As the credit crunch starts to bite - and more and more people are realising that ploughing several tens of thousands of pounds into a shiny new car last year wasn't such a great idea - might I suggest a wholesale return to the old-fashioned phenomenon of the banger?

Vectra One of the cleverest - and dumbest - things I ever did was coining the phrase 'bangernomics'. Clever because it seemed to strike a chord with those seeking to trim motoring costs to the bare minimum, but deeply dumb because I've never been able to make any sizeable amount of cash for having come up with the concept.

The idea behind bangernomics is simple enough, it concerns the 'how to' of running a car on an almost non-existent budget. My dad once told me about its purest form, a guy he worked with who would rountinely spend no more than a fiver on a car and would never even open the bonnet.

I think he may possibly have added a little water sometimes, but it seems he averaged a good 18 months from each car before it expired by the roadside and he strode off to buy another.