Santa Barbara car hire information
|Pick-up location||Santa Barbara|
Santa Barbara car hire reviews and directory
Car hire locations in Santa Barbara
When to book a hire car in Santa Barbara
Top tips for renting a car in Santa Barbara
- A hire 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 hire 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 hire car counters are located in the hire 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
FAQs about hiring a car in Santa Barbara
What is the best rental car company in Santa Barbara?
Which car hire agencies are at the airport: Los Angeles Airport (LAX)?
Which car rental companies will pick you up at the airport: Los Angeles Airport (LAX)?
How can I find car rentals near me in Santa Barbara?
Take a look at our extensive car rental location map to find the best rental cars near you.
What type of car is recommended for driving in Santa Barbara?
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.
What's the speed limit in Santa Barbara?
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.
How are gas prices in Santa Barbara?
The average petrol prices in Santa Barbara are about $3.47 per gallon. Lower prices can range anywhere between $3.15 and $3.35 per gallon. Petrolprices 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.
Where are the best places to park in Santa Barbara?
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.