Carter Volkswagen in Seattle, WA

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On this page you can find detailed information about the company Carter Volkswagen in Seattle, WA.

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Carter Volkswagen

Dealer Info:

Phone(s):(206) 782-7474
Address:5202 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA, 98107

Reviews on Carter Volkswagen

Joe A. | 2015-04-23

Finally.... a Volkswagen Service Department that does it right. Let me start by saying, I have had the worst experience at University Volkswagen, Auburn Volkswagen and Pignataro in Everett. I am not going to get into all the issues about the other three, because this review is about Carter Volkswagen in Ballard and the service that Mark and crew preformed on my  Eurovan. My wife and I have been shopping for months looking for a new (2015) vehicle, a grocery getter, a crossover or a large SUV. We couldn't find one on the market that matches the Eurovan for visibility, roominess and just plain appeal. So we are going to keep the Eurovan.

Here is our review:

Pros: Told us the truth the whole way through. The service I asked for was done completely and spot on. They alerted us to potential problems down the road. They gave us a loaner because the work was taking longer than expected. They did not blame Volkswagen for making a vehicle that is not "service friendly". They let my three restless kids sit upstairs , watch movies and eat snacks on the house. Let me tell you, they understand service. I felt like Carter Volkswagen hired the Super Nanny to advise them on setting up their waiting room.

Cons: Not much, maybe took a little too much time, but they rectified that by giving us a loaner car. The price was a little high, but I don't mind paying top dollar as long as I get good service and it's done right.

We will go to Carter every time. Thanks Mark for the wonderful experience you guys run a great Service Department. My kids thank you for the movie and snacks while we waited.

Alex O. | 2015-04-23

As long as Carter in Ballard does business with Wells Fargo Dealer Services I cannot send anyone there way. When I purchased my car from Carter a year ago I signed an auto loan in their finance office through there in house financial institution Wells Fargo Dealer Services. Dealing with Wells Fargo Dealer Services has been the worst experience I have ever had with a company. They have been so rude to me and caused me so much stress over the part year I cannot even begin to explain. You can read their yelp reviews here:… .

If you must buy a car from here go through your own financial institution. However I cannot recommend this place when they so willingly set people up for the nightmare of their lives with Wells Fargo Dealer Services.

Sherry M. | 2015-04-19

We had the best experience at Carter VW!!! Graham Satterlee was incredibly helpful! My family had a list of needs for our new vehicle, and Graham helped us find the perfect car for our family at a great price. The entire experience was positive, friendly, professional, and the best part was that we got a great deal on a quality SUV. I will definitely buy my next car from Graham. If you are looking for a sweet ride, with a hassle free sale, go see Graham.  

Also, I feel like I am driving a spaceship and it's awesome.

Amy B. | 2015-04-11

Horrible customer service. When I told them I had received a quote on a vehicle from another dealership but was still trying to decide which trim level I wanted the sales person refused to let me test drive the car. He said "if you have no intention of buying from us we can't invest the time to let you test drive the car here".  Well I certainly have no intention of buying a car here now! Besides appearing to be the only customers in the dealership they could have tried to sell me on the other trim or offer a better deal.

Riyad S. | 2015-04-09

After having issues with my car I got ahold of the owner what a nice guy he is driving all the way from Ballard to pick up my car in Seattle to have it fixed. Exceptional customer service by far. I will recommend all my friend and family to go here.

Thank you Mark(vw Ballard)

Tara F. | 2015-04-04

We just leased our second car from Carter and we chose the vehicle purely on the experience we've had over the last 4 years working with Donielle. Donielle is incredibly knowledgeable and mindful of keeping both the shopping and buying process stress and pressure-free. Even though we've moved from Ballard, we'll continue to work with her in the future and recommend this location and Donielle specifically to anyone in the market for a car.

C H. | 2015-03-16

updated: the manager contacted me and resolved this to our satisfaction. We still won't buy or get service here, but appreciate her effort.

We bought our vw here, used, 5 years back.  We brought it in this week and the estimates, not even guaranteed to fix it, were exorbitant and hard sell typical dealer prices. After a 150 estimate fee, and nothing resolved, we will never return. They could have cared less about keeping us as customers.

David R. | 2015-03-09

Brought our 2011 VW Jetta in to have it checked out and a couple issues that we knew of fixed, mainly that the locks didn't work.  Mechanic said they'd get back to me within a day.  A couple weeks later I finally hear back.  They found a lot of damage.  Quoted over 5k.  $500+ just for the estimate.  Then the mechanic suddenly stops responding.  Later I'm told he no longer works there and to just come get the car, no charge.  No repairs done either.

I say please fix the locks.  Eventually I bring in the part for the locks and a stereo.  They charge me $400+ to put in those two parts.  I pay it and pick up the car.  The locks still don't work.  I make a new appointment, wanting the locks fixed and some other things looked at, for which I was prepared to pay them more.  They refuse to honor it, saying they took too much of a loss on my car already

Too much of a loss?  They gave me a price and I paid it, wtf?

I'm told I will get a written estimate and a referral for another shop to bring it into, that was months ago.  I have yet to receive either.

Shannon S. | 2015-02-04

My main issue with Carter VW is their aggressive customer service/sales. I bought a Tiguan from Carter in 2009. 6 years later and they still hound me. When my warranty expired they called relentlessly in an attempt to sell me an extended warranty. When I told them I wasn't interested they chastised me for my "stupidity." Literally said in a sarcastic voice, "well that's real smart!" then hung up. As mentioned by previous reviewers, they must have some kind of commission associated with survey scores. Can't tell you how many times I was told to fill out the survey and make sure to give a full 5 stars. How is that effective?!  To top it off, although not directly their fault, the car has endless electrical problems, fuel pump issues, recalls, etc.  

Other than the random nice service person this place is a major disappointment. Poor business practices resulting in disgruntled employees, perhaps? Won't be returning.

Andrew F. | 2014-12-31

The staff here are really friendly. I came in to compare the features between the 2015 Golf S and SE. I had already driven an S and just wanted to take a look at the SE. I know that this can be a frustrating situation for sales people but Ted Reich was able to show me what I was looking for and demonstrated some real patience. I appreciated their quickness and would recommend them to someone looking for a Volkswagen.

Ian J. | 2014-10-26

I just had a fantastic experience purchasing my 2015 GTI from Leighton Russell at Carter Volkswagen. Came late Monday night for a test drive; told Leighton I wasn't interested in anything else at the time and he didn't push me; we touched base later throughout the week. I had received a couple good quotes plus the consumer report so I knew the price range I was looking for. I was up front and forward with that price and we had a deal before I walked back in the door on Saturday.

Came in with my ducks in a row and he even gave me some cash for my old trade-in with a better deal on financing than I was pre-approved for. What gives them the five stars, though, was the fact that after he knew the sale was a done deal he didn't rush to get me out the door and on to the next customer. On the contrary, Leighton took the time to thoroughly explain every detail of the warranty, manual, options and car after I signed the deal to make sure I was prepared.

Their sales consultant, Cresta Nebre was clear, efficient and easy to understand when helping me with the tedious, but necessary paperwork afterwards; her card says "Peak Performer" and its NOT an exaggeration. And when it was all said and done their sales manager Zach Clement came out after the sale to personally thank me and ask about my experience. I never thought I would enjoy buying a car so much, but these guys nailed it!

Lexie G. | 2014-08-27

Dissapointment after 14 years as a customer. We have always had our Saab and VW serviced here but we have finally decided to call it quits after the last two visits. In both cases, we had to return the very next day because either a part was left off (hard to believe but they actually forgot to put a part back in for the rear lights so we drove home with no brake lights. The second time we had to return the next day again because theydid not correct the problem the first time. We asked for some consideration on the bill given we had to drive from west Seattle and have the car towed, but what they gave us was a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks.  We're done and will try University VW next time.

Angela D. | 2014-08-18

I bought my Jetta here and had a great experience! But what made me write this review was when I brought my Jetta in for repairs.
A friend had pulled the outside door handle right off my car! I took it into Carter and they fixed it, and the scratch caused by the mishap, for free! They actually went above and beyond in taking care of my car, and I got it back way better than it was before.
Highly satisfied customer and will not take my baby anywhere else but Carter in Ballard!

Ashley M. | 2014-07-28

I brought my 2002 Beetle in due to it continually shutting off upon starting, and was lucky enough to be working with Anthony who is a gem! He keeps you in the loop, he quotes prices accurately, and he is just pleasant to deal with. Overall my experience with the VW was very thorough.

David T. | 2014-07-10

I don't generally do reviews, but I felt that this was particularly despicable.  I requested an appointment for some recall work on my Saab.  They weren't able to fit me in for a week but assured me that they would be able to take care of the car when I brought it in.  When I arrived for the appointment, I was told that they don't do recall work on Saabs. Their excuse: I must have made the appointment through their call center, somehow making it my fault that they misled me.

Complete waste of time, both waiting for the appointment and getting myself over the hinterlands of Ballard.

Renee C. | 2014-06-29

I've taken my 2000 Jetta to Carter as long as I've had her (10 years) and I have only ever had a good experience. I just picked up my car again after having to have it towed to the shop. They had a full schedule, squeezed me in, and had a QUICK turn around. Eric and Elliott were very helpful and filled me in up front on the cost and possible further issues.The lovely ladies who answer the phone are sweet and helpful. I've also utilized their loaner program on short notice without a reservation and they ALWAYS find me a loaner when needed. This is why I keep coming back and I why I will continue to come back. They aren't pushy like the oil change shops and are always friendly and helpful!

shoe l. | 2014-05-26

Please see my reviews of University and Kirkland VW as well for some context.

My VW GTI I leased from Kirkland VW was up for its first maintenance. University VW is dead to me and Kirkland is too far away. I decided to check out Carter in Ballard and found they had an online scheduler which as a person who hates talking on the phone made me extremely happy. I was able to schedule a time and select that I would like a loaner car as well. Though to be honest, I have low expectations of online schedulers so I was prepared to hear that there were no loaners available.

It was very easy to get to and everyone was very nice. They gave me a loaner car even though I did not purchase my car from them. This is something that University VW refused to do and snottily told me I should go back to Kirkland if I wanted a loaner. I had a choice from a Beetle convertible or a Passat. I chose the Beetle since I had never driven one before but had a Passat once as a rental. It didn't take very long but I was still glad to have a loaner since I had things to do!

They also followed up with me to make sure I had a good experience with them. I won't be using anyone else ever again unless I get a lobotomy and decide to move to Kirkland. (No offence to you Kirklandites, it's just not a place for me!) Great customer service!

Captain Craig M. | 2014-05-18

Just bought a 2014 Passat from Carter. We did the deal over the phone and internet and I assumed when I went to pick up the car I would sent to the back of the line to wait to get paperwork etc. The owner greeted me at the door and had the staff turn to and get the process done quickly. They did everything they said they would do without all the b.s.  I liked the feel of the place, it wasn't all glitz glammer and pizzaz just a straight up dealership.

Jon C. | 2014-05-17

Terrible service.

I made a service appointment online three weeks ahead of time, and clearly described the problem my car was having.  They phoned me twice to confirm the appointment in the days ahead of the appointment.

When I got to the car dealership, on time, to check in, the man behind the desk took a single look at my appointment.  He told me that they were too busy that day to help me, and that my car trouble could take several days.

If they had simply told me ahead of time, on the phone or otherwise, that they were too busy, and that I should make an appointment another time, it would have been convenient.  It would have also been convenient if they could have informed me that they might need my car for several days to order parts, so I could have arranged for a ride home from the dealership.  Instead, they told me absolutely nothing until I actually arrived at the dealership.

Further, the staff there was extremely rude and unprofessional to me during my time there, indicating that I had done something wrong by making an appointment with them at all.

There are enough VW dealers around here to not have to deal with terrible customer service like that found at Carter Volkswagen.

H-S R. | 2014-02-07

After a bunch of icky experiences with car dealers in the suburbs and further south, Carter VW was really amazing. I just bought a 2012 VW Certified Used Beetle. I'm in my second month driving the 2012 Beetle and I couldn't be happier. Jonathan Fredericks was the salesperson taking care of me. He was incredibly attentive, gave us a test drive that was informative, listened to our needs and talked through them without any hard sell. Though I was with my husband, it was one of the few dealerships where I think being a single woman would be totally fine. Jonathan was personable, smart and even thought it was funny when I complimented the new Beetle design by saying, "I think I like it! It's very soviet!" Got lots of good advice about my special driving needs. And Jonathan gave me intelligent feedback about the other (non-VW!) cars I was considering. I have utter confidence I made the right choice. People have talked about driving cars being "fun" before -- I never got it until this one.

I didn't feel slimed at all. It's hard for me to believe these negative reviews! We did go in with our own, credit union financing, so price was the only negotiation we engaged in (the car came with a warranty because of low miles and being certified used) -- and we got a fair deal without any arm twisting. Buying from a dealer nearby, in the heart of Ballard, who planted a tree and getting unlimited Brownbear car washes is OK with me. I felt like Carter VW is part of the community. The other dealerships, that exist on expressway exits, just squick me out. I'm glad we ended up here.

Rebecca O. | 2014-02-04

I'm really sad to write this, because up until now my experience with Carter has been great.

My husband and I purchased a used car from Carter in May 2013. We brought it in for an oil change this month, and were told there is almost $3,000 of work that needs to be done on the exhaust system. We asked them to take responsibility for this, since we've had the car just over 6 months (if there is that much damage, it was clearly there when we bought it) and they refused.

We bought it "as is" (because they wouldn't allow us to buy a warranty) so legally, it is our responsibility. However, since this damage was noticed during an oil change, then whoever did the oil change before we purchased the car must have seen it, and they sold it to us anyway. This is clearly not the type of thing we would be able to determine during a test drive, and we purchased the car from them in good faith. I have been a loyal customer of Carter for years, but will never come back.

Joe S. | 2014-01-07

We bought a new VW Jetta and the sales process went ok. If you have ever been through buying a car from a dealer you know this is a less then comfortable experience that I dread for months ahead of actually going down to the dealership. As for service after the sale I must say I'm very disappointed. I was pestered to get the original review up here shortly after the sale so I was still in the "honeymoon" stage. Since then I have experienced multiple issues I am annoyed by. First, shortly after the purchase (about a month) I received a piece of mail stating we where actually not approved for the loan we got and I had already made a payment on and it had our credit scores on the paper as laughably lower then our real score. After calling I was informed that this was a mistake that had been sent out accidentally. Next, we took the car in for a check up as we heard a noise that sounded like a CD running coming from the drivers side of the dash when on the highway. The mechanic was very nice but informed us he could only drive it 2 miles on a test drive and he didn't hear anything so we just ignore that noise now. Finally, I had a question on warranty the other day. I called and was hung up on three times while they transferred me to every corner of the dealership. At my wits end I called one last time and told the operator I had been hung up on three times and she said she would have someone call me back later. I was never called back.....

Nick H. | 2013-12-12

I'm not really a fan of car dealerships, but I enjoy working with Carter.  I moved to Ballard from Capitol Hill and needed a place to bring my VW for service.  I've brought it in a few times now and have found their staff to be very friendly and helpful.  I appreciate the free shuttle service after dropping my car off.  My only real complaint is that there are some services they don't do in-house (like detailing and body work).  Still, they have great service and I would recommend them.  If I'm ever in the market for another VW I'll definitely give them a shot.

Garrett G. | 2013-10-07

My wife and I bought a car from these guys. No weird pressure from the salespeople, straightforward information. Price was about right to begin with - they're obviously not making much (if anything) off of commission or markup. They do repairs and my guess is that's the main thrust of their business model. Really painless experience with a great staff.

Update: six months later, we discovered deep structural rust in the frame. The rest of the car looked great, but the places where the unibody was connected to the frame are rusting through. Three auto body shops (including Honda of Bellevue) all independently told me that the car is totaled and had been unsafe to drive for quite some time.

I brought the car back and asked what they would do to make it right. They immediately offered to buy it back, took the title and the keys, and said that they would mail a check to us. It's been three weeks and they have our car and we still haven't been paid.

The worst thing is that I suspect that they are just going to try to sell the car to someone else, despite the fact that it is a death trap.

Stay away.

Update: After four weeks without receiving my money back (after they took my car), I spoke with a lawyer about legal action against Carter VW for the money they still hadn't returned. He recommended suing them immediately, but I decided to contact the manager one last time and express my interest in resolving it outside of a court. He sent me the check immediately via FedEx.

Richard R. | 2013-08-16

Worked with Brian on purchasing a new Jetta Sport Wagon. Completely professional, uncomplicated buying experience. Ask for him for your new VW.

Lindsey C. | 2013-08-14

I dropped off my friends VW for her while she was at work. The car needed a lot of replacement parts as it had reached its 10 year mark. Everyone was extremely helpful, friendly and responsible. My friend was extremely happy with the price point as well.

Great experience!

Sarah E. | 2013-07-16

This dealer had the color of the Volkswagon were were looking for. The buying experience was interestingly bad..poor..unbelieable.  We bought over the phone and the new car manager and the finance managers were the two guys that were soooo slime-eee.  I would not use this dealer for another car purchase EvER!!!

Jim M. | 2013-07-06

Been here several times for service to my 2008 Jetta and 2010 cc.  They try hard, but seem phony and like they're reciting from a cheesy customer service playbook, but secretly seething under their breath at who knows what resentment.  It just feels like the management is all high pressure sales, and the attitude is that all customers are prey.  I would never try to buy or lease a car here for that reason, but for service it is okay, except instead of washing the car they give a Brown Bear coupon.  The shuttle is okay.  Once I got a loaner which was nice.  Overall, convenient location makes me go back, but the atmosphere is strangely off-putting.  Except when I brought the dogs, and the receptionist went out of her way to give them treats.  The salespeople looked as if they'd like to shoot the little guys though:)

Julie L. | 2013-07-03

I've purchased two cars in the past 3 years from Carter in Ballard (one from the Subaru side and one from the VW side - same sales guy).  
The Pros:
- VW side had the hard to find TDI we wanted
- We feel we got a fair deal on our trade in on the Subaru side
- Free car wash coupon when you get your car serviced
- Non-commissioned employees are very nice

The Cons:
- HARD SELL on extended the point of aggression and implying you are stupid if you don't purchase them
- Too much follow-up - they appear to be graded/paid on their surveys and will stalk you until you fill them out.  They will also leave lengthy messages telling you if you don't give them a good score, their children will starve (no, not literally)
- If you don't fill out the survey to their satisfaction (i.e. perfect scores across the board) they will call you again and leave lengthy messages designed to make you feel like shit
- Super creepy, passive-aggressive, message leaving employees (see above)

Despite living nearby, the calls and guilt trips are enough to make go elsewhere for my next car and encourage others to do the same.

Peg O. | 2013-06-29

I had a great experience dealing with Carter Volkswagen.  I was expecting a high pressure encounter, instead I got a no pressure fun salesman Brian Bradley who helped me through the process.  Now I know the pluses and minuses of leasing versus purchasing.  I am happy with my car and all the free car washes I'll get.  This really beat some of my past car dealings.

Jackson L. | 2013-04-30

Car made noises/vibrations on friday from the clutch when the engine was started and when letting up the clutch in 1st and 2nd gear.  Brought the car in on Monday in fear that the cluth needed to be replaced or adjusted, which is a  very high cost repair.  Paul and his team quickly took my car for the most of the day and found that the cause was a little bolt-bushing that holds my aftermarket intake pipe.  It broke and hence was making contact with the master cylinder under engine load, which caused the noise/vibration.  He was extremely honest with the assessment and quick with the solution and repairs.  Paul and his team really go the extra distance and I am happy to say I'm going to keep coming here for service.

Doug R. | 2013-04-01

I worked through the Internet Sales Department on trading my 150k miles car for a new vw since they had (by a long shot) the best pricing available.  I was given a fair quote for the trade, but, discovered I had substantial title clouding when I got to the dealership.  These guys went above/beyond the call of duty to help settle this when they could have easily said "sorry - come back once you've fixed it".  Long story short - it was maybe an hour longer to complete things than normal.  Important since I took a day off work to come in from out of area for the purchase.

Good Pricing?  Check.  Exceptional Customer Service?  Check.  Doing what they said they would do?  Check.  Hard to beat that in today's market regardless of commodity.

Crystal D. | 2013-03-26

The service department got me in right away without hesitation, (unlike Chaplin's in Bellevue) and the Carter service department actually answers their phone during business hours (unlike Campbell Nelson in Edmonds).  They finished my car faster than I expected too!  But getting a sales person to help didn't happen and their selection wasn't great anyways.  They gave me a car wash voucher for Big Bear too!!!

Tracey A. | 2013-03-02

My experience at Carter Volks today was somewhat UNREAL... in a really great way. I have been dreading the "i need a new car "  appointment for awhile, and these folks are all about real.   My partner and I met Chris Stompoly  who led us so thoroughly through the process with  HONESTY with genuine service and knowledge.  This truncation was so amazing and so easy and SO pleasurable I would recommend these folks to anyone, including my 103 year old Grandmother.  I am so happy with my new car... my new perfectly perfect JETTA ... but greater than the car or the trade or the transaction is the experience I had today here.   I feel so good about this place and actually look forward to coming back and having service just so I can see these amazing REAL people again.  This kind of transaction doesnt always happen at a car dealership and I wasn't necessarily expecting it, but Gracefully it transpired.  The closure of the *deal* with Zachary Clements was the adding touch.  Amazing service, amazing grace.  I love this place.. and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new....whatever!

Adi H. | 2012-12-29

Took my Jetta to get a routine mileage check up as well as some upgrades that were still under warranty. I called and made an appointment which was easy and the time I wanted was available. All was looking like an easy day getting my car serviced. When I arrived to drop off my car, there was an issue with the upgrade I was to receive because they couldn't locate it in their records even though when I made the appointment they needed to VIN number to order the part and I had the letter stating I was eligible for the upgrade. The service guy said he would talk to the woman in charge of that when she came in (which wasn't for another couple hours) and sort it out and let me know if they can proceed with the update. Service never called and I had to call to check in to see if they were doing the work. I had also asked service to check something out with my tire because I recently had it replaced but no one ever wrote it down in the file so no one look at it.

Their shuttle service is great! I was taken home and taken back to the dealership with a friendly driver. On my way back to the service department, the shuttle was running late but we arrived at 6:02 and service closes at 6 pm. They knew the shuttle was late because I got a call from them informing me but no one waited to explain to me any of the work that was done on my car. I was given my paperwork and my car back with a voucher for a free car wash. I've owned/leased a Jetta for the past 12 years and every service, I get my car washed and vacuumed. No vacuum and a car wash voucher.

After a whole day experience (drop off at 9:30 am and pick up at 6 pm) which they said would not take more than couple of hours and then a dirty car, I can say for sure that I will not return to this dealership/service department.

I even filled out their service and received a phone call back to explain my comments. The voicemail that was left was condescending and made it seem that I did not request anything but they were willing to work with me. I did not return that phone call and instead went to buy my Jetta at University VW. I recommend, go somewhere else for service.

Anna I. | 2012-12-11

I recently had a major issue with my ten year old Jetta and Carter really went above and beyond to make sure that it got fixed.

My car had some issues with starting so I had it towed to Carter. They weren't able to find anything even after an hour of testing each individual component. So I took the car back. Two days later it happened again. Now before you think that Carter just wrote the problem off, once we discovered exactly what was wrong with my car it only happened in a very specific set of circumstances, so it was unsurprising that they couldn't find it their first time out. Carter kept at it until they found the problem and didn't pad the diagnostic time. They were very great at keeping in touch with me and letting me know what was going on and explaining the problem in lay terms to me.

I've been bringing my car here for years because I feel like they do good work and are honest. Only 4/5 stars because I've never dealt with their sales department so I can't attest to that.

Rishelle S. | 2012-11-15

I don't care about their service or their cars. The drivers at this place have almost killed me about 25 times over the past year. They move their cars from lot to lot, driving like maniacs, not even slowing to check for traffic. Not okay.

Aaron S. | 2012-08-11

Horrible parts and service department. They have absolutely no clue what "customer service" is. Extremely condescending from the moment you drive up to the time you leave. Left there and went to University VW and had an exceptional experience. Don't ever go to Carter for anything but to have people be rude to you.

Tracy L. | 2012-07-10

I've going to Carter for over 20 years and I think they are the most honest car dealers around for servicing.  I highly recommend them. They have serviced 5 of my VWs and each time, they never tried to sell me things I didn't need and even told me to go to other places to save money on things like tires, brake pads.  They're great. I trust them to do only the work thst's needed, and do it right.

Julie S. | 2012-05-24

I bought my car at Carter in 2004 and have taken it back there for any major service problems which have mostly been covered under warranty.  Each time I've gone in to their service department two of the "advisors" are incredibly condescending.  Maybe it's because I'm a woman, but I literally have to convince them there's something wrong & have to physically show them because when I describe it they don't believe me.  My last straw is today when I've called for about the 5th time to describe what is pretty clearly a transmission problem Eric in service was so rude.  He said "well from what you are telling me I have no idea what's wrong with your car...drop it off & if it does it while it's here we can diagnose it".  I told him it is sporatic & could he try to figure out based on my description.  I said "I'm worried my transmission is going to blow up" his response was a laugh followed by "well at least we would know what's wrong with your car"  Really!!!  Unacceptable service!  I could see if I were joking with him, but I was very serious.  I've been in Ballard a long time & am sure Mary and Wade Carter would NOT want their customers to be treated this way!  p.s. I called two transmission places after & they were able to narrow it down to two possible problems based on my detailed descripton.  I will be taking my car to one of them instead of talking to a service "advisor" at Carter about it again.  Makes me sad because I know this dealership is better than this!

Katie M. | 2012-05-14

Such a frustrating experience.  I had my eye on an Eos and we thought we'd pay a visit to Carter VW and see what kind of a deal we could get on a lease.  We obviously knew it was more expensive than our original budget but were willing to spend a little extra for the 'fun factor' of this car.

We opened with that when we met our sales person and he assured us he could work with us on reducing the advertized $369/month lease price.  So, we're there for about 1.5 hours while they are doing whatever they're doing and imagine our surprise when our sales guy comes back with a HIGHER price than the advertized one!!  We balked and he then began insulting us saying things like 'How did you think you could afford a $35,000 car?'  

So, not only did he waste our time but he insulted us to boot.  Awesome.  

We fully anticipated to spend over our initial budget but if you say you're going to be able to reduce the monthly cost of a vehicle, it's poor form to come back with a higher price and then say 'Well, that's our rock bottom price'.  We could have saved everyone's time if they'd been honest with us in the first place.

We went to Honda of Seattle that same night and signed a deal for a top of the line car and had a very pleasant experience.

Tim K. | 2012-04-18

Had a great experience with the sales team.  I knew what I wanted and walked in with a Costco price from another dealer.  They agreed to match it, gave me full value for my trade in, and were able to get me an amazing financing rate on the remainder of the value of the car.  The whole process was pretty quick.  Yes, they tried the upsell on warranty and a clear bra (honestly wonder which dealer people have been to who don't try these tactics).  Completely content with my purchase and the service.

Lilli Ann C. | 2012-03-30

Recently leased a new VW Golf from Tony Robertson.  He was fabulous, patient and honest.  They have a nice program on their leases- no repair bills for 3 years.36000 miles.  i life the trouble free nature of that! thank you for the good service.

Georgie M. | 2012-02-15

Carter VW is an incredible dealer and a great place to service your car.

This past summer we were driving up to the Seattle area from the southwest.  Somewhere in northern Nevada one of the engine lights came on.  We checked the glove box for the owner's manual to see if we could figure out what the Jetta was telling us.  Turns out, it had something to do with the emission system and we noticed that the warranty was about to run out. Great!

Zach Clemens is the sales person who has sold me several VWs over the years.  When we had cell reception, I called him asking what we should do?  There was no nearby VW dealership.  Heck, there was no nearby anything in northern Nevada!  

He went over to the service department and asked one his technicians a few questions, we went back and forth for a while and it was decided we should continue driving the car and stop in when we got to Seattle.  He told us not to worry, and we didn't.

We arrived the next day after spending a night in Boise, ID.  The car was service under warranted.  We thanked both the Tech and Zach for everything.  

I don't know it many people get the same service we do but Carter is always been great to us.  And, it's nice to know you can call someone to walk you through something difficult.  Even of they're 650 miles away!

They got my business!

Julie M. | 2011-12-18

Not all cars are created equal. The same can be said of the people who sell them.
I have purchased two vehicles from Zach Clements at Carter in Ballard: a VW Jetta and a Subaru Impreza. I did a lot of research, so my satisfaction with the cars was not surprising. Less expected was how nice it was to buy them. Carter is a professional, non-aggressive dealership, with a good neighborhood feel. Zach is knowledgeable, conscientious, and genuinely helpful. Just as important, he is patient. It took me weeks to make some final decisions on options, like whether to lease or buy for example. I was never rushed. My many, many questions were always met with competence and even understanding from Zach. He was able to give informed responses that went beyond what I was asking, but kept it relevant. This included information about price, features, safety, and performance of every vehicle I looked at. Additionally, seating comfort was very important to me. As I was making my decision, Zach invited me to Carter more than once to sit in various cars so I could find the right fit. Sometimes he even sat with me. In my experience, all of this rare, especially in car buying.

When I was still shopping around, I visited several dealers including Honda Auto Center of Bellevue, Honda of Seattle, Chaplin's Volkswagen, and Toyota of Kirkland. I felt pushed to make on the spot decisions, even though I said I was not ready to buy. I was given incomplete or inaccurate answers to important, simple questions. At Honda Auto Center of Bellevue, I was told a completely wrong amount for monthly payments on a new Civic by nearly $80. In an effort to "apologize" the manager told me, "I can understand why you are upset. You should go somewhere else if you want." This was incredibly dismissive. It leaves the customer with the responsibility of fixing the problem. My positive interactions at Carter, makes that all the more annoying.

Zach proves that people who sell cars can be nice and respectful. That is why I sent a friend to buy her from Subaru from him. After her sales appointment, she called me to say, "Zach is awesome!" I couldn't agree more.

Oscar M. | 2011-11-03

Terrible service!!.  I don't recommend going to this place at all.  

I bought a car and only came with one key so I went to this dealer to have an extra key.  They over cut the uncut key that I provided to them and would not take responsibility for it claiming that I had not bought the key from them.  

Comparing the original key with the key that they cut  you can clearly see that their machine was not properly set up and that they had overcut the key making a deeper groove and ruiing the key.

I bought another one from them paid $75 for just the metal part.  This time was a little bit better but still there is almost no material between each groove, I am worried that it is going to break in any moment.

Stay away from this place

Trudy M. | 2011-09-14

As a member of Team Tracy walking 60 miles for the Susan G. Komen 3 Days for a Cure, I am so grateful to Carter VW Saab for donating a car for us to be at our side during the walk.  We may be a team small in numbers (16 members) but with Carter VW Saab behind us, our presence is much, much larger and we feel safe knowing that car is close and at our beckon call!

Thank you for all you do and for being there year after year!

Evan B. | 2011-08-25

My neighbor bought a 2011 Outback 3.6R Limited from Tony in June. He did a quote request through Carter Subaru Ballard's website, Tony responded with a great price, and the deal was quick and efficient. I loved his car and hit Tony up the next day. He gave me the same price; the car was on its way, would be in the following week and was reserved for me. Over the next few days I got cold feet: I was just starting a new job, wasn't sure when my first paycheck would arrive, etc etc. I told Tony I was backing out, but that I'd be interested in rekindling in August after I'd settled in at the new digs. He was totally cool, no pressure or pushback.

Fast-forward to August 1. Tony sends a feeler e-mail to see if I'm still interested. I am. Still looking for the same thing: 2011 Outback 3.6R Limited, Silver. He's got one coming in. It has the bumper cover, mud flaps, all-weather floor mats and body side moldings. Perfect. He gives me a better price than a few months previous, and I'm a happy camper.

Here are the two big, important things that stand out about working with Tony:

1) The train/delivery truck was delayed and the car arrived a few days later than expected. I had sold my previous car based on the expected arrival date and the two day delay left me without transportation. Tony quickly hooked me up with a free (and quite nice) loaner car to fill in the gap. Absolutely fantastic customer service.

2) The transaction was quick and effortless. Some people enjoy the search and process of buying new things, especially cars. Not me. I know what I want and I don't like to haggle, barter or waste time. The total time for the transaction was a few e-mails with Tony and about 90 minutes at the dealership doing paperwork. Fantastic.

If you're looking for a Subaru in Seattle, I can't recommend Tony Robertson at Carter Subaru in Ballard highly enough. Also, I freakin' love my new Outback. Also, the dealership sold me the Heavy Duty Cargo Rack for $199, and SoA offered the $150 rebate. $50 for a sweet accessory? Yes, please.

Joseph T. | 2011-08-17

John Lamm--that's who you want looking after you. Leased from him 4 years ago and I was back this week to buy. He was patient over the last few months helping find the car I wanted within my budget. And we found the car I wanted, the color I wanted, the amenities I didn't need but wanted (sunroof! bluetooth!). It was a great experience all around. Driving off with that new Golf was pure VW-happiness.

J B. | 2011-08-09

I bought a used car from Carter VW about 6 years ago- a great Passat Wagon. Scott Taylor was my sales person, and a pleasure to work with. He answered all of my questions about the car, and was able to work with the budget I had set. I'd never bought a used car but knew that buying a warranty was a must for me, and after talking over options with Finance (Bill Deamer), I was able to leave with the car I wanted and reassurance I had good coverage should something come up. That warranty saved me a few hundred dollars a couple of times, and roughly $1200 one instance when I had an issue with the heater core!  A very smart choice to opt in on a warranty.
Every time I have taken my wagon in for service, Paul Dudley has been patient, thorough, and helpful in explaining what was done, or what needed to be done. He has never spoken down to me, and even went so far as to have work that was done on my rear brakes done all over again FOR FREE due to a paperwork error that made it unclear if it was the front or rear that were worked on. If that's not showing a high-level of integrity and service, I don't know what is.
I returned to Carter this month to lease a new car, and made the concious choice to go see Scott and Bill again, based on my previous positive experience and overall opinion toward Carter. During the few visits I had to test drive several cars, I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Murphy, Sales Manager. Dan was able to help guide my decision toward the right car knowing my active lifestyle. He helped ensure the overall process was executed smoothly, with timely paperwork from finance, Scott helping me learn all about the car's functions and options, and seeing to it that overall I left feeling great about my overall experience. Everyone did an amazing job following up with me too- calls the day after I left the lot, and a subsequent call the day after I completed my overall survey.
These guys are held to a very high-standard across the board, and take their respective jobs in sales, finance and service very seriously. I tip my hat to this kind of work ethic, and hope they get recognized for their hard work by their superiors in the right way. Had I known that a 10 on their scale of feedback is frowned upon (meaning they should have all Exceptionals), I would have marked my scores differently. Most of my responses WERE Exceptional, and I think it's unfortunate that even an 8 or a 9 send a flag that things weren't good enough- NOT TRUE! Things were FANTASTIC overall, and you have my vote and recommendation to anyone buying or leasing a used or new car.
I suggest using a new survey tool or at the very least, getting management to recognize that they are doing a stellar job. Keep up the great work Carter and thank you for taking such good care of me, and my cars.

Laura M. | 2011-06-02

I just traded in my 2006 Highlander Hybrid and leased a new Jetta SE with convenience package and sunroof from Carter VW.  I worked with both Donielle and Leighton.  They were great.  The manager, Debbie, was very helpful and pleasant to work with.  Overall, I felt like everyone was honest with me and I got what I was promised with no pressure or games.  

I did a lot of research and looked at many different cars before making my decision.  There was about a month between when I first met Donielle at Carter and when I finally decided to go ahead with the lease.  During that time no one pressured me or made me feel like I was wasting their time.  The price I was quoted was the real price, no surprises!  

My original plan had been to sell my Highlander myself but the trade deal they offered me was so good I decided to take it.  I got enough money back to pay off all of my credit card debt, so I am thrilled!  

Thank you, Carter VW!

Shelly W. | 2011-04-15

Our experience here, guided by Teresa Prescott and Dan Murphy, was really exceptional. It just was. They listened to our needs and respected our budget. They worked to find us exactly what we wanted at a fair price. To our surprise, they exceeded our expectations. They were professional, knowledgeable and helpful without putting pressure on us--no hassling, which is such a relief when getting a car! it was a classy experience rather than the kind you dread. I wouldn't hesitate to return.

Kristine H. | 2011-03-18

When the time came for a new vehicle, the clear winner was the 2008 VW Eos.  I contacted the Costco Auto Programme and started the process of finding the car I wanted.  Carter was able to get the car that I wanted with the features I sought and for roughly what I wanted to pay.

I've dutifully taken in my car for regular maintenance and for a couple of service issues that were both covered under warranty.  The service department has always been friendly and informative.  On the occasions that I've waited for my vehicle, I take a quick walk down the road for some Mexican food and return when they call.  If the repairs take more than a day, I've always been lucky to receive a loaner for the duration of my repairs.

Recently there was an issue with my battery that involved two separate visits.  Both times the problem was resolved and because I was so patient with them, I was given free oil changes for future visits along with apologies.

Jeff C. | 2011-03-16

We've bought two VWs here, both of which we are currently driving.  When getting service I've usually dealt with Fred and Bart  and both have been fantastic.  They've always been very straightforward about choices (not to mention nice)  and on many occasions they have had advice or found other options for us that resulted in them *not* doing service (and not making money). I'm shocked to read the poor reviews - for us they've been great.

Voshte G. | 2011-02-06

My car was bought there and my family bought 2 others cars within a couple years from these guys, so I would expect more from them.  This is about the SERVICE department.  I brought in my car for an 80K service- which ran me about 2K$$$ + or minus a few extra things that needed repairs.  That being said they messed up my paperwork and didn't staple a coupon that Carter had sent me. When I went to pay they said there isn't anything they could do about the discount until the person that wrote up my paperwork was there (again do I need to mention that this was a coupon Carter had sent me), being a weekend it would be 2 they wanted to charge my card and I'd have to deal with it later.  Where is the Customer Service and the Customer being right??? The Service guy I dealt with was very arrogant and rude and wouldn't do anything to try to help correct the problem.  There is no customer service here so I will now go elsewhere....

Francella D. | 2011-02-06

I wandered into Carter VW after being overwhelmed with all the personal research I'd done on the Passat.  John Lamm greeted me, and took care of me, educating me on the history of the Jetta and the Passat. He also helped me understand the safety and technology changes that have taken place over recent years (my current American car is a 1994).  After a lengthy test drive, John gave me great advice and encouragement (completely pressure free) about my continuing search.  I really appreciated the time he took to give me a thorough education on such a busy Saturday.

Meredith S. | 2011-01-16

Seemed great at first. Lots of pressure when we bought the car but I figured, that's a car dealer for you. We love our Jetta Wagon, but we've put a lot of repairs on it. The more we go there, the less I like it. The repair guys are pretty rude to us and are not very helpful. I would consider buying another car there but I'll be taking my repairs and maintenance elsewhere.

Shantel M. | 2010-12-30

As have other yelpers have hinted at, I'm shocked with all the bad reviews. I had nothing but excellent,friendly, and professional service at Carter Volkswagen. This December I purchased a 2004 Saab 9-3 from Zach who was nothing short than extremely friendly and knowledgable about the car. From scheduling the test drive to having the keys in my hand, I was impressed about the amazing customer service I encountered. Since I did not have a car at the current time, Zach picked me pick and dropped me off at my house everytime we met concerning the car. Additionally, there were a couple of scratches on the body of the car that they are buffering out for free. I would certainly buy another car from Zach at CVS.

Mark S. | 2010-12-05

I came up from SF to Seattle to help my college graduate son (UCLA, Class of 2010) purchase a used car on his own. "In my day",buying a used car was brutal and the resulting feeling was similar to watching my Cal Bears lose to UW last week.  However, to my surprise, the complete opposite happened. ...the result was a great car at a fair price (for both the car purchase and his own trade in value), a quick and seamless transaction, along with a "no pressure", well-informed and gracious sales professional (John Lamm).   John promptly greated us as we walked into the showroom and where at other car dealerships, the sales person was dissappointed that we were looking at used cars, John was simply glad that we were interested in viewing cars at Carter.  During our test drive, John proved to be very knowledeable about the make, year and model (2007 Jetta Wulfsberg Edition) of car that my son was interested in as well as the car that we were trading in (2003 Jetta GLI).

John realized that the resale values are all posted on the inet, so he didn't try to downgrade the value of my son's car, nor did he inflate the value of the 2007 Jetta.

John offered an initial fair value for both, left the room to allow my son to discuss it with me and upon John's return, My son asked for a slightly higher trade in value for his own car.  John took @10 minutes to discuss it with his own manager.  From our seats in the showroom, we saw them get into my son's car, start it and perform a more in depth assessment of his car. John then returned and agreed to the slightly higher trade in value..

The price negotations took only15 minutes!! They then proceeded to detail the car (even at 5pm on a chilly Saturday nite), filled up the gas, walked my son through the newer features, talked to him about the extended warranty (they were not pushy at all, even after my son declined the extended warranty).

In the end, my son's first car purchase went so well, that I wondered why I came up here at all, when I could have been back in sunny CA, watching my beloved WORLD CHAMPION SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS replay their World Series Victory on my new 47 inch VIZIO LED TV!!!

I'm a BMW guy myself, but if I was to buy another car, it woud be from John Lamm.

Highly recommend!!!

Anthony S. | 2010-12-04

I went in their twice with the goal of leaving with a new car.  One time, after parking 3 blocks away, and walking in the driving rain, I get in the show room and it just seems like nobody wanted to be in the business of selling cars.  Second visit, yep, had to park three blocks away again, I finally found a salesman,   But he must of just won the lottery as rounding up a car for a test drive was not something he seemed to want to do,  I bought my car from Chaplins.  They will get my service work too as your location is not user friendly and the shop is a mess.  Sorry.

Stan F. | 2010-11-28

I feel really sad to write this review.  I used to love Carter Saab even after it was no longer a Saab dealership.  Unfortunately, they seemed to have changed.  I wanted to get my oil changed and in the old days they used to fit me in.  But I tried twice to get my car in and they were all booked up and then on the third try they asked me how many miles I had.  I said close to 60,000 miles and they said that I should have the 60,000 mile maintenance.  I said that I wanted an oil change only and they said that they were booked up.  So, then I decided to ask if I were to do the 60,000 mile service would they be able to fit me in and they said yes.  So, it felt like they didn't want my business for a simple oil change but if I wanted to spend more, then they could help me.  This is not how the old Carter Saab used to be.

Gary H. | 2010-11-21

Not impressed. Zach was pretty cool when I spoke with him. When I went in to meet him, I got passed off to Scott. He was selling the benefits of the Jetta TDI I was driving and was knowledgeable of the product. The problems started when he answered a call on the test drive and proceeded to get into an argument with a customer. The conversation lasted until we got back the dealer. He hung up and spoke poorly of the customer. I called him on it and said when you're being paid money, there's no reason to be rude. I than advised that the Jetta was fine but I'd rather have a Golf TDI. He kept trying to talk me into the Jetta and I finally got fed up and told him he's not listening to me. He snapped back that he was...If he was, he would have focused on my needs rather than the car he wanted to unload. I should have left at that point. When we got to the negotiation they spent an incredible amount of time only to match the offer given by Chaplins. Hmmm...lets see...I've always had friendly, helpful service from Chaplins as well as a good deal. In this instance, I was pushed off to another salesman, had to overhear trash talk about a CUSTOMER, was treated rudely and ended up only costing ME time.  I will be going to Chaplins.

Holly G. | 2010-11-05

I read all the reviews and was prompted to tell my experience.  I decided I wanted a TDI Jetta...a 2009.  My Audi Quattro qualified as a "Clunker"...a $700.00 Audi 90 - 20 valve with more than 238 K on the odometer...was now worth $5000.00!!!  Yayyy!  
My salesperson @ Carter was the one we had been recommended when my wife bought her GTI.  I told him what I wanted and he was astonished that I was going to turn my Audi 90 twenty valve into scrap.  (He loves the 20 valve engine, as it's a work of art.)  He showed me the only TDI Jetta they had and it was all "Pimped-OUT" with this ridiculous body work.  I told him I was not interested and he questioned me..."Why not?".  I replied..."'s ugly and not my style.  Why would anyone do that to an effin' diesel???"
I asked him to locate one for me, as "I'm a loyal customer and I want to purchase a car from you".  (I actually used to work at Carter.)  
So, he went into the Sales Manager to do a locate and came back to me and said..."There are no more out there."  Then, he attempted to sell me the ugly white beast that he DOES have.  I walk.  (Weasel activity!)
At home, I started calling all the V. W. Dealerships.  None at Roger Jobs in B'ham.  TWO in Burlington...but they're automatics.  Bummer.  I call every dealership I can think of...even Portland.  No 6 speeds...but, there ARE TDI's "out there".  
Finally, I remember Larson in Tacoma.  They're HUGE!  BAM!  They've just gotten a 6 speed in on a Dealer Trade from Chaplin's; 5 minute previous to my call.  It's got a sunroof and I give the sales guy a deposit over the phone.  
The transaction was smooth and the Finance Manager was really great.  I paid cash and she didn't even question my check.  V. W. gave me another $500.00 off on the car and it is currently worth MORE than I paid for it.  Cool...when does THAT ever happen???
So, I did not appreciate being lied to and having a sales person try to slam me into something I obviously hated.  I can't recommend Carter...although I wish I could.
This place just continues to disappoint.  First, it was built in 1950 something and hasn't been remodeled since.  It's a decadent dump.  I counted 10 salespeople starving there and crawling all over each other to get the straggler customers who wander in...perhaps 2-a-day.  Those poor salespeople.
The Service Department used to be great...until all the loyal long time Service Writers became disgusted and fled the scene.  The story I got was that they were overworked and suffering in an old and cramped environment that must have been dismal and depressing.  
I quit going there...they don't even wash or vacuum your car.  You get a coupon to go to Brown Bear.  If you have a Car Rack...forget THAT.  I gave mine to my neighbor.  I never even get a notice from this dilapidated dealership letting me know it's time for an oil change.  
My advice...Go somewhere else.
Honestly, I don't know how they remain in business...???

Jessica G. | 2010-10-20

I've got to agree with Lauren L. below and say I'm really surprised at the bad reviews on here. I got my 1998 Jetta with my parents here and just took it in for service. After being told by another garage that my brakes, timing belt, and serpentine belt (both belts new 18 months ago) needed to be replaced, I freaked out. My dad told me to take it to Carter and I'm glad I did. They adjusted my brakes and took care of a coolant leak but assured me both belts are fine. Bart in service was extremely helpful and I in no way felt pressured or taken advantage of just because I don't know anything about cars. The communication was great. They shuttled me to work and when I picked up my car, it was clean and done on time. It may be a little more expensive than some places, but they have online coupons!

Robert H. | 2010-10-15

Part 1 (Sales)

I bought my GTI at Carter about two months ago. I was extremely unsatisfied with the sales department. To be specific Ron. I sat down with Ron after I took the car for a spin (I absolutely love the car) and he started puting me through the normal "if I could do this would you" routine. I told him what I needed for my trade and after waiting there for 5 hours!!!! He said that he would call me in the morning. I never got a call from Ron that morning. It took three days for him to call me and he said to come down because he has the manager where he wants him and they would give me what I needed for the trade. I drove down there and the manager took my car for a spin. He said that he could meet me in the middle.... I told them what I want if you can't do it fine! I know what the car is worth! I know what KBB trade value is! Ron said he would call me the next day. No call from Ron...  I called I wanted the car. Come to find out from another sales guy Ron doesn't even work on that day! The next day Ron calls me and says the manager gave the ok. He will call me back in a half hour to see if we could do the deal that night. Now 5 days after I test drove the car. No call from Ron. I called the sales department to ask about the situation. They said oh yeah Ron said he spoke with you and you will be down in a half hour. What! He hasn't even called me back! I did go down and by the car. But the first thing I did after I left was remove those Carter Plate Frames. I am not proud or pleased that I bought my vehicle at Carter.

Part 2 (Service)

When I bought my vehicle there was a small tear in the seat. I was written an IOU to fix it at a later date. I made my appointment a week ago. I was very specific on the phone about what was to be done. That the panel would have to be replaced. Everything is fine I am slowly making my way to Seattle on a Friday morning in traffic. I get to the dealership and pull into the service drive. I go inside to "See the man in the grey shirt". The "man in the grey shirt" tells me that he's very sorry, but they do not have the part to fix it. As a matter of fact he is not even sure how to get it! I took the time off work and gas to make my way to Seattle and have it fixed to find out they scheduled my service without even ordering the parts?!!!! I should've known that the service dept would be about the same quality as the sales...piss poor. if I don't have to I will NEVER go back to this place again. Writing this Novel of a review is worth it if people will pay attention to it and stay away from this trap. Who cares if they have history in Ballard...yada yada yada... What do you want quality? or the place thats been ripping people off since 1960?

Lauren G. | 2010-10-13

I'm shocked to read all of the poor reviews for Carter Volkswagen. I have now owned two Volkswagens from Carter (spanning 4 years) and have NEVER had a problem with either the Sales or Service departments.

I bought my first Volkswagen, a 2006 Jetta that was previously a demo vehicle, from Zach Clements in June of 2006. We had a wonderful experience with Zach, no pressure, answered all of our questions, and found the EXACT color/feature combo that I wanted within a matter of hours. Zach even called me during the holidays of 2006 and 2007 to wish me a happy holiday season and see if there was anything I needed with regards to my vehicle.

I serviced this vehicle at Carter for 4 years before I got into an accident with it a few weeks ago. I was always able to get a loaner car - even the two times that I forgot about appointments, the schedulers were happy to reschedule me. I was never overcharged, always had a tech (which is what I think they call them there) call me and explain in laborious detail the costs associated with any service. They also gave me the option to turn down extraneous items, which I always did. I had zero problems with my Jetta while I was driving it except for one coil recall, which was taken care of in 24 hours.

It was this high level of service that lead me to call Zach as soon as I was buying another car to replace my Jetta. He gave me an amazing deal on a 2010 Jetta - with three years of free maintenance. I had a great experience with the Finance Manager and didn't feel pressure to buy an extended warranty - even though I did. I added on 3 years and 24K miles to my 3 year/36K bumper-to-bumper warranty for only $1,200. This was worth it to me for my peace of mind, but I see some other users on this site complaining that they were even ASKED about buying a warranty. This was not offensive to me at all.

They stayed late on a Saturday to get me all set up, detailed my car overnight, and had it ready for me on Sunday morning. I recognize about 75% of the employees from reception to sales to service to the butlers/valets when I go to Carter - many have been there 4 years or more, which to me is a great sign.

All in all a great experience!

George C. | 2010-09-29

I never go off about service but these guys are slime balls!

My wife sends her VW in for a recall on her sunroof and decides to get an oil change as well.  They notice that she has a couple of burnt out tail lights and replaces them for $60!!!


Stay away from Carter.

Bernard B. | 2010-08-25

I recently traded in my wife's 2008 Scion xB for a 2010 Golf. Donielle greeted us as we arrived on the lot and immediately helped us locate the exact car we wanted (color and options). They didn't have the car on their lot, but even though it was Sunday they were able to get the car immediately from a nearby dealership and have it prepped for us while we had lunch and my wife did some shopping.

The whole process was smooth and simple. They gave me what I wanted for my trade and I got the Golf for a reasonable price at 0% interest. Their finance guy thoroughly explained all the possible protection/warranty packages, but wasn't pushy about them when I elected not to purchase any (I really appreciated this).

After this experience, I would certainly buy another vehicle from this dealer and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to friends in search of a car. The car is great and my wife is thrilled with it. Thanks Donielle!

On an unrelated note, the brand new Golf cost me less to insure than the 3 year old xB. Who knew?

Richard M. | 2010-08-20

Service Department:  Do Not Use These Guys!  They are like most dealer service departments.  They are expensive.  They sell parts at a premium and they will find 10 things to fix that you don't need done.  They are slow and are uncompetitive.  There are so many other options.  You can get most VW parts online for less than half the price this dealer charges.  I know a lot of people take their cars to the dealer, but you have to get the pricing up front.

Jenny S. | 2010-07-11

After a difficult time with our Passat Wagon (purchased at another dealership 6 years ago), if  anyone  would have ever told me I would buy another VW, I would have said they were crazy.  Today, I am a happy customer with a brand new Jetta.   Thank you, Carter VW, for hiring Dan Murphy as your sales manager.   Dan listened to our awful Passat  story, and went all out to reinstate our confidence in Volkswagen.  I am beyond impressed.  Thank you also to Donielle for taking the time (on an extremely hot day in a very hot car!)  to hook up both mine and my husbands bluetooth.  You all bent over backwards for us - thank you so much!

Ian T. | 2010-06-30

This month I purchased a wonderful 2005 Jetta TDI, following a friend's recommendation after she had some good repair work done.  I'm glad I took her advice.

Dan was professional, entertaining, and quickly helped me to determine the right option to get me back on the road with no sales pressure.  To boot, he really went to bat for me getting the vehicle properly financed at a rate notably lower than I had expected, and I couldn't be happier.

Thanks to Dan, Jonathan, and the financial fellow who's name I feel terrible for forgetting- in 200,000 miles when this thing bites it, I'll certainly be back again.  Highly recommend this place- good people doing the right thing.

Keri C. | 2010-06-18

I'm not a big crier.  In fact, a good friend recently mentioned that she had never seen me cry in spite of the fact that we have been friends for nearly a decade.  

That said, these guys made me cry.  I won't go into the whole terrible story, but in a record amount of time I was basically called a liar, grossly misquoted a price over the phone, went from having a car that started to a car that wouldn't start, blamed for said problem, yelled at, run over and kicked in the groin.  The last two accusations didn't actually happen but I left feeling like they had.  And ultimately, yes there were tears. Terrible service.

I was here to get a new remote key.  That's it.

Sheila S. | 2010-05-25

This weekend I leased another Golf at Carter VW.  Four years ago, Rose was my salesperson and she was awesome.  I was a little concerned about going with a different salesperson this time around (Rose is no longer there), but I liked Bill Stutzman right away.  No pressure, just very helpful.  He made the process very easy and I'm so glad have him as my new salesperson.  I might even like him more than Rose.  

If you go to Carter VW, see Bill and let him know that I sent you!

As for the service department, I've only had an attitude from one person who is no longer there.  I've been able to get a loaner car every time my cars have needed service, but I also don't schedule service until they have a car available and it's been saved for me.

Giri S. | 2010-04-06

I received a nicely-worded apology from a third-party consulting firm that Carter has apparently hired to manage incidents like this. Anyway, it was a nice gesture for them to try to mitigate my bad experience. I suppose there is a chance that the particular salesman I dealt with is just a bad apple...

David S. | 2010-04-04

I worked with a sales person named Bryan DeAnda.  Let me tell you from the start how surprised I am that this is a 5 star review.  I freaking hate the car dealerships I have dealt with in the past and you can find some of my negative reviews on Yelp (University Volkswagen for instance).  Carter says they sell to you hassle free, I was skeptical.  I had to special order a Jetta TDI and they wanted me to pay $500 deposit.  I was worried, but they signed a contract saying that it was refundable if I didn't buy the car.  I liked that.  They agreed to sell the car to me for MSRP, which doesn't sound great until you realize that most dealers were selling the car with a 2-3 thousand dollar markup (University Volkswagen, stay away from those jerks!).  When the car finally got there, I went to pick it up and treated the whole thing like they were going to eventually try to screw me.  I waited for the extra charges and the up sells.  It never happened.  They sold the car to me for the price that they said they would sell the car to me, even though they knew that after special ordering it I probably would have paid some BS charges.  They were friendly and professional.  I had a great rate from BoA to finance part of the car, they beat the rate.  Yes, it is true that they will try to sell you on an extended warranty and paint, but who cares?  You can say no, they will come down in price, you can say no again.  They will come down again and you can say no again.  What is wrong with that?  I actually ended up buying the warranty as I think that having my car covered for 7 years for about $2000 extra is worth it, but you don't have to.  When I was paying the money, some of it in cash, the guy counts it and says, wait, this is too much.  No it isn't I say.  He says, remember you paid 500 down.  OMG, he handed me the money back.  I can't say enough about these guys, they were patient, honest, and did exactly what they said they would do, and I got the car of my dreams that almost no one else in Seattle has been able to get their hands on.  Truly a hassle free experience.

Jamie M. | 2010-03-17


I had my car towed here after it died on me.  After hearing my car's symptoms three people from AAA were convinced it was my alternator but was told by the service adviser it was a failed battery.  I specifically asked if they'd checked the alternator and was told no it was the battery.  They replaced it and I went home.

The very next day my car died again.  Towed it back to Carter and was told now... it's the alternator.  When I reminded the service adviser of my question, I was told that would have required extra tests to determine.   I told the adviser this was not offered to me and therefore I did not feel they were taking the necessary steps to ensure I was getting the best possible service they could provide.  I also brought up that it wasn't noted on my service report the customer requested the alternator to be looked at and it wasn't necessary.  They cited it as a clerical error.  Which they weren't willing to fix or budge on.  I asked for the supervisor to call me and I didn't hear anything for hours.  Had to callback only to find out he'd left for the day.
I went in the next day to speak with him in person and he was beyond rude.  I will never take my car here nor buy from them.

I've heard Carl's on 55th by UVillage is good.  I'm trying him out next time.

Marisa S. | 2010-03-16

Terrible.  I leased my car from them and when I decided to buy the car they were extremely rude and unhelpful, especially the finance department.  I left the guy TWO messages and he did not call me back, I then realized it was because I was planning on buying directly from Volkswagen and since they were not making a commission they didn't care about their customer service.  Also, I had simple questions that anyone should be able to answer who works at a dealership and the receptionist was completely unknowledgeable.  Go somewhere else.

John D. | 2010-02-24

After buying my first car at Carter and having a great experience with Bill in sales; I decided to use their service department.  Big mistake.  They charge too much money and don't know the first thing about customer service.  The staff is beyond rude.   Avoid!!!

Kristina R. | 2010-01-14

We purchased a used car from them in July and the Salesman "John" bent over backwards to get us into the car.  We paid the asking price.  First he didn't know the car had a built in ipod connector (not really that big of deal)   But the car was listed in having two keys with remotes and he told us we would have to buy the second ($150).  After showing the ad we got the second key.  Then the car had no manual.  He got us one but not for the year of the car.  We asked for the one for the car and he said it would have to be ordered....6 months after calling and emails we finally got one from another person.  Then to top things off..I was stopped by the police for not having the vehicle licensed!!!!  The tabs were expired by 2 months. (I guess I should of paid more attention but, whoever looks at your license plate??) They never sent us the title to the car and we never got anything that the tabs were going to expire!!!  We paid on our bill of sale for a licensing fee.  I will never have anything GOOD to say about these people!!!  Promise the world when they want to get you into the car and the horrible follow up!!! DON'T BUY FROM BALLARD CARTER VOLKSWAGON

Mike O. | 2009-11-08

Since 2003 my wife and I have leased 2 vehicles from Carter and have been very happy. Most of all, when we returned the first vehicle after 4 years, there were no charges!! Go read my review of Toyota of Lake City if you want to read about my bad experience. You can trust Carter not to rip you off. My salesman has always been Scott. He is top notch, polite, and helped my wife and I  rebuild our credit. We love Carter VW.

Jen S. | 2009-10-18

For some reason my review was removed... Here is what I posted the beginning of September.

I had a wonderful experience with Carter.  I had never bought a new car before and was a bit nervous about it.  I had done my research and knew what I wanted to look at.  I had gone to Honda and Toyota dealers before this stop and they acted as if they did not have the time to answer my questions or even ask if I wanted to test drive a vehicle.   My sales person at Carter, Zach, let me look at the car I wanted and asked if I wanted to test drive it minutes into our conversation.  He knew a lot a  read more »  bout the car and about the competitor vehicles so he was able to compare and contrast the features for me.   Zach answered all the questions I had and helped me to feel confident about purchasing it.  The color I wanted wasn't on the lot so he called around and was able to get one to me a few hours after I bought it.  

I love the car and enjoyed the process to get it.  I know Zach was really busy but he took as long as it needed to answer my questions, complete my paper work, while being personable and acting as if he had nowhere else he needed to be.

I was just as intimidated to deal with all the financing, but Alexander was patient and explained everything to me clearly.

I appreciated Zach's respect and time and recommend him, Alexander, and Carter to my friends and colleagues

Cathy G. | 2009-10-17

Got all the way into the final negotiation for a car I loved. Then they tried to upsell me on expensive 800? warranty and special body waxing and more.

I walked. MAD

Erika C. | 2009-10-17

Not helpful. Not friendly. All about making a dime and not about customer service in any way. Paul is terrible. Never going back. Wish I could give them negative stars.

Convinced that dealerships are not the way to go for service on a car.

Shannon F. | 2009-08-23

Awful awful awful.  Don't go here.

While most of these reviews are about the car service center here, I came to Carter to buy a car.  Still, it was awful.  First, let me state that I am an informed car buyer, armed with tons of research and information with me.  So, I was working with a guy named Ron all day long.  Seemed like a nice enough guy, helped me all day, took me on a few test drives, the normal stuff.  I had finally decided that  I was interested in a Passat Sedan, but neither the black or white gold that he currently had on his lot.  He didn't like that very much.  When I told him my financial situation and that I needed my monthly lease payments to be within this certain range, he said fine.  He made me an offer, I said sure, and told him I would come back after dinner (as I had already been there for 4 hours and my puppy was surely suffering.)  

I came back at 7p looking to sign paperwork.  First, I waited a FULL HOUR before I even saw the guy, although about 6 employees at the dealership asked me if i had been helped and obviously hadn't bothered once to say "oh, your customer from earlier is here ready to sign...".  THEN, he gave me the typical dirty-car-salesman run around.  He took this "offer" to his manager (which was initially at the low end of my range) and took 30 mins.  He said he found ONE car in the "zone" of his that would match my criteria (yeah, right) and that with that, he would have to up my payments $40 HIGHER than my RANGE, per month!  Ooooh, BUT, he COULD offer me within my range on one of the cars that he had on his lot (although, I had made it very clear that I wasn't interested in either of those).  

After all of this, it was 9p.  They had closed at 8, and I was planning on a movie at 9:50.  I point blank then asked "I told you i have to be in that range, and if you can't do that, what was the whole point of all this stuff all day long??"  What was the final straw was when he tried to blame ME for not understanding what was going on and that it was MY fault.  

No way.  Screw you too Ron.  I went the next day to University VW and bought a really great Passat, with exactly what I wanted in it, for the low end of my price range.

Ron called me today asking if i was still interested in this "deal".  I didn't call him back, and would never recommend them to anyone.

Pablo G. | 2009-07-19

John and Bill are a pleasure to work with, buying a car is a complete different experience when it is crystal clear that the sales associate and the manager spend time looking at the best options for you, while being personable. I can't wait to come back and buy me Black GLI.
Awesome car shopping experience. ... or red? the white is so nice... oh lord help me

Danphi V. | 2009-04-21

I bought my Jetta from here in 1995 and take it in occasionally for items I think the dealer might be best able to fix. This time, the lock on my drivers door broke so I stopped by when it happened to make an appointment for the following week. I spoke with Paul and he set up my appointment.

I brought the car in today and Fred wrote up my work order. Told me the complimentary shuttle would be calling for me on the loud speaker shortly. I waited outside, looking at the nice new cars on the lot. A gal approaches me and starts chatting me up, I asked her if she is the shuttle driver and I think she was a little annoyed by that remark. Would have been nice just to wait in peace rather than get sized up by this sales chick, but people gotta make a living I suppose. Fortunately the loud speaker announced the shuttle was going to leave, so I got on my way.

Shuttle driver was nice and not much talking on the ride home. She did indicate that they could pick me up when the car was ready, which I thought was a nice offer.

Fred called in the afternoon and said they did a 10 point inspection and found that my brake lights were out, so I said go ahead and change them. While I like knowing that all my lights work, it did make my tab go up quite a few dollars. $40 for labor and 12 for the bulbs. Ouch!!

Paid my bill and the guy who brought the car around was cordial enough and told me to enjoy the sunshine. In the past, the car has always been washed when I picked it up, now they give a coupon to Brown Bear in the name of environmental friendliness.

Everyone I dealt with was mostly courteous and reasonably professional. This is Seattle after all, an outstanding experience is truly rare and what others have said about Carter here is usually the norm (shoddy, I'm doing you a favor by even acknowledging your presence, let alone thank you for spending money at my establishment, etc) around town. My visit scores a solid 2.5 stars for being perfectly average, yet getting fixed what I needed.

Manuel A. | 2009-04-10

If only there were a zero rating. I bought my VW here several years ago and things started to go downhill as soon as I signed my papers. After receiving poor service, being lied to, and literally stolen from (my parking money while they had my car) I refused to ever go back there. I do all my own maintenance but, with my crappy VW and all its recalls, I had to take it somewhere. I moved over to UW VW for where initially had good service until the incompetency came out. I am just about out of warranty so I will not be going back to a VW dealer ever for service.

Dennis B. | 2009-01-26

I bought a used VW Beetle convertible at my old Chrysler dealership and decided to try Carter for my servicing needs. A friend of mine has had a terrible time at University VW and I didn't want to go through what he went through. I have been impressed with the customer service at Carter. Nice people, good communication. They even let me have a loaner car despite not meeting the criteria to do so.

Something Like a Phenomenon S. | 2009-01-20

Sorry, kids!  Carter Saab is no more:…

Micheal A. | 2009-01-16

I bought a car here in 1999.  The salesman wrote down a sales number on a sheet of paper, and when I went in to write the check to the finance manager he claimed there had been a mistake- that I needed to pay more or he'd lose money (he also dropped the F bomb).

Since then I've attempted to purchase two more vehicles from them (glutton for punishment?).  Their salespeople are cocky with a lack of knowledge of current market conditions.  

I purchased one of the cars that Carter could have sold me from Chaplin's in Bellevue- excellent transaction.

The other car I purchased from University Audi, another excellent transaction.

The only thing convenient about Carter is their location- I suggest shopping around, and you're sure to see what I saw- that Carter could care less about gaining or retaining their customers.

Joshua B. | 2008-08-04

Picture yourself with fists of rage yelling "Saaaaaaaaab!" like Kirk yelling "Kaaaaahhn" in Star Trek and you'll be on the same page as me. Maybe it's my fault for buying what is essentially a GM car, but still, Carter failed, failed, failed to stand behind the product they sell, so they get a bum rating from me.

I will say I had a great initial purchase experience here, but Saab and Carter Saab's unwillingness to cover what were clearly manufacturing defects really turned me off. I should have known that my Saab (2002 9-5 wagon) was going to be trouble when it had all sorts of little defects (light bulbs going out, leaks in coolant system) during the warranty period. But I figured, the car drives nicely, and these things are covered, so what's the big deal.

I'll tell you what the big deal is - The first year out of warranty I ended up having to pay almost $2,000 to repair persistent leaks in the cooling system. This was when the car had under 25k in miles and all its recommended services. Carter Saab said, "Tough luck, but try calling Saab (GM) directly." No dice there. So I pleaded and begged Carter to stand behind their products, as this was clearly a case where it was in their best interest, but they wouldn't.

In contrast, my experience at other dealerships (including Lexus of Seattle and Toyota of Seattle) has been much more positive. Next time around not only will I not be buying another Saab, I think I'll avoid buying any of the other shops in the Carter family (VW, Subaru).

Craig L. | 2008-07-28

Very disappointing.  Of course, I paid them $520 to do close to nothing (oil change, top off filters, run diagnostics, visual inspection)--this is the standard rate for the periodical check ups.  Kind of annoying, but really, it's all stuff I could do if I had the time and a garage, but that's the dealers bread and butter,

What I found most annoying about Carter was the lack of customer service.  Sure, the service writers are very kind when they schedule an appointment and check in the car; however, nobody spoke to me when I picked up my car: no explanation of charges, no "thank you," no conversation.  I waited for five minutes to talk with a service writer about the repairs and charges, but had no luck.  Even the shag boy was curt--not even a "thanks."  They really need to practice some courtesy there, maybe bring in a consultant on how to treat customers, as they seemed clueless.  I dropped a ton of cash for virtually nothing, and hardly was thanked at all.  That's just plain rude.

Can't really judge their work--since basically I could have done the same thing at Jiffy Lube for $120, but face-to-face, they weren't communicative after they had done the work on my car.

I just discovered this morning that they didn't take the core out of my car, as I requested, so now I am taking another trip back to the dealership.  Would have been nice if they had completed all the work on the service order.

liz s. | 2008-04-08

I'd been taking my VW over to University VW for warranty repairs, but finally the lazy side of my personality took over and the next time it broke down, I had it towed in to Carter.   Busted radiator.  Bummer.  Still under warranty, though, so I was feeling okay.  Everything was normal, they gave me a ride to work and I picked up my fixed car at the end of the day.  They tried to sell me an extended warranty for $2000, which I politely declined because I was an idiot and had NO idea how much money I'd be shelling out for my sweet little P.O.S. of a Passat.  But that's a totally different review.

A week later, the warranty expires.  Two days later, the car starts dying.  Suddenly, mysterious, in the middle of driving, and it starts dying.  And by the way, it's the day before Thanksgiving.  Awesome!  Of course Carter didn't have any loaners, but they wouldn't even look at the car for at least five days.  Cause, you know, they were really busy.  And then they quoted nearly $800 for the repair (even though they weren't sure what it was because they wouldn't even look at it.)  I had a moment of panic.  I had three houses of dogs to take care of, a job to work, and those required a ton of driving.  That's cool though.  I've got no pride.  I flat out begged them to look at the car - think of the hungry animals!  The dogs crossing their legs while I sat waiting for slow ass Metro on holiday schedule!

No luck.

I called up University VW, they fit me in, replaced a busted engine coil in two hours and for less than half of Carter's ridiculous pretense of an estimate.  Now, guess how many times I've gone back to Carter!  That's right.  A big, fat zero.

Star D. | 2008-03-27

The experience I had at Carter VW is a huge talking point in my friend group. People can't believe such bad customer service actually exists, but I have the paperwork in my glovebox to prove it. The battery in my VW kept going dead. When I took it in to Carter, they charged me 500 bucks for some new wiring and a new battery. When I picked up the car, two days later, the new battery went dead again. I made another appointment and dropped my car off again. I left with promises they would call the next day with a diagnosis. 3 days later, I called my service advisor and left a message. 2 days after that I called again (my message remained unanswered). He was on vacation, so I asked to speak with someone who might know about my car. I was put on hold and some new person picked up and told me my car was ready to be picked up and my bill was another 300 dollars (which I hadn't authorized). When I went to pick up my car, they couldn't pull my car around because it wouldn't start. Apparently the battery had gone dead. This time I got a little angry and asked if I could get a loner car, which they gave me, since hitching rides from friends to pick up my "fixed" car was getting frustrating. A week went by with no word. I called my service advisor again. He said they were still troubleshooting the problem. Another week went by. I called again. He said they were still troubleshooting, but getting closer. This went on and on. When I finally picked up my car over 3 weeks AFTER I had dropped it off the second time, I paid my insanely expensive bill (over 1000 dollars in total) I got in my car only to find MY RADIO HAD BEEN STOLEN. Not only stolen, but pretty much the dash had been ruined by someone using a crowbar to rip the thing out. I went back into Carter, asked for the manager who was really rude to me. He actually asked me "Are you SURE you had a radio when you dropped the car off?" They replaced the radio (but not the dash) which took another week. All in all, the battery problem did get fixed, but I went home 1 grand poorer, frustrated, with a messed up dashboard and over a month without my car.

Please don't take your car to carter. If you're in the mood for self torture, stick hot pokers into your eyes... it'll be cheaper.

Christina P. | 2008-03-26

We buy all of our cars here and I've yet to have a bad experience. I normally take the cars in for servicing since I work nearby and I've never had any problems with the loaners. The reviewer below me claims that because she is a girl she is not given a loaner, but I have to disagree. People call ahead of time for routine maintenance appointments and make loaner reservations then - It sucks that they don't have enough loaners for her last minute repairs, but that's the reality of scheduling. Also, the service department is really professional and helpful.

Katie S. | 2007-12-28

First time I bought a car here, I had this great chick salesperson. Experience was great. I mainly went here because of the 'hassle free' loan car deal.
I bought another car here 21/2 years ago and I'm not as happy. The people are nice enough (especially the service desk and service advisor on the phone) but here's my problem: Every single darn time I need work done (something breaks down) they tell me they don't have any loaners available. Period. No matter how much I beg and tell them that since I have a toddler to haul around, I REALLY need one. Then, my husband calls back and with his TESTOSTERONE POWER gets them to give us a car. This has happened 4 out of 5 visits.
Do I not rate as a customer unless I am a man? Why do they turn ME down for the loaner, then say yes to my Mr.?
That ticks me off. I'm glad to get the car, I need the car, but I don't appreciate the runaround.
That's all. I would like to buy from them again because they are in my neighborhood, but this issue steams me!

Jim B. | 2007-11-21

In 1999 I bought a new Saab 9-5 Wagon from Carter, have had it serviced there every time.  They've always been great to me, have worked to get me a loaner car even when they are all out on the road, and gave me a good deal to start with.

The service quality has been great over the years.  In and Out of warranty.  Over 8 years, the car has taken its share of knocks and they've seen to it that it comes back spiffy.

And, they are still in Civilization.  They aren't located out in some Auto-ghetto in Fife or Bellevue.  They are right in Ballard, with the people and the restaurants.  What more could one ask?