I know inflation's played a part in it. And I know that the safety equipment new cars are required to be fitted with isn't cheap either. But when even the most basic VW Polo with 60bhp and no aircon costs over £10k, you can see that cars are definitely getting more expensive.
A decade ago, ten grand could buy you a brand spanking new 100bhp Citroen Saxo 1.6 VTR. A quick, handsome, agile little car that could do 0-60 in 9.4 seconds and deliver 42.2mpg on the combined cycle. That's pretty impressive for a ten year old car. It was loaded with kit as well. You'd get change with that car if you paid £10k for it.
At the same time, you could get an entry level Megane for just under £10k too. OK, it was a bit Spartan, what with its manual windows, plastic wheel covers, cassette player, puny engine and black plastic bits all over it. But that was a lot of car for £10k. Now, the cheapest new Megane is £16,725. Sure, there will be discounts, but there were discounts available on the old one as well. And of course there were huge discounts for the Saxo, being a Citroen.
If you want a lot of car for £10k, then of course you can look on the secondhand market. You can get a superb car for well under a grand if you're buying used. But because people's salaries haven't really increased since the year 2000, why have the prices of new cars?