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 CheckDrive. Yes, there is the truth behind the stories of scribbles on napkins starting businesses. So in 2022, we finally made it happen. We started CheckDrive.
CheckDrive 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.