No sooner do they buy their dearly beloved offspring one kit than Town, City or United FC add a new logo or stripe to their shirts. And just as there's nothing worse for the dedicated fan than wearing last year's strip, so there's nothing worse for a high mileage company car driver than driving last year's technology.
This is particularly the case with Ford's diesel engines, which are as different as home and away kits. Sadly, we're testing last season's away kit with the Mondeo TDdi, whose clattery shortcomings are brutally exposed by the excellent new TDCi common rail diesel engine.
What's worse, the TDdi has not even had the virtue of reliability, spending the festive season sidelined in the local garage after a power shortage brought the car to a standstill on the A1.
With no electricity, the power steering and hydraulic brakes ceased abruptly, leaving me counting my blessings that I had not joined the fast-flowing traffic of the A1.
The fault lay with the engine management system which has now been corrected by our local dealer, TC Harrison, although the difficult third gear remains elusive, still requiring a purposeful shove on the gear stick to engage.
Since the breakdown the Mondeo has been doing its best to make friends with me again, freeing me from the unpleasant early morning chore of scraping ice off the windscreen. In seconds, the Quickclear heated front windscreen dispenses with the ice.
And with icy roads in mind, Ford is now offering £500 worth of extra safety features such as emergency brake assistance and automatic rear locking for the miserly sum of £50 to add to the standard equipment such as manual air conditioning, front-loading CD player, power operated and heated door mirrors, front and side curtain airbags and rear and centre arm/head rests.
One of its most endearing characteristics is its sports-style seats, which offer plenty of support and a high level of comfort, a perfect complement to the Mondeo's highly responsive steering and handling dynamics.
This has helped me gradually warm again to the Mondeo, although 30 seconds in a short term test TDCi has convinced me that should I be selecting this car it would be the new diesel that gets my vote. After all, who wants last season's kit?