Do you think Christmas car commercials are as ridiculous as I do?

You know the ones I am talking about. The ones that are playing nonstop as you try to watch football on the weekends.  A spouse comes downstairs on Christmas morning to find a brand-new car or truck in the driveway and is overjoyed with the thoughtful present. In any realistic scenario, this purchase would probably be followed up by a financial counseling session.

Although it may not be the best plan to surprise someone with a car, states like Louisiana make it harder to shop for vehicles because of the prohibition on manufacturers’ ability to sell directly to consumers. The car buying experience many Americans are familiar with is going to a third-party dealer, but through technology and innovation, car shopping is rapidly changing. Some new car companies are uninterested in the third party dealer model and would prefer to sell to the customer directly. The car companies believe they best know about their product, and manufacturers like Tesla, Lordstown, and Rivian want to be a one stop shop for the car buying and maintenance experience.

Through the internet, there are even more ways for consumers to go about the car buying experience. Online shopping, car deliveries, and vending machines are just a few of the new ways people can buy a car.

These new innovations to the traditional car buying experience should be a welcome addition to the vehicle market. Yet only a handful of states currently allow direct sales of vehicles to customers, and the lack of direct sales is a loss both for consumers and job seekers.

Customers clearly benefit when there are more options available to them. Without being able to try out a new vehicle because manufacturers aren’t able to operate in Louisiana, many customers may not feel comfortable making such an expensive purchase. They may instead settle for a vehicle they prefer less or spend more than they have to ship the vehicle from a state that allows these innovative new business models. Not allowing direct sales also means fewer jobs since these companies can’t hire people to run showrooms or service centers in state.

When it comes to what car ends up in the driveway Christmas morning, I think we can all agree we should talk to our significant other before making such a large purchase. But what kind and how we buy our cars should be up to the consumer, not the government.