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Car shoppers may find deals with President's Day weekend sales push

CNBC

If you're in the market for a new car, there are more than a few dealerships that would be happy to help you over the next few days. div > div.group > p:first-child"> The three-day weekend, capped by President's Day on Monday, is the first big sales weekend of the year. With auto sales coming off their January lull, manufacturers and dealerships are offering holiday-related discounts on some of their inventory. "This is the first real sale of the year, when people get their sales hats on and start promotions," said Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com. "It's a warmup for bigger sales you'll see later in the year." Even if you think your heart is set on a particular make and model, it's wise to do some legwork before you head to the dealership. Here are some tips for making smart financial decisions about your next car and to make the purchase process go more smoothly. Assess the market Before you even set foot in a showroom, it's worthwhile doing some research online first. If you have some flexibility, you might discover a great deal on a car similar to the one you were thinking about. You also might find a difference in price among local dealerships on the same car. Or, you might find a dealership that has a special deal going — say, picking up the tab for the sales tax on your purchase — that could reduce your overall cost.…