Autocar magazine logo
|Circulation||40,168 (1 January – 30 June 2012)|
Autocar is a weekly British automobile magazine published by Haymarket Motoring Publications Ltd. It was first published in 1895 and refers to itself as "The World's oldest car magazine". There are now several international editions including China, India and South Africa.
The publication was launched as The Autocar by Iliffe and Sons Ltd  "in the interests of the mechanically propelled road carriage" on 2 November 1895 when, it is believed, there were only six or seven cars in the United Kingdom. In his book Drive On! L. J. K. Setright suggests that the magazine was set up by Henry Sturmey as an organ of propaganda for Harry J. Lawson, founder of the Daimler Company and a journalist on the magazine in its early days. Henry Sturmey stood down as editor of The Autocar magazine and left the company in 1901.
Autocar claims to have invented the road test in 1928 when it analysed the Austin 7 Gordon England Sunshine Saloon. Autocar has been published weekly throughout its life with only strikes in the 1970s interrupting its frequency. In 1988, it absorbed its long-time rival The Motor magazine, founded by Temple Press Ltd on 28 January 1903, briefly calling itself Autocar & Motor afterwards, before reverting to Autocar. The magazine has scored many firsts in its history including the first full road tests and independent performance tests of the Jaguar XJ220, McLaren F1, and the Porsche 911 GT1. It was also the first magazine to produce independently recorded performance figures for the Bugatti Veyron, which were published in the 31 May 2006 issue.
- News – includes "scoop" photographs and information about still-secret future models.
- First drives – brief road tests of new models.
- Group tests - analysis of how a model compares relative to rivals
- Motorsport – summaries of current racing news, predominantly in Formula 1 and rallying.
- Road tests – Thorough test and analysis of one new model per issue. In the issue closest to Christmas, Autocar traditionally publishes a "road test" of a more unusual vehicle. These have included tests of New Bus for London, HMS Ark Royal, Concorde, and HMS Diamond.
- Used car news
- Long term car tests
- New car data
Former Autocar writers have included Russell Bulgin, Chris Harris and Top Gear presenter James May, who was fired from the magazine in 1992, for putting a hidden message in a supplement, hinting at the tedium he had experienced, whilst compiling it.
Current Autocar writers include Steve Sutcliffe, Richard Bremner, Formula 1 journalist Alan Henry, used-car expert James Ruppert, and Editor-in-Chief Steve Cropley.
The current editor is Chas Hallett.
Autocar has been licensed to publishers around the world and is now published in 16 countries outside the UK, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
In 1952 The Autocar retailed for one shilling, equivalent to five pence in post decimalization British currency. In 1968 the cover price of Autocar was increased from two shillings to two shillings and six pence (equivalent to a post decimalisation increase from ten pence to twelve and a half pence).
By 1972, the price had increased fivefold in the two decades since 1952, to 25p.
In 1992, the price was £1.25. As of January 2013, the magazine sells for £3.10.
- "Jim Holder named as new Autocar editor". Press Gazette. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- http://www.abc.org.uk/Products-Services/Product-Page/?tid=2444 Autocar profile at abc.org.uk
- "– the online home of the world’s oldest car magazine, first for industry news, car reviews, road tests, videos and more". Autocar.co.uk. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Grace's guide British Industrial History Retrieved 2013-02-26
- Setright, L. J. K. (2004). Drive On!: A Social History of the Motor Car. Granta Books. ISBN 1-86207-698-7.
-  Grace's guide Iliffe and Sons Retrieved 2013-02-26
- Kettlewell, Mike. "Cooper: Forerunner of the Modern Racing Car", in Northey, Tom, editor. World of Automobiles (London: Phoebus, 1974), Volume 4, p.430.
- "James May - Autocar - a set on Flickr". Flickr.com. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Haymarket Media Group - Magazine - Autocar". Haymarket.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "News and Views: Autocar 2s 6d". Autocar. 128. (nbr 3752): page 59. 11 January 1968.
- Jeffrey Daniels (28 May 1977). "25 Years Ago". Autocar. 146 (4203): 58–61.