Buying a focus

Hi
I'm looking to buy a new Focus saloon ghia (as I can't find what I want used) and I'd wondered if anyone has purchased a car from an internet broker. I'm looking at www.drivethedeal.co.uk and www.carbrokeruk.com
Local Ford dealers aren't particularily interested as they don't have what I want on their forcourt, but the prices from the brokers make a new one, to my spec, seem very tempting. The cars are uk dealer supplied, are brand new with a 54 plate but one of the brokers told me it may have been previously registered to a holding company. Does this mean it has been sitting in a field for 6 months?
I can't believe my local dealer can match their prices and to be honest I really don't relish the thought of haggling. Ford online is about 1600 more expensive. So what's the catch? Will the local dealer service the car or refuse to have anything to do with it? I'm not too worried about resale value as I tend to keep my cars until they die, as my 17 year old Orion will confirm.
Any comments/thoughts?
Thanks
Sue
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Re the holding company thing.... this is what's known a pre-registered. Dealers often get a discount for buying in bulk but they have to register them even though they don't have a buyer. The cars will sit on some airfield until such times as the dealer can shift them. The only problem is that the car is technically second hand, even though it may have zero miles. You are not the first registered keeper and the log book will show one previous owner.
This isn't such a bad thing provided that you get a really good discount. I bought my Focus this way back in 1999. List price at the time was 14,500 and I paid 10,700 which was a good price at that time.
You have to beware that the spec you get might not be the current spec. When I bought my car the current spec for a 99 LX included aircon but mine was actually built in 98 (and had sat in a field for almost a year) so didn't have it. For some reason it had ABS which wasn't supposed to have so I was fairly happy.
Don't worry too much about getting it serviced. They can't refuse to service it if you buy elsewhere. In reality, most service departments are separate from their sales departments and they will take business from wherever they can get it. When you find the deal that suits you, take it to your local dealer and ask them to match it. At least then you have given them the opportunity to sell you a car and its then their problem if they can't.
Do try and find something that's nearly new though (six months old) and let someone else take the initial depreciation hit.
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A little advice You will find it harder to sell a saloon than a hatchback so haggle hard

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Read my experience :-) I bought a Mondeo tdci 130LX from my local dealer (Atlantic Ford Stockport) 6 months ago. the car was brand new 13,495 (including metalic paint and on the road costs which at the time was over 3000 under list price. How did I do it? Well like yourself , I did some online research and got a price from a car broker www.new-car-discount.com .Their on the road price was 13169. I printed the quotation and took it to Atlantic Ford. The dealer couldnt match it but for the sake of a few hundred quid I thought the price was reasonable and buying from the dealer was the best option. As mentioned in previous posts to the group, buying from a broker usually results in you being the 2nd owner as cars are pre registered making you the second owner. Remember, the list price is a starting point for negotiation ,taking the quote I got online ,gave me more power to negotiate the car at the right price.Incidently, my story was published in What Car? July 2004 as achieving the best deal of the month. I hope this tactic can help you and others considering buying new.
Good luck. Howie.

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Thanks for the replies! I've taken the plunge and ordered a new one from a Ford dealer, not quite the cheapest but since I'm want to be sure of what I was getting I figured it was the safest option!
However, I'm not sure when I'll get it because they may stop production of the old style before my gets built. Hope my Orion can hold on for a bit longer.
Sue
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