Brokers in the North are keeping it real.

Following a recent report by Cumbrian outfit Peart claiming the average age of a Bentley, Aston Martin or Ferrari owner has fallen from 45 to 35, Backchat was informed that Peart’s own employees were not rushing to upgrade their wheels.

The age and driving habits of Peart underwriting agency manager Brian Gent had been shrouded in mystery, following his claim that “many [people] want to show their success by owning one of these prestige marques”.

But Backchat research has revealed that Gent is not himself the owner of a flash motor.

According to Peart managing director Damian Keeling, Gent is: “diplomat-ically over 60”, while his family car is a Toyota.

Indeed, far from succumbing to a mid-life-buy-a-Ferrari crisis, when he joined Peart 20 years ago, Gent – described as a well-known character in the “east London insurance world” – had other priorities in mind.

According to Keeling, he made the move northward to “work on his fly-fishing”.

Keeling said: “Sadly, he is neither under 45 nor a Bentley driver, though no doubt he would like to be both.”

Chances are, however, he is just as happy curling up next to the fire with JR Hartley and a mug of Horlicks.