The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) seems rather upset that the average car on UK roads is now 7.44 years old, a two-month increase on a year ago.

Not on the Ruppert forecourt it isn’t. If I just take the average age of the cars parked outside my window with MOTs then it is 17.33, presumably recurring. If I add in my fourth car that is in bits and may well be road legal before 2012 is out, then it shoots up to 25 years precisely.

What I don’t like is the SMMT’s view that running old cars is stupid and I quote, “Cash-strapped motorists are keeping cars for longer but this could be a false economy as the average new car is 20 per cent more efficient than a typical seven-year-old car, saving the average motorist around £400 each year.”

Can’t say I agree with that on any level. Surely in depreciation alone you’d be mad to buy a brand new car if all you were going to save is £400 a year?

I’ve got less argument with the fact that the number of cars in the UK has increased to 31,362,716 in 2011, a year-on-year rise of 0.3 per cent, or 104,519 units. I was interested that the SMMT managed to calculate that the average car, over its lifetime, will have four owners, and there are currently more than 5.3 million cars on our roads that are more than 12 years old.