During the recent run-up to our trip to Panama, my children needed several different vaccines. In the good old days we had been using the Royal Free Hospital travel clinic in Hampstead, but much to our chagrin discovered that it had closed. We were forced to swiftly find an alternative, in the shape of Nomad Travel Clinic, Turnpike Lane. The clinic, which I review in a separate short piece, is great, but driving there and parking...not so much. Long story short, the first trip I got a parking ticket. The second trip, I was so determined to avoid a ticket that, ensnared by a panicked search for a free space in the darkness and sleet, I managed to drive over a raised kerb and puncture two tyres.

There are two resources that I would always consult in this instance: National Tyres and Autocare and Tyre Shopper. For those of you yet to discover these online lifesavers, they are a must. Easy to use, great value, with a fantastic product range and a range of services that you can totally bespoke to your needs. If you get through tyres like I do, or simply want to remove the hassle from thinking about them, bookmark the pages.

Fun tyres travel fact: winter tyres in certain conditions are mandatory in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.

Phileas French