Derek Bieri, the host of the popular YouTube channel Vice Grip Garage, describes his car-related content as “budget builds, rescues, and how to’s for the common folk.”
He must be doing something right, as he has amassed nearly 1.2 million faithful subscribers and close to 240 million views since joining the platform in 2007—not to mention his own TV show, Roadworthy Rescues, which premiered on Motortrend in September 2022.
Derek, his wife Jessica Bieri, and their sons have always lived and worked out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with shops in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. They recently made a major move to Tennessee and uploaded a video explaining why.
Derek described the cost of living in Minnesota versus Tennessee as “night and day.” Between multiple mortgages and rent payments, utilities, taxes, and insurance, moving to Tennessee is saving the Bieris “tremendous amounts of money.” Tennessee also does not charge income tax, which has surely contributed greatly to those tremendous savings.
Derek went on to explain how when he started out on YouTube, he was putting a lot of money into his channel and producing content, without much return. This perspective has allowed him to see what a financial difference the move has made for his family and his business.
Derek’s wife, Jessica, detailed how Derek used to have to drive over an hour between shops one way, which ended up totaling roughly 30 days a year spent traveling.
Derek contributed, “I honestly worked 7 days a week. … it got to the point where I wasn’t really seeing my family very much, and that is very, very, very important to me, so we wanted to make a change.”
Moving to a more central location has allowed Derek to be present for more family activities, including Friday night movies and pizza parties with his wife and sons.
When the Bieris lived near the Canadian border, they lamented that while there was the occasional local car show, there weren’t many big events put on close by. Many events Derek travels to are in Florida, which from Minneapolis, was a three-day drive for him. This means Derek would have to block out a full week just to attend a one-day event.
The move has cut driving time to Florida down to one day, helping Derek “save on motels, food, and fuel.” Surely, Derek’s many fans are glad that his move has allowed him to be more actively involved in major car shows and events.
Raising The Kids
Jessica shared that another reason the pair chose to move had to do with the lifestyle they wanted for their growing sons.
“We were both raised kind of in a country or farm setting, and we always wanted that for our children, to be able to experience all the things that we got to experience, just running outside and playing with no worry, being able to jump on your 4-wheeler, dirt bike, or whatever you might have, and just go explore.”
Derek shared that while there are many beautiful and spacious locations to raise a family in Minnesota, simply driving his snowmobile on his property had prompted passersby to call the police. In Tennesee, this would be viewed as more normal, and it is important to the Bieris to have a good deal of freedom with how to use their property.
Lastly, Derek and Jessica shared what they described as the main deciding factor in the move: weather. Due to the nature of his videos, Derek can be limited by freezing temperatures. He said, ”I’m rolling around on the ground pretty much nonstop outside…three to four months a year, I can’t produce content for you guys.”
Moving to Tennessee provides more stable and warm temperatures, allowing Derek to produce the content his viewers want year-round. And it’s clear from the video’s closing statement that Derek’s viewers are his top priority.
“Our goal is: always put a smile on you folks’ faces, entertain you, where you can sit down with your family or your kids and just enjoy some stuff and hopefully get you motivated and get you out to the shop and garage. So we just decided, you know, we needed to find better weather where we could do what we do best and have fun doing it.”
Whether he’s uploading his content to YouTube or appearing on Motortrend in his very own TV show, it’s clear Bieri has a bright future ahead of him, no matter where he’s put down roots.