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North America > United States > Nashville

See: Why hire a car in Nashville ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring. Yes, this site is being updated, but the graphics will come later)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Nashville?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest. That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than simple yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Nashville?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Nashville car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Nashville with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.


Should I rent a car in Nashville? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Nashville, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

Nashville prides itself as being “Music City USA”, and with the focus being on Country and Western, there’s no shortage of live music available, and needless to say, if you are just sticking around the city centre, then local buses and taxis are fine.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Nashville car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Nashville is in car rental price band: 5/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Nashville? 

Sometimes. Economy rental prices are average by global standards.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Nashville between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:1/10

Balance: 9

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


Nashville also has a commuter rail service under the banner of “STAR” (South Tennessee Area Railway), although at present there is just one line. Although this route also includes a stop at the world-famous Opryland live music resort, it’s probably easier to get there by bus or taxi.

Why? Visiting Nashville using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Nashville ?

  • Yet Nashville is really about a lot more than just the music, and it’s an obvious place to start a road trip heading east into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (see also Knoxville).
  • Nashville also sits at the north-eastern end of one of America’s great driving roads – the Natchez Trace Parkway, and although there are also cycling trails along some sections of the old route, this is still really driving country.
  • To visit the Jack Daniels Distillery and Tour, you will need to drive for around two hours south of Nashville.

Why not? Visiting Nashville without a car

Why don't you need a car in Nashville ?

  • A car isn’t needed if you are just staying within or near the city of Nashville.

Ratings: How does Nashville compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Nashville? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Nashville, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Nashville? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Nashville (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Nashville? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Nashville airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Nashville car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 10

2019 - 9

2021 - 9

Average score - 9



Do you need a car in Nashville? Nashville car hire verdict – yes, almost certainly useful.


Do you or don't you need a car in Nashville ?

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