7 Best Nashville Airport Car Rental Companies — Browse Tips on Renting a Car in Nashville (January 2023)
Picking up a rental car at Nashville International Airport (BNA) is easy as there are several on-site car rental agencies to get behind the wheel within minutes after getting off the plane.
You can choose from luxury and low-cost car rental agencies to find a vehicle and daily rate to fit your travel budget. Booking in advance helps you get the best price and enjoy special perks, such as Skip the Counter.
We rank the best Nashville Airport car rental agencies by factors including ease of access, operating hours, customer reviews, car selection, and average daily rates.
The Vacationer Tip
Before booking your Nashville rental car, browse our Best Websites to Book Cheap Car Rentals guide and our How to Find and Book Cheap Car Rentals tutorial. Our recommendation is to use RentalCars.com. And, if you’re flying to Nashville, see our Best Websites to Book Cheap Flights guide. Finally, our Best Boutique Hotels in Nashville guide provides suggestion on top places to stay.
What are the Best Car Rental Companies at Nashville Airport?
While Nashville International Airport (BNA) is a busy airport at times, it’s still small enough that you can book affordable on-site car rentals and quickly navigate the terminal.
To pick up a car at Nashville Airport, you check in at the agency counters at baggage claim. Next, you walk to Level 1 of Terminal Garage 1 (the nearest parking garage) to the rental car facility to find your car.
Alamo is consistently the best Nashville Airport car rental agency for many travelers as it has an expansive vehicle selection, friendly customer service, and competitive prices.
Many customer reviews praise the Alamo BNA staff with Herman in the pick-up area receiving the most positive remarks. His hands-on help inspires many to use Alamo the next time they rent a car in Nashville.
This agency usually offers some of the lowest prices which is another reason why it’s at the top of our list. After activating the Accelerated Check-In, you can also save time at check-in by using Alamo’s “Skip the Counter” feature.
Some of the agency’s other location services include after-hours returns and a self-service kiosk. You can earn bonus rewards by joining the Alamo Insiders loyalty program too.
Pros: Competitive prices, friendly staff, and Skip the Counter availability
Cons: Check-in waiting times can be long at peak periods. The Alamo loyalty program offers relatively few benefits.
Phone: (615) 340-6546
Hours: 6 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. (after-hours return is available)
Google Rating: 4.4
Kayak Rating: 8.7 (Excellent)
You will have an ample selection of cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans from 6 a.m. to midnight daily through the on-site Enterprise branch. After-hours drop-offs are available too.
Enterprise also operates an Exotics and Luxury Car location at Nashville International Airport if you’re a luxury traveler. However, this service is only available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day and you cannot drop your exotic rental off after hours.
This location receives many positive customer reviews for its high-quality cars, short waiting times, and friendly staff.
The Enterprise Plus loyalty program offers multiple ways to earn bonus points that you can redeem for free rentals. Your points won’t expire when you book an Enterprise rental at least once every three years.
As a drawback for Enterprise’s above-average car selection and customer support, the average rental price is among the most expensive. However, it’s possible to save money by looking for current promotions, discount codes and following these tips to find cheap car rentals.
Pros: Expect one of the biggest car selections, friendly staff, and self-service kiosks to avoid long lines.
Cons: Rental rates can be expensive without discounts or specials
Phone: (615) 275-0011
Hours: 6 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. (after-hours drop-offs are available)
Google Rating: 4.2
Kayak Rating: 8.9 (Excellent)
If you’re driving less than 150 miles per day and will be staying within the Nashville metro area, Advantage can be your most affordable option. For example, it’s possible to rent a car for as little as $47 per day in December 2022 when the starting price is between $59 and $77 for most of the better-known car rental agencies.
Unfortunately, this rental agency isn’t your best option if you need unlimited mileage as excess mileage fees apply after driving 150 miles daily. Additionally, you can only drive Advantage rental cars within Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina.
It’s possible to rent cars, SUVs, minivans, and luxury vehicles that are the most popular vehicles with the full-service agencies.
Pros: Anticipate some of the lowest rental rates for local car rentals.
Cons: Cars may only be driven to certain states and up to 150 miles today before excess mileage fees apply. Additionally, the closing time is two hours earlier than most on-site agencies.
Phone: (615) 275-2619
Hours: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. (24/7 drop-offs are available)
Google Rating: 3.8
Kayak Rating: 10.0 (Excellent)
Consider Budget if you’re arriving on one of the last flights into Nashville as the agency is open for an hour longer (1 a.m.) than most competitors. This service also offers a wide selection of cars for solo travelers, couples, large groups, and the luxury-focused.
The rental rates are usually cheaper than average but are not the lowest. You can find special airport rental car deals for discounts on multi-day rentals and free upgrades.
However, as Budget is a discount rental agency focusing on low prices, other brands can offer a better selection and customer service quality.
Several customer reviews indicate the possibility of waiting at least one hour. In fairness, other Nashville Airport car rental agencies can have similar lines. It’s possible to shorten your wait by using the Fastbreak counter in the baggage claim area after registering for the loyalty program.
Fastbreak loyalty members can also earn approximately $1,000 in Budget Bucks coupons each year to save on future rentals. However, this loyalty program is relatively lackluster besides the ability to skip long check-in lines and save money on car rentals.
Pros: Anticipate competitive prices on all vehicle types including cars, passenger vans, SUVs, and luxury vehicles. The rental counter also closes at 1 a.m. instead of at midnight like most.
Cons: Wait times can be potentially long and the national customer support team periodically makes errors when modifying itineraries.
Phone: (615) 366-0822
Hours: 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. (after-hours drop-offs are available)
Google Rating: 3.2
Kayak Rating: 7.5 (Good)
The Hertz Nashville Airport location offers a wide variety of vehicle classes and provides a best price guarantee if the future Hertz rental price is cheaper. The rental rates are average but are sometimes pricier than the competition. Online deals and specials can reduce your fees.
Consider joining the Hertz Gold Plus program to earn rewards points, be eligible for complimentary upgrades, and the ability to skip the counter at check-in.
Regarding the Nashville Airport location, customer service ratings are hit-or-miss depending on the agent and the customer’s wait time. Like many businesses these days, it appears that the rental counter is understaffed at times which can lead to potentially long wait times.
However, many customers report a pleasant check-in experience even when waiting 45 to 60 minutes. Most reviews praise the easy drop-off process.
Pros: Drop-offs are easy at BNA and the agency has many loyalty perks. You also have an excellent variety of car rental types.
Cons: The local and national customer service quality isn’t always the best. Agents may also upsell premium upgrades during your rental more than other agencies.
Phone: (615) 275-2600
Hours: 6 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. (after-hours drop-offs are available)
Google Rating: 3.3
Kayak Rating: 7.3 (Good)
Avis tends to offer higher-end cars than its sister company (Budget) but may charge higher standard rates and fees. Thankfully, it’s possible to find various discounts directly through the agency or partnerships with AARP and other affiliation groups.
The Nashville Airport location is open until 1 a.m. and has good customer service ratings. Many customers recommend using the Avis app to enjoy expedited check-in and to avoid potential booking errors.
As an Avis Preferred member, you can use the QuickPass feature in the app to choose, change, or upgrade your rental. Your rental car parking spot can also appear on the local Preferred board to go directly to your vehicle and bypass the rental counter.
This agency also offers excellent long-term car rental rates in Nashville when using the same vehicle for up to 11 months.
Pros: Offers higher-end cars, SUVs, and vans. There are also many active promotions and relationship discounts to get a low rate.
Cons: Check-in times can be long if you don’t use the Avis app and the additional fees can be high.
Phone: (615) 361-1212
Hours: 7 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. (after-hours drop-offs are available)
Google Rating: 3.4
Kayak Rating: 7.2 (Good)
The Nashville Airport Sixt location offers standard and luxury vehicles with rates that can rival the bottom-dollar agencies yet potentially better customer service.
Unlimited miles rentals are available and while there are geographic restrictions, rental car pickups in Tennessee allow you to drive to most states including long-distance locations like California, Oregon, and Washington State.
While this particular Sixt airport location has relatively few customer reviews as this location recently opened in October 2022, the initial customer reviews are mostly positive.
Specifically, the front desk and pick-up area service staff typically shine but the agency receives negative marks for closing early at 10 p.m. which can put delayed travelers and on-time late-night arrivals in a bind.
Pros: There are many standard and premium vehicles with fair rates. The Sixt Express loyalty program and Sixt+ long-term rental program can help you save money on your favorite cars.
Cons: Sixt closes at 10 p.m., two hours earlier than most agencies.
Phone: (888) 749-8227
Hours: 7 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (24-hour returns are available)
Google Rating: 3.2
Kayak Rating: 10.0 (Excellent)
Comparing the Best Rental Car Companies at Nashville Airport
Below is a quick comparison of the best Nashville Airport car rental agencies.
|Brand/Rental Provider||Google/Kayak Rating||Types of Available Vehicles||Budget or Luxury?|
|Alamo||4.4/8.7||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Budget|
|Enterprise||4.2/8.9||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Luxury|
|Advantage||3.8/10.0||Cars, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Budget|
|Budget||3.2/7.5||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Budget|
|Hertz||3.3/7.3||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Luxury|
|Avis||3.4/7.2||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Mid-Range|
|Sixt||3.2/10.0||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Mid-Range|
While these car rental brands don’t make the cut, they can still help you book an affordable vehicle while you’re visiting Nashville.
|Brand/Rental Provider||Google/Kayak Rating||Types of Available Vehicles||Budget or Luxury?|
|Dollar||3.1/7.0||Cars, trucks, SUVs, luxury vehicles||Budget|
|National||4.4/None||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Luxury|
|Payless||2.3/7.1||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Budget|
|Thrifty||2.7/7.8||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Budget|
Learn More: Best Things to Do In Nashville
Tips for Renting Cars at the Nashville Airport
Practicing these suggestions can help you enjoy a stress-free rental car experience in Music City.
Use an On-Site Rental Location
In major airports, off-site car rental agencies are usually cheaper and the savings is worth the extra hassle to reach the pickup location.
However, that’s not the case at Nashville International Airport as the luxury and discount agencies offer competitive prices and using a rideshare or hopping on a public bus usually isn’t worth it.
Additionally, the check-in process is easy as everything is within walking distance.
You can follow these steps to pick up your car:
- Check in with the rental agency in the baggage claim area
- Exit the Main Terminal on Level 1 (you will be on this level)
- Use the crosswalk to enter Terminal Garage 1 (the first garage outside the terminal)
- Remain on Level 1 in the main garage
- Turn left and follow the Rental Car signs
- Arrive at the Consolidated Rental Car Facility to find your parking spot
The return location is at the same place. Simply plug 1 Terminal Dr., Nashville, TN 37214 into your GPS navigation. Upon arriving at Nashville Airport, follow the Rental Car Return signs to drop off your car and walk into the main terminal to check in for your flight.
Related: Best Credit Cards for Rental Cars
Compare Rental Car Offers
You should compare rates from several of the on-site car rental agencies through Kayak or directly from the agency website. The rental desks and pick-up spots are all in the same area so spending a few extra minutes in research is worth it to get the best deal.
In addition to the current agency-specific promotions, you may also consider using a credit card with rental car insurance to avoid this pricey add-on.
Redeeming rental car loyalty program rewards can also help you secure a better deal on a desirable vehicle.
Consider Express Check-In Options
Depending on the time of day and current staffing levels, you may have to wait at least one hour to check in. Most of the BNA car rental agencies offer expedited check-in services that allow you to “skip the counter” or use a self-service kiosk.
Most of the agencies are:
- Avis Car Rental
Nashville Airport Has Peer-to-Peer Carsharing
A growing rental car alternative is using peer carsharing platforms where you rent directly from the vehicle owner. Turo is one of the leading options and it’s located in Terminal Lot A. There are designated Turo parking spots and all pick-ups and drop-offs occur here.
This parking area is within walking distance of the main terminal and is just a little further beyond the airport’s consolidated rental car facility. In fact, there isn’t a shuttle service to this lot.
You won’t need a rental car if you’re staying in Downtown Nashville or Music Row as these areas are walking-friendly. Additionally, car parking costs from $20 to $40 per day. You may be able to access the downtown area by hotel shuttle, the free Nashville MTA Music City Circuit bus system, or ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
Renting a car is necessary to visit famous attractions like the Loveless Cafe, Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage Plantation, or the Belle Meade Plantation. Having your own vehicle is also a requirement if you want to go to a nearby community like Mt. Juliet or Brentwood.
The Nashville Airport Rental Car Center is located within walking distance of the main terminal and is adjacent to Terminal Garage 1. First, you will check in at the rental car counters in the baggage claim area and exit the main terminal on Level 1 to access the rental car facility.
Yes, Turo rental cars are available in a designated pickup and drop-off location within Terminal Lot A on-site at the Nashville International Airport. This lot is a little further away than the Rental Car Facility but the savings can be worth the extra effort.
No, there are no toll roads in Nashville or in the entire state of Tennessee. Thankfully, you can decline the toll road responder add-on when booking your rental car in Nashville.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The best car rental company at Nashville International Airport will probably come down to your preferred agency or which one offers the best price and vehicle selection for your rental dates.
You have an ample selection of nationally-known agencies along with smaller budget-focused brands. As Nashville isn’t a mega-airport, each brand is conveniently located in the same place within steps of each other so you can quickly get off the plane and into your car.
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