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Parker's forecourt focus: The buyers are back!

With private sales markedly down for the last three months of 2005, there’s no doubt car sales in general have been sliding.

However, from the activity Parker’s has seen at the start of January, sales could be due for a bounce back.

With pre-reg bargains and manufacturer promotions coming thick and fast in the new year, buyers are showing real interest.

Indeed, the consumer may have engaged in the old trick of seeing who will blink first, holding off buying at the tail end of 2005 to see if the sales would strike in January.

Consumers are also increasingly using the web to research their car choice, car values and cars for sale, so they can spot those that are truly good value for money.

Right now there are some great offerings. Just five grand will get a year-old Smart Forfour with 10k on the clock. Not at all bad for a car that has an eye-catching design, handles well and is backed by Mercedes.

The Ford Focus continues to be one of the most popular nearly-new buys down to sheer choice and availability, from both franchised dealers and independents. Deals are also being offered.

In the executive market the MkI Lexus IS is proving to be great value as the last of the new stock was sold off at knockdown prices to make way for the new model. The V-reg S model is creeping under the £10k barrier at franchised dealers and pay an extra £900 on top to secure the more desirable SE. Things are looking up.

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