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Santa Barbara, CA, United States
20 Apr — 27 Apr
Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Santa Barbara car rental information
Santa Barbara car rental reviews and directory
Rated no. 1
8.8 Excellent (131 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara
Locations in Santa Barbara
500 James Fowler Rd+1 805 692 0939
08:00 - 18:00
08:00 - 18:00
08:00 - 18:00
08:00 - 18:00
08:00 - 18:00
08:00 - 18:00
08:00 - 18:00
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Economy rental cars in Santa Barbara are around 57% cheaper than other car types, on average
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 (8.6, 59 reviews), Enterprise (8.4, 115 reviews), and Budget (8.1, 120 reviews).
The average price of fuel in Santa Barbara is S$ 4.31 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a tank of fuel costs between S$ 52 and S$ 69, depending on the car size.
Standard (Nissan Frontier or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Santa Barbara.
A Standard car rental in Santa Barbara costs S$ 144 per day, on average.
A Full-size car rental in Santa Barbara costs S$ 183 per day, on average.
A Economy car rental in Santa Barbara costs S$ 47 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 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.