A Public Place For The Private Car Market

  • Zoom Zoom

    Having older siblings, I missed the excitement of having a “new” car when I turned sixteen. Instead, I got to join the rotation of sharing the car once I was able to drive on my own. Although I didn’t get to experience the freshness of a car that was new to the family, I appreciated knowing what vehicle I had coming my way (two cars actually). When I was coming of age into my driving years, my family had a pair of older Mazda 626’s. The older one was a 1991 white 626 and the other was a 1997 forest green 626. Growing up in Minnesota, they were great little cars to zip around in the summer but became a very different experience in the brutal northern winters. 

    The cars were very light and easy to maneuver, which made them nice cars for learning to drive. I remember sitting in a gravel lot with my dad as I put the car into gear and the surprise of an idling engine inching the car forward. It didn’t take me long to get comfortable and I started to enjoy driving. I always liked driving other vehicles like snowmobiles, ATVs, and go-karts and the 626 felt closer to a go-kart than a pickup. I didn’t know much about the specifics of the car like horsepower, torque, or engine details, but I knew the feeling of freedom that access to the car offered me and that was enough. 

    Shortly after turning sixteen, the older white Mazda began breaking down on us so we were forced to sell it to a recycler but the little green sedan held on with us for a couple more years. I’ll always have fond memories of those first vehicles and the impact that having access to my own car had on me. 

  • In this “Ear To The Pavement” segment, we are going to share our thoughts on the Automotive market for 2023.

    With the predicted improvement in the chip supply, we expect 2023 to bring back relative normalcy to the market. 

    Most retailers are predicting a significant improvement in supply this year and the production of new vehicles to be both greater in numbers and more predictable for the future. Will we have an immediate return to pre-2020 new vehicle inventory and production levels? No, and we may not see those supply levels for some time, if ever again. 

    The supply chain improvement and potentially tightening economic factors will bring back more pricing competition between new and late-model used cars and the reduction of dealers willing to overpay for your used car. Because it will be easier to obtain a new unit directly from the manufacturer and the manufacturers will support dealers with selling tools such as rebates, cash back, and low-interest rates, which have been largely absent the past couple of years, it will make selling your used own car more like 2019 instead of ’21 and ’22. 

    To thrive in this new environment we just have to remember not only how we sold in 2019, but more importantly how we will sell in 2023 and beyond. 

    We will utilize all of our resources and take an organized tactical approach to listing your vehicle. We research the current value, and the best market, and make a detailed first-class presentation of our car that is in ready-to-sell condition, and have a step-by-step guide of how to complete the transaction at our fingertips.

  • John’s First Car

    Everyone remembers their first car and the stories of freedom it created. When you grow up the son of an Automobile dealer, the excitement is magnified due to all the neat cars coming and going, always wondering, “Is this the one?”

    Each time a cool car would come into the dealership you would hover around it hoping to hear “this one is yours” However, after many Trans Ams, Datsun Z cars, Camaros, Broncos, Blazers, and a multitude of other social life-changing machines came and went, I never heard those words! One day a very nondescript 1980 White Datsun 4X4 Pickup truck was parked around the side of the dealership and I was asked to take it and haul some boxes and other items over to another facility.

    I climbed in the truck and started it up, which fortunately was only a few years old and reasonably clean. It was pretty hot that day so I reached for the AC to find that this truck didn’t have that feature, no problem I thought I will roll the windows down and listen to some tunes, the windows were manual crank so that took a trip around to the passenger side to get the 235 air conditioning going, for those younger than boomers and early Gen Xers, 235 AC is 2 windows down and 35 miles per hour to create airflow! Once back in the driver’s seat to find one of the great Rock N Roll stations of the 80’s only to find this radio was AM only, once again it is likely many aren’t familiar, so a quick web search will yield some cool American Radio history and how large of a part the great FM radio stations of the era were a critical part of a teenager life find and that AM radio wasn’t what you wanted after the 1960s!

    It is reasonable to say the trip to haul boxes of files to another facility was uneventful and unfulfilling in a 1980 White Long Bed 4 Speed base model (no power equipment with vinyl floor and seats) Datsun truck with an Aluminium Camper Shell. After running multiple errands with this truck through the week I learned this would be the vehicle designated mine, admittedly there was some disappointment, but most importantly I had gained transportation, freedom, and hopefully, an instantly improved social life, plus my dirt bike would fit in the bed and I liked to hunt, fish, and camp and this wasn’t the worst vehicle for those pursuits. I expressed huge appreciation and in return became the designee for anyone who needed anything hauled. 

    It wasn’t until later I began to realize my Father’s genius, a son with a pickup truck who could and would haul anything asked, the ability to only haul one passenger, and a truck so slow the football team running back could run faster than the truck in the 40-yard dash, with a manual 4 speed had a top speed of 72 MPH. How could I get into trouble with these limitations? 

    Well, somehow I found a way!

  • In October of 2018, I was in a fender bender, yielding my 2008 VW Jetta “Totaled.” I had been living in Colorado for just over a year and needed to find a new vehicle. In Denver, the mountains are an hour away, and snow threatens half the year. The vehicle choice became obvious to me: a Toyota 4Runner. The big problem with Toyota 4Runners in Colorado is cost, you could call them “bricks of gold.” In the winter of 2018, (maybe the worst time to look for a 4×4 in Colorado) I started searching for a 4runner that would fit my criteria. I ran into a market that was not kind to someone with a tighter budget and limited time to spend driving to see those that were available. 

    I thought I might take a chance and started looking in the midwest for a prized 4Runner. What I found was shocking. Plenty of stock, and 20-30% less cost than what I found in Colorado. One that caught my eye was a 2004 4Runner Sport Edition with 147k miles, for $7800! A true bargain compared to anything I had found locally.

    Being from the Midwest, I had made the drive across I80 a few times, so that didn’t scare me. Plus, I was used to a little surface rust that could be found on the frame of a midwest vehicle, so that didn’t phase me, either. What concerned me was the transaction. How could I: make the deal, get a loan for an out-of-state car, handle the DMV issues, figure out logistics after the sale, and ultimately—Am I ok with buying a car I had not put eyes on other than the listing? With all those questions still running around my head, I pulled the trigger and bought the 4Runner sight unseen. Still, the stress during the whole adventure held over my head. Am I making the right decision? What if I get there and it doesn’t run properly? Can I make it back to Denver safely? 

    The 4Runner ended up being a gem, but I kept asking myself, why can’t this be easier? Is there some type of tool I could have used, especially in the world of modern technology, to simplify this process? This is when I thought if it doesn’t exist and it could help someone, let’s make it! I still have the paper napkin where I scribbled the first few ideas for CheckDrv. Yes, there is the truth behind the stories of scribbles on napkins starting businesses. So in 2022, we finally made it happen. We started CheckDrv. 

    CheckDrv is driven to make a transaction between two people as easy as it is to buy from a dealership. We welcome all people to share in the world of cars, whether it is a story of how you felt to get your first wheels or a road trip that makes you feel connected to the world and the people around you. This is not a place for car people, this is a place for people with cars.  

  • Car Stories: Row-Day-Oh

    1994 Isuzu Rodeo 

    I turned 16 when I was going into my Junior year of high school, a little later than my friends, and with much less cash than their summer jobs have yielded them. My two best friends have some pretty cool cars: One had bought a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the other had just bought his uncle’s 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The owner of the jeep, well his dad owned an auto body, so a sweet cherry flake over black base paint was sprayed on as soon as he got it. The Mitsubishi was a silver bullet, and it soon received 12” subs to give it the ultimate class of 2007 sound system.

    My car? A 1994 Isuzu Rodeo, or “Row-Day-oh” as we affectionately called her. She was red everything. Red paint color, red dash, red seats, red on red on red. I can still imagine pushing in the heating controls like I just had the car 4 months ago, although it has been 17 years since I last saw her. I can still smell that car sometimes, mostly like a gas can spilled out in the back.  I can still hear her when I think about it. There had been a “Cherry Bomb” muffler added by my father, so that car would seem “cool.”

    Looking back it wasn’t the cherry bomb that made her cool, it was the freedom of the road as a 16-year-old, the thought of having your whole life in front of you. Sure I may have wanted a new car, a cool car, but 4 wheels and a dream is all someone needs at that age. Besides, you can’t get in much trouble in a 1994 Isuzu, but we sure tried.  

  • Intro To CheckDrv

    Hello! Allow me to introduce myself– I am Eric Hill, Founder of CheckDrv. I started this company to help people get the most value out of their current vehicle and to protect them when buying their next car.

    I’ve always been one who wants a good deal and part of getting that good deal means putting the work in. Whether that is posting my current car online, dealing with all the tire kickers and pains associated with a sale, or dealing with all the hoops to jump through when buying a car from another person.

    This is our ultimate challenge, how do we create a tool that makes selling a vehicle in the private market as easy if not easier than trading your car into a dealership. We want to put resources in your hands to sell like a dealer. We also want to create a buying process that is as easy as sitting in a dealership for 4 hours without sitting in a dealership for 4 hours.

    We are asking for your help on this journey. If we are missing something, if we have too much of something, we want to know. We want to create a place where people can get answers to their car questions, where you can receive help selecting the right car, and we want you to tell the world about a car that meant so much to you. This is not just a place for car people, it’s a place for memories that involve a car.

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