Our ancient Citroën Berlingo has a new owner. It departs after 19 years of faithful service (apart from the two broken front springs and some electrical glitches) for a better life. I can’t say that I’m feeling brilliant about this, but I would be feeling worse were it not for the fact that its new owner is a fellow hack and Berlingo fancier, James Walshe, who will revere it, spruce it and put it to better use than I’ve recently done.

Why sell? After all, as the Steering Committee pointed out, it isn’t valuable and it has cost almost nothing to own. The harsh truth is that it’s departing our four-car domestic lineup to make space for the 71-plate Dacia Duster that I’ve been driving for the past 11,000 miles and now can’t face sending back.

As I’ve said before, the Duster (much like the Berlingo) has traits and capabilities way beyond its cost. Better still, it’s an image-free choice: I have a weakness for cars with zero knob appeal. Selling the Citroën still feels like the worst ‘car thing’ that I’ve done for ages, but experience says I will get over it.


Prime Ministerial follies are in full swing, and I’m enjoying them – or would be if I were confident there were enough talent on offer. It’s a foolish car hack who says anything political, but what the hell: I see this change as a chance to fine-tune the UK’s automotive electrification plans so that they align exactly with whatever the EU is planning.

Please don’t take this with some kind of proBrexit or anti-Brexit stance: it’s simply a call for pragmatism. Britain’s car makers export 80% of their cars, and two-thirds of those go to Europe. Why not deliver our biggest and best customers exactly what they want? The UK’s car industry is in dire straits and needs all possible help from the political class – who practically fell over one another to claim responsibility for its success three or four years ago. Payback time, chaps.


02 Triumph stag beaulieu front quarter