North America > United States > Memphis
See: Why rent a car in Memphis ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments
(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)
Your key questions for any destination:
Do I need a car in Memphis?
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 just 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 Memphis?
This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Memphis 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 Memphis 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 Memphis?
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 Memphis, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.
Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season.
We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.
Memphis 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 Memphis?
Sometimes. Economy rental prices are average by global standards.
Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Memphis between the peak and the off peak season?
5/10 (0 = stable prices)
Driving score: 3/10
Non car score:2/10
(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)
General comment -
Why? Visiting Memphis using a hire car
Why do you need a car in Memphis ?
Why not? Visiting Memphis without a car
Why don't you need a car in Memphis ?
Ratings: How does Memphis compare?
Is it worth hiring a car in Memphis? TBC
This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Memphis, 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 Memphis? TBC
This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Memphis (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 Memphis? 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
High Speed Rail:
Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):
As you start ....
Does Memphis airport have a direct rail link?
(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No
Has our advice for Memphis car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?
2017 - 7
2019 - 6
2021 - 7
Average score - 7
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.
Do you or don't you need a car in Memphis ?