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?