Santa Cruz car rentals

Santa Cruz car rentals

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Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 28 — Feb 4
Same drop-off
Santa Cruz, CA
Fri 1/28
Noon
Fri 2/4
Noon

Search hundreds of rental car sites at once for car rental deals in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz car rental information

Pick-up locationSanta Cruz
Car typesCompact, Economy, Full-size, Intermediate, Intermediate SUV, Minivan, Premium, Standard, Standard SUV
Rental locations6
Popular agenciesHertz, Avis, Budget

Cheap car rentals in Santa Cruz

Best rates found by KAYAK users in the past hours.

Santa Cruz car rental reviews and directory

From $43/dayRated #1
Enterprise
Best rated
8.2 Excellent (36 reviews)
3 locations in Santa Cruz
Enterprise
Locations in Santa Cruz
  • 8.6
  • 8.6
  • 8.2
  • 7.8
  • 7.9
Recent reviews
3.9 MediocreJul 18 2021
Double booked! That's what we were told when we arrived to pick up the vehicle. We had to wait two hours to see if the previous booking would arrive. Luckily, they did not show. When we returned the vehicle the checkout guy confused our rental with someone else and was going to charge our rental to another person! What a mess.
10.0 ExcellentJul 9 2021
there was a wait to pick up. The car wasn't ready and there was no coffee. They were possibly very busy and short-staffed. They were nice and quick when it was my turn finally. Glad I wasn't in a hurry, though. Also it was weird that the gas was 3/4 full and that's how I was to return it, which is hard to do, so I just gave them the full tank The car was excellent, perfect for me; and drop-off was a breeze.
2.0 MediocreApr 14 2021
The Watsonville enterprise office cancelled our rental 2 hours before we were supposed to have picked it up. Their office gave no alternatives, despite the fact that we had the vehicle reserved for 3 weeks ahead of time.I had to do the work of tracking down a replacement vehicle at the last minute. Al, who works at the enterprise on Ocean St. in Watsonville, did an amazing job to help us. He stayed past closing time to get us a vehicle in time.
10.0 ExcellentAug 2 2020
Staff was ready and quick. Very easy pick up and drop off
7.6 GoodJul 28 2020
Staff was helpful, drop-off was easy.Removing additional fees where possible for student drivers given the pandemic. Inform that drop-off after hours only requires keys to be placed in drop-off box and incurs no additional fees.
9.6 ExcellentFeb 15 2020
Very happy and kind staffCleaner carpet in office, but great service
4.0 OkayJun 16 2019
Car was fine. The guy at the counter was niceThe computers were down and I was charged an extra day of rental even though I returned the car on time. Customer service was extremely rude over email and refused to do anything to help. Overall very terrible experience.
10.0 ExcellentJun 16 2019
Great customer service from agent at counter. Very nice rental vehicle. Easy check in and easy return.Everything was perfect
9.6 ExcellentMay 20 2019
Fast, easy pick up. Helpful staff.
9.6 ExcellentApr 2 2019
The drop-off was easy and I got upgraded to a bigger, very modern car.When I arrived there,no cars were available, even though I had booked one online (already paid for the insurance).15 minutes later someone dropped off a car and I got it, so it all worked out. But make sure cars are on-hold there when renting them out in the future!
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From $34/dayRated #2
Hertz
Cheapest deal
Most popular
7.5 Good (74 reviews)
5 locations in Santa Cruz
Hertz
Locations in Santa Cruz
  • 7.8
  • 7.8
  • 7.3
  • 7.5
  • 7.4
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentOct 25 2021
The pickup/dropoff location was very convenient. The people were polite, professional, and friendly. Everything went off without a hitch. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again, should we ever need to rent a vehicle. Thanks Hertz!
10.0 ExcellentSep 15 2021
Easy process. Helpful and quick staff. No complaints
4.0 OkayJun 8 2021
I did get a car.The facility charged me extra. Even though I showed them my prepaid receipt. They said they could not give me a car without the additional charges. The manager's name is Rick.
8.0 ExcellentApr 10 2021
Simple, limited-contact pick up and drop off.When I returned the car two days early, the staff at Hertz were unable to do a refund for those extra days. This isn't a criticism of Hertz -- just know that when you book through Kayak, they don't have as much flexibility for extending or shortening a rental. Note that this Hertz location does not do after-hours drop-off. You must return the car before closing time.
4.0 OkayMar 10 2021
The two ladies who checked me in were a delight to deal with. Very professional and personable as they went through all the paperwork and what not.My pre-paid 1pm reservation was for a Mid-size Car, and when I got there at 1:30pm they had rented my car and had no Midsize cars left, so I was stuck with an economy car that felt like I was driving a go-kart on steroids or tin can on wheels. That was total BS!! Also, they closed the location close to my house, but it is still listed on their website, Yahoo, Waze, Google, etcetera, so when I drove over there to swap cars, there was a sign on the keys drop box saying to drop off cars across town, at the location where I picked up the car. Again, total BS!! Then when I returned the car they ran my credit card before talking to me at all, and I wanted to use my debit car. When I asked to cancel the charge and put it on my debit card, she said it was too late, she couldn't do that. Third strike of total BS. Even if it costs more and is farther away, I will never again rent a car for Hertz!!
10.0 ExcellentSep 15 2020
Staff was amazing. In and out super quick, no issues.Great rental experience- not much could have been improved.
2.0 MediocreSep 12 2020
The location didn’t exist.
10.0 ExcellentFeb 18 2020
yes and yesnothing
8.0 ExcellentFeb 15 2020
Great, happy staff
4.4 OkayMay 20 2019
Pick up was quick.The drop off was terrible. Was told my drop off location had after hours drop off but it did not. Because of this, I was late for the next plan on my tight schedule.
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From $35/dayRated #3
Avis
8.5 Excellent (17 reviews)
1 location in Santa Cruz
Avis
Locations in Santa Cruz
  • 8.5
  • 8.4
  • 8.5
  • 8.7
  • 8.2
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentJun 22 2021
friendly staff, easy to rent, fair pay
10.0 ExcellentAug 22 2020
Staff were friendly and there was no wait!No one walked me to the car or asked if I had questions about it.
2.0 MediocreJun 2 2020
NothingShop was closed
8.0 ExcellentApr 18 2017
Friendly staff - Easy process
10.0 ExcellentOct 24 2016
Easy to use and hassle free
8.0 ExcellentAug 10 2016
Convenient location. Location was closed so just quickly dropped off the car, didn't interact with anyone so I don't have much to say or judge.
7.2 GoodApr 12 2016
Small but workable.The facility was cramped both inside and outside, and from the direction I approached, difficult to see as it was behind a much larger building and sign. I had to back up and maneuver to enter the very small driveway entrance. There was room to park the car once I entered, however. Not sure where to add that I felt the dropoff fee was excessive -- thus the lower rating on value for money.
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From $59/day
Budget
1 location in Santa Cruz
Budget
Locations in Santa Cruz
Recent reviews
127 travelers who rented a car in Santa Cruz gave the car agency they used an average rating of 7.8

Car rental locations in or near Santa Cruz

Good to know

Most popular agency

Hertz

Average price

$49/day

Good deal

$38/day

When to book a rental car in Santa Cruz

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

Top tips for renting a car in Santa Cruz

  • If you're planning to visit the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Santa Cruz Wharf, having a rental will ease your trip and make everything seamless. Sometimes when traveling, using public transportation means wasting time and possibly confusing routes when trying to get to various attractions. Getting a vehicle from car rentals in Santa Cruz is a smart decision because you can incorporate nearly everything in your itinerary and meet your travel goals on time and at your convenience. If you're here on a business trip, then you won't have to worry about missing the bus and being late for that meeting you've been looking forward to. Even better, you can skip town and check out the Winchester Mystery House, just 29 miles away, or even the Golden Gate Bridge about 75 miles away, at your own convenience and get back in the city before evening.
  • When you get to the Rental Car Center in San Jose International Airport, go directly across Terminal B. If you come from Terminal B, walk across the airport drive from baggage claim, where you'll find the facility. If you come from Terminal A, you'll find an airport blue shuttle bus that will take you to the rental car center. Some of the Santa Cruz car rentals you'll find at the facility include Enterprise, Avis, and Hertz.
  • Pedestrians in Santa Cruz are so used to jaywalking that the city had to write reminders on the curb not to do it, so be watchful, especially on crosswalks and intersections. You should be careful when driving on Highway 17 as it can get congested with commuters to and from San Jose and sees frequent coastal fog.
  • Traffic in Downtown Santa Cruz can be fairly normal, but the rush hours can be packed with cars, especially on Highways 1, 9, and 17. Highway 17 can be quite busy northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening as more people commute to and from San Jose, more so on Fridays. Rush hours start from 7am to 9am and from 3pm to 8pm in the evening. Having a traffic app for real-time information will go a long way. You can also listen to the local radio.
  • 25% of our users found rental cars in Santa Cruz for $38 or less
  • Book your rental car in Santa Cruz at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Supplier choice rental cars in Santa Cruz are around 33% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about renting a car in Santa Cruz