he island of Providenciales offers a great selection of rental car companies and vehicles to choose from, ranging from the quintessential and typical 4-door sedans, to upfitted Jeeps Wranglers, 4x4 buggies, and Mini Moke beach cruisers.
The classic compact car is almost always the least expensive rental option, with rates starting at around $40 per day (with necessary fees and taxes included). However, some of the other rental options can be a great complement to a vacation in the Turks and Caicos.
Jeeps and 4x4s are an undeniably fun and exciting way to get around, both on the paved roads of central Providenciales, and the wilderness routes.
Due to their higher value and maintenance costs, four-wheel drive SUVs, jeeps, and specialty vehicles tend to rent at higher rates than normal cars.
Places to Explore
The island of Providenciales features some great scenic drives both on and off of paved roads. See Exploring Providenciales for more information on some great routes.
The island doesn’t have any technical or rock climbing off-road routes. Many of the unpaved roads leading out to the remote western locations can be rough, yet they don’t require any particular driving skills beyond avoiding potholes and loose rocks. If you’re seriously challenging a capable 4x4, you’re probably driving where you shouldn’t be.
If you’d prefer to visit the remote west coast with a guide, there are several ATV and land tour options to choose from.
West Harbour Bluff and Bonefish Point
One of the best 4x4 drives on Providenciales is the route out to West Harbour Bluff on the remote and far southwestern point of the island. This road begins as Tom Lightbourne Drive in the Blue Hills region.
This route is nearly 7 miles (11 km) each way, and passes through the beautiful saline wetlands of both the Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve and the western edge of the Chalk Sound National Park. Sights along the way include a natural sea salt flat, red mangrove estuaries, and the coastal scene of West Harbour Bluff and Bonefish Point, where cliffs, historical rock inscriptions, an exquisite beach, and a small cave can be found.
Malcolm’s Road Beach
Malcolm’s Road Beach is located on the central west coast of Providenciales, and offers a tranquil and secluded atmosphere, great snorkeling (when the ocean is calm!), and at times, fun surfing waves.
Malcolm’s Road Beach is part of the Northwest Point Marine National Park, which is a protected area that includes much of the west coast of the island. The exclusive Amanyaraall-inclusive resort is located on this exquisite beach.
Northwest Point National Park is an isolated coastal region and beach that’s great for wildlife sightings and birdwatching.
The single-lane access into the national park is found at the conclusion of Millennium Highway near the Northwest Point Resort. After winding through tropical dry forest for 1 mile (1.6 km), this track reaches the beach. The route continues for half a mile (.8 km) as a sandy track along the coast to its end at a small rocky peninsula which is the north-westernmost point of land in the Turks and Caicos. Be aware that it's very easy to get stuck in the loose sand on the final coastal section.
Don’t Drive Off Of Established Roads
Please stay on established roads and tracks. It can’t be stressed enough. The environment in the Turks and Caicos is quite sensitive, and the beaches, coastlines, wetlands, and salt flats can be easily damaged. In many cases, it takes decades or more to recover from errant driving damage.
Driving off-road in protected areas may incur significant fines. Many of the beaches on the island, and much of the west coast wilderness is part of either a national park or nature reserve.
It’s quite easy to get stuck in loose sand, even with many four-wheel drive vehicles. Only one established route, the final coastal road to the extreme Northwest Point peninsula, has loose sand conditions where it’s easy to get stuck.
Recovery services can be costly in remote locations.
Driving on the beach is illegal, and will very likely result in your vehicle getting stuck.
Damage to Vehicles
Renters are typically held liable for any damage incurred to vehicles caused by off-road driving, especially in the case of non-4x4 cars. Many car rental companies offer damage waiver insurance, yet it’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered by the policy.
If you expect to explore off of paved roads, it makes sense to rent a jeep or high-clearance SUV to avoid potential damage and problems.
After significant rains and storm surge flooding caused by hurricanes, there can be flooding on some of the routes on Providenciales. We advise wading with caution—even with a high-clearance 4x4. In many cases in the Turks and Caicos, flooding is caused by ocean storm surge, which is salty and corrosive ocean water.
Crime and Safety
Be aware of crime. Many of the remote locations on Providenciales may have an increased risk of crime due to their isolation. See Safety and Crime for more information.