A few weeks back my beloved Citroën ZX Avantage D failed its MOT, and I wrote a blog about how much of a nightmare it is to get a private plate put on retention from an MOT failure, what with the DVLA’s ability to create hoops under such circumstances that even Nadia Comaneci would be pushed to jump through.

In the end, I downloaded from the DVLA’s website and then inserted into one huge envelope about 576 different forms, plus a quite extraordinarily longwinded cover note – and then sealed it all up and aimed it in the direction of Cardiff. And then waited. And waited for a little bit more.

Just as I was at the point of no return on my journey to the centre of the black hole, however, a brown envelope arrived bearing a Cardiff postcode. And when I opened it I couldn’t quite believe me eyes, for there, written in dark red on a green background, were the words 'Retention Document'.

Also in the envelope was a copy of my new V5 registration form, with a new ‘old’ number plate in situ – meaning I could at last legally introduce the ZX to its destiny: the great breakers yard in the sky.

So there you go, I take it all back as far as the good people from the DVLA are concerned. Despite the fact that I got it wrong and sent the retention form to the wrong address, they sorted the whole shebang out and did what precisely it says on the tin.

So civil servants, I salute you – although if you think that going on strike next Wednesday is going to solve anything for our country, I will retrieve that salute tout suite.