Monday, July 05, 2010

Utah conservatives, repeal the car dealer blue law

Yesterday, as I drove past a car dealership, I saw a couple of prospective buyers navigate the barrier to check out a car. Of course, they couldn't buy the car, thanks to our all-wise legislature.

We are often told by the conservative wing of our legislature that the government should not unduly interfere with private business, let the market decide, etc. I will never believe this is a sincere view unless our legislature repeals the un-conservative law it passed several years ago barring car dealerships from being open on Sunday. Oh, technically the dealership must be closed on Saturday or Sunday, but realistically, which one are 99.9% of dealers going to choose? The statute (Utah Code sect. 41-3-210) reads:
(11) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (11)(c) [trade shows], or in cases of undue hardship or emergency as provided by rule by the division, a dealer or salesperson licensed under this chapter may not, on consecutive days of Saturday and Sunday, sell, offer for sale, lease, or offer for lease a motor vehicle.
That's right; you can't even offer to sell a car - so much for that free speech thing. At the time, I asked a senator what in the world was going on, and received the candid response that the legislator pushing the law - a Democrat, if I recall - had done so as a favor to Larry H. Miller. Good grief.

That was then, this is now. Car dealers should be able to decide for themselves whether to be open 7 days a week. What's next - movie theaters can't show movies on consecutive Saturday-Sundays? Realtors can't show houses on Saturday and Sunday?

This is a bad law. Conservative up, Legislature, and get rid of it.

8 comments:

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Brielle Franklin said...

Thanks so much for posting this article. I have been looking for a new car at a South New Jersey Chevy dealer. I am actually glad that they do not sell cars on Sundays, people have to relax and dealers need at least one day off. Thanks anyway for the post. I found it interesting and learned a few more things about this law.

Anonymous said...

This is an absurd law. I agree 100%. Let the market choose if it wants to sell cars on both weekend days. If the sales staff want a weekend in other states they get it mon/tues or wed/thur ... that's just the nature of the industry.

Anonymous said...

This just shows more how corrupt Utah politics are. I can't believe there's this kind of regulation in the market. It's not any better than no beer sales on Sunday. What is the logic to this law other than that Miller didn't want other dealers to be open Sunday and he could only guarantee it by getting a law passed? I'm looking for a car right now and my husband only has Sundays off, so we have to schedule him to have a day off just to look for a car because of this law. If a dealer wants to choose based on their clientele that they don't want to be open Sundays, great. But regulating all dealers is messed up. So much for free agency, Utah Mormons are all about controlling everyone else.