As it’s the weekend and all that, many of us will be popping out to look at cars that just happen to be for sale. So how you go about checking whether the price is right?

Do you buy a book from the newsagent packed full of prices, data and thumbnail-sized pictures? Or perhaps you just look online at similar cars and specs and work from there?

Over the years I have been involved with printed price guides and even compiled them, which I do feel may have shortened my life considerably.

I do favour looking at real prices, which means local adverts. Knowing what to pay locally is important; prices do vary on a national scale, even though the Internet has levelled the playing field somewhat.

It is important to know roughly what to pay for a car, the old cricket pitch figure, although there are so many mitigating factors to consider when it comes to mileage, specification and condition.

So are printed price guides old hat? I still see them being clutched keenly to private bidders chests so they must be of some use. Otherwise do you just search engine it?