The saddlepoint approximation as developed by Daniels  is an extremely accurate method for approximating probability distributions. Econometric and statistical applications of the technique to densities of statistics of interest are often hindered by the requirements of explicit knowledge of the c.g.f. and the need to obtain an analytical solution to the saddlepoint defining equation. In this paper, we show the conditions under which any approximation to the saddlepoint is justified and suggest a convenient solution. We illustrate with an approximate saddlepoint expansion of the Durbin-Watson test statistic.