Car Rental Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara, CA, United States
5 Dec — 12 Dec
Same drop-off
Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Sat 5/12
Noon
Sat 12/12
Noon

Santa Barbara car rental information

Pick-up locationSanta Barbara
Rental locations13
Airport locations7

Santa Barbara car rental reviews and directory

Rated no. 1
Alamo
Best rated
8.8 Excellent (129 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara
Alamo
Locations in Santa Barbara
500 James Fowler Rd+1 805 967 1204
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday08:00 - 18:00
  • 8.7
  • 8.8
  • 8.8
  • 9
  • 8.8
Recent reviews
9.6 Excellent18 Aug 2020
Pros: Staff was friendly and efficientCons: Car was a little dirty inside.
9.6 Excellent26 Jun 2020
Pros: Easy, fast, and safe.
10.0 Excellent14 Mar 2020
Pros: fast and courteous
2.0 Mediocre3 Jan 2020
Cons: Car wasn’t available when we arrived, total mess
9.6 Excellent30 Nov 2019
Cons: Room was nice, clean but a bit noisey
4.4 Okay5 Oct 2019
Pros: Staff was ok but didn’t explain much and left me to find the car which wasn’t in the correct spotCons: Vehicle was full of ants. Didn’t have any instruction of when or where to bring car back
9.6 Excellent26 Aug 2019
Pros: The staff was so very helpful. Easiest car rental I have ever had.Cons: I should have opted for a bigger car.
10.0 Excellent24 Jul 2019
Pros: Nice car, pretty fast service, when I called to tell them it was scratched (just so they didn't think I did it) they were great about it.Cons: There was only one person at a desk handling two different companies. One person was in front of me, and it took longer than I would have liked, but honestly I got out of there faster than I have with other rental companies.
10.0 Excellent18 Jun 2019
Pros: Friendly on both ends. Drop off facility in LAX was easier than usual.Cons: Not much.
4.4 Okay5 May 2019
Pros: I received a carCons: They didn’t have a car when I arrived at the rental (we ran out of cars). They told me to come back to the airport at 7am. I had to yell for 15 mins to get a random large van (not what I ordered).
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Rated no. 2
Budget
8.2 Excellent (113 reviews)
2 locations in Santa Barbara
Budget
Locations in Santa Barbara
305 East Haley Street+1 805 965 1070
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday10:00 - 16:00
500 Fowler Road+1 805 964 6792
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday08:00 - 18:00
  • 8.3
  • 8.4
  • 8.2
  • 8.1
  • 7.9
Recent reviews
3.2 Mediocre1 Sep 2020
Pros: Staff was friendly.Cons: My car could have been available. When I showed up they only had two other vehicles at a much higher rate.
10.0 Excellent13 Aug 2020
Pros: Friendly and helpful staff, pick up and drop off were easy.Cons: Car could’ve been a tiny bit cleaner, but I’m just being extra nit-picky at this point.
2.0 Mediocre4 Jun 2020
Pros: I had a reservation for pick up and the rental desk was closed when I arrived. 3 hours before the official closing time. They told me to come back in the morning but I just canceled it. Completely ruined my plans.Cons: Actually be open when you say you are
10.0 Excellent1 Jun 2020
Pros: The staff in Santa Barbara was very nice and the car (beetle) was absolutely amazing! Super cheap price as well, very satisfied with the rental.Cons: When I arrived at LAX at the drop off I was super scared. I was on my own and arrived at 3 am. The place was like a ghost town, cars with wide open doors but no people and a running bus with not a single person around, it was the set up for a horror movie. I honestly was scared to death to step out of the car and I think you should tell your customers the circumstances of the drop off area because I was more than confused. I also couldn't find the shuttle bus and wandered around the place with my two suitcases until I ended up ordering an uber. Absolutely uncomfortable for a young woman traveling on her own.
5.6 Okay19 Feb 2020
Cons: Did not have the class of car we had reserved. Tried to upsell us to premium with the only alternative offered being to wait for our reserved class to come available. Should have been a free upgrade not a charge for thier error.
10.0 Excellent10 Feb 2020
Pros: Yes
10.0 Excellent2 Jan 2020
Pros: The staff in SB was super helpful. He assisted me quickly and efficiently and did not aggressively try and upsell me. The drop off in SF was very easy and straight forward. I simply walked to work after I dropped off in the morning. Could not have been more simple.Cons: It was difficult to find the drop off. It is in a busy and dense part of SF so it can be hard to find stuff in general. However, I think the entrance to the drop off could have been marked better. It was hard to find the entrance and the address was for a different street than the one the entrance to the garage was located.
10.0 Excellent12 Dec 2019
Pros: Thanks a lot for the drop off at the LAX air bus :-)
10.0 Excellent8 Oct 2019
Pros: Staff was amazingly efficient and so kind and nice.
5.2 Okay20 Sep 2019
Pros: no one could explain charges. I got charged for four extra days when I dropped off same day as planned at another location. also charged $.35 per mile extraCons: I had to change drop off and customer service on phone was awful.
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Rated no. 3
Hertz
8.1 Excellent (138 reviews)
3 locations in Santa Barbara
Hertz
Locations in Santa Barbara
114 Moffett Pl+1 805 967 0411
Monday07:00 - 18:00
Tuesday07:00 - 18:00
Wednesday07:00 - 18:00
Thursday07:00 - 18:00
Friday07:00 - 18:00
Saturday07:00 - 18:00
Sunday07:00 - 18:00
16 S. La Cumbre Road+1 805 967 1927
Monday09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday09:00 - 17:00
Thursday09:00 - 17:00
Friday09:00 - 17:00
633 E Cabrillo Blvd+1 805 962 5305
Monday09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday09:00 - 17:00
Thursday09:00 - 17:00
Friday09:00 - 17:00
  • 8.1
  • 8.3
  • 8.1
  • 8
  • 8.1
Recent reviews
8.0 Excellent11 Aug 2020
Pros: Car had been smoked in. It reeked.
9.6 Excellent18 Jul 2020
Pros: Friendly staff, accommodating.Cons: I chose the wrong pick up location by accident.
2.0 Mediocre17 Jun 2020
Cons: The facility was closed when I got there.
2.8 Mediocre15 Nov 2019
Pros: None, they don’t have any car for me. I have to find Herz office and complaints. I can rent a car after 90. Minutes. I call Herz call center for over 30mins. I can’t trust your system.Cons: All
2.4 Mediocre8 Oct 2019
Pros: Staff was friendly. Location is convenient.Cons: The vehicle was very beat up. It was missing the weatherstripping on the rear hatch, so it was very noisy. The vehicle was not the same class as what I reserved, so the MPG was way less efficient, therefore increasing fuel costs. The satellite radio service I paid for never activated.
2.0 Mediocre27 Sep 2019
Pros: They were closed during time of reservationCons: Being open
4.8 Okay18 Aug 2019
Pros: Staff was friendlyCons: Everything
10.0 Excellent31 Jul 2019
Pros: The manager was very helpful and patient, our car was clean and a good value.
10.0 Excellent29 Jun 2019
Pros: The whole experience was great - staff, check-in, return, and the car.
7.6 Good24 Jun 2019
Pros: Car was decent, and the location is convenient for me.Cons: I see no point in asking a customer to take a quick survey at pickup before even getting in the vehicle. I found that annoying.
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Rated no. 4
Enterprise
8.1 Excellent (61 reviews)
3 locations in Santa Barbara
Enterprise
Locations in Santa Barbara
3210 State St+1 805 966 3097
Monday00:00 - 00:00
Tuesday00:00 - 00:00
Wednesday00:00 - 00:00
Thursday00:00 - 00:00
Friday00:00 - 00:00
Saturday00:00 - 00:00
Sunday00:00 - 00:00
500 James Fowler Rd+1 805 683 3012
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday08:00 - 18:00
601 Chapala St+1 805 966 3097
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday09:00 - 17:00
Sunday00:00 - 00:00
  • 8.2
  • 8.1
  • 8.1
  • 7.9
  • 8
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent17 Nov 2020
Pros: Very helpful staff, pick up and drop-offCons: Nothing. Really appreciated the savings offered by using Kayak on the catastrophic coverage!
8.0 Excellent12 Nov 2020
Pros: Staff was really friendly and very accommodating. The pick up and drop off was fast and easy
4.0 Okay5 Oct 2020
Pros: The staff was able to point me in the right direction after they recognized their mistake.
2.0 Mediocre5 Sep 2020
Pros: A refund on the vehicle i never usedCons: You guys couldve been more prepared with more vehicles
6.8 Good24 Feb 2020
Pros: Too busy and not organized very well. The workers I dealt with were friends though.
9.6 Excellent31 Aug 2019
Pros: Gentleman who helped me was professional, courteous and efficient.Cons: Only thing that was a VERY MINOR problem was my lack of knowledge that the button to open gas tank cover was located on the car door (had not encountered this in other vehicles).
7.6 Good11 Jul 2019
Pros: The employees were all very helpful, courteous and professional.Cons: The vehicle was in poor condition. The alignment was so bad it pulled to the right, the front tie-rod was bent and the tires were dangerously worn. This vehicle should have never been rented in this condition. That said, 1 week into the trip Enterprise authorized the repairs at Firestone.
2.0 Mediocre3 Jul 2019
Cons: Staff was not friendly and they did not have a car for us when we arrived.
10.0 Excellent24 May 2019
Pros: yes ...all great staffCons: nothing..all good !!
2.0 Mediocre13 Apr 2019
Pros: Enterprise did not honor my reservation. They make me another reservation under enterprise website and charged me a lot moreCons: Enterprise should not be part of the website or part of the business provided. Terrible company and customer service. Mean managers st chapala st office in Santa Barbara. The agent helping me was great and very kind and helpful. Manager didn’t give a dam abt customers.
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Rated no. 5
National
9.6 Excellent (2 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara
National
Locations in Santa Barbara
500 James Fowler Rd+1 805 967 1204
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday08:00 - 18:00
  • 10
  • 8
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
Recent reviews
Rated no. 6
Avis
8.3 Excellent (23 reviews)
2 locations in Santa Barbara
Avis
Locations in Santa Barbara
305 East Haley Street+1 805 965 1079
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday10:00 - 16:00
500 Fowler Road+1 805 964 4848
Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday08:00 - 18:00
  • 8.6
  • 8.6
  • 8.3
  • 8.2
  • 7.7
Recent reviews
4.0 Okay27 Jun 2020
Pros: Staff Sue gave me a car that needed an oil change and didn’t apply insurance to vehicle. Then when I swopped the cars I needed to make a new contract That didn’t honor the daily rate and cut my trip by 2 daysCons: Honesty and accountability of the staff
8.4 Excellent24 Jun 2019
Pros: Friendly and professional staff.Cons: The rental car was not in the space on my card. No car was parked in that space. Luckily there was an attendant in the lot who approached me and found my car, and I did not have to return to the terminal.
10.0 Excellent8 Apr 2019
Pros: Accommodated special request
2.4 Mediocre5 Nov 2018
Unfriendly staff / Very Hard to locateCons: I have lieved in SB for 40 years and have driven to the airport many times. I drove past the Avis return 2x before finding it. The parking area is very poorly lit at night and the sinage is terrible. There are no arrows, signs,etc as to where to return the keys, the car, etc. The staff at the Avis desk was most unhelpful. The attendant appeared lazy and like I was bothering her to return the keys. I had the impression I had really interrupted her evening and she had more important things to do than check me out ad take the keys back. Very poor expereince.
10.0 Excellent17 Jun 2018
Pros: Didn't have to wait in a long line for pickup or drop off. Car worked well.
10.0 Excellent26 Nov 2017
Pros: the car was easy to drive - good gas milage - very comfortable - service was quick.
6.8 Good28 Aug 2017
Failed to provide fullntank on pick up and no maps in carCons: No paper maps in car or available at pickup. Tank was supposed to be full. When i filled up from empty it showed 535 miles yet we traveled less Than 400 miles.
8.4 Excellent13 Mar 2017
Hard to find where to drop offPros: She was nice and sympathetic to my horrible experience with the car, but didn't do much other than to say call LAX and complain.Cons: Hard to figure out where to turn the keys in. I could find the lot, but no signs that you need to go into the terminal. It was dark... so if there are signs I didn't see them.
7.2 Good14 Feb 2016
Not what it seemed - guy plugged in too many extraPros: Van was great, pickup was convenient, price seemed good, Drop-off easyCons: So day rate meant additional charges, including mileage and hours. That wasn't mentioned in the booking online. I bought the insurance through Kayak's site, but the guy said it was useless, should have bought avis insurance and tried to tack it on.
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Sunnycars
1 location in Santa Barbara
Sunnycars
Locations in Santa Barbara
500 Fowler Road, Goleta
Recent reviews
471 travellers who rented a car in Santa Barbara gave the car agency they used an average rating of 8.3

Car rental locations in or near Santa Barbara

Good to know

Most popular car type

Economy

When to book a rental car in Santa Barbara

Average daily price per month
Rental car prices as pick-up date approaches

Top tips for renting a car in Santa Barbara

  • A rental car is the most comfortable and practical way to explore not only the city of Santa Barbara, but also nearby Los Angeles and other major destinations along the Californian coast. A car allows you to explore the city’s attractions at your own pace, including the Santa Barbara Harbor and the Maritime Museum. Los Angeles is a two-hour drive away, while San Francisco is five hours away.
  • All of the big car rental companies, including Alamo, Avis, and Hertz, can be found at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), which is about 7 miles west of the city center. The rental car counters are located in the Rental Car Building, which is right next to the airport terminal. Simply exit the terminal, go right, and follow the RCB signs.
  • Santa Barbara is at the base of the Santa Ynez Mountains, with some roads being quite hilly. Because it’s a colonial town, it still maintains some of its older characteristics, including narrow cobblestone streets with winding turns. If you’re not used to that type of driving, it’s best to park the car in one of the many lots and explore the Old Town by foot.
  • Traffic jams in California are a given, but Santa Barbara is easier to navigate. Traffic gets worse in the morning on the 101 heading north to Santa Barbara from other towns such as Carpinteria and Ventura, and on the opposite direction in the evening. Avoid driving within the rush hour periods, between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., and then again between 4 and 7 p.m.
  • Book your rental car in Santa Barbara at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Economy rental cars in Santa Barbara are around 6% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about renting a car in Santa Barbara

  • Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in Santa Barbara are Alamo (8.7, 57 reviews), Enterprise (8.3, 113 reviews), and Budget (8.2, 114 reviews).

  • Car hire companies onsite at Los Angeles airport include Hertz, Thrifty, Budget, Enterprise, Dollar, Fox, U-Save, Avis, Sixt and NU Car.

  • Car hire companies that offer shuttle or pick-up services from Los Angeles airport to off-airport locations include Hertz, Alamo, Thrifty, Budget, Enterprise, Dollar, U-Save, Avis, Sixt and NU Car.

  • Take a look at our extensive car rental location map to find the best rental cars near you.

  • A Economy car rental in Santa Barbara costs ₹ 3,528 per day, on average.

  • A hybrid car is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while driving through Santa Barbara, but a convertible is a great option when cruising along the coast, especially in the summer, as you can drop the top and enjoy some scenic views. If you're going on a road trip with family or friends, a minivan offers more comfort and space for all the passengers.

  • The speed limit in Californian cities is usually 25 mph, unless the posted signs say otherwise, particularly in school zones and other residential areas. Two-lane highways have a speed limit of 55 mph, while most highways have a 65 mph limit. However, some highways allow drivers to go a maximum speed of 70 mph.

  • The average gas prices in Santa Barbara are about $3.47 per gallon. Lower prices can range anywhere between $3.15 and $3.35 per gallon. Gas prices are usually cheaper in Santa Barbara than in Los Angeles, so if you’re going on a road trip to that side of the coast, make sure to fill up the tank beforehand.

  • There are several parking lots in the downtown and waterfront areas. Downtown parking also provides access to State Street and its surroundings, the Old Town, and the Waterfront areas. Parking is paid between 7:30 a.m. and 11 p.m., Sunday to Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The first 75 minutes are free and the following hours have a $1.50 hourly rate.