A lot has changed in the UK since the last Olympics were held on our (now overcrowded) island 64 years ago. Figures revealed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) make for some very interesting reading… 

Take fuel as an example. Back in 1948, we Brits paid 2.3 pence for a litre of the automotive amber nectar. And that’s with 36 per cent tax included. Nowadays, we’re swallowing 133.9 pence with a frightful 56.8 per cent tax figure; call it progress.

More interesting still is the UK’s manufacturing output, which in 1948 totalled a healthy 334,815 cars. Today, we’ve added a million cars to the production pot, at 1.34 million. Most of these vehicles were and are exported at a rate of knots. Post-war, 68 per cent found new homes abroad; today, that figure has shot up to 84 per cent.

As for London, it’s no wonder that we Brits avoid driving in the capital. With 809,000 vehicles making progress, shall we say, utterly infuriating, it must have been nice wafting from Knightsbridge to Chelsea faced with ‘only’ 126,700 cars. And let’s not forget the lack of speed bumps, cameras, charges and, ahem, school run mums.

And finally, the total number of cars registered in the UK currently stands at 31,362,716 (that’s one car for every two people), compared with 2,132,720 in 1948. Incidentally, that’s the same year that the NHS was started…

Judging by these stats, I’d estimate that, when the next Olympics comes to town, we’ll all be paying around £50 per litre of fuel (if there’s any left) and be banned from driving in London completely.