Car hire firms have been unable to cope with demand over the Easter holiday because of the refusal of insurance companies to insure part of the fleet, according to Andreu Artigues, vice president of the Balearic Car Hire Firm Group. He said that some companies had broken contracts unilaterally, claiming that there is a very high accident rate in the sector. Artigues said that this was not true and claimed that he was supported by the traffic authorities. The car hire fleet in the Balearics is in the region of 40'000 vehicles, with between 20'000 and 28'000 in Majorca. Firms claim that some insurance companies have increased policies by as much as 140 per cent, which has lead to widespread protests. The companies warned in March that the fleet could be paralysed because of the insurance problem. Artigues said that the companies could not absorb such high premiums and could not put the cars on the roads without insurance.

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