Car rental at Santa Barbara Airport

Car rental at Santa Barbara Airport

Search hundreds of travel sites at once for car hire deals at Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)

Santa Barbara, CA, United States - Santa Barbara
24 Aug — 31 Aug
Same drop-off
Santa Barbara, CA, United States - Santa Barbara
Wed 24/8
Noon
Wed 31/8
Noon
Driver's age:

Cheap car rentals in Santa Barbara Airport

Mini
Economy
Compact
Intermediate
Standard
Full-size
Luxury
People mover
Passenger van
SUV
Commercial
Pick-up truck

Santa Barbara Airport car hire reviews and directory

Rated no. 1
Alamo
Best rated
8.7 Excellent (142 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Alamo
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.6
  • 8.7
  • 8.6
  • 8.8
  • 8.7
Recent reviews
1.9 Horrible16 Sep 2021
Despite having a confirmed reservation, there was no cars available to me when I arrived at the counter. I was referred to a competitor at the next door counter where I ended up paying more, but at least I got a car!
5.9 Okay4 Aug 2021
My rental car was not clean on the inside or outside. I’m not as concerned with the outside because I understand that’s harder to control, but I expected the inside to be spotless given the current state of the world. Instead, it was dusty, had sticky spots from a spilled beverage (I’m assuming), & dirt footprints throughout the car, such as on the passenger side (where I have not been sitting, or had a passenger). Additionally, there were no disinfecting wipes in the car for me to use to clean, which I’ve received in other rentals during the pandemic, so I had to use the ones I’d packed myself to clean the inside of the car to my comfort. It felt as if the car had just been dropped off by the previous renter, then handed off to me. I know there is a rental car shortage, & cars are in much higher demand right now as travel resumes, but as a renter I would hope that my safety is the highest priority! Adding this on top of what I paid for this rental car, I will not rent from Alamo again.
2.0 Mediocre21 Jun 2021
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
The woman who helped me with drop off was incredibly helpful
2.0 Mediocre25 May 2021
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
Vehicle that I reserved was not available when I went go pick up.
10.0 Excellent28 Nov 2020
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
Staff was friendly and efficientCar was a little dirty inside.
9.6 Excellent26 Jun 2020
Easy, fast, and safe.
10.0 Excellent14 Mar 2020
fast and courteous
Rated no. 2
Dollar
7.9 Good (104 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Dollar
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.4
  • 8.4
  • 7.7
  • 7.6
  • 7.6
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent7 Jun 2022
Fortunately not a long wait and we enjoyed the car!
2.0 Mediocre3 Nov 2021
ended up somehow being a non changeable/transferrable reservation and I had covid related travel issues. I will never book with Kayak or Dollar again after this, and have been enjoying working directly with Enterprise
3.9 Mediocre22 Sep 2021
Dollar in Santa Barbara, California did not have a car ready for me, where I was told there would be a 45 minute wait. It turned out to be 30, but in the meantime the staff seemed to indicate I had all this trouble since I went through PriceLine. I wanted to reduce the number of days I would keep the car, and they proceeded to name 3 different prices as a result of the change, each was more than I had paid through PriceLine. The additional cost were a host of taxes that were not included in the PriceLine amount I paid that amounted to an additional 20%.
10.0 Excellent6 Sep 2021
Manager at the Santa Barbara Airport was very helpful. 7 am pickup, car ready by 7:30 which was perfect. Their cars are older, mine was a 2019 with over 50K miles but got us safely from Santa Barbara to LA and then to San Diego.
2.0 Mediocre16 May 2021
My flight got in at6pm, the desk had closed at 5pm. No car for me!Knowing that I cannot get a car from Dollar after 5pm, I would have rented from Budget.
10.0 Excellent3 May 2021
The check in and check out was very quick and easy, and they were very helpful when I had questions on the vehicle.
10.0 Excellent2 Mar 2021
Yes, staff was terrific. Very helpful.Nothing it was perfect
2.0 Mediocre21 Dec 2020
i made a reservation only to arrive and be told there are no vehicles. once i made the reservation, the desk could have at least called to let me know. people make plans and rely on companies to have the product they reserve
3.6 Mediocre19 Jul 2020
Drop off was easy.I paid for a full size vehicle at least a week in advance. When I arrived to pick it up they didn't have one. We got stuck in a smaller car and couldn't get ahold of any customer service at priceline or kayak.
4.0 Okay27 Jun 2020
Sue gave me a car that needed an oil change. It started acting up on downhills and made an odd burning smell. I had to swap the car out and didn’t realize we were driving without insurance after we had finally looked at the paper. She also made a derogatory comment about Asians smoking in vehicles and my fiancé is Asian. She even asked her if she smoked. When I told her the car needed an oil change as it displayed on the screen she said you are fine to drive it even though I asked if we could change the car. When we got to San Francisco the smell of burning oil was strong so we took the car into an avis and it was troublesome getting a new car since we had to beg them to honor the rate and since they were low on cars we had to downsize and had to fit all our luggage uncomfortably. I would like to keep in note I have my fiancé and my child with me and this made my experience feel unsafe since the needs change oil was turned on since we picked up the car. If we could get some of our money back that would be nice since this caused a major inconvenience as well the derogatory words that Sue said will forever leave a negative impression.If we could get some of our money back that would be nice since this caused a major inconvenience as well the derogatory words that Sue said will forever leave a negative impression.
Rated no. 3
Budget
7.9 Good (122 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Budget
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8
  • 8.2
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7.7
Recent reviews
4.0 Okay29 Jul 2022
Showed up and they did not have the Ford a mustang car we reserved . At first they tried to offer an “upgrade” but that was a hybrid or Chrysler which is a joke. We ended up taking a Chevy Camaro. Car was filthy and covered in dust and bird poop. I returned the car full but they still charge me for 3 gallons of gas totaling over $35! It was a good deal for a sporty car but not worth the hassle and extra fees.
10.0 Excellent17 Jul 2022
So easy and convenient to get a car a few steps away from the airport!
10.0 Excellent17 May 2022
Tyler at SBA budget was an awesome customer service agent.
10.0 Excellent17 May 2022
Seth is an amazing agent. Friendly, professional, kind…really outstanding and memorable.
8.0 Excellent19 Apr 2022
Needed washer fluid and the windows were dirty, otherwise it was a nice, clean car and the staff was great to work with.
8.0 Excellent17 Apr 2022
Customer service was great! Really friendly and helpful. The first car we rented had a low tire pressure light on. We got a replacement quickly and we’re on our way.
8.0 Excellent30 Mar 2022
I liked the car and the superquick and organized drop off.
6.0 Good22 Nov 2021
Pick up was great. Very helpful staff. Drop off was a different story. Expect no parking spots to drop off your rental. Staff didn’t really care about the situation.
2.0 Mediocre15 Nov 2021
Be careful of the desk agent. Asked if I wanted extended coverage, I stated “no extra insurance is needed” and somehow ended up with a huge added insurance charge. He talked to fast and just pointed where to sign. My statement to him was clear, what does “no extra insurance” mean???
8.0 Excellent14 Nov 2021
The team at John Wayne airport was just awful. Worst drop off experience ever
Rated no. 4
Enterprise
8.2 Excellent (36 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Enterprise
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.3
  • 8.5
  • 8.2
  • 8
  • 8.1
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent2 Apr 2022
Fast service, no hassles, good value
10.0 Excellent16 Dec 2021
Everything was easy.
6.0 Good12 Jun 2021
Drop off was eastvehicle could have been cleaner
4.0 Okay5 Oct 2020
The staff was able to point me in the right direction after they recognized their mistake.
9.6 Excellent31 Aug 2019
Gentleman who helped me was professional, courteous and efficient.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).
2.0 Mediocre3 Jul 2019
Staff was not friendly and they did not have a car for us when we arrived.
2.0 Mediocre13 Apr 2019
Enterprise did not honor my reservation. They make me another reservation under enterprise website and charged me a lot moreEnterprise 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.
10.0 Excellent17 Mar 2019
Friendly, quick
2.0 Mediocre2 Jan 2019
No work around offeredCounter accessibilityLack of helpfulness. Didn't honor our pre-booked rental.
10.0 Excellent27 Nov 2018
FriendlyStaff were helpful and professional
Rated no. 5
Hertz
7.5 Good (75 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Hertz
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 7.8
  • 7.8
  • 7.5
  • 7.5
  • 7.6
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent8 Aug 2022
One of the best values in car rentals during these outrageous times.
2.0 Mediocre20 Jun 2022
There was no car available when I arrived. So I rented a car with Budget instead.
2.0 Mediocre12 Dec 2021
Hertz had no cars available to rent in the price range of my reservation. They wanted to put me on a waiting list for a car to come in before completing my reservation (how many hours?). I asked they upgrade me to an available car but they would not do without making me pay for the upgrade. Slimy bait and switch tactic. Not what you'd expect for a class company
4.0 Okay2 Dec 2021
Air conditioner did not work properly which made it uncomfortable.
2.0 Mediocre25 Oct 2021
The car was not ready when we arrived, the front desk attendant charged us for 2 extra hours because we ended up getting our car slightly earlier than the time that we scheduled. Will not rent from SB Hertz again.
1.9 Horrible12 Oct 2021
I reserved a Hertz rental car through Kayak several weeks in advance. On the evening of my reservation, I had to take a Lyft from my hotel to the airport ($30) and when I arrived at the Hertz counter they said “Sorry, no cars left.” No call, no email letting me know and saving me a trip. So I had to take another $30 trip back to the hotel and scramble to find another last minute car reservation. Had an important meeting to get to in the morning. Just an overall very stressful situation. Will book directly with car rental agencies next time and call to confirm car availability before picking it up next time I guess!
1.9 Horrible29 Sep 2021
There were no available cars, but the app allow me to book a car and when I got to the counter the guy told me that they even have a waiting list
1.9 Horrible23 Sep 2021
The car rental pick-up was closed at 9:00 (when I set the pick-up time through Kayak. This means I needed to spend about $200 in Ubers to get my party to our destinations and to return to the airport the next morning to pick up the car. There was absolutely no number to call for assistance. Why did Kayak allow me to schedule a pick up when the rental agency at the airport was closed?! It was a very frustrating and costly experience. I will book directly with the car rental agency in the future.
1.9 Horrible12 Sep 2021
Absolutely horrible service, didn't have cars available, despite reservation. Had to cancel and rebook for more money.
1.9 Horrible9 Aug 2021
Hertz was closed when I arrived. I actually never got my car. But was charged for the rental. There were no Uber or Lyft available and paid $350 for a taxi in addition to the car rental to make it to my final destination. I was on hold most of the following morning to try to get in touch with a service agent to no avail. Very disappointed.
Rated no. 6
Avis
8.1 Excellent (23 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Avis
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.8
  • 8.5
  • 8.1
  • 8.3
  • 7.9
Recent reviews
8.0 Excellent25 Jul 2022
The pick up line was pretty Long at SBC. Attendant worked as best as able with number of people.
10.0 Excellent15 Jul 2022
Seth was excellent
6.0 Good13 Jul 2022
Loved the Mustang. Perfect car for a California road trip. I had reserved a convertible, however, and because I arrived 6 hours after my reserved pick-up time, I had to settle for a hardtop. My fault (though I really had no idea about timing when I booked the trip months ago), but I felt a bit overcharged paying the same price as a convertible. Sure, Avis puts them in the same class, but obviously, convertibles are far rarer as leased vehicles and should cost more. That's life, I guess. My other comment is I dearly wish Avis rented vehicles with manual transmissions. I realize it's a dying breed because fat, lazy Americans only know how to drive automatics, but why encourage such sloth? Distinguish yourselves in the marketplace by offering a few sticks. At purchase, such cars are a bit cheaper anyway, and you can rent them for the same or more than an automatic, so it's win-win for everyone. Giving in to American tastes is just lowering the bar. These people still buy minivans and eat at McDonald's, and no one ever went broke underestimating consumers in this nation. All of which is to say, offer more manuals, please.
10.0 Excellent3 Apr 2022
The line at the counter was long but the staff moved it quickly. It didn’t have a car that I reserved, so I took a Frontier compact truck. The price was good and the return at a different location in Southern California was easy and painless.
5.9 Okay21 Jul 2021
Avis did not have the car I reserved when I arrived even though I called them that my plane was arriving an hour late and they assured me they would honor my reservation. It took an hour before they had a car that was within the size range I reserved and were trying to give me a much larger, uneconomical car. I refused it and they finally gave me a suitable replacement. The car I finally ended up with was great... Hopefully, this is all due to pandemic problems because the price was also triple of what I have paid in the past...
4.0 Okay26 May 2021
The staff at pickup in Santa Barbara used deceitful tactics to pressure us into paying for an upgrade.
8.4 Excellent24 Jun 2019
Friendly and professional staff.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.
2.4 Mediocre5 Nov 2018
Unfriendly staff / Very Hard to locateI 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 Excellent26 Nov 2017
the car was easy to drive - good gas milage - very comfortable - service was quick.
8.4 Excellent13 Mar 2017
Hard to find where to drop offShe was nice and sympathetic to my horrible experience with the car, but didn't do much other than to say call LAX and complain.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.
Rated no. 7
Thrifty
7.4 Good (5 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Thrifty
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.8
  • 9.2
  • 7.6
  • 7.2
  • 8.8
Recent reviews
2.0 Mediocre15 Apr 2022
They have a pretty rough operation, an ugly office in a trailer away from the airport. The staff was confused and argued with each other on pickup (did they have a car for me?, where's the key?, etc). Difficulty with computer and paperwork, The car had 125,000 miles on it, but it was fine.
10.0 Excellent16 Sep 2020
Yes, staff was helpful, service fast, individual ride back to airport, free upgrade.the weather
7.2 Good3 Jan 2017
Bad start but ended well.The van was nice. Reserving the car was easy.An employee gave us the wrong van. It was not completely clean, the tank was not full and all 4 tires were low. I was somewhat frustrated when I had to top off the tank and put the proper air pressure in the tires. When we returned the van the manager felt very bad and was very apologetic. He handled the situation in a professional manner and ultimately gave us 50% off of the rental cost. Even though the experience started off poorly it was handled very well in the end and I would rent from them again.
10.0 Excellent28 Sep 2016
They were very accommodating and friendly
Rated no. 8
National
7 Good (3 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
National
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 10
  • 8.6
  • 7.3
  • 7.3
  • 7.3
Recent reviews
2.0 Mediocre21 Nov 2021
I booked for 160 dls and my receipt was for more than 200 dls
Easirent
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Easirent
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
Recent reviews
Sunnycars
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Sunnycars
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
Recent reviews
510 travellers who rented a car in Santa Barbara Airport gave the car agency they used an average rating of 8.1

Car rental locations at Santa Barbara Airport

Good to know

Most popular car type

Mini

Top tips for renting a car at Santa Barbara Airport

  • Car rental at Santa Barbara Airport is a preferred option for many people, especially for business or pleasure trips. The car rental companies offer you the opportunity to rent a car and enjoy your trip with absolute freedom and flexibility. You get to drive at your own pace, take a break when you feel like and visit all the places that are on the itinerary. With a rental car at this airport, you get to pick the kind of vehicle that you feel comfortable driving. This gives you the freedom to explore all the nooks and corners of the city at your own comfort.
  • The common car types available for rental are compact, intermediate, and standard cars. Since the Santa Barbara Airport is small, you will find it easy to navigate around with any of these models. However, if you prefer something that offers more space, then you can go for a mid-size or luxury car. These cars require a higher fee but are worth it for those who like to have a lavish journey or have a large group. You can even take your pick from the four-wheel-drive vehicles that give you an added advantage if you wish to explore some of the rough terrains in this part of Southern California.
  • Santa Barbara Airport is usually busy between November and January. But this also means that you get to experience some spectacular deals for a rental vehicle at this time. The Santa Barbara Airport has one runway, and it is usually open between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm. Do not forget that booking your rental car through KAYAK will give you the best possible deals. The entire car rental at the Santa Barbara Airport can be done right from your home with a click of a few buttons.
  • When you need to return your rental car, the process is as simple as you picking it up, if not easier. You will be asked to hand over the car at the same office where you picked it up from. When returning the car to the airport, remember to keep your keys and make sure that you have cleaned of all trash. Also, before signing anything, make sure that there are no excess charges or extra penalties mentioned in your contract. Different car rental companies at this airport may have their own requirements for returning vehicles, but most of them are similar.
  • Book your rental car at Santa Barbara Airport at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price

FAQs about renting a car at Santa Barbara Airport