A Federal Trade Commission analysis has determined that legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Oberweis to allow Sunday car sales in Illinois would “provide significant benefits for Illinois consumers.”
Senate Bill 2629 repeals the 30-year prohibition that has prevented Illinois consumers from being able to buy cars on Sundays.
“Since 1983, car dealerships in Illinois have been forbidden to be open on Sundays under penalty of a $1,500 fine,” Senator Oberweis said. “A majority of states allow automobile sales on Sundays, and car dealers in Illinois should be free to choose whether they wish to be open or closed on Sundays without government interference.”
The 25th District Senator asked the Federal Trade Commission to comment on the likely competitive impact of Senate Bill 2629. The Commission’s Office of Policy Planning Bureau of Competition/Bureau of Economics analyzed the legislation and sent its findings in a letter dated March 26. The letter’s conclusion states, in part,
“Repealing the Sunday sales ban would ensure that the competitive process, not legislative directive, determines auto dealers’ hours of operation and the availability of other related services. The current law makes it more difficult for Illinois consumers to comparison shop and raises their research costs, which may lead to higher prices, less favorable terms of sale and lease, reduced output of sales and service, and a market that is unresponsive to consumer preferences.”
Filed on December 3, 2013, Senate Bill 2629 has been assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee, but has not been allowed a public hearing.
“This analysis and recommendations from the FTC bolster the argument for repealing this ban. Senate Bill 2629 should not be bottled up in committee. It should be sent to the Senate for full, public legislative debate,” Senator Oberweis said. “We need to rethink the weak argument that car dealers should be closed Sundays to give their employees a day off and keep costs down. Plenty of other employers and stores set their hours – with full consideration of what their competition is doing – without input from the government.”
Senator Oberweis said there also appears to be some early support from the public, based on an informal media poll.
On November 22, 2013, a Chicago Tribune columnist took a look at the proposal to end the ban on Sunday car sales, pointing out that consumers want the change and would benefit saying, “Welcome, at last, to modern commerce. You know why competitive reasons will force car dealers to open on Sundays? Because a lot of people are off work on Sundays and free to go shopping for cars!”
The blog by Eric Zorn also asked readers: Should Illinois law continue to forbid car dealers from being open on Sundays? These most recent results posted: Yes: 38.43%; No: 61.57%.