Handsome is as handsome does. Our old Volvo estate recently received a sideswipe from a white van and, after 178,000 loyal miles, the insurers decided to write it off. I was outraged. It may not be the most fuel efficient car, but, if we’re trying to save the planet, scrapping a vehicle because it’s got a couple of flesh wounds to its back bumper and side panel seems to be a hideous waste of resources. The energy involved in digging the iron out of the ground and making a new car will far exceed the benefit of stopping the old warrior bashing on for another 30,000 miles.

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The other side of the story is safety. I want my sons to drive around in a tank after they take their driving tests- the Volvo had their names on it. So the insurers were amazed, when, ignoring the Government’s £2,000 scrappage deal to help us buy a new car, we decided to buy the bruised old Volvo back from them and have her patched up. And, £200 worth of repairs later, the old girl is back in the drive, costing me nothing and having saved a tiny bit of the planet.