On the very day that Palma city council introduced new legislation banning car hire companies from parking un-rented cars in the city, car rental firms reported that there are some 8'000 hire cars parked up because of a lack of business. Yesterday the vice-president of the Balearic car hire association, Andreu Artigues confirmed that there are some 8'000 vehicles not being used, nearly a fifth of the region's fleet of rental vehicles. The 8'000 vehicles have spent the past few days of peak season parked and un-used. Artigues said that despite the fact that many rental companies have reduced their rates, business this summer is very slow. For example, Artigues said, in Cala Rajada, tourists can hire a car for three days for just 8'500 pesetas. The culmination of a lack of business and the new Palma parking laws have left many car hire bosses frustrated and many are considering whether or not to try and appeal against the new parking legislation in the capital. Artigues said that one of the problems is that the car hire industry is being given a hard time by the authorities and is also being blamed for causing parking problems, traffic chaos, damaging the roads and increasing the number of accidents. Artigues said that during the low season, the Balearic fleet of hire cars is reduced by ten per cent. “The car hire business is no longer financially viable, for the past few years very few of us have made much money,” he said, adding that as the years go by, more and more independent rental companies are being forced to close. “At the moment there are 286 members of the association, each with an average fleet of 50 cars which are rented out at an average of 3'000 pesetas a day - for most of us, we are struggling to make any money,” Artigues said.


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