Prices have as much as quadrupled. | Patricia Lozano

Car-hire firms in the Balearics are warning that there is a shortage of vehicles, one of the reasons being that car manufacturers are unable to take orders. The undersupply of vehicles is at a time when - it is hoped - there will be a reactivation of tourism.

Prices are going up as a consequence. There are examples of firms currently charging between 130 and 175 euros per day. The more normal price would be between 30 and 50 euros.

The president of the Baleval association of vehicle-hire businesses, Toni Masferrer, says that a series of factors are affecting the sector. One is that manufacturers are not taking orders, with a shortage of microchips for production being a reason for this. In addition, many businesses are unable to obtain the credit in order to buy cars. All of this, he notes, is provoking a hike in prices. "We have seen them go from less than 100 euros a week to 500 euros."

Ramón Reus of the Aevab association points out that orders had to be cancelled last year because of the pandemic - some 60,000 cars. A similar number is wanted this year but there aren't the cars on the market and the response from manufacturers has been a "resounding no". "It is fair to say that prices have shot up, but they were very low."

The president of the association of automobile distributors in the Balearics, Andrés Vidal, says that the situation is difficult because of a lack of cars due to manufacturers' problems with microchips. He agrees that prices have risen and also that they were previously low.