Locally owned and located in Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay Car Company is the largest rental car company in the country. We sat down with owner, Todd Foss, for an interview to get to know more about him, his business, and what it’s like growing up in Saskatoon Saskatchewan and moving full time to the island.
What is your name and what is your business here in Turks and Caicos?
My name is Todd Foss and I own a company called Grace Bay Car Rentals in Turks and Caicos – an independent car rental brand that we started 10 years ago.
What brought you to Turks and Caicos, as I know you are originally from Canada?
My wife and I were actually both teachers; we had taught for 18 years and were looking for a place where to go for maybe a year as an escape to get away from the cold weather.
We didn’t know what that meant or where it would be, but the romantic version would be that we would find a Spanish speaking island, live there for a year, learn Spanish, and then go back to our normal lives.
However, a high school friend of ours was living in Japan for probably 15 years at that time, and he exported right-hand vehicles around the Caribbean out of Japan. He was starting to get some inquiries on in Turks and Caicos, and he knew I was looking for somewhere different to go. He asked me to join him, and I couldn’t refuse.
My wife couldn’t make it, but I was certainly willing (to travel) in the middle of February, as you can imagine with the cold. I met him here, and back then there was next to nothing here. There was just what was called, Comfort (Suites), and (Danny) Buoys.
It took us about 4 days to walk by a little old rental car company, the oldest on the island, that had about 5 cars on the lot – and while we were sitting in Danny Buoys one evening, we got to thinking and suddenly I said to my friend, “wait a minute, you export cars, I want to do something different with my career, why don’t we try and buy this little rental car company?”
And in actuality that’s exactly what happened. It took about a year to do, but we did it. I phoned my wife that day and told her that there’s this amazing beach like I’ve never seen before and the only thing I could think of was that I could buy a rental car company, and she said, “Just do it”. So we did.
Quite honestly the people of this island have been just awesome.
I get so much support from the government, customs, and immigration – just everyone was happy to see people coming. It’s been a real dream come true for us to live in such a warm, welcoming, and magical place.
Why Grace Bay Car Rentals?
“Fun, friendly people appreciating your business” is our motto! Not to mention, we offer the lowest rates in the country. We will do whatever it takes to make your vacation the most enjoyable experience possible. Our service goes beyond showing up on time with a smile on our face. We offer full concierge assistance including customer itineraries and maps, restaurant and charter bookings, and just plain, good old fashioned friendly advice. In addition, we are the largest rental car agency in the country; we are locally owned and are one of Turks and Caicos Islands most respected corporate citizens.
Would you say that it’s easy to drive on the island?
Absolutely! The islands follow British driving rules and the safest, most comfortable method to get around the island is with a right hand drive vehicle. Grace Bay Car Rentals has the largest fleet in the country and is the only agency exclusively offering right hand drive vehicles. There is no questioning the safety advantage of the right hand steer, as we have the lowest accident rate of all companies by far.
What’s the best way for our customers to rent a car from you?
Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org let us know your flight and accommodations details. We will take care of the rest.
What is something interesting you can tell our customers about your company?
Every one of our cars has a tracking unit, just in case anyone happens to get lost while visiting the island. If this does happen, we can track them and then send one of our staff out to find you and bring you back to your destination.
When you’re not working and running your business, what’s your favorite thing to do on the island?
We really enjoy being out on the water. We’re from Western Canada, so going to the lake was something we always did. So now we head out to the ocean whenever we get a chance.