THE number of cars registered in the Balearics continues to rise at an alarming rate. According to figures provided by Traffic Headquarters, a total of 73'980 vehicles were registered in the Balearics last year, compared to 64'270 in 1998, an increase of 15 per cent. This is the biggest increase in the number of vehicles registered in recent years and is attributed to the booming economy and the availability of more disposable income. Majorca accounted for most of the registrations, with 60'637 (up by 13.53 per cent). A further 7'326 vehicles were registered in Ibiza-Formentera (an 8.4 per cent increase) and 6'107 in Minorca (up by 15.6 per cent). The last number plate issued by the Balearic Traffic Headquarters in 199 was IB-9480-DK. The last one in 1998 was IB-5500-DB and the last one in 1997 was IB-1229-CU, which reflects the increase in vehicles. A lot of the new cars are purchased by car hire companies who renew their fleet on a regular basis, but more and more families now have two cars.