Discussion needed on car dealer ban law

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 27, 2001

It’s no secret around here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2001

It’s no secret around here.

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If you’re thinking about buying a car, you head out to the dealers’ lots on Sundays to browse through the selections. That way you’re not bothered by sales staff trying to find you the perfect vehicle in the right price range.

Many car buyers start out their car shopping this way, only to return when they find a vehicle of interest on a dealer’s lot. Some dealers take advantage of that factor and leave notepads and mailboxes outside their dealerships so Sunday shoppers can obtain additional information such as pricing and availability.

Apparently, however, dealers like the fact that they don’t have to operate their lots and showrooms on Sundays. In fact, the state has a ban on car dealers operating their businesses on Sunday. That means buyers must visit showrooms through the week or during typically reduced hours on Saturdays to buy a new vehicle.

Three bills have been introduced in the Legislature so far this session that seek to repeal Minnesota’s Sunday ban on car sales. It’s not the first time it’s come up at the Capitol or in courtrooms. Each time, the law was left standing.

Dealers feel that if they must open an additional day to remain competitive with other dealers that their overhead costs will rise. They also like the extra day of rest for their employees.

The issue deserves debate in the Legislature, with fair comments heard from both sides of the issue. Consumers and dealers need to offer their input. Legislators need to listen.

Only then can a decision be made whether or not to repeal this blue law.