Auto Repair

Oren’s Automotive

Oren Glasman (left) and technician Janeth Cruz of Oren’s Automotive | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Oren Glasman understands the anxiety car repair can cause customers who are baffled by the inner workings of their vehicles and equally ignorant of what it should cost to fix them. That’s why his company is based around the philosophy of “full accountability and transparency,” he said. “If there are problems, our customers know that the buck stops with me and I will do what I can to fix it and help them out.” Many people need their cars to make a living, and when it breaks down it causes a lot of stress, Glasman said. “I enjoy it when I can remove that stress.” The Gray Avenue shop recently added new bays and started offering more smog, tire, detailing, and drop-off services.

Runner-Up: Powell Garage Inc.

Car Rental

Enterprise Rent-a-Car

Approaching the car rental window doesn’t have to feel like spinning a roulette wheel and doubting things will go your way. Because who among us has not hit major snags at that point in our journeys? Booking with Enterprise is the safest bet possible, our readers say, since the company “has built a global reputation on putting people first and providing exceptional service,” explained Public Relations Manager Mike Wilmering. “Our vision is to be the world’s best and most trusted mobility company. We deliver this by listening to and exceeding our customers’ and employees’ expectations, offering a great place to work and cultivating fulfilling careers, and being a responsible corporate citizen in the communities where we live and work.”

Runner-Up: Hertz

Car Wash/Detailing

Educated Car Wash

Educated Car Wash will get you in and out quick, but that hardly means they’ll rush the job. It just means they’re as thorough as they are methodical in the gas-up, scrub-down system they’ve perfected over the last 40 years. “What sets Educated Car Wash apart from the other car washes in town, or washing your car at home, is not only our state-of-the-art technology of the equipment but also the efficiency and convenience of being able to fill your car with gas and get it fully cleaned in the same stop,” said spokesperson Jennifer Van Donge.

Runner-Up: Prestige Hand Car Wash

New Car Dealership

Santa Barbara Auto Group

Santa Barbara Auto Group isn’t in the car business, insists Business Development Manager Ada Schultz. “We are in the customer service business,” she said. “Our product just happens to be cars.” The Auto Group is now the only location in the entire tri-counties where you can find seven premium car brands ― Acura, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, and Porsche ― all under one roof, so to speak. Schultz invites anyone in the market for a new or used ride to browse their online inventory, schedule a test drive, and investigate financing options. “Our goal is to become our customers’ car company for life, not just for one car,” she said.

Runner-Up: Toyota of Santa Barbara

Place to Get Tires
Quick Oil Change

Big Brand Tire & Service

With three locations in the area ― on both ends of Milpas and at the corner of Fairview and Hollister ― Big Brand Tire & Service is never far away, which comes in very handy in a pinch. Just ask recent reviewer Moto L., who blew out a tire on the highway. “How do I communicate the care this shop showed me?” he wrote. “I am thankful and so lucky to be alive AND that I didn’t injure anyone. They got me in the shop, replaced the tire, and got me back on the road in an hour. I truly can’t express my gratitude!” Less dramatic but just as appreciative was fellow reviewer Mark Y. about his quick and inexpensive oil change. “Big Brand is the perfect alternative between an overpriced dealer and cheap grease monkeys,” he said.

Runner-Up (Place to Get Tires): Costco
Runner-Up (Quick Oil Change): Jiffy Lube

Used Car Dealership

Toyota of Santa Barbara

In an annual analysis of cars that Americans keep for 15 years or more, Toyota always dominates the list. So steadfast and loyal, they start to feel like a pet or quiet member of the family. This writer’s wife almost wept when her Corolla was towed away for the last time. The folks at Toyota of Santa Barbara have that kind of long-term commitment in mind, not money, said the dealership. “We have a non-commission sales approach, allowing our team to focus more on you and your needs instead of worrying about making a sale,” they stated. Readers said they also appreciated the dealership’s frequent offers on tires, wiper blades, brake-pad repairs, and oil changes.

Runner-Up: Milpas Motors

See the rest of our Best of Santa Barbara® 2023 winners here.