I think that I’m about to do something rather distasteful and quite painful. No, I won’t be joining Sir Max for one of his weekly dungeon sessions – this is far worse. You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to go out and buy myself a seven-seater. My actual circumstances haven’t changed – Mrs. R isn’t in the family way again – but for all kinds of reasons my clan needs a minibus.

image On principle, I won’t get a full-sized version – I don’t want to look like I’ve started a child-minding service. I did seriously consider an XC90 on the grounds that it only looks like an evil off-roader, and not the devil-spawn that is a XXL seven-seat people-carrier, which would do my social reputation far more damage. But perhaps fortunately, even the earliest and shabbiest versions of the big Ovlov fall well outside by budget.

So I’m thinking compact: Zafira, Megane Scenic or Touran. And before I get too excited with thoughts of a fire-spitting Zafira GSI turbo with a 300bhp chip in the ECU – whatever I end up with has to have an automatic gearbox. Oh, joy.

All this has put me into a quandary that I’m sure will be familiar to many of you with multi-car families. With something new (or newish) arriving, something else has to go. On the Ruppert rotation basis that means my E34 BMW 5-series is for the chop, meaning that – to obey the first rule of Bangernomics – I have to drive the second-in-line Saab 9000 until it blows up.

The problem is that, in the back of my head, I’ve decided that I really want a Rover 800 Coupe before they all get thrown away. And I haven’t given up on a Porsche 944 yet, either. I mean, now we’re going to have a gross surplus at seats at one end of the garage, why can’t I cut back a bit on doors and chairs elsewhere? A Caterham would be a hoot, wouldn’t it? And if I get one in bits I’ll even have an excuse to live in the garage for a few months while I screw it together.

So there you go, I’m in deep trouble and any suggestions – wise or stupid – are welcome as a distraction from the impending doom of an MPV purchase.