If you’re in the market for a car, then you might have heard a common rumor that dealers aren’t open on Sunday. Is there any truth to this claim? Are car dealers open on Sundays, and if so what time?
Twelve U.S. states ban the sale of motor vehicles on Sundays and impose penalties on those who do. These laws are a holdover from when religious leaders had authority to restrict certain activities on the weekends.
The rule against selling cars on the weekends is a bizarre one and doesn’t seem to have much merit. However, the history of this law goes back as early as the 13th century in England.
And if you are shopping for a new car, you’ve probably already done your research and chosen the make and model that fits your budget.
You’re now ready to visit the car dealership, but have one pressing question – are car dealers open on Sundays? Unfortunately, 12 states in the U.S. strictly prohibit the sale of cars on Sundays.
In fact, even if the state doesn’t prohibit car sales in a certain state, many dealerships still choose to close anyway.
The reason – to match the operating hours of the banks. Hard to get a loan when all the banks are closed!
So which U.S. states prohibit, and which states allow sales on a Sunday you ask?
Let’s get into that next, we’ll answer all of your questions regarding Sunday hours at the car dealership.
Why Are Dealerships Closed on Sundays?
The reason some states ban sales on Sundays is due to Blue Laws, a series of regulations intended to encourage people to attend church.
To ensure churchgoers attended, religious authorities instituted laws banning most businesses from operating, including dealerships.
Essentially, blue laws refer to regulations dictating religious practices and related activities that take place on Sundays over specific government jurisdictions.
Spanning from the early 20th century until now, these historic laws profoundly shaped how Sundays were observed depending upon which community or state an individual belonged to.
What States Don’t Allow Car Sales on Sunday?
In certain states, these Blue Laws are in effect to prevent the dealership from selling cars on Sunday. While most states have repealed these laws, the following states still prohibit the sale of cars on Sunday:
- New Jersey
In these states, dealers caught making sales on Sunday are at risk of losing their license, which is why all dealerships in these states are closed on Sundays.
The following states have some restrictions on sales, only allowing car dealerships to sell during certain parts of the day:
- Rhode Island
- North Dakota
Believe it or not, most dealerships agree with this Sunday closing time for the following reasons:
- Matches banks – Because banks are usually closed on Sundays, making transactions over the weekend is more difficult.
- Gives employees a break – An extra day of rest increases employee happiness.
- Reduces operational costs – Closing up shop for the day reduces expenses.
- Of course, buyers can still research information online and just visit the shop the following day.
What Time Do Car Dealerships Open?
While times may vary depending on location, most dealerships open between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM Monday through Saturday.
Be sure to check ahead of time as some places open earlier or later, while others might be closed certain days altogether.
You can usually find this information on the dealership’s website or by calling their main phone number.
What Time Do Dealerships Close?
Most dealerships close between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday. However, these times may change depending on the location or individual dealer policies.
Can I Browse the Dealership Inventory After Hours?
Yes, if the car dealership is closed you are allowed to walk the dealership lot and browse inventory. In fact, this is common place for many that are car shopping, but not yet ready to talk to a sales person.
Final Thoughts: Are Car Dealers Open on Sundays
In a few states, car dealerships can operate on Sundays, or may simply choose to have the day off. In other states, however, laws mandate that dealerships cannot conduct business on Sundays as a holdover from Blue Laws.
While the religious justification for these laws may have faded, the effects remain. Sunday motor vehicle sales bans still exist in many states.