On the already busy island of Providenciales (Provo) is Grace Bay, a hopping resort town filled with restaurants, shops, and attractions that will keep you busy throughout your stay. You may be tempted to carve out at least one full day of sightseeing not only in Grace Bay but around the rest of Provo, and if you don't want to pay for a taxi to take you around, your best option is to rent a car.
If you're over the age of 25, or in some cases 21, and have a valid driver's license from your country of origin, you are qualified to rent a vehicle in Turks and Caicos. Each agency may have its own rules regarding who can rent, but for the most part the process is as simple as you proving your age and that you can legally drive. It is always best to be safe and contact the rental agency you decide to rent from to confirm that they don't have any extra rules you need to be away of.
Check out the following chart for several of the vehicle rental agencies serving Grace Bay.
|Avis Grace Bay||(649) 946-4705||Grace Bay|
|Avis Providenciales International Airport||(649) 946-4705||Providenciales International Airport - Five Cays Settlements|
|Hertz Providenciales Airport||(649) 941-5503||Providenciales International Airport - Five Cays Settlements|
|(649) 245-0481||Off Lower Bight Road - The Bight|
|Thrifty Providenciales Airport||(649) 946-4475||Providenciales International Airport - Five Cays Settlements|
A word to the wise: make sure to contact your hotel before you rent your vehicle. There are quite a few hotels in Grace Bay that offer free transportation to guests, and parking is limited at these places. Also, make sure to bring a child safety seat if you are traveling with a young child, because the rental agencies will very rarely have them on hand.
Rental agencies may also choose how much to charge at their discretion. On top of the $16(USD) rental tax charged by the government and the $10 to $20(USD) you'll spend on the recommended insurance, you're looking at anywhere between $40 and $215(USD) a day for a rental in Grace Bay. The price will depend on current sales and promotions, as well as the size of the vehicle and any amenities that are included such as a navigation system and leather seating.
...no stop lights on the island...
The most important thing to remember about driving in Grace Bay is that traffic moves on the left side of the road like in Europe. This can be difficult to do simply because most of the cars on the island are imported from the United States and have left hand drive.
Fortunately, road conditions are pretty good in this popular resort town, though you may encounter a dip in the road or a pot hole here and there. Traffic signs used to be non-existent on Providenciales, but in recent years the government has made a solid effort to improve on this front. Now, rather than relying on landmarks to try and figure out where you are going, you'll be able to use street signs and make your way around town without issue. Note that the speed limit in residential areas is usually 20 miles per hour, and 40 miles per hour elsewhere.
Posted speed limits don't stop local drivers from tailgating and passing you at any chance they get. Driving recklessly and hurriedly seems to be the norm in this town, so don't be offended and succumb to road rage if you encounter a local driver who cannot seem to wait to get around you.
There are no stop lights on the island, but there are a few traffic signs you may not be familiar with. You'll especially want to be on the lookout for a circular sign with a black car and a red car that indicates the road you are on is a no passing road, and a triangular sign that lets you know that there are low-flying planes in the area.
Not everyone needs to rent a car in Grace Bay, but many tourists prefer to keep a vehicle on hand just in case they need it. Thanks to semi-decent road conditions and often affordable prices, this is an easy feat to accomplish in this popular resort town.
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