I notice that that the government-funded advice service Consumer Direct reckons it received 24,672 complaints about secondhand cars bought from independent dealers in the first half of 2009, up more than 1.22 per cent on the previous year.

So let’s all get very, very scared of the nasty man in the sheepskin jacket.

As with all stats, it’s what they don’t tell you that’s more fascinating.

Now, there are certainly some less than brilliant used car dealers out there, but on the whole I’d say they do their best and the majority are not actively trying to rip everyone off. There really isn’t any point.

The real problem is the fundamentally unreasonable expectations of today’s consumers.

No-one allows for the fact that a car more than a few hours old will be quite used. That means the odd stone chip, worn seat bolster and chip in the windscreen are the very least you should expect.