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Santa Barbara car rentals from $22/day

This price is the cheapest per day rate found by a KAYAK user in the last 72 hours by searching for a car rental in Santa Barbara with a pick-up date of 7/20 and drop-off date of 7/27. Fares are subject to change and may not be available at all agencies or on all dates of rental. Click the price to replicate the search for this deal.
Thu 6/27
Thu 7/4

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Cheap car rentals in Santa Barbara

Discover the best prices and deals for you by selecting your travel dates.
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Chevrolet Spark car
Chevrolet Spark
or similar SMALL
2
2
4-5
$26/day
Nissan Versa car
Nissan Versa
or similar SMALL
4
2
2/4
$38/day
Dodge Avenger car
Dodge Avenger
or similar MEDIUM
5
3
4-5
$22/day
Toyota Prius car
Toyota Prius
or similar MEDIUM
5
3
2/4
$42/day
Chevrolet Malibu car
Chevrolet Malibu
or similar LARGE
5
2
4-5
$28/day
Dodge Grand Caravan car
Dodge Grand Caravan
or similar VAN
5
5
4-5
$33/day
Nissan Armada car
Nissan Armada
or similar SUV
5
2
4-5
$74/day
Acura TLX car
Acura TLX
or similar LARGE
5
5
2/4
$40/day
Audi A4 car
Audi A4
or similar LUXURY
5
5
4-5
$62/day
Chevrolet Colorado car
Chevrolet Colorado
or similar PICKUPTRUCK
5
3
2/4
$24/day
Jeep Cherokee car
Jeep Cherokee
or similar SUV
5
3
4-5
$30/day
Jeep Patriot car
Jeep Patriot
or similar SUV
5
3
4-5
$31/day
Class Special Car car
Class Special Car
or similar Category
5
5
2/4
$35/day
Best rates found by KAYAK users in the past 48 hours.

KAYAK’s top tips for renting a car in Santa Barbara

  • Take advantage of cheap car rentals in Santa Barbara to save time and enjoy the flexibility of moving around the city at your own pace. Old Mission Santa Barbara, a 29-minute drive from the city center, is one of the city's most iconic landmarks you can conveniently visit by car. A rental car can also get you as far as the Stearns Wharf with its breathtaking harbor views and sandy beaches, about 10.09 miles from Santa Barbara Airport (SBA). Renting a car in Santa Barbara allows you to navigate the city conveniently, and we recommend booking through KAYAK.
  • The Santa Barbara Airport SBA is located approximately 8 miles west of the city center. There are more than 12 cheap car rentals in Santa Barbara, including Alamo, Enterprise, Budget, Avis, Hertz, and National. Most Santa Barbara car rentals have pick-up and drop-off points at the Santa Barbara Airport. In addition, you can take a free airport shuttle from the city, which leaves the terminals every 15 minutes, pick up your rental car, and drive conveniently to your hotel or other destinations.
  • Like other California cities, Santa Barbara is known for its busy streets and highways. If you're new to the town, driving through the heavy traffic can initially be disorienting. Thankfully, most Santa Barbara rental cars can be fitted with navigation systems to help you drive safely and reach other destinations without running into traffic problems. Jaywalking is another common challenge in Santa Barbara streets, and cyclists don't always follow the traffic signals, so it's advisable to drive cautiously and always double-check before making a turn.
  • 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.
  • 25% of our users found rental cars in Santa Barbara for $51 or less
  • Book your rental car in Santa Barbara at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Intermediate rental cars in Santa Barbara are around 71% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about renting a car in Santa Barbara

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How much does it cost to rent a car in Santa Barbara?

    On average a rental car in Santa Barbara costs $65 per day. But prices differ between operators and you can save money through a price comparison of car rental deals from different agencies. The cheapest price for a car rental in Santa Barbara found in the last 2 weeks is $31.

  • What is the cheapest car rental company in Santa Barbara?

    In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at Hertz ($35/day) and Enterprise Rent-A-Car ($38/day).

  • What is the best rental car company in Santa Barbara?

    Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental company in Santa Barbara is Budget (7.1, 83 reviews).

  • How much is gas price in Santa Barbara?

    The average gas price in Santa Barbara is $3.74 per gallon over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between $45 and $60, depending on the car size.

  • What is the most popular rental car in Santa Barbara?

    Intermediate (Dodge Avenger or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Santa Barbara.

  • Which car rental companies are at Los Angeles airport (LAX)?

    Car rental companies onsite at Los Angeles airport include Kyte, Ace, Sixt, Priceless, Airport Van, Fox, NextCar, Thrifty, GREEN MOTION and Hertz.

  • Which car rental companies will pick you up at Los Angeles airport (LAX)?

    Car rental companies that offer shuttle or pick-up services from Los Angeles airport to off-airport locations include Sixt, Priceless, Airport Van, Thrifty, Hertz, Budget, Midway, Alamo, Economy Rent a Car, and Dollar.

  • 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.

  • How much does an Intermediate car rental cost in Santa Barbara?

    An Intermediate car rental in Santa Barbara costs $23 per day, on average.

  • How much does an Economy car rental cost in Santa Barbara?

    An Economy car rental in Santa Barbara costs $25 per day, on average.

  • How much does a Mini car rental cost in Santa Barbara?

    A Mini car rental in Santa Barbara costs $36 per day, on average.

  • How much does it cost to rent a car for a week in Santa Barbara?

    On average a rental car in Santa Barbara costs $454 per week ($65 per day).

  • How much does it cost to rent a car long term for a month in Santa Barbara?

    On average a rental car in Santa Barbara costs $1,947 per month ($65 per day).

  • Should I get insurance when renting a car in Santa Barbara?

    Most car rental providers in Santa Barbara offer insurance but the level of protection can differ substantially. If you're unsure whether to get extra protection for your car rental in Santa Barbara, check out KAYAK's car rental insurance guide.

  • How many car agencies are operating in Santa Barbara?

    KAYAK has deals for you to compare from 8 car rental agencies in Santa Barbara.

  • What do I need to know before booking a car rental in Santa Barbara?

    Finding the right price, understanding the add-ons and staying up to date with policy changes can be a challenge. That’s why KAYAK has produced the ultimate guide to renting a car to help you cut though the jargon and make the right choice for your rental car. Find tips and insights for how to book your rental, what car rental insurance you’ll need, how to deal with a car rental agency and what extra fees to expect (and avoid!).

  • Why should I use KAYAK to rent a car in Santa Barbara?

    KAYAK searches thousands of car rental agencies to provide you with offers from all car rental agencies operating in Santa Barbara so that you can compare car rental rates, reviews and pick-up and drop-off locations to find the best deal for you.

  • What's the speed limit in Santa Barbara?

    The recommended speed limit in Santa Barbara is 35 to 55 mph. However, depending on location, it's safe to drive at 35 mph on city highways, but rural interstates allow up to 75 mph. Therefore, confirm and comply with the designated speed limits on the road signs.

  • What is the average gas price in Santa Barbara?

    The average gas price in Santa Barbara is $5.89 per gallon. Conserve Fuel, Fuel Depot, and Exxon are a few examples of gas stations in Santa Barbara selling gas at a reasonable price. You can also fuel your car at various stations at the airport, but the prices may be higher.

Santa Barbara car rental reviews and directory

Budget

Most popular

Cleanliness

7.4

Comfort

7.7

Pick-up/Drop-off

7.1

Value for money

7.1

2 locations in Santa Barbara

Show locations

Locations in Santa Barbara

305 East Haley Street

+1 805 965 1070

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday10:00 - 16:00

500 Fowler Road

+1 805 964 6792

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday08:00 - 17:00

Filters

Reviews

10.0 Wonderful

Feb 2024

KAYAK
Super friendly and professional service. Clean nice car.

2.0 Poor

Nov 2023

KAYAK
At first, it said it would take $75, but actually it takes $240 without our faults.

6.0 Okay

Oct 2023

KAYAK
Pickup was poor. No one available in car lot to help find car. Car was not where counter staff told us it was. Counter staff were not rude but not friendly or helpful with questions about car. Tried to reach office during rental period and was impossible. Dropoff was the same. No one in the lot. Counter staff not friendly or rude, Great car and poor service.

4.0 Mediocre

Oct 2023

KAYAK
personnel were not helpful…deposit was huge and still not returned after 3 days. Return location and service at the airport was poor.

6.0 Okay

Oct 2023

KAYAK
like that spouse can also drive… did not like the disorganized return process, dirty banged-up Nissan pickup truck (it was that or an EV) in lieu of an actual car

2.0 Poor

Oct 2022

KAYAK
Nowhere to leave the keys if you drop the car off after hours.

1 out of 31

Dollar

Cheapest deal

Cleanliness

8.6

Comfort

8.6

Pick-up/Drop-off

7.3

Value for money

4.0

One location in Santa Barbara

Show locations

Locations in Santa Barbara

500 Fowler Road

+1 866 434 2226

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

Filters

Reviews

2.0 Poor

Apr 2024

KAYAK
We had to rent somewhere else. There was a line that the person in front of me said they had been waiting over an hour in. There was only one person at the counter and over 10 parties in line. The other car companies had no wait. I paid slightly more but it was worth not waiting over and hour

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

My flight got in at6pm, the desk had closed at 5pm. No car for me!

Cons:

Knowing that I cannot get a car from Dollar after 5pm, I would have rented from Budget.

10.0 Wonderful

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

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 Wonderful

Mar 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Yes, staff was terrific. Very helpful.

Cons:

Nothing it was perfect

2.0 Poor

Dec 2020

KAYAK

Cons:

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 Poor

Jul 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Drop off was easy.

Cons:

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.

1 out of 16

Avis

8.5

Very good

46 reviews

Cleanliness

9.2

Comfort

8.8

Pick-up/Drop-off

8.6

Value for money

8.2

2 locations in Santa Barbara

Show locations

Locations in Santa Barbara

305 East Haley Street

+1 805 965 1079

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday10:00 - 16:00

500 Fowler Road

+1 805 964 4848

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday08:00 - 17:00

Filters

Reviews

10.0 Wonderful

Feb 2024

KAYAK
Great!

4.0 Mediocre

May 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

The staff at pickup in Santa Barbara used deceitful tactics to pressure us into paying for an upgrade.

4.0 Mediocre

Jun 2020

KAYAK

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 days

Cons:

Honesty and accountability of the staff

8.4 Very good

Jun 2019

KAYAK

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 Wonderful

Apr 2019

KAYAK

Pros:

Accommodated special request

2.4 Poor

Nov 2018

KAYAK

Cons:

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.

1 out of 8

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

8.0

Very good

83 reviews
Best rated

Cleanliness

7.7

Comfort

7.9

Pick-up/Drop-off

7.8

Value for money

7.7

3 locations in Santa Barbara

Show locations

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 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday08:00 - 17:00

601 Chapala St

+1 805 966 3097

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday09:00 - 13:00
Sunday00:00 - 00:00

Filters

Reviews

10.0 Wonderful

Oct 2023

KAYAK
The employees went out of their way to make this a super easy, efficient and pleasant experience.

10.0 Wonderful

Sep 2023

KAYAK
Car needed a vacuum, windows were dirty inside. Outside was kinda dirty.

10.0 Wonderful

Nov 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Very helpful staff, pick up and drop-off

Cons:

Nothing. Really appreciated the savings offered by using Kayak on the catastrophic coverage!

8.0 Very good

Nov 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff was really friendly and very accommodating. The pick up and drop off was fast and easy

4.0 Mediocre

Oct 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

The staff was able to point me in the right direction after they recognized their mistake.

2.0 Poor

Sep 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

A refund on the vehicle i never used

Cons:

You guys couldve been more prepared with more vehicles

1 out of 15

Alamo

7.9

Cleanliness

7.8

Comfort

8.1

Pick-up/Drop-off

7.9

Value for money

7.9

One location in Santa Barbara

Show locations

Locations in Santa Barbara

500 James Fowler Rd

+1 805 692 0939

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday08:00 - 17:00

Filters

Reviews

8.0 Very good

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

The woman who helped me with drop off was incredibly helpful

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

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 Poor

Dec 2020

KAYAK

Cons:

Vehicle that I reserved was not available when I went go pick up.

10.0 Wonderful

Nov 2020

KAYAK

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 Wonderful

Aug 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff was friendly and efficient

Cons:

Car was a little dirty inside.

9.6 Wonderful

Jun 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Easy, fast, and safe.

1 out of 10

Hertz

6.1

Cleanliness

6.7

Comfort

6.8

Pick-up/Drop-off

6.0

Value for money

6.2

2 locations in Santa Barbara

Show locations

Locations in Santa Barbara

16 S. La Cumbre Road

+1 805 967 1927

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday09:00 - 13:00

633 E Cabrillo Blvd

+1 805 962 5305

Monday09:00 - 13:00
Tuesday09:00 - 13:00
Wednesday09:00 - 13:00
Thursday09:00 - 13:00
Friday09:00 - 13:00

Filters

Reviews

8.0 Very good

Jun 2024

KAYAK
Picking up the car was a little clumsy but all in all, everything was fine

6.0 Okay

Dec 2021

KAYAK
This Hertz rental office is not at the airport. The car was rented at an inexpensive price, and we had no trouble with the car. The car had some chips and scuffs, and was not entirely clean. The people at the rental office were friendly, but not super efficient.

2.0 Poor

Dec 2021

KAYAK
The women who work here were so rude. Beyond rude. I won’t be back to a hertz location again.

4.0 Mediocre

May 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

The car had not been cleaned. The customer service was lacking.

10.0 Wonderful

Apr 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Easy pickup

8.0 Very good

Aug 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Car had been smoked in. It reeked.

1 out of 16

National

6.0

Cleanliness

10.0

Comfort

10.0

Pick-up/Drop-off

5.0

Value for money

6.0

One location in Santa Barbara

Show locations

Locations in Santa Barbara

500 James Fowler Rd

+1 805 692 0939

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday08:00 - 17:00

Filters

Reviews

10.0 Wonderful

Jun 2024

KAYAK
Amazing!

2.0 Poor

Nov 2021

KAYAK
I booked for 160 dls and my receipt was for more than 200 dls

1 out of 1

Sunnycars

No score available yet

One location in Santa Barbara

Show locations

Locations in Santa Barbara

500 James Fowler Rd

Opening times not available

Filters

No reviews available

561 travelers who rented a car in Santa Barbara gave the car agency they used an average rating of 7.2

Car rental locations in or near Santa Barbara

Good to know

Most popular agency

Budget

Most popular car type

Intermediate

Average price

$65/day

Good deal

$51/day

When to book a rental car in Santa Barbara

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