Your life savings seem set to disappear into some global black hole, and the high street Bungling Bank is about to merge with the local butchers – so you’d be right in thinking that things aren’t too clever down your local car showroom.

Vauxhall Even so, I heard from a friend of mine who works at such a place that they’d managed to shift sixteen new cars last month, which he thought was pretty decent considering the present circumstances.

Unfortunately for him, he also admitted the franchise has to flog sixty new motors a month just to break even.

I’m sure you’ve seen the stats – car sales down 18.6 percent in August year-on-year – and even the previously imperious BMW has taken a hit. But what you won’t see, because nobody bothers collating the data, is the boom in knackered £300 Nissan Micra sales (up, let’s say, 15.2 percent) and the strong run on MOT borderline Cavaliers, which must be at least 23.2 percent up on last year. Yes, dogs are most definitely in.

My local bombsite has always insisted that any Herbert can sell a banger – if it’s cheap enough, someone will always buy. Even in good times the turnover can be quite spectacular with even a modest frontage shifting over 20 a week. Obviously if you’re selling at under £500 you’re looking to buy ‘em in at less than £100 – so it’s lowest-bidder auction fodder that gets hoovered up.