Best of Santa Barbara® 2019
by Leslie Dinaberg
629 E. Haley St.; 965-8101; ootyscooters.com
“My favorite part of my job is just seeing more scooters and less cars on our busy streets and parking lots downtown,” said Ryan Neely, owner of Ooty’s Scooters. Ooty was the childhood nickname of his father, Chris, who founded the business and retired a few years ago. Ooty’s continues its tradition of winning this award and providing relatively inexpensive, high-gas-mileage scooters to Santa Barbara. “Being the best means that we are a store for locals and will stay the same as long as we are here. As always, thanks for everybody that voted for us, and we will keep providing the best service we can.”
Runner-Up: Ducati of Santa Barbara
2703 De la Vina St.; 617-0606; schneiderautohaus.com
Specializing in bumper-to-bumper service for sexy, high-performance vehicles from Porsche, BMW, Mini, and Audi, Schneider Autohaus was voted our readers’ favorite place to keep their motors purring for the second year in a row. “I love all the different people I meet on any day, keeping up to date on their families, kids, and dogs,” said Paula Hinck, who owns the garage with her husband, Henry Hinck. “My favorite part of the job is interacting with the people. Santa Barbara is all about community. This makes it a great place to work and live. You really feel like you’re part of something here; Santa Barbarans are here for each other. I love that.”
Runner-Up: Oren’s Automotive
Ducati of Santa Barbara
17 W. Montecito St.; 884-8443; ducatiofsb.com
The perpetual winner of this category, the Dunne family’s Ducati of Santa Barbara showroom is actually the oldest Ducati dealership in the United States. The celebrated high-performance Italian motorcycles have been sold here since 1978, in a shop that specializes in new and used European motorcycle sales and services for brands that also include Aprilia, Piaggio, Vespa, Harley-Davidson, Buell, Moto Guzzi, and BMW. In addition, Ducati of S.B specializes in custom builds and national-caliber race bike prep and assembly. Want to try one out? They also offer rentals of motorcycles and scooters.
Runner-Up: Santa Barbara Motorsports
New Car Dealership
Santa Barbara Auto Group
402 S. Hope Ave.; 682-2000; sbautogroup.com
The car is the star at Santa Barbara Auto Group, our readers’ pick for best new car dealership. The area’s leading luxury car dealer — with Acura, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche all available under one roof — offers a one-stop shop for car shoppers looking to drive a high-end, premium vehicle. In addition, the service department is well regarded, and there is also a wide assortment of pre-owned vehicles (a highfalutin term for good old-fashioned “used cars”) available on the lot.
Runner-Up: Toyota of Santa Barbara
Used Car Dealership
735 N. Milpas St.; 884-8102; milpasmotors.com
Our readers have given a big thumbs-up to Milpas Motors, and so have their customers. Wrote Ashlee, “I bought a Fiat a few months back from Milpas Motors and had a wonderful buying experience. … I waited three months to write this review just to make sure I still had that warm fuzzy feeling you get after buying a car, and I do!” Alana P. chimed in with, “Awesome experience with these guys. My son was buying his first car and had done years of research to find just the one he wanted when he got his license. Steve was great and helped him through this exciting purchase.” They’ve been in town since 2001 and sell everything from Alfa Romeos to Volkswagen buses — Milpas Motors is the spot to find the wheels of your dreams.
Runner-Up: Toyota of Santa Barbara
Educated Car Wash
3735 State St.; 687-8800; educatedcarwash.com
There’s something so satisfying about getting the grit and grime off of your car, and the team at Educated Car Wash is consistently first rate. A readers’ pick for more than a decade, Educated Car Wash not only cleans and/or details your car 100 percent by hand but also has the cheapest petrol prices in town. Family owned and operated for more than 30 years, Educated Car Wash uses biodegradable soaps and provides top-to-bottom cleaning, speck-free vacuuming, and sparkling-clean windows — usually in fewer than 15 minutes.
Runner-Up: Fairview Car Wash
Quick Oil Change
Ian’s Tires & Auto Repair
4299 State St.; 683-0716; ianstire.com
“My favorite part of my job is being able to see and meet all kinds of different people, both returning customers and new customers. I also enjoy the work employee culture that is fostered here,” said Eric Miller, owner of Ian’s Tires & Auto Repair, a two-generation, family-owned-and-operated business that has provided top-notch service and customer satisfaction — including oil changes — since 1987. When asked what being the best means to him, Miller offered, “I’m not sure how ‘best’ is measured, but I try and make sure we are the best business that we can be in customer service and in doing quality work. It is an honor to be recognized for what we do here.”
Runner-Up: Big Brand Tire & Service
Place to Get Tires
7095 Market Pl. Dr., Goleta; 685-3199
Amazon may be the largest retailer in the world, but there are certain things you want to literally — and metaphorically — kick the tires on before you buy them, and Costco just happens to be Indy readers’ top choice for purchasing both tires and eyewear! Both departments offer high-quality and good-value selections, with the friendly level of service we’ve come to depend on from Goleta’s favorite big-box retailer.
Runner-Up (Place to Get Tires): Big Brand Tire & Service
Runner-Up (Eyewear Selection) : Occhiali Fine Eyewear
Multiple locations; enterprise.com
Convenience is key in the rental car game. With four outposts in our area, including the airport and UCSB-adjacent location, Enterprise Rent-a-Car is certainly one of the most practical and easy picks for renting a car in town. Part of the world’s largest fleet, Enterprise has more than 1.7 million vehicles in more than 85 countries, which puts them in a position to offer lots of special deals and rates, including one-way trips to big airport cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco and discount weekend rates.