Avoid Buyer’s Remorse With These Rules for Choosing the Right Car

By Alex Perdikis

Did you know that a lot of people buy the wrong car? In fact, nearly a quarter of new car owners wish they had made a different choice. Not buying the right vehicle is a costly mistake. Trading your car in two-years or sooner means you’ll owe more on your car loan than your vehicle is worth. And that means you’ll pay a big financial penalty. 

So, what can you do to make sure you get it right the first time? Follow these tips to buy the car you need now without suffering a financial setback. 

1. Examine your life and future.

Think about your life now and what you expect in the next five years. Is there a new baby in your future? Do you plan to retire? Are you getting married? Do you plan to move? How about a change in finances? The key to buying the right car now and keeping your financial balance is purchasing the car that fits your life now as well as the next five years. 

2. Do your research.

It’s easier now than ever to find expert and consumer reviews of any make and model you’re thinking of buying.


“Read the reviews carefully. Determine if issues raised will impact your happiness with your purchase.” — Alex Perdikis

Don’t remain loyal to a specific brand without checking out the competition. 

3. Make your test drive a real test. 

If possible, ask for an extended test drive. Drive in town, on the highway and in stop and go traffic if you can. You need to get a real feel for how the car performs. 

Check the comfort level. Can you get in and out easily? If you have children, will they be able to get in and out? How well does an infant car seat fit? Can Grandma get in easily when you take her for doctor’s appointments? Are the seats comfortable enough for those long drives you have to make for work? 

4. Calculate your finances before you buy.

A new car isn’t just about the purchase price. You also have to buy gas, pay for registration and licensing, maintain the vehicle and keep money aside for possible repairs. That great monthly loan price is not the only cost when you buy a new car.

5. Try a lease first.

If you aren’t sure what type of vehicle is right for you now and in the next five years, try a short-term lease instead. Or, purchase a low-cost used car for now. 

Sure, the sales price is important. But, the smartest way to shop for a new car is to find the car that fits your life now and well into the future. Holding on to your car for several years protects you from negative equity as well as the car’s inevitable depreciated value. You won’t suffer buyer’s remorse if you take the time to figure out which vehicle is the right one before you buy. 

Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.

Is Your Car Ready for Winter? Make Sure With These 5 Tips

By Alex Perdikis

You know it’s coming. Maybe you’ve already gotten a taste of it this year. That’s right – winter is on its way, and along with that comes making sure your car is ready to take on the coming cold weather challenges. 

Make sure your car is ready with these five tips:

1. Change your oil and mix it right. As temperatures drop, the oil in your car thickens. If oil becomes too thick, it won’t keep your engine lubricated. In the winter months, your car needs a different oil viscosity, or thickness, to do its job. Check your owner’s manual for winter oil recommendations.


“If you don’t and you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, consider purchasing a set. Snow tires improve traction better than all-season tires.” — Alex Perdikis


2. Check your tires. If you have snow tires, now’s the time to put them on. If you stay with your all-season tires, check the tire pressure often. Your tires lose the equivalent of 1 lb. of pressure for every 10F degree temperature drop. Look to your owner’s manual to find the optimum tire pressure and keep it there for the best possible traction and maneuverability on snow and ice. 

3. Do a maintenance and equipment check.If you have your car serviced, include an inspection of belts and hoses. Replace any worn or even slightly worn belts and hoses. Winter wet and cold takes a toll and it’s safer to begin with brand-new equipment. 

Make sure your battery and connections are free of corrosion. If your battery is on the older side, consider replacing it before winter sets in. 

Check your windshield wiper blades. Consider purchasing blades made for winter weather. While you’re at it, check and fill your washer fluid. Do not use plain water.

4. Check your antifreeze. In bitter temperatures, most cars need a 50-50 mix of water and antifreeze in the radiator. Check your antifreeze mix with a tester. Antifreeze testers are inexpensive tools you can find in any auto parts store. 

If the mixture is off, drain, refill or flush and replace it with the correct winter mix. Follow all safety guidelines for disposal of the old antifreeze. You cannot pour antifreeze down the drain or leave it where children or pets might come in contact with it. 

Again, check your owner’s manual for specific antifreeze recommendations.

5. Pack an emergency kit. No matter how much you prepare for cold and snow, it’s possible to find yourself stuck in your car for a long time. Pack an emergency kit designed to keep you warm, give you tools to help yourself out of common situations and food and water to keep you nourished and hydrated. 

Pack the following in your emergency kit or your trunk:

  • Blanket
  • Extra set of warm clothes
  • Small shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Tool kit 
  • Medications
  • Water and snack foods that include protein
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire chains
  • Spare tire with air
  • Sand or cat litter for traction

With a little preparation, both you and your car will be ready for the winter weather ahead. 

Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.

2020 Consumer Car Trends: Here’s What Car Buyers Really Want 

By Alex Perdikis

It doesn’t matter what car manufacturers tell consumers they want. What does matter is what consumers want. That’s why Brandwatch surveyed thousands of consumers and found out what they look for when they buy a new car. Their answers provide insight into why people buy the cars they buy. 

Quality Ranked First

Although quality is an individual and rather vague quantity, it ranked first among survey responders.



“Quality for those living and driving in regions with snow and varied terrain look for rugged reliability and enhanced safety features. Others might think that personalization equals quantity.” — Alex Perdikis


Clearly, manufacturers need to narrow down consumer preferences and zero in on what they mean by quality. 

Affordability Ranked a Close Second

The fact that affordability ranked high on respondents’ lists comes as no surprise. Consumers only have so much money. They have to be able to afford the dependable car they drive. 

Affordability and quality go hand in hand. Consumers first look at cars in their price range and demand quality no matter what the price. 

Customer Service is Key

Third place in the survey comes as somewhat of a surprise. Friendly customer service both at the manufacturer and local dealer levels ranked high on consumer lists. 

One of the most common complaints consumers mentioned was not feeling valued after they purchased their car. Things go wrong. There’s no way to avoid that. But, if consumers feel that dealerships ignore warranties and their problems, they react negatively. 

Friendly and reliable customer service is not only important during a sale but after as well. 

What Else Do They Want?

The Brandwatch survey asked specific questions about other aspects of car buying and the most looked for services and products. Below is a breakdown of the results.

    • Convenience: 8% of the respondents said that convenience was important to them when they looked at purchasing a new vehicle. Location, hours open, ease of contact and accessibility before and after the sale were vital requirements.
    • Fast Customer Service: 7% expected quick customer service responses and actions. Otherwise, they felt ignored.
    • Sustainability: Although ranking this low on the 2020 trend list was somewhat surprising, sustainability was important to 7% of respondents. 
    • Innovative Products or Services: Only 5% of the respondents thought innovative services or products were important. Does this mean that manufacturers should spend more time developing quality over innovation? Time will tell. 
    • Personalization: Although Mexican respondents ranked personalization high, the rest of the world didn’t care. Only 5% of the total respondents chose personalization as a key factor when they buy a car. 

What About Self-Driving Cars?

Self-driving cars are a hot topic, but what do consumers think? It depends on where they live. More people in the U.S. gave self-driving cars a thumbs-up than any other country. Consumers in Spain, however, were not at all impressed.

Globally, 9% of respondents agreed that self-driving vehicles would be the new year’s most transformative innovation. 

The year 2020 promises to be an exciting one for cars, consumers, auto manufacturers and dealerships. 

Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.