I was asked to comment the other day on some sort of statistical survey, which proved that owners of expensive cars (inevitably blingy off-roaders) were more likely to make an insurance claim than someone in a cheap motor, specifically a Smart.

Now, the Smart Fortwo is small, but it isn’t especially cheap when new. Anyway, the point was that drivers of swish, expensive cars career into things and the downtrodden poor don’t. Maybe the stats were put together by Class War.

I’ve found that owning a car you don’t mind getting damaged is a tremendously liberating experience and means you worry less about leaving it in a dodgy car park. So let’s find some low-rent cars for the truly modern lifestyle.

The secret is having a car that either makes you look very hard or that you don’t give a stuff about. Well, nothing says ‘fear me’ more than a tatty Land Rover Defender. You don’t want artisan Aga installer spec but one that’s caked in farmyard mud. Defender 90s are particularly bouncy and manoeuvrable - like an off-road Smart, in fact. Proper working ones are just over £3000 for an early to mid-1990s example.

Then there’s the pub landlord look, useful when the car is left on its own. That’s a Jaguar XJ6, then. I have been corresponding with a gentleman who really wanted one, and I had to steer him away from X-Types and S-Types to the motor he clearly loved. Provided there is nothing wrong with it, a 1997 XJ 3.2 is just under a grand and something you can run until it really does break.