Car rental at Santa Barbara Airport

Car rental at Santa Barbara Airport

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Santa Barbara, CA, United States - Santa Barbara
24 May — 31 May
Same drop-off
Santa Barbara, CA, United States - Santa Barbara
Tue 24.05
Noon
Tue 31.05
Noon
Driver's age:

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Santa Barbara Airport car rental reviews and directory

Rated #1
Alamo
Best rated
8.6 Excellent (140 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Alamo
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.5
  • 8.7
  • 8.6
  • 8.8
  • 8.7
Recent reviews
1.9 Horrible2021 Sep 16
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 Okay2021 Aug 04
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 Mediocre2021 Jun 21
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 Excellent2021 May 28
The woman who helped me with drop off was incredibly helpful
2.0 Mediocre2021 May 25
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 Mediocre2020 Dec 07
Vehicle that I reserved was not available when I went go pick up.
10.0 Excellent2020 Nov 28
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 Excellent2020 Aug 18
Staff was friendly and efficientCar was a little dirty inside.
9.6 Excellent2020 Jun 26
Easy, fast, and safe.
10.0 Excellent2020 Mar 14
fast and courteous
Rated #2
Dollar
7.9 Good (103 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Dollar
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.3
  • 8.4
  • 7.7
  • 7.6
  • 7.6
Recent reviews
2.0 Mediocre2021 Nov 03
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 Mediocre2021 Sep 22
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 Excellent2021 Sep 06
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 Mediocre2021 May 16
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 Excellent2021 May 03
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 Excellent2021 Mar 02
Yes, staff was terrific. Very helpful.Nothing it was perfect
2.0 Mediocre2020 Dec 21
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 Mediocre2020 Jul 19
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 Okay2020 Jun 27
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.
6.4 Good2020 Feb 17
Slow, disorganized.
Rated #3
Budget
7.9 Good (117 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Budget
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8
  • 8.2
  • 8
  • 7.9
  • 7.6
Recent reviews
8.0 Excellent2022 Apr 19
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 Excellent2022 Apr 17
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 Excellent2022 Mar 30
I liked the car and the superquick and organized drop off.
6.0 Good2021 Nov 22
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 Mediocre2021 Nov 15
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 Excellent2021 Nov 14
The team at John Wayne airport was just awful. Worst drop off experience ever
4.0 Okay2021 Oct 31
My flight arrived about 2 hours early. Didn't have my car so had to give me a more expensive car. I get it that inventory comes and goes, but I didn't appreciate the attitude of the check-in desk person. Quite rude.
10.0 Excellent2021 Oct 21
Friendly and professional staff, fast service, no waiting.
10.0 Excellent2021 Aug 16
The team member in SB was excellent!
10.0 Excellent2021 Jul 13
Doug at the desk was so helpful & positive!
Rated #4
Enterprise
8.2 Excellent (34 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Enterprise
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.3
  • 8.4
  • 8.1
  • 7.9
  • 8
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent2022 Apr 02
Fast service, no hassles, good value
10.0 Excellent2021 Dec 16
Everything was easy.
6.0 Good2021 Jun 12
Drop off was eastvehicle could have been cleaner
4.0 Okay2020 Oct 05
The staff was able to point me in the right direction after they recognized their mistake.
9.6 Excellent2019 Aug 31
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 Mediocre2019 Jul 03
Staff was not friendly and they did not have a car for us when we arrived.
2.0 Mediocre2019 Apr 13
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 Excellent2019 Mar 17
Friendly, quick
2.0 Mediocre2019 Jan 02
No work around offeredCounter accessibilityLack of helpfulness. Didn't honor our pre-booked rental.
10.0 Excellent2018 Nov 27
FriendlyStaff were helpful and professional
Rated #5
Hertz
7.5 Good (72 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Hertz
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 7.9
  • 7.9
  • 7.5
  • 7.5
  • 7.6
Recent reviews
2.0 Mediocre2021 Dec 12
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 Okay2021 Dec 02
Air conditioner did not work properly which made it uncomfortable.
2.0 Mediocre2021 Oct 25
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 Horrible2021 Oct 12
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 Horrible2021 Sep 29
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 Horrible2021 Sep 23
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 Horrible2021 Sep 12
Absolutely horrible service, didn't have cars available, despite reservation. Had to cancel and rebook for more money.
1.9 Horrible2021 Aug 09
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.
10.0 Excellent2021 Mar 05
Very friendly on both ends!
6.0 Good2021 Jan 01
Staff was very friendly. At drop off there was no sign to say where to leave the key after hours.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.
Rated #6
Avis
8.1 Excellent (19 reviews)
1 location in Santa Barbara Airport
Avis
Locations in Santa Barbara Airport
  • 8.6
  • 8.2
  • 8.1
  • 8.1
  • 7.6
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent2022 Apr 03
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 Okay2021 Jul 21
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 Okay2021 May 26
The staff at pickup in Santa Barbara used deceitful tactics to pressure us into paying for an upgrade.
8.4 Excellent2019 Jun 24
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 Mediocre2018 Nov 05
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 Excellent2017 Nov 26
the car was easy to drive - good gas milage - very comfortable - service was quick.
8.4 Excellent2017 Mar 13
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.
7.2 Good2016 Feb 14
Not what it seemed - guy plugged in too many extraVan was great, pickup was convenient, price seemed good, Drop-off easySo 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.
Rated #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 Mediocre2022 Apr 15
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 Excellent2020 Sep 16
Yes, staff was helpful, service fast, individual ride back to airport, free upgrade.the weather
7.2 Good2017 Jan 03
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 Excellent2016 Sep 28
They were very accommodating and friendly
Rated #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 Mediocre2021 Nov 21
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
493 travelers 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