Car rental in Nashville

Old Dec 10th, 2015, 08:56 PM
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Car rental in Nashville

My teen daughter and I will be flying into Nashville for a quick (3-day) college visit trip in January. I have two questions regarding transportation there:

1. The car rental places seem to have a huge difference in their prices. There are several cheap ones for around $15 per day, then the mainstays (Hertz, Avis) jump to around $70 per day. Is that because the big guys are right at the airport? And if that's the case, do the little guys offer free shuttle service?

2. Could we get around without a car, just using Uber/Lyft and the bus system? We are visiting Blackbird Academy, Belmont, and MTSU (actually in Murfreesboro). And we need transportation between the airport and our hotel in the Green Hills area.

Okay, I guess that was three questions...
fischerl is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2015, 03:06 AM
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Cheap rentals should be fine. I wouldn't depend on Uber, personally.
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Old Dec 11th, 2015, 03:06 AM
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Have you looked at Hotwire?
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Old Dec 11th, 2015, 05:01 AM
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Try Costcotravel.com for car rental. Usually very good prices, even if you have to pay the $50 to join. For 3 days it might not be worth it, but you can check out the cost without being a member.
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Old Dec 11th, 2015, 06:29 AM
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I'm not sure about the different car rental prices, but regarding Uber/public transit: Our bus system is spoke-and-wheel, meaning all the routes go downtown. Green Hills to Belmont on the bus could be doable, depending on where exactly in Green Hills your hotel is and how long you're willing to walk:

http://www.nashvillemta.org/maps/route2.pdf - Green Hills to Belmont direct

But note that service on that route is not terribly frequent and is basically nonexistent in the middle of the day. Green Hills is an affluent area and not many people there use the bus, so there's not much incentive to provide frequent service. There's also the route up Hillsboro Road:

http://www.nashvillemta.org/maps/route7.pdf

Service is more frequent, but you'd have to walk further to get to Belmont.

I don't think there's a bus that goes near Blackbird. You could probably use Uber for that.

There is bus service to Murfreesboro, but it's geared toward commuters and service is infrequent, plus you'd have to first take the bus from Green Hills to downtown in order to use it.

In short, in theory your trip might be doable via Uber and public transit, but your life will be a lot simpler if you rent a car. Public transit is not currently our strong suit!

If you find cheaper car rental prices in town vs. at the airport, there is an airport shuttle via MTA (and a few private companies as well) so you could get downtown pretty easily, depending on your flight times.
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Old Dec 11th, 2015, 06:50 AM
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It's typical that Hertz, Avis etc have very high weekday rates, they do a lot of corporate business and if the company's paying..................

Weekend rates usually kick in noontime on Thursday til midnight Monday....so if you're arriving on a Thursday don't pick up the car til noon.

You'd probably want to check back here before renting from one of the "cheap" guys, some of them have tricks that we can warn you about. Fox, Payless and E-Z Car generally are to be avoided.
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Old Dec 11th, 2015, 07:37 AM
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Nashville is spread out. Don't rely on buses.
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Old Dec 11th, 2015, 02:39 PM
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Excellent advice—thank you so much to all. We will rent a car. We arrive on a Saturday and leave the following Wednesday. Thanks, Clark, for naming the ones to avoid. We are Costco members—have never used their travel services so will look into that.
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Old Dec 11th, 2015, 10:14 PM
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Alamo has some decent Saturday-to-Wednesday rates so book soon at Costcotravel.com, rates change all the time. You can rebook if they go down. 4 days compact car $88
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Old Dec 12th, 2015, 11:47 AM
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Just checked: The Costco travel site only shows one company available for my place/dates: Enterprise. They close at 2pm so that precludes us using them (we arrive 3:30pm. Where did you see the Alamo information? That sounds like a good deal!
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Old Dec 12th, 2015, 12:01 PM
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Are you picking up at Nashville AIRPORT? Because I checked every Saturday in January and the good Alamo rates come up on CostcoTravel.com
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Old Dec 12th, 2015, 12:10 PM
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Yes, either AT the airport or we'd need a free shuttle from airport to car rental place. I just found a similar Alamo deal through the Southwest site ($84 for 4 days) so I'll probably go with that. I appreciate your patience and help!
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Old Dec 12th, 2015, 12:11 PM
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I think the airport thing must be it. Just for kicks I tried January 16-20 and got Alamo at the airport as the lowest rate. When I tried just "Nashville" all it showed on the map was the downtown Enterprise, though there were more options when I zoomed out.
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Old Dec 12th, 2015, 12:13 PM
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Posting at the same time, fischerl! Maybe put in BNA instead of Nashville with Costco and see what happens? For the weekend I checked you'd save $20 or so.
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Old Dec 12th, 2015, 12:30 PM
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Ah, found it!. $60 for 4 days, even better. Thanks very much!
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