A great number of hire cars in Majorca are registered elsewhere for road tax. | Javier Coll


Majorca faces another summer when neither the regional government nor the Council of Majorca will know for certain how many hire cars there are on the island.

Last April, the period ended for car-rental companies to officially register vehicles for 2016 - as required by the government. This needed the presentation of the relevant declaration of responsibility for a tourism activity (DRIAT, which applies to various types of activity) and an inventory of number of cars. However, it was calculated that more than 50,000 cars fell outside this control, and the same number is expected this year.

The director-general for tourism, Pilar Carbonell, says that there is a lack of transparency and of cooperation by the companies. She explains that it was impossible to know how many cars were on the roads (or available) because of the numbers that were registered in municipalities in Madrid, where registration is much cheaper.

The ministry's register is always open so that companies can notify it of fleet sizes, but Carbonell notes that of the 110 companies operating in Majorca, only ten provided information last year. "There is no business interest in making this information known. The point is that if they were obliged to pay road tax, which at the moment they do not, then there wouldn't be the problem that we have."

She adds that inspections this year will focus on determining which cars are registered and those which are not.