It’s a familiar story: a badly modified car appears in a classified advertisement online.

The motoring cognoscenti see it, and share it, and mock it. What a munter! What appalling taste! What ruined handling! What pointless accessories!

Well, they might be right, but the discussion is not for me, dear reader – not for Prior. Because it’s a short stride from there – and I’ve seen it taken – to suggesting that there’s something actually wrong with allowing people to modify cars badly. That somehow it shouldn’t be allowed. That people should be saved from their idiot selves and spared from their own appalling taste. Well, it’s a step I could never take.

Why? Because anyone who modifies a car – even if they happen to do it very badly – has cars as a hobby. They’re using their free time on it. Spending their money on it. Quite often, they’re young. Frequently, it’s the first time they’ve tried it. Perhaps the first car they’ve had. Perhaps they can’t afford £300 a month for a PCP on a VW Golf R. But perhaps one day they will do that, so long as they like cars for that long.Only then somebody comes along and says: “Well, that’s a bag of old spanners. What a waste of your time and energy.”