04 Nov Member Chronicles: Carjojo
— by John Dinkel
I first met Peter Levy in 1985 when he was evolving from a marketing job with Apple to creating his own company. Peter turned me to the Light Side of computers and helped me spec out my very first Mac.
Peter’s visionary idea was IntelliChoice, Inc., the first company to develop and distribute consumer-centric automobile data on the true cost of vehicle ownership. Peter understood that it wasn’t simply what you initially paid for the car that defined the thickness of your automotive wallet. If you didn’t know the typical costs for maintenance, repairs, insurance, depreciation, financing, fuel and state fees over a period of time—for IntelliChoice it was five years—that bargain $10,000 Hodge Podge might turn out to be your worst nightmare compared to that initially $3000 more expensive Whiz Bang you decided to pass on.
Peter published The Complete Car Cost Guide until 1997 when he sold the company to Primedia. And my copies share prime real estate in my auto library with my collection of Road & Track magazines.
Levy has a proven history of helping consumers come to grips with the costs of vehicle ownership, and his latest venture hits right at the heart of the angst of purchasing a new vehicle: His new company Carjojo goes where no new car buying service has gone before by employing Big Data to provide insider information on all 3.5 million U.S. new cars currently for sale. And then it uses this data to negotiate a purchase price for buyers based on proprietary algorithms to predict the lowest prices dealers will accept.
I think it’s the slickest deal for consumers since the invention of sliced bread. But I’m obviously biased because I’ve known Peter for three decades . . . about 30 years. So take a look for yourself and let me know if you agree that Carjojo is real not Memorex.