“Blue Laws” in Texas
In some states, car dealerships cannot be open on Sundays. It’s one of the more random commonly found (and enforced) laws in the U.S. today. Does this rule apply in Texas?
Texas does not have a law prohibiting car dealerships from being open on Sunday. However, it does have a law that a dealership cannot be open for both Saturday and Sunday – it must be closed for one of them. Even on a holiday weekend, it’s illegal for a Texas car dealership to be open the whole time.
Why are car dealerships closed on Sundays?
The law requiring automotive dealerships to be closed on certain days dates back to something called “blue laws.” These began in colonial times and were used to regulate how people spent their time on Sunday, with the goal of encouraging more pious behavior and observance of the sabbath. Over time, the required day off turned more into an obligatory day of rest for workers.
Most blue laws have been repealed by the modern day, but two persist in Texas. One is that hard liquor cannot be purchased on a Sunday, and the other is that car dealerships must close for at least one day of the weekend.
Should the law restricting dealership hours be changed?
Strangely, the law enforcing the closing of dealerships does not seem to be heavily affecting consumers or business. Dealerships say that customers don’t typically demand Sunday car-shopping, and they don’t believe they are missing out on potential sales.
This has become even more true as so much of the car-shopping process has moved online with the rise of the internet. Customers don’t feel the need to spend as much time in a dealership observing the cars in-person when they’ve already spent hours researching at home.