By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Memphis?

Do you need a car in Memphis > Should you rent a car in Memphis USA > Memphis ( MEM )

Do you need a car in Memphis? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Why should you rent a car in Memphis?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Memphis?

Memphis Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]



Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]




Free parking score

Total 150 - of which 107 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • Generally, a rental car is useful outside the city.
  • Public transport options are limited.

Why not? Visiting Memphis without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Memphis public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score



Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Memphis. 


  • Reasonable selection of public transit, especially local buses.
  • You can easily get to and from the main points of interest, especially along the river banks, and of course to Graceland, by bus.


Car rental in - Memphis Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Memphis?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?

Is it worth hiring a car in Memphis?

  • Based on value for money?

Should you rent a car in Memphis?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Memphis if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Memphis if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Memphis if I prefer not to drive?

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?



What is our final score for Memphis on the Carornocar scale?


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Generally, we think that Memphis is the sort of place where there are just enough options for getting around the city without a hire car, that you can probably manage it. Although there is ample car parking at Graceland, you can also get there it from the downtown area in about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic. Historic downtown Memphis is certainly walkable, and although fixed rail services are pretty limited, buses are adequate.

The more scenic parts of Tennessee tend to be further to the east. Given the air service in Memphis has been so heavily downgraded, you’re unlikely to fly here to then carry on, for example to the great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s much better to head to Knoxville in the first place, or if you are travelling from further afield, to head to Atlanta and pick up a hire car there.

Memphis car hire verdict = no.

Would you hire a car in Memphis?

Have you driven in Memphis? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Memphis?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
Category: USA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *