How may hire cars are there in the Balearics? No one knows.

23-06-2015Gemma Andreu

There's more on the number of hire cars on the roads of Majorca this summer, a situation described in yesterday's Bulletin as an "outrage" because of the excessive number by one of the car-rental agencies' associations.

That particular association, Aevab, and the El Pi party have complained to the Balearic parliament that there are more than 40,000 cars operating without controls on the islands' roads. Immediate action is therefore being demanded to regulate the total number, now said to be between 80,000 and 90,000.

El Pi and Aevab representatives say that it isn't known how many cars there actually are and that the current lack of control is "illogical". Jaume Font, the leader of El Pi, notes that parliament's tourism committee agreed last November to initiate a process to introduce regulation. This was to take account of repeated demands from the sector for there to be such regulation and of consumer rights, while it was also intended that there should be a feasibility study for a "tourist card" for hire cars which would certify which companies owned which cars.

Ramon Reus of Aevab is reiterating the need for a limit to the number of cars. "We are losing quality of life on the islands because of this 'saturation'. The fact of the matter is that half the fleet of hire cars circulating on Balearic roads is not registered with the tourism ministry."

The director-general of tourism, Pilar Carbonell, admits that the government doesn't know how many cars there are. "I can't say how many there are unless companies cooperate with us, and some are not doing that."

She adds that there was a 19 April deadline for all car-rental agencies operating in the Balearics to officially register. This entailed identifying the number of cars and the presentation of a declaration for commencement of touristic activity (DRIAT). This declaration applies to various activities, such as holiday accommodation.

According to Carbonell, the cooperation has not been forthcoming from many companies. Hence the government has no accurate figures, while it is also not being supplied with fortnightly updates as to car numbers. She says that the large companies are supplying information but that not all the small to medium-sized agencies are. "At present, there are some 34,000 vehicles on the register. We know that the number is much higher."

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