Let's start with a question. Do I have 'MUG' tattooed on my forehead? I was recently helping a friend buy a car when we stumbled across a Mondeo. It had low mileage, service history, and was in excellent condition. Sounds tempting, but there's a problem. The price is £2,750 – whereas the actual value is around £1,000.

Overpricing is still too common at garages. Dealers who do this invariably assume that there's always someone who'll overpay. However, you can easily protect yourself by doing some research, e.g. by consulting price guides. It's also important to look around to see what similar vehicles are selling for.

Whenever you're buying a car it's important not to get overwhelmed by sales patter. Dealers always claim their vehicles are fantastic value for money. Researching values independently is an essential step to avoid over paying. By the way, I've found a great Mondeo if you need one - it's only £2,750.