Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States, is a state known for its vibrant music scene, stunning natural landscapes, and rich history. Renting a car in Tennessee allows you to explore the state at your own pace, from the iconic cities of Nashville and Memphis to the picturesque beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to car rental in Tennessee, including an overview of the rental process, popular car rental companies, types of rental cars available, rental requirements, popular destinations to visit, scenic drives to embark on, and essential tips for a smooth rental experience. Get ready to hit the road and discover the charms of Tennessee!

  1. Car Rental in Tennessee

1.1. Overview

Tennessee offers a range of car rental options to suit different travel needs. Whether you’re arriving at major airports like Nashville International Airport or Memphis International Airport, or exploring smaller cities and towns, you’ll find reliable car rental services available. Renting a car in Tennessee gives you the freedom to explore its diverse attractions, from exploring the birthplace of country music in Nashville to experiencing the rich musical heritage of Memphis.

1.2. Popular Car Rental Companies

Several well-known car rental companies operate in Tennessee, providing a convenient and reliable rental experience. National Car Rental, Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, and Budget are among the popular choices. These companies offer a wide selection of vehicles, competitive rates, and convenient pick-up and drop-off locations across the state.

  1. Types of Rental Cars

2.1. Economy Cars and Sedans

Economy cars and sedans are suitable for individuals or couples looking for affordable and fuel-efficient transportation options. These vehicles are perfect for exploring Tennessee’s cities, such as Nashville and Knoxville, where you can visit attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame or the Tennessee Theatre.

2.2. SUVs and Crossovers

If you’re planning to venture into Tennessee’s outdoor destinations or embark on road trips, renting an SUV or crossover is a great choice. These vehicles provide ample space for passengers and their luggage, making them ideal for exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway.

2.3. Trucks and Vans

For larger groups or those needing extra cargo space, renting a truck or van is a practical option. Trucks are suitable for outdoor adventures and can handle rugged terrains, while vans offer comfortable seating for multiple passengers. These vehicles are perfect for family vacations or group trips to destinations like Gatlinburg or Chattanooga.

  1. Rental Requirements

3.1. Age Restrictions

The minimum age to rent a car in Tennessee is typically 21 years old, although some rental companies may have higher age requirements or additional fees for drivers under 25. It’s important to check with the specific rental company for their age policies.

3.2. Driver’s License and Insurance

To rent a car in Tennessee, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. International visitors should present a valid license from their home country along with an International Driving Permit (IDP) if required. It’s also recommended to have car insurance coverage, either through your personal policy or by purchasing coverage offered by the rental company.

  1. Popular Destinations

Tennessee is brimming with popular destinations that are best explored by car. Nashville, the capital of country music, offers attractions like the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium. Memphis is famous for its musical heritage, with iconic sites such as Graceland and Beale Street. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit destination for its stunning scenery and outdoor activities.

  1. Scenic Drives

Tennessee boasts scenic drives that showcase its natural beauty and cultural heritage. The Natchez Trace Parkway takes you on a journey through history, passing through rolling hills, forests, and historic sites. The Cherohala Skyway offers breathtaking views of the mountains and forests, while the Great River Road follows the mighty Mississippi River, allowing you to explore charming river towns.

  1. Tips for Renting a Car

Before renting a car in Tennessee, consider the following tips:

  • Make a reservation in advance to secure the best rates and availability.
  • Familiarize yourself with the rental company’s policies, including fuel options and mileage restrictions.
  • Inspect the car for any existing damages before driving off.
  • Plan your itinerary and consider traffic conditions and distances between destinations.
  • Enjoy the local cuisine and music scene along the way.


Renting a car in Tennessee is a fantastic way to explore the state’s diverse attractions, from its vibrant cities to its scenic natural landscapes. With a variety of rental options, popular destinations, and scenic drives, Tennessee offers something for everyone. Follow the tips provided, choose the ideal rental car for your journey, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the captivating state of Tennessee.