Here’s What Your Choice of Car Says About You

By Alex Perdikis

If you could choose any car without worrying about money, what would you buy? What color would it be? Would you want all the bells and whistles?

You might have limited options because of budget or family-size, but did you know that the car you choose says a lot about you?

Size Matters

Luxury, midsized, small — what does the size of your car say? Here’s what a UC Davis study found:

  • Small car: Most small car owners live in high-density neighborhoods where parking spaces are at a premium. They also tend to be concerned about the impact cars have on the environment. Reliability and energy efficiency are top priorities for small car owners.
  • Midsized sedans: Midsized car owners don’t have a specific personality according to the UC Davis study. They do tend to be female with higher incomes. The study suggested that midsized car owners probably used their middle-of-the-road auto as a second car.
  • Luxury cars: Luxury car owners tend to be male and/or retired and drive long distances. The highly educated and higher income population in the United States purchases most of the luxury vehicles sold.
  • Minivans: Moms and grandparents make up most of the minivan buying crowd. They are cool under pressure and haul lots of people around. Minivan owners live in the suburbs and are typically between the ages of 41 and 64.
  • Pickups: A pickup truck owner usually has a full-time, often service-related job or is a contractor within the middle income range.
  • SUVs: SUV owners live in the suburbs, are aged 40 and younger and have children.
  • Sports cars: College degree holders and adventurers choose sports cars. And, according to the study, so do a few people who just want to imitate others.   

And, the Color Is…

The color of your vehicle really sends a message. If your car is white, you’re happy-go-lucky. A blue car means you’re cautious. Black means you’re a rebel. If your car is red, you have a ton of energy. At least that’s what the research says.

You and Your Car

Marketing has a great deal to do with the vehicle specific people end up with.


“Auto manufacturers target groups most likely to buy a vehicle type. You won’t find ads for a sporty convertible that targets soccer moms.” — Alex Perdikis


Regional demographics also play a role. People who live in northern areas with tough winter driving conditions purchase cars with specific requirements to meet those challenges. They may not be the sleek luxury car of their dreams, but they maneuver through slushy roads with ease.

Of course, most people don’t get to choose a car based solely on looks. Budgets, family-size, fuel-efficiency and availability are all factors that come into play. You may want to drive a red Porsche, but it’s just not possible with four children and your job as soccer team chauffeur.

Don’t worry if what you drive doesn’t match your personality. It doesn’t matter how others look at your car as long as it gets you where you need to go.

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

Work Break: Three Stranger-Than-Fiction Stories About People and Their Cars

By Alex Perdikis

From the time they were invented, people shared their lives with cars. And, nearly everyone has at least one story to tell about an adventure, mishap or even heartwarming experience that somehow involved a car. Here are a few stories to make your day.

Wait – It’s Not Mine?

Daryl loved his 1994 Ford Ranger. After a late night shopping stop at Walmart, he walked to his pickup truck in the parking lot, unlocked the door, got in, and drove away. As he drove, Daryl had a funny feeling. Something wasn’t right.

Pulling over into a parking lot, Daryl really looked at the interior. It was tan, not gray. The dash was different. On the outside, this truck looked exactly like his. But, there was no denying it — he had inadvertently stolen someone else’s truck.


“In a panic, Daryl drove back to Walmart and had customer service page the owner. After explaining what happened, Daryl showed the owner how the key for his 1994 Ranger also fit the owner’s 1995 Ford Ranger.” — Alex Perdikis

All was forgiven, and Daryl went home a bit shaken, but relieved.

How many times have you walked up to a vehicle in a parking lot and thought it was yours?

Not the Easiest First Day on the Job

Birmingham, Alabama, college student Walter Carr was supposed to start a new job. The night before he was supposed to report for work, his car broke down. Instead of calling in, he decided to walk. Walter left home at midnight and walked 20 miles in four hours before a couple of police officers drove him the rest of the way.

Many people, including his new boss, were moved by Walter’s dedication. A GoFundMe account was set up on Walter’s behalf. And, soon after, the CEO of the company he worked for presented Walter with a 2014 Ford Escape.

Nowhere to Hide

Impaired driving is no laughing matter. A lack of judgment, slower reflexes and uninhibited behavior result in accidents and injuries every day. Fortunately, this case merely proves how ridiculous an impaired driver’s thinking really is.

It was the holiday season. An impaired driver in North Yorkshire in the UK crashed his Mini Cooper into a metal barrier. Rather than running from the police, the driver decided to hide. He chose a Nativity scene display complete with Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and hay. And, that’s where police found him — buried in the hay.

Accident Excuses You Won’t Believe

Police officers and insurance agents hear every accident excuse in the book. Here are a few of the funniest excuses from the drivers themselves:

  • I pulled into the driveway of the wrong house on my way home and hit a tree I don’t have.
  • I tried to stop my car from skidding by hitting another car.
  • I backed out of my driveway and hit a bus. The bus was 10 minutes early.
  • I don’t know who is at fault. I wasn’t looking.
  • The cause of the accident was me waving to the man I hit last week.


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

How to Use Your Car to Help Others

By Alex Perdikis

You probably think of your car as a way to get around and do what you have to do. You use it to get groceries, go to work, chauffeur the children and take an occasional road trip now and then.

But, did you know you can use your car to help people and nonprofit organizations in your community? In fact, it doesn’t matter if you only have a couple of hours a week or a lot of time on your hands, you can find a way to use your driving skills and car to help others.

1. Driving seniors. A lot of people who were self-sufficient for years find themselves unable to drive as they age. Poorer eyesight, loss of coordination, slower reflexes and other health issues often reduce a senior’s ability to drive safely. But, seniors still need to get to doctor’s appointment, pick up medications and buy groceries.

2. Running errands for those in need. Picking up medications, doing the grocery shopping and mailing packages at the post office is difficult for many seniors and disabled persons. You can help by doing the running around for them.

3. Assist animal rescue organizations with transport. Pet rescue organizations often find themselves in need of help to transport pets from one location to another.


“Sometimes the transport involves long-distances, typically transporting cats and dogs from an overcrowded shelter in one location to another with more room many miles away.” — Alex Perdikis


Usually, volunteer drivers take one leg of the journey and transfer pets to another volunteer until the pets reach journey’s end.

Shelters often need shorter transportation help as well, such as transporting a pet to a veterinarian and back.

4. Donate your car to charity. Perhaps you bought a new car and don’t need the old one, or you inherited a relative’s car you don’t really need. Of course, donating is not exactly a selfless act because you receive a tax benefit from the donation. And, there are other red flags to consider when it comes to donating your car to a charitable organization.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Done the right way, a car donation is a win-win. Before you donate your car, however, follow these steps to make sure you maximize your benefits to the charity and cover yourself in the process.

  • Check that the charity is an accepted IRS qualified nonprofit. Your donation is not tax-deductible if it isn’t.
  • Research the charity’s efficiency rank with Charity Navigator or Charity Watch. Make sure the bulk of donations go to the cause and not into administrative costs.
  • Deliver the car to the charity yourself without using a third party.
  • Keep your receipt.
  • Make sure you file the correct forms with the IRS when you file your taxes.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to volunteering, check with local organizations to see how you can help. Local senior centers and county offices may already have programs set up you can become a part of. Even if you have just a couple of hours on the weekend, you can use your car to help others right in your own community.


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