In theory, then, manufacturers are giving you free money to get wrapped up in one of their PCP schemes, or to turn up at their showrooms with a part-exchange. But I know you are smarter than that. Use not a great deal of your own cash to buy some transportation without the worry of comparing APRs or getting GAP insurance.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage

Innocenti Mini, mileage – 6979: All I’ve been doing is safety checks on the Italian Job. Pumping up the tyres, checking the oil, which stays bang on, and very occasionally dribbling in some coolant. If I fill the expansion tank to the correct level, it just piddles out after a run. I watch the temperature gauge closely and it glues itself to 90. When I first got it, there was always a whiff of steam from under the bonnet, but after a service that stopped. Instead of a boring ‘checking levels’ image, here we are prepping with a picnic basket and folding chairs for an afternoon out. We had such a nice time that I forgot to take any photos in a field. Next time.

Reader’s ride

Toyota MR2: Tom has an interesting tale to tell: “About 15 years ago, I bought a Mk1 MR2 with a year’s MOT for £250. I sold it after a trouble-free year for £130.

“Next was an E-reg Polo for £100, which lasted the nine months of MOT it had. This was followed by a 106 for free from a family member, which was swapped after a couple of years for a K-reg Fiesta. This sadly was stolen and burnt out but I managed to haggle the insurers up to £400. By my calculations, this four-car run left me £180 up in total. I love Bangernomics.”