Car Dealers Divided Over Sunday Sales

In 11 states, including Colo., Maine and Minn., you can’t buy a car on Sunday. On the second busiest shopping day of the week, you can’t shop for a car thanks to Blue laws in these states and many counties across the country. Eighty million car buyers nationwide aren’t able to shop for a car on Sunday. 

You’d think that religious activists or voters with some sort of quaint things-ain’t-like-they-used-to-be sentiment would be behind the ban on Sunday sales. In fact, it’s the dealers themselves who keep this ban up.
Barry Newman of The Wall Street Journal interviewed two dealers with opposing views in R.I., where the ban on Sunday auto sales was lifted last year. Jim Botvin, owner of Colonial Toyota in Smithfield, thought he should be able to sell his cars on Sundays, when almost every other business, including liquor stores, is allowed to be open.  He even opened up illegally a few times in Gandhi-like nonviolent protest.
But other dealers like Paul Masse, who sells Chevrolets in Wakefield, would rather go out of business than sell on Sundays, even if it means he misses out on one-seventh the selling time.
"When I was a kid, on Sunday you were in church," Masse said. "I don’t make it every Sunday now, but I’ll tell you what: Even if you’re not a Catholic, Sunday might be the only day you can go visit your mother."
In the 11 states and assorted counties that still have Blue laws for car sales, buyers have chose between waiting until Monday and traveling out of state for their car purchases.  Since most people work Monday through Friday, dealerships supporting the Blue laws could be hurting their sales in the name of tradition.