Where I live, and probably where you live too, there are more than enough bumpy roads. And I’ve lately realised that in almost every new car I drive, I half-grit my teeth when I see a ridge, pothole, ripple or dip approaching its low profiles.

What I’m preparing for is a thumping, small-scale shockwave to earthquake through the car. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t but with most cars, you can reckon on a hard thudding at some point on every drive.

What made me notice the half-gritting bit is driving something pretty old, but with a mileage accumulation low enough that I’m confident it behaves pretty much as its makers intended. The car in question is one I own, and rather shamefully, I’ve been too busy to use it much over the past year.