AS many as 700 jobs could be lost in Majorca if the 27 car rental companies allegedly operating illegally from rural plots of land in Palma are closed down.

The Balearic Association of Car Rental Companies, Transcar, warned yesterday that apart from the possible loss of hundreds of jobs, closing the 27 car rental companies will also have a highly negative effect on tourism. The association called on the Council of Majorca to help find a solution, primarily new sites for the companies concerned to house their fleets of vehicles. The association fears that if the order to close the companies is enforced, but no new sites are provided by the authorities, “the streets of Palma could be flooded” with some 15'000 rental cars, despite laws now banning out-of-contract rental cars to be parked in the city. “If no alternative is provided, then we'll either have to move to other resorts or simply close which could not only cost Majorca 700 jobs, but also 90 million euros,” association sources said yesterday. Controversy over car hire companies operating from rural land sites has been rife for the past two years, fuelled by the independent car hire sector which has claimed that the large car rental companies are competing “illegally,” by failing to comply with the rules and regulations. The large car hire companies facing closure have been accused of causing some of the small independent outfits to close and last year Palma city council came under immense pressure to take action. However, solutions were promised, but, as Transcar pointed out yesterday, no solutions have been found.
There was talk of a macro-car hire centre being set up near the airport or a large car pool being made available on the Son Castello industrial estate. Transcar yesterday called for a site in Son Fangos to be provided by the authorities, along with an end to the tension.

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