Five things to know about driving in Turks and Caicos

A few years ago, during a visit to Provo, I captured some dashcam video that showed us driving from the resort to the beach. It was a cheeky little 5 minute video put together more as a test of the action cam than anything else. Naturally I put it on YouTube just to preserve that fun little trip. It was put up on my personal channel long before we started the whole Daydreams Afloat project but has somehow gathered over 15,700 views as of this writing.

We put our heads together to try to figure out why this little video would even be that popular. After all, it’s just dashcam footage that doesn’t really show anything. That got us to thinking that perhaps, what people are really looking for is some usable information about driving in Turks and Caicos. Since we’ve spent considerable time driving around those islands, we put together this little list to help out the traveler who may need some extra info. Without further adieu, we present:

The FIVE  SIX most important things you need to know about driving in Turks and Caicos:

  1. Driving is on the left here. Turks and Caicos is part of the British West Indies and driving on the left is the norm! While driving on the left may be intimidating at first, it’s really not that different once you get the hang of it.  After about a half hour on the roads (and perhaps exiting a roundabout into oncoming traffic, once) I figured it out and never have had another problem.Some of the rental cars available on the island have the driver’s seat on the right side. These cars are identical to the cars we’re used to in the U.S. (gas pedal is on the right, brakes on the left, etc.) but the driver sits on the other side of the car. Just like in the movies! Whenever I get lucky enough to get one of those cars, I usually find myself opening the door for my wife a lot. I really didn’t approach the car from the wrong side, at all. I’m just a gentleman like that.
  2. There are NO traffic lights in the entire country! Anywhere. On any island. Not even one. All the intersections either follow left first priority or are roundabouts. There are LOTS of roundabouts and you have to remember that the traffic flows clockwise in them. If you are entering a roundabout, oncoming traffic is from the right.  Many that seem like straight through intersections on the smaller 2 lane roads. Just be careful when entering any roundabouts since cars that are already in the roundabout have priority.
  3. Speed limits are all marked in MPH. The speed limit signs are circular signs with a red border and a number inside. Rental cars on the island are typically equipped with Km/h speedometers. You will need to do a quick mental conversion when you’re out driving around. The most common speed limit is 40 MPH (which is 64 km/h). Residential areas are marked at 20 MPh (which is 32 km/h).
  4. On multi-lane roads, like Leeward Hwy, the RIGHT lane is the fast lane. Don’t be a lane hog and watch out for those who don’t quite understand the speed limits!Speaking of the roads, not all the roads are paved! Expect to go off road a bit on hard coral roads.  Some of the best beaches on the island are accessible only by these unpaved roads.
  5. Watch out for the speed bumps! Some are really big and not well marked. Some of the speed bumps are very wide, as they are elevated pedestrian crosswalks. Keep slow and keep an eye out.  Speed bumps are very prevalent in the big resort area of Provo and in the newer residential areas on the east end of the island.
  6. Finally, it’s sad that we have to cover this issue but, drunk driving has recently become a major problem. The local lawmakers have just recently enacted legislation to deal with it. Effective July 1, 2018 breathalyzers are in use and are stringent enforcement has begun. Legal limits are the same as much of the US at .08. One other thing to be aware of is the legal drinking age in the TCI, as well as the rest of the Caribbean is 18.

Ok, that wraps up the top six things we’ve encountered as drivers in Turks and Caicos. We shot plenty of video during our most recent visit to the island and plan to put together some video examples of each of these. We’ll update this post when we do.

If you’d like more info, feel free to contact us though Instagram.

-Dwayne and Heather

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