Should car dealers start selling on Sundays?

  • State Sen. Jim Oberweis says car dealers should be allowed to sell on Sundays.

    State Sen. Jim Oberweis says car dealers should be allowed to sell on Sundays. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/6/2015 2:31 PM

Sunday is a day when you can wander car lots across Illinois, look at sticker prices and not hear a word from a salesman.

But state Sen. Jim Oberweis says it's time for a 30-year-old state law that prohibits car sales on Sundays to go. After all, the Sugar Grove Republican asks, what other businesses are told by the government they can only serve customers six days per week?

 

"That makes no sense whatsoever," Oberweis said.

"This is my belief in what government has a legitimate right to do," he said.

Illinois has banned car sales on Sundays for more than 30 years, a law that's supported by a majority of car dealers.

Colin Wickstrom, of Wickstrom Auto Group in Barrington, says there's low demand to sell cars on Sundays.

"If our customers were asking for it, we'd want it," he said.

Plus, he said, lenders are generally unavailable on Sundays, which would make it tough to close deals on the 80 percent of cars that leave the lot via a loan.

"Financing a car isn't like buying a toaster or getting a scoop of ice cream," Wickstrom said.

Oberweis doesn't buy that argument, given that more than 30 other states allow car dealers to stay open on Sundays. He says dealers don't have to open their doors every day, but the state shouldn't tell them when they can't.

"That's just absolutely wrong," Oberweis said.

He tried pushing the idea in previous years, but it wasn't put up for a vote in the Illinois Senate. The new year offers him another shot at the plan.

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