Shop for a new or used car and your local car dealership may be closed. Notably, in 13 states dealerships may not conduct business on Sundays, while in another seven, their hours are restricted. In the remaining states, districts, and territories, car dealerships may choose to remain closed. Why is that? For reasons we will explore.
The Nature of Car Dealerships
Car dealerships are labor-intensive entities with scores of employees. From the sales staff to support teams and service personnel, scores of people work at each location. The hours are often long with dealerships open most nights and on Saturdays. Staffing is always a challenge with people needing to work early and late.
Dealerships in states where they are allowed to remain open often choose to stay closed. For one, staff may choose to attend their local church, then spend the remainder of the day with their families. With Americans busy at work, Sundays are the one day where parents and their children can come together without other pressures, such as work and school.
Closing on Sundays also means dealers may attract candidates who value their time off, particularly a set day each week. In a competitive world, it isn’t just customers who are needed to support a business, but the staff who get the work done. Employee retention is critical to building a successful enterprise. Keeping them motivated with competitive pay, strong benefits, and paid time off is essential.
Government and Private Business Interface
Another reason for keeping dealerships closed on Sundays involves who else is also not at work. The government is largely shut down, including the local division of motor vehicles. The DMV handles paperwork, including registration, licenses, and taxes.
Your insurance company is also typically closed, although, like banking, some tasks may be automated. Concerning banks, the loan process is computerized with most lending conducted without direct human intervention, at least not initially. Still, without insurance and banking involvement, the process on Sundays is much different than during the week.
Shop the Lot
Without sales staff on hand and the dealership doors locked, what can shoppers do on Sundays? In many cases, you can access the dealer lots with most inventory on hand adjacent to the building. This presents a solid opportunity to learn what vehicles are available and perhaps find the one you want.
New vehicles on display must have a Monroney, which is the sticker affixed to the driver’s side window with full details about the car. For used cars, the required details are not as stringent, but many dealerships either include a copy of the original Monroney or a spec sheet. Details about price, delivery charge, taxes, fuel economy, crash data, and such are included on the Monroney.
With your cell phone in hand, you can also pull up the dealer’s inventory online. Sometimes, details about a vehicle not listed on the car are mentioned online. Accompanying interior images of the vehicle supply a better vantage point of the cabin than what you may be able to see from standing outside.
The additional information about a specific vehicle usually includes the current mileage, extended warranty information, discounts, financing, and other data. You may also find the name and phone number of a salesperson to contact. Instructions on how to reach the staff and perhaps tender an offer may be included. In some cases, a dealer may allow you to hold a vehicle by placing a deposit online. Then, as soon as the outlet opens on Monday, you can reach out to complete the transaction.
Finalizing the Deal
A Sunday closure does not mean your quest to find a vehicle ends there. Instead, it can allow you to prepare for a negotiation, secure a deal, and bring home your new ride on Monday. And with the DMV, insurers, and bankers at their desks, the process is usually accomplished within a few hours.
See Also —Dealer Markups and How to Avoid Them