Given that a car rolls every mile on rubber tyres, and that I've done a million or so in nearly 50 years of driving, you’d reckon by now I’d have developed a settled view of the above question. Yet I feel less sure than ever that there is a correct answer.

The physical and legal answers are simple. A tyre is mechanically knackered when its case appears through the rubber, and the whole assembly won’t hold air any more. Back home in the Australian bush, this was my dad’s answer. Today, a tyre is legally knackered when there’s less than 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the contact patch. Any thinner and you’ll be nicked, most likely, and certainly fail your MOT.

However, recent experiences of a couple cars - in particular our Range Rover long-termer and a Vauxhall VXR8 I’ve just been driving - remind me that the true threshold of tyre 'knackerdom' needs a much more subjective judgment.