009 would cost $244,804.04 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 1.76% during this same period, inflation for housing was higher.

Prices for Education, 2009-2019 171.22%

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for education were 171.22% higher in 2019 versus 2009 (a $1,712.24 difference in value).

Between 2009 and 2019: Education experienced an average inflation rate of 10.49% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, education costing $1,000 in the year 2009 would cost $2,712.24 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 1.76% during this same period, inflation for education was significantly higher.

Prices for Health Insurance, 2009-2019 39.22%

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for health insurance were 39.22% higher in 2019 versus 2009 (a $78.45 difference in value).

Between 2009 and 2019: Health insurance experienced an average inflation rate of 3.36% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, health insurance costing $200 in the year 2009 would cost $278.45 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 1.76% during this same period, inflation for health insurance was higher.