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Rent cars in Santa Barbara, CA

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Santa Barbara, CA
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Top rated rental cars in Santa Barbara, CA

Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2020 — Car rental alternative in Montecito, CA
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Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2020

5.0

(48 trips)

All-Star Host
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Fall in love with Santa Barbara

Set between the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara is one of California’s most picturesque and historic cities. This artsy town grew up around the 1786 Franciscan Mission, which you can still visit today, and its storybook downtown area still reflects its Spanish roots.

But there’s more to this charming destination than just history. Upscale shops and fine dining go hand-in-hand with gorgeous beaches and perfect weather, making it all too easy to fall in love with this delightful seaside city.

Santa Barbara favorites

Tour the Old Mission, make a reservation at an incredible seaside cafe, and prepare to lose your heart in Santa Barbara’s shady streets.

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Old Mission Santa Barbara

Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Old Mission is a living national historic landmark with a fascinating museum, colorful parish church, storied mausoleum, and more. Take a self-guided tour of the mission and grounds, then visit the gift shop for exquisite jewelry and art.

Santa Barbara Downtown

The beating heart of Santa Barbara is its downtown: where magnificent Spanish colonial architecture meets hip outdoor cafes and gelato vendors. Shop at the upscale Paseo Nuevo shopping center, taste some wine at the Funk Zone, and catch live entertainment at the gorgeous Arlington and Granada Theatres.

Stearns Wharf

At scenic Stearns Wharf, you can ride a water taxi, explore marine life, sample seafood with views of the harbor, and watch for pelicans. After dining with a view, satisfy your sweet tooth at Mother Stearns Candy Shop or the Great Pacific Ice Cream Company.

Top hosts in Santa Barbara, CA

Rafael M.

Rafael M.

All-Star Host
256 tripsJoined
Car was in excellent condition and Rafael was easy to communicate with!
Kelsey S.-
Rafael is quick to respond and his cars arrive clean.
Chris H.-

Rafael M.’s vehicles

Martin R.

Martin R.

All-Star Host
939 tripsJoined
My only issue was the confusion at pick up due to there being two different license plates on the account, however that is something the owner has said he would address.
Rimi S.-
I really enjoyed my trip with this car!
Lisa D.-

Rent cars in Santa Barbara, CA

Hit the road

Fun cities, pastoral towns, and a range of interesting sites surround Santa Barbara. A ferry ride away at the Channel Islands, you can hike in search of amazing views and dolphin sightings. Or stay on land and enjoy the natural beauty of nearby Cachuma Lake and the Santa Ynez Valley. If you’re into architecture and don’t mind putting up with a few tourists, check out Danish Solvang or the stunning Hearst Castle.

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Solvang

In just about 40 minutes, you can travel from Spain to Denmark without leaving the state of California. After admiring Santa Barbara’s Spanish colonial vibe, head to Solvang to enjoy captivating Danish architecture, an 1800s Franciscan church, and the fabulous Hans Christian Andersen Museum.

The Santa Ynez Valley

Take a picture-perfect drive through the Santa Ynez Valley, home to quaint little towns like Santa Ynez and Los Alamos. Full of vineyards, art galleries, and even an ostrich farm, the valley is both calm and surprising.

Hearst Castle

It may be a longer road trip, but seeing William Randolph Hearst’s jaw-dropping hilltop mansion is worth the 137-mile drive. Featuring an indoor roman pool with ornate details, a massive collection of art, and landscaped grounds populated with zebras and bison, Hearst Castle is truly something you won’t see every day.

Recent reviews

Derrick T.
Ford Mustang 2019

Perfect convertible for the weather in Santa Barbara!!!!

Derrick T.
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Tyler W.
Tesla Model 3 2022

Great car.

Tyler W.
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Katie S.
FIAT 500 2015

Perfect car for a Santa Barbara getaway!

Katie S.
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Marley T.
BMW 4 Series 2018

Such a fun car to drive in beautiful Santa Barbara and down the coast !

Marley T.
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Senthil Kumaran O.
BMW 4 Series 2018

Great car, it was fun to drive from Santa Barbara to Ventura and back.

Senthil Kumaran O.
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Andrew M.
Ford Mustang 2019

Awesome car!

Andrew M.
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Maggie B.
Ford Fiesta 2015

Great service, very clean car and Martin was extremely accommodating.

Maggie B.
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Julia W.
Ford Mustang 2019

The car is a very fun and comfortable ride, perfect for a trip in Santa Barbara!

Julia W.
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Car rental locations near Santa Barbara, CA

SBA Airport (8 mi)

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Best Santa Barbara driving roads

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Santa Barbara Scenic Drive

Give yourself two hours to explore this 25-mile drive through all Santa Barbara’s must-see sites. Starting from the Visitor Center, you’ll see beautiful beaches, charming neighborhoods, and a famous mission. For a truly perfect day, make a reservation at one of the many restaurants along the way.

Highway 154

Also known as San Marcos Pass, Highway 154 is one of Santa Barbara’s most iconic roads, and its ocean views are second to none. Fuel up for a windy drive along this mountain path that’s a perfect gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley, Lake Cachuma, and local wineries.

Alameda Padre Serra

Winding through the heart of Santa Barbara and along the riviera, a drive down Alameda Padre Serra provides up-close views of the city’s stone walls, downtown, harbor, and wharf. Start from the Old Mission and follow this classic road to Montecito, then hit up the beach for some rest and relaxation.

Frequently asked questions in Santa Barbara