Santa Barbara car rentals

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Santa Barbara, CA, United States
29 Jun — 6 Jul
Same drop-off
Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Tue 29/6
Noon
Tue 6/7
Noon
Driver's age:

Santa Barbara car rental information

Pick-up locationSanta Barbara
Rental locations13
Airport locations7

Santa Barbara car hire reviews and directory

Rated no. 1
Alamo
Best rated
8.7 Excellent (135 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara
Alamo
Locations in Santa Barbara
500 James Fowler Rd+1 805 692 0939
Monday08:00 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday08:00 - 21:00
Sunday08:00 - 21:00
  • 8.6
  • 8.7
  • 8.6
  • 8.8
  • 8.7
Recent reviews
2.0 Mediocre21 Jun 2021
Cons: I only had a debit card, no notes were given on needing a actual credit card online ( unless you are flying into SB airport lol) but was told that the down town location would take debit. ( which makes no sense.) Desk person would not help call downtown location to see if they had any vehicles like I had reserved at the airport location. Not willing to help. Poor customer service.
8.0 Excellent28 May 2021
Pros: The woman who helped me with drop off was incredibly helpful
2.0 Mediocre25 May 2021
Cons: They did not have my car available and said they tried to call me, but I never got a call. I needed a 12 person van, so it was not easy to find another one. Thankfully AVIS helped me out at the last minute!
2.0 Mediocre7 Dec 2020
Cons: Vehicle that I reserved was not available when I went go pick up.
10.0 Excellent28 Nov 2020
Cons: I liked the small airport with car pick up right outside the terminal. Very convenient, quick, and simple. Would probably choose a slightly larger car than a Toyota Corolla for four adults.
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
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Rated no. 2
Hertz
8.1 Excellent (145 reviews)
3 locations in Santa Barbara
Hertz
Locations in Santa Barbara
114 Moffett Pl+1 805 967 0411
Monday07:00 - 21:00
Tuesday07:00 - 21:00
Wednesday07:00 - 21:00
Thursday07:00 - 21:00
Friday07:00 - 21:00
Saturday07:00 - 21:00
Sunday07:00 - 21:00
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
  • 8.3
  • 8
  • 7.9
  • 8
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent16 Jun 2021
Pros: I received a friendly reminder that the store would be closing soon, and they wanted to make sure I had picked up the car I needed. I was already in a rental car, but I really appreciated that a service member cared enough to call to make sure all her reservations were accounted for! She also helped me to determine the best location to drop off my rental on the other end of my travels.Cons: The office is a bit dingy, and the agent needed to stop our transaction several times to answer the phone. Otherwise, everyone was friendly and courteous.
4.0 Okay12 May 2021
Cons: The car had not been cleaned. The customer service was lacking.
10.0 Excellent14 Apr 2021
Pros: Easy pickup
10.0 Excellent5 Mar 2021
Pros: Very friendly on both ends!
6.0 Good1 Jan 2021
Pros: Staff was very friendly. At drop off there was no sign to say where to leave the key after hours.Cons: I think there was something wrong with the tires and/or alignment. In heavy rain the car hydroplaned horribly so that I was very frightened that I would be tossed off the road.
2.0 Mediocre6 Dec 2020
Pros: Unable to pick up car. I wasn’t chargedCons: The location was closed, although I was able to book the car and Google listed them as open
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
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Rated no. 3
Budget
8 Excellent (121 reviews)
2 locations in Santa Barbara
Budget
Locations in Santa Barbara
305 East Haley Street+1 805 965 1070
Monday08:00 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday08:00 - 21:00
Sunday10:00 - 16:00
500 Fowler Road+1 805 964 6792
Monday08:00 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday08:00 - 21:00
Sunday08:00 - 21:00
  • 8.2
  • 8.3
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7.8
Recent reviews
6.0 Good15 Jun 2021
Pros: Easy to lease… guy was friendlyCons: The car had a huge dent in front fender and someone had smoked in the car…. When we dropped it off… we told the guy and I marked it on receipt which he threw away so I guess they don’t care about the condition of the car!
10.0 Excellent13 Apr 2021
Pros: the staff was very friendly and helpful
8.0 Excellent8 Apr 2021
Pros: Pick up and Drop off were easyCons: Was charged $100 for a tank of gas for a Corolla when the tank was already full
10.0 Excellent30 Mar 2021
Pros: I was surprised with an upgrade to a Ford Bronco, since my vehicle preference wasn’t available. I was in shock because I didn’t think Bronco’s were released yet. It felt like I won the lottery, and I honestly wish I didn’t have to give it back. My daughter also became attached to the Bronco, and she was sad to see it go :(Cons: Experience was great. Thank you so much.
2.0 Mediocre15 Mar 2021
Cons: We reserved a four door sedan. When we arrived at Budget, we were told that we had a Smart Car. There was absolutely NO WAY that we would fit in. Smart Car. We had to pay $20 extra each day to upgrade to a larger vehicle. We paid way more than we would have, if we had just rented directly from car rental.
4.0 Okay25 Dec 2020
Cons: They left the airport and we could not pick up our car!! So had to pay an extra high fee to Uber somewhere because of the holidays. Very frustrating
2.0 Mediocre6 Dec 2020
Pros: Absolutely nothing. The rudest customer service I have ever received. I was told that it was my fault for not planning ahead and for selecting a vehicle that was not available. The representative accused me of doing this intentionally to receiving a car in a different class. I have only ever reserved economy class cars as I rent frequently for work. Some companies have upgraded me, but I’ve never been accused of reserving an inexpensive vehicle with such intent. The representative offered me another vehicle at an additional charge, which I declined as I had expected to receive the car and price I had reserved. I had to make other last minute arrangements to travel to my destination.Cons: I only wish hertz had been open. They know how to treat their customers.
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
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Rated no. 4
Enterprise
8.1 Excellent (64 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 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday08:00 - 21:00
Sunday08:00 - 21:00
601 Chapala St+1 805 966 3097
Monday08:00 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday09:00 - 17:00
Sunday00:00 - 00:00
  • 8.2
  • 8.2
  • 8.2
  • 8
  • 8
Recent reviews
6.0 Good12 Jun 2021
Pros: Drop off was eastCons: vehicle could have been cleaner
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 !!
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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+1 805 692 0939
Monday08:00 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday08:00 - 21:00
Sunday08:00 - 21:00
  • 10
  • 8
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
Recent reviews
Rated no. 6
Avis
8.1 Excellent (24 reviews)
2 locations in Santa Barbara
Avis
Locations in Santa Barbara
305 East Haley Street+1 805 965 1079
Monday08:00 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday08:00 - 21:00
Sunday10:00 - 16:00
500 Fowler Road+1 805 964 4848
Monday08:00 - 21:00
Tuesday08:00 - 21:00
Wednesday08:00 - 21:00
Thursday08:00 - 21:00
Friday08:00 - 21:00
Saturday08:00 - 21:00
Sunday08:00 - 21:00
  • 8.5
  • 8.5
  • 8.1
  • 8
  • 7.6
Recent reviews
4.0 Okay26 May 2021
Cons: The staff at pickup in Santa Barbara used deceitful tactics to pressure us into paying for an upgrade.
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
496 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

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 hiring 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

  • Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in Santa Barbara are Alamo (8.4, 63 reviews), Enterprise (8.3, 116 reviews), and Budget (8.1, 122 reviews).

  • The average price of fuel in Santa Barbara is $4.88 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a tank of fuel costs between $59 and $78, depending on the car size.

  • Car hire companies onsite at Los Angeles airport include Thrifty, Dollar, Sixt, Hertz, Budget, U-Save, Advance Car And Truck Rental, Europcar and Fox.

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

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

  • 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 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.

  • 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.